6. Juggling creativity and business doesn’t come with instructions, but should.
One side of your head helps you create wonderful things, but the other side requires that you learn how to manage and lead a bunch of people. Making both sides live in perfect harmony is the dilemma. I struggled with this reality (to an extent) and continually make efforts to improve. It comes easy at times but still requires work.
The very essence of entrepreneurship requires some level of creativity. But keeping the lights on and paying a staff requires business acumen. To be a successful entrepreneur, you’ll need both. Without business competency you are a hobbyist.
If you excel in one area, you must develop the other. What good is it to be highly creative with mediocre business skills? Or to have strong business acumen, but lack a product that people want to buy? Merge the art and the science of business by cancelling out your weaknesses – internally (e.g., ramping up expertise) or externally (e.g., joining forces with the right people).
7. Business would be a lot easier if there were 10 of me and 1 of you.
Now don’t get me wrong. I appreciate you, I do, but it took a while to get there. When I hired a company that couldn’t get it together, or watched a business partner move at a glacial pace I was distraught. I silently thought to myself, as I paced the hallway, “If only there were ten of me!”
But I soon learned the notion of “no one could do it quite like me” was highly overrated. I had to get over myself quickly if I was to succeed. This starts with understanding the distinct qualities and capabilities that others bring to the table and why they are more necessary than ten clones of you.
I had to release my inner control freak and empower others to do their very best. If not, my failure to change would be unprofitable and disastrous in the long-term. As Jonathan Fields explains, “As an entrepreneur, and most entrepreneurs I know are control freaks, we have a lot of trouble giving away control and power. When you hoard control you not only limit your business’ ability to scale, [but also] inadvertently demean the people that you’ve brought into your organization. Even if it’s not overt what you’re telling them is: ‘I brought you in here, I told you I trust you. I told you I’m going to hold you accountable to my vision and my growth goals, but I do not trust you to think, to create, to innovate, and to execute.’”
If this sounds like you, today is the day you put your cloning ambitions on hold and consider the vast possibilities of otherness.
Bonus: Like the perfect bra, find a team that actually fits.
Ladies, finding the right strategic partner is like finding a perfect bra. No more digging pains, no more discomfort. Only glorious curves. While the wrong cofounders, partners, management team, and employees can provide some level of support, let’s face it – you’d be better off without them.
How are women tackling small business? Quite well! Here’s an inside look at how women have quickly become a dominant force in the small business world.
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