STARTING a Business and RUNNING a Business are Not the Same Thing!
Back in "another life" I ended up doing some informal consulting for individuals looking to escape the corporate grind and start up their own small businesses.
Although most of these good people were quick (and able!) to recognize the risks, it was much harder for them to understand what was actually entailed in running a business.
Starting a Business is Exciting!
I often encountered lots and lots of energy and excitement from those looking to become "Solopreneurs." If businesses were to run on that level of enthusiasm alone, they'd all be enormously successful.
I'd often get roped into listening to lots of generally excellent business ideas, and I'd sit in on some brainstorming sessions... and I'm talking genuinely good ideas here... and I was often left with a strong feeling that each founder had something solid and worthwhile they wanted to create.
So far, so good...
Running a Business Can Be a Drag!
With great fanfare, pomp and circumstance these businesses would launch and the excitement of being an entrepreneur/solopreneur drove things to a fever pitch!
And then "reality" would start to set in, a month or two later.
That "reality" was typically less about money and profits than about the fact that the daily operation of most businesses is actually pretty routine and boring, and not nearly as exciting and dynamic a process as planning and starting the business.
The Nature of Creativity and Creatives
Most entrepreneurs are highly creative individuals who have "a vision" and thrive on creating something and making it work. Great ideas and inspiration come from the creative spark.
That works out perfectly when you're creating a business plan and putting together all the pieces of the puzzle that are needed to get a business up and running.
However — in most cases — that cannot be said for having to show up every single day to put products in shipping boxes, printing labels, invoicing, bookkeeping and all the other "nuts and bolts" that actually make up the vast majority of the activity that makes a business run.
So what often happens is that "brilliant creatives" start to grow a bit bored with their creation. And then the business starts suffering a bit because the energy level that brought it into being suddenly fades.
Creativity... and Temperament
With few exceptions, part of the "problem" is also that not very many new businesses (in their first years) are doing well enough financially for the creative founder to just "farm out" all the boring non-creative work.
And that was the primary reason why — during my consulting days — I often spent far more time exploring the wannabe entrepreneurs' temperament and personality than their actual business ideas.
In many cases, a person might have an excellent concept that could be highly successful... but they lack the kind of personality that would be able to just grind it out during the first 12-24 months.
But I can MAKE This Work!
Of course, it's difficult to break the news to someone with a good idea that they don't "have what it takes" to successfully bring that idea to the world.
And the most honest answer to the statement "But I can MAKE this work!" is actually "Mos't likely YOU can't, but someone ELSE could." That's not what a creative genius wants to hear.
And so, my "job" often turned into exploring ways for my clients to partner with someone(s) who clearly had the "grind-it-out work ethic" but perhaps lacked the brilliance, inspiration and vision.
Some of the most successful outcomes I got to be part of were the result of such partnerships!
Do What You're BEST At!
I got to thinking about this because a long-time friend has been considering kissing off Microsoft and heading into the realm of the self-employed.
The challenge for her will be that she's brilliant within the rigid structure of a large company... but she's also 'easily distracted" and always noodling new ideas about... so we've been talking about "the grind" (with which I am well familiar, after some 30+ years of self-employment!) and how she plans to manage her tendency to "be all over the place."
In the end, we are best served by doing what we are best at. I know there's some wisdom out there that insists we should work on our weaknesses, and that's valid... to a point. But if you put too much focus there, we all just end up being MEDIOCRE at everything.
And who wants to have a "mediocre" project?
Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your week!
How about YOU? Are you en entrepreneur? If so, was it easier to START your project than to RUN it? Or vice-versa? Do you love what you do, and yet there are still parts you dislike doing? Do you "farm out" any of the boring tasks? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
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Created at 20210608 13:18 PDT