The Entrepreneur’s Curse

Entrepreneurs suffer from a curse. Or maybe it’s a disease. It prevents them from producing the results that they want to produce with their business.

That curse entrepreneurs suffer from is believing that everyone who works for them should think exactly like they think, behave exactly like they would behave, and do what they would do in any given situation. Because entrepreneurs are afflicted with this curse, they spend most of their time frustrated instead of doing what is necessary to scale their business.

They Aren’t You

If the people who worked for you were made of the exact same stuff you were made of they would be doing what you are doing.

They don’t have the same entrepreneurial urges or desires that you have. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, if they did have the same entrepreneurial desires that you have, they wouldn’t be working for you.

It’s also a good thing that they don’t think like you think. The last thing you need is a bunch of people working for you who don’t have anything to offer in the way of ideas to grow your business. Entrepreneurial leaders don’t build followers; they build another generation of leaders. That’s the only way to scale.

But it isn’t easy to get there.

The Real Work Of Scaling

The real work that the entrepreneur needs to do to scale a business is to build.

  • The entrepreneur needs to build leaders. These are the people who are going to help her grow her business and who can take on responsibilities and duties in some area. Without leaders, the entrepreneur can’t grow.
  • The entrepreneur also needs to build processes and systems. These processes and systems are the platforms on which the entrepreneur can scale the business. Without these processes, you count on everyone knowing what you know and behaving as you would behave. And that isn’t going to happen without process and systems.
  • The entrepreneur needs to build culture. If you want people to think as you think, then you have to instill in them a set of values. Values are what culture is made of. Culture is what people do when there is no leader around. It’s what they lean on to make decisions.

If you want to spend years and years being frustrated, then don’t accept that it’s your curse to believe that everyone is just like you. Not very many people are like you. But the people who have succeeded in doing what you are trying to do, have learned to do the real work of scaling a business.

Filed under: Entrepreneurship, The Small Business Playbook

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