The entrepreneurial figure has magic to it. Many imagine becoming the fabled hero(ine) and to make it big like Mark Zuckerberg or Sophia Amaruso or Larry Page. For most… not going to happen. Yet, there are a great many that do just fine, without that bigger than life success, thank you. Sadly, a great many more just don’t make it at all.
What elevates the wannabe to at least that doing just fine group?
- The successful entrepreneurs, somehow, also find a way to operate a business
- That includes finding ways to tap into knowledge beyond just themselves, to ask for and graciously receive, help
- To find ways to manage and overcome failure and to set their ego aside for the greater good of the entity that they gave birth to
- They find ways to enroll and lead people that they employ and partner with and purchase from and especially their customers
- To release any exclusive, iron like grip on the reins of decision making
Operating a real business out of the garage, or if we want to be way more sexy, out of the loft above the garage, is not sustainable. It can be a step along the way, an important one at that. Much can be learned in the pre-real stages. If one is to become a member of the doing just fine group, they must move on to learn, to understand and adjust behaviours that respond to the fact that they are no longer the center of any Universe, anywhere. They become a business.
The most successful entrepreneurs keep their drive and optimism and eye on the ball, allowing the ball to evolve, when that makes great sense. Ray Kroc wanted to sell a lot of milkshake making machines. MacDonalds grew out of that. Elon Musk saw the electric car as ‘his product’ and is now the largest manufacturer of large capacity, fast charging, batteries, in the world.
Back to Larry Page of Google fame. He and partner Sergey Brin soon gave up the reins to an accomplished CEO by the name of Eric Schmidt. To go one level deeper, Schmidt himself hired a Business Coach to help see himself more clearly, make better decisions, faster and to provide himself a sounding board. The young partners figured out a way to take a step back and bring on some high powered help, someone who knew how to operate a business. Schmidt modeled the same behaviour. The many businesses that Google has purchased has brought a vast pool of highly developed expertise in a variety of areas. Page eventually became the CEO (for a time) and has now hired his own replacement, Sundar Pichal. This repeated one of the proven approaches he used in hiring Schmidt and that Schmidt, in turn, used in hiring his own help.
For the newer entrepreneur, get help, admit what you don’t know, let people know you are seeking, listen to others. You don’t have to believe everything you hear, but at least listen to others before you decide. Take example from those who have succeeded. Google is doing just fine.
Joseph Seiler MCC
Master Certified Coach since 2011