Friday, December 28, 2012

The One Place Where All Successful Entrepreneurs Start

When entrepreneurs start companies, they all dream about the same place. I call this place “the end.” The end is where the entrepreneur would like to take their company. Some dream of growing their company, selling it, and receiving a multi-million dollar check. Others dream of taking their company public and reaping further riches.

Regardless of the specific vision of each entrepreneur, the big vision is always the same: to use their company as a vehicle to accumulate vast riches. And this makes perfect sense. If there wasn’t a large potential pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, why would they start their company in the first place? (Yes, there are exceptions of people starting companies out of dire necessity to earn an income, but these are the minority.)

Unfortunately, for most entrepreneurs, this mindset of starting at the end, disappears soon after they begin to run their companies. Why? Because the entrepreneur quickly realizes that running the company is harder than they originally anticipated. Getting new customers is harder. Hiring and motivating employees is challenging. And so on. And inevitably, the entrepreneur soon finds herself spending hours each day to simply ensure the business runs smoothly, rather then trying to grow the business. Specifically, they end up spending time in every aspect of the business, from customer service to managing vendors, to make sure the business runs just right.

What happens in these cases is that the entrepreneur begins to focus solely on the short-term. They lose sight of their long term vision of the end, and rather devote their time to making sure the business operates today, this week and/or this month. And if any plans are created to grow, the plan is focused on how the company can grow revenues and/or profits this month…regardless of whether this month’s results progress the company towards its long term objectives.

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