WHAT YOU FEEL: it’s awesome to get wins, but they always seems to unearth other issues about my company
PERSPECTIVE: Every day in the life of the entrepreneur is like a round of a boxing match. When a boxer wins a fight, he got the better of the action, but it still means that he got hit in the face for three hours. While it is not only based on punches, if we oversimplified the scoring, this means if you win a round, you hit the opponent one hundred times and got hit ninety times. Win or lose, you get hit in face at least ninety times.
Almost every activity comes with both pleasure and pain. When you don’t have the resources or the capital you need, there are often more losses than wins. When you do get wins, celebrate them, they are energizing, but they always seem to raise other issues.
Every day you work to make progress and get wins. When your organization still doesn’t have its foundation, these wins expose the shortcomings of your organization in terms of capital, resources, technology, operations and people. For example:
You close your first big investment.Employees want more salary. Vendors want more commitments. You need to manage your board and investors. Is your CFO experienced in talking to investors and creating the financial reporting they need?
You hire your first big management team member. Current employees feel slighted. You pay more attention to someone who has been with the business two weeks than you do to the people that have toiled with the business since the start.
You finally have employees that are helping advance the business. You now have a payroll, greater risk and a financial nut you must cover each month.
You win your first big customer. Who is going to handle the day to day relationship? How are we going to manage a company of 50,000 employees when we have ten?
You release your first version of your software. Your competitors now see it. Your customers are banging on it.
You sign your first office lease. Gone are the days of working in your “workspace.” Whew! Who’s paying for all this?
You get your first big order.Your customer wants twenty of your jewelry design? How are you going to buy all the materials for the jewelry?
Pleasure and pain at every turn. While the business challenges that arise can be difficult, the greater challenge is what this dynamic does to your psyche and the psyche of your organization if we don’t handle it properly.
Our perspective on this is critical. We must move the organization onward and upward. We must celebrate wins. We must appreciate that you are being challenged because you are fortunate enough to be growing. Investors, customers and employees are attentive to our venture because we are bringing something that is valuable to them. Don’t forget that. Make sure you and your team always understand that the alternative is sitting in your bedroom and writing business plans that no one cares about.
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