04 Jul 2011

The most underrated quality in entrepreneurship

1 Comment people management, Stand Up for the Little Guy

It’s about 5 am and I’m on my way to the airport again.  If you’re an entrepreneur like me, you know it’s a difficult and lonely road that usually ends in failure. If you are not a start-up or business owner, you can safely ignore the rest of this article.

Those who aren’t entrepreneurs might not appreciate the path we trod. I’ve witnessed many a well-known, now super successful, entrepreneurs spend their last dollar on a lavish client meal, miss payroll more than once, and even lose a wife in the process. And all the while, people come and go. Perhaps the #1 complaint I hear from successful business owners is how hard it is to find good people– folks who won’t flake out and can think for themselves. You, as the business owner, are the only one who cannot call in sick, blame that other guy for your mistakes, or make excuses to the client.

And it would be a mistake for you to try to get your employees to care as much as you do. The reason you’re alive and progressing is simply because you persevere until the point where you reach your goal.  This Boulder tennis pro wrote nearly 500 consecutive posts when he started out and now ranks on the first page for searches such as Boulder tennis instructor. Another friend has been doing SEO for 3.5 years and this morning we had a conversation about what a trip it has been. She started knowing very little and now is well-connected.

And it’s not about skill, intelligence, or other factors, though these, as well as luck, play a minor role. So don’t worry about things like that or even what the “competition” is doing.  Odds are they are dealing with the same issues– finding and retaining quality people.  The race goes not to the best php coders, of which there are many, but those that see it through.

I’d recommend connecting with other entrepreneurs who can identify with the issues that we face. It could be a formal group you pay for such as Vistage or EO– or it could even be a local chamber of commerce, meetup, or another group. Whatever the case, keep at it and here’s to your success!

P.S. If you’re over 35, congrats, as 80% of high tech startups are founded by folks like you.

 

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One Response to “The most underrated quality in entrepreneurship”

  1. Reply Calling Dan Gilbert: Our solution to Detroit’s youth unemployment issue says:

    […] We visited with a few of the portfolio companies this past week to witness first-hand the entrepreneurial energy. […]

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