Mel is Not an Entrepreneur
Mel is very successful at what he does. He is so successful that he makes triple the amount of what the CEO of his company makes. Mel is a commission salesperson for a very high priced product. He is so good that he has made many sales just by looking at his prospect. However, that does not mean he is an entrepreneur.
I know many people similar to Mel. Some are clients and some work for clients. Many of them have one thing in common – they think they could make much more if they left and started their own business. Many that left have failed. They were not entrepreneurs.
Running a department, team or being a manager over a group is not the same as running a business. On first blush to a high producing salesperson, it might seem so, but it really isn’t.
A salesperson’s interest, focus and energy is to make sales. Everything they do justifies their existence and generates a commission. An entrepreneur’s focus is to see that the business operates profitably, efficiently, effectively and in line with its strategic plan and long term goals. Each person working in the business needs to have a role consistent with that focus and the entrepreneur needs to see that this is what occurs. Many balls need to be juggled… with sales being one of these which become meaningless without the inventory, delivery methodology and customer service protocols in place. Invoices need to be issued and collected. Cash flow needs to be managed; vendors need to supply the right quality merchandise and be paid; personnel needs to be hired, trained, developed and guided to grow; marketing has to be coordinated as does the sales; leases need to be obtained; credit lines established; bookkeeping and accounting records maintained; income taxes and legal issues managed as does risk; the organization’s brand and culture has to be watched with an unswerving eye; and succession needs to be planned for.
Starting a business, likewise, is also difficult and many get started with insufficient funding without a chance to really get off the ground. This also takes serious, thoughtful and careful planning with the right advisors and backers.
There are many smart people out there, but very few are smart in every single thing they might need to do. The really smart people recognize this and concentrate on being the absolute best in what they do and do not spend their energy thinking they could do someone else’s job better. Being an entrepreneur is someone else’s job, if it is not yours.