How To Tell If You Can Manage A Start Up
50–50 yes-no. No matter who you are. What you (think you) know.
Anyone who has ever worked for anyone else, and that includes all of us, has thought about going it alone. Starting a company. Or becoming a musician. Or doing anything, to avoid working, for someone else.
There are the obvious, potential, riches involved. And the romantic ideas about being a boss. A hero. A genius, even.
But how can you tell, scientifically, if you have it in you, really, to manage a start up?
This one’s pretty easy.
First of all, in families, people take on different roles. The first born is the leader, and the second is the follower. Follow this down the line, odd and even, born. Where none of the children, really, has as much of a ‘leader’ edge, as the first born.
Then, take a look at parents. Which one played the dominant role. If it’s the father, the first born will be dominant. If it’s the mother, the second born will be dominant. They are both dominant, just they learned, growing up, how to play, and how to be comfortable, in each role. They will prefer the role of one parent or the other.
Then, take a look at the family, as a whole. Was it an entrepreneurial family? If, yes, then, no. Meaning, entrepreneurial families are used to the success, and, also, the hard work, involved with entrepreneurial ventures. However, first born, second born, dynamics will, still, kick in. Half of the family will see an entrepreneurial venture as heaven, the other, as hell.
Really, though, for all of this, it’s more about the 50–50. It’s the 50–50 that has control. So the next review is more important.
Ask yourself, if you are stubborn. If the answer is yes, 50–50, it’s a good, and, also, bad thing. So this will tell you how you manage, and then screw up, control. It will tell you a lot of other things, you may not wish to know.
And, last, not least, just have a family focus group. Ask the family members, all of them, to have a discussion, in front of you, about your strengths, and weaknesses, whether or not they think you will, really, be able to manage, the ‘control.’ Include some friends. And, perhaps, if you’re smart, a couple of enemies. Ask them to give examples. In detail. And listen. Carefully.
Take notes. Pay attention to your feelings. And, realize, only half-of-what they tell you is true.
Your feelings will tell you the other half. You know better than anyone, if you can, truly, manage, when in control. It’s easier than it seems, and, it’s, also, much more difficult.
The truth: it’s 50–50, up and down, and 50–50, all over the place, and you have a 50–50 shot at managing, no matter what anybody says, or, even what you think about your management skills, and your ability to deal with ‘control’ issues.
The venture itself will teach you. As you go along. So, then, it’s more a matter, if you can stay aboard, if your ideas are solid, if you can modify your ideas, when the venture’s feedback signals that you should, and, if you can deal with your team, like you deal with your family. Take input. Ignore input. Give input. Ignore reaction to input. Know when to do all of these.
In the end, if you decide to do a start-up. It is all about you. And, it’s 50–50 about you. And if you get this. And you still want to do it. It’s (still) up to you. You will learn about yourself. No matter what you decide. Which may be the best reason for this whole exercise.