A successful entrepreneur may not necessarily be a good manager. Entrepreneurs are typically impatient. This is because of their competitive nature. But, impatience isn’t a good trait for managers.
I’m an entrepreneur. I know how to launch a startup, build it into a viable business and then grow or scale the business accordingly. But I’m not a good manager. I’m very good at managing myself, but I tend to be impatient with others and I’m a total control freak. I’ll try not to mention my temper – Oops! 🙂
Most successful entrepreneurs already know and understand management – the theory – the formulas needed to build a great team and then manage them. They either have an MBA or they know and understand most of what is taught in an MBA program. So successful entrepreneurs do know “how” to manage.
The typical problems displayed by entrepreneurs are personality and preoccupation. They tend to offend others unintentionally when imposing their vision for the company. Entrepreneurs can’t do their jobs if they’re spending their days managing people and managing day-to-day operations.
The role of an entrepreneur
An entrepreneur, someone who starts and grows a business, is the board of directors combined with each and every stock-holder all wrapped into one person. And those two groups of people manage nobody. They call the shots, but they don’t implement them. So what are you? Are You a Small-Business Owner or an Entrepreneur? The Difference Is Important.
Check out: Ten Things Entrepreneurs Don’t Do
Obscurity is commonplace with entrepreneurs. Nobody will truly understand you. And they won’t understand what you actually do.
“Entrepreneur” is not a job title. Most people think you must work at a job within your company. And “Manager” is the job title they may expect you to hold. But “Manager” is a full-time job in itself.
Entrepreneurs are unconventional
You, the entrepreneur, don’t work “at” your company. You work “on” your company. That is such an obscure concept for most people to understand, new entrepreneurs and small business owners included. And that’s sad because you probably work harder and innovate much more than anyone else at your company. But you’re it. You’re the key to success!
Check out: Top 10 Tips From Seasoned Entrepreneurs
You’re the one who is most preoccupied by how the company is doing. You’re the one who takes the highest risk. You are on the clock 24 hrs per day, seven days per week, 365 days a year. And you don’t get a paid holiday for Christmas. Entrepreneurs are visionaries who are focused on growing a business startup, not running one.
Get management assistance
In the beginning, you’ll do everything, including sweeping the floor. But as you turn your startup into a viable company, you’ll need to hire or outsource the day-to-day work. Otherwise, you’ll be buried in work and you won’t have time to break new ground in the marketplace and establish your brand.
My point is this: To be a successful entrepreneur, you must put a person in the management role while you grow your business.
Find the right person
Find an intelligent person who can put up with your abrasive nature – your impatience – your narcissism – your overbearing bossiness. And if you don’t display these bad traits from time to time, you’re probably not trying hard enough to see your entrepreneurial vision through to fruition.
Entrepreneurs are control freaks. Very few competent people can tolerate that. So find someone who’s levelheaded, loyal and dependable. And then work on your interpersonal skills!
Once you find the right person, you’ll have an opportunity to use your great management knowledge! Teach it to them. Mentor them. And then slowly upgrade their responsibilities as your company grows. Be sure to reward them regularly. The benefits to you will far outweigh your cost of training a manager.
My management augmentation story
I have a new startup which I launched six months ago after moving to a new location. Before breaking ground, so to speak, I spent time networking, locally. Then, after establishing some relationships, I met Ulises, the son of my new friend – a local business owner. Ulises had just graduated from college.
I started by paying Ulises to perform a local competitive analysis for me. His work was very professional, so I asked him to work for me, full time. He accepted my offer!
Get a good right-hand person
Finding a good right-hand person is extremely important. They must have a personality which complements yours very well. Ulises is very calm and patient, which is the opposite of me. And he’s very smart – able to work independently. He’s been loyal, and I’ve been training him to slowly become a great manager.
The rewards I’ve experienced so far – and it’s very rare to see rewards so early, have been steady growth, a sizable customer base, positive buzz, and a large target market tuned in to our conversation on social media. That’s rewarding for sure!
Teach them to sell
I’ve been teaching Ulises how to be a great salesman. Sales always comes first. That’s where the money comes from. He now understands how to close a deal and how to compromise properly in order to get more customers. I’ve taught him the “sales mentality.”
Teach them management skills
Now that I’ve increased my staff to seven employees, Ulises is learning how to manage them. And he must manage people who are older and much more experienced than he is. What an opportunity for someone so young, right? Thankfully, his intelligence and his demeanor make him a good fit for the role of “manager-in-training.”
The following traits must be instilled in your manager-in-training:
- Confidence – If they trust you, you can teach them to be confident when implementing your decisions
- See: 7 Traits to Turn Good Managers Into Great Managers
- Maturity – It’s imperative that your manager-in-training can control their emotions at all times, especially in the office
- Positive attitude – They must remain positive at all times. This will rub off on your staff
- Prioritization – If they understand your priorities, they can make decisions that will keep you out of their hair
- Patience – It takes time to build a cohesive team. And it takes time to develop efficient processes and procedures. Then it takes time to teach these to the staff
- See: Characteristics and Attributes of a Good Manager
- Problem solving – Great managers are able to solve a wide variety of problems quickly and effectively. Develop the problem solving skills of your manager-in-training and your company will thrive!
Train them well
If the person you’ve hired to manage your company is competent and complementary to your personality, train them well. Give them the freedom and independence to do their job. Try your hardest to not micro-manage them. Send them to management training classes. By investing in their future, you’ll be investing in the future of your company.
Thank you for reading:
The Entrepreneur’s Management Guide
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