Have you ever been in an entrepreneur’s locker room after the big deal was negotiated? Have you ever seen cheerleaders rally the crowd as the champion entrepreneur heads out on to the field to start the newest venture? Where is the coach who worked so hard to prepare our entrepreneur for the upcoming event? Team mates always cheer on their champion, so the entrepreneur must have a team as well.
While the sport of business does not have structured programs for young children like sports programs do, there is a competitive environment for every entrepreneur. Most athletes begin their training when they are very young and have perfected their skills by the time they make the college team. Training for most events requires personal diligence and the desire to push ones self to the limit. A true entrepreneur harbors the very same character traits. Every sport has a program to follow that ends up in some championship for the title of “Best of the Best.”
Following the championship event, the locker room is a buzz with reporters and bottles of champagne for the winners and tears and heartbreak for the losers. Entrepreneurs do not have locker rooms or teammates. They did not attend Camp Entrepreneur in the mountains when they were ten years old. There has never been a stadium full of cheering fans watch two entrepreneurs face off on the field of glory. Never has the announcer, who is sitting high above the fray, called the negotiations for the folks at home.
This is obvious, but what is more subtle, is that the team approach is best for entrepreneur activities as well. Think of your new business as a sport. Who will guide you to pass third base and run for home plate? Who is there to help you when things get so tough that you want to quit? When you start your business you always can count on a shortage of money, what are you going to do then?
Be the magnanimous leader of your team. Be the entrepreneur who is clearly the team captain but, find a coach. Find a mentor or advisor who will remind you of your goals and help you find your way to what ever finish line you have set for your self. No champion finds themselves in the locker room after the big event and can say that they did it on their own, that they achieved greatness without help from others. The entrepreneur by definition will try to start a business with little or no help.
A successful business has a strong organized team and each player knows what their role is and what is expected of them. The leader has a clear vision for the team and can clearly articulate what is needed and who should do each task as well as specific time frames. Now the starting gun is fired and the team begins to go for the gold. They are never going to end up in the locker room with champagne and they will never be humiliated after a dreadful loss.
Entrepreneurs are like you and me. They need to make some money and have an idea or a dream to follow. They start online or in the kitchen and work very hard for a long time before they see real results. Then they find the need for money, either to keep going or to fill production orders. Either way, they should have good advisors and trusted confidants.
Create an entrepreneur’s team with financial, legal and accounting help, and then the magical ingredient, a mentor. Find yourself a coach. Seek out a person who has been a champion in your field. Anyone that you feel comfortable with, who can guide you through the challenges ahead, will give your team a major edge in the market.
The choices of how to do this include good old fashioned methods like asking for help from an expert in your field or university professor. No matter how great an athlete gets or what level of success they achieve, they always have a coach. Who is your coach in the entrepreneur playoffs? As you move toward your financial goals, each dollar of revenue you earn is being taken from some other entrepreneur who would love to have it.
Good advice from a great coach could make the difference in determining which team of entrepreneurs will make more sales and move closer the champion’s locker room. Do not let your ego take over. Get all the help you can. Entrepreneurs take many risks and have no play book or rules to follow. The worst part of all is that this is your money. You are the one at risk; you are the one who will suffer the most if you fail. Plan well, find advisors and listen to them like an athlete obeys a coach.
The locker room for winning entrepreneurs looks more like a big home. The trophy is a fine car and expensive toys. As a mentor, I have helped many entrepreneurs make tough decisions. The best advice I can give any entrepreneur is that if you cannot clearly see how the sales are going to be made in time to pay the bills, then find a new coach or realize that the game will be called on the count of no sales.
Business is played for dollars. Success is as simple as having more revenue than expenses. Most businesses do not start off that way. Make sure that your coach approves your plan before you invest. The deal always sounds great, but the game you are playing will profoundly affect you and your family for years. Put together a great team, find a great coach and work hard on your way to the Entrepreneurs Locker Room for winners.