The Most Important Question An Entrepreneur Must Answer (Or Not) When Starting A New Business.
There is a specific threshold that every entrepreneur must cross if they ever want what they’re offering to the world to expand beyond the scope of what one person can accomplish on a day-to-day basis.
At some point every entrepreneur is faced with the reality that they need support and that means adding more people to the equation.
For most people the answer is simply to hire someone.
But what does hiring somebody actually mean?
Hiring somebody means determining their salary.
Delivering that salary consistently.
It means being clear about what you need from the individual you hired and having the ability to create a healthy relationship with that individual such that your needs can be communicated effectively to them.
It involves creating a culture that inspires them to keep showing up and doing their best work.
It requires a new level of leadership from you as an entrepreneur.
More often than not you realize that you need support long before your business is operating with enough stability to provide everything required to take on new employees.
Another route is enrolling the support of private contractors and/or virtual assistants.
And some people try Joint Venture projects which are often one time agreements.
Ultimately neither of these are sustainable long term, especially if you expect the company to grow.
So where does the long term support that will ultimately allow your company to grow come from?
To set up a little bit of context, over the last however many thousands of years that humanity has been on Earth, we’ve engaged in commerce and exchange in different forms.
As humanity has continued to engage in commerce and exchange, we’ve developed mediums of exchange to transfer value (Money) and social technologies to harness and control human effort (Business).
Over time, concepts of money and business have been normalized in our collective consciousness; they are now a part of our everyday lives.
The way that the idea of business is held in most people’s mind, and thus in the collective consciousness, is based on control hierarchies.
Essentially what that means is that in today’s business world you either have a boss or you are the boss.
So what does that mean for you, the entrepreneur, who is trying to figure out where to get the support you need?
It means that no matter how talented you are, no matter how good your idea is, no matter how hard you work, and no matter how great a leader you are…
…if you don’t consciously choose to do something different at the very beginning of starting your company, a hierarchy will naturally form with you at the top of it.
Before you know it you’ll be the boss.
There’s a prevailing notion in the world of entrepreneurship that if you just have a great idea and do what you love and be passionate about your mission and just go out there and do it, then reality with self-organize around you in a supportive way.
While I think that is ultimately true, it’s elusive in the sense that if an entrepreneur isn’t intentional about implementing a structure other than a hierarchy at the beginning of forming their business, then a hierarchy will naturally form.
That would be fine except for the fact that we are in a rapidly changing world and a rapidly changing culture, one where organizations with rigid hierarchies are proving in increasing numbers that they lack the agility to keep up with the pace of change.
So the choice (the really, really important choice) that an entrepreneur needs to make as they start their new business is: Do I let the business that I’m building be structured in the way that businesses have been structured so far, or do I spend the time and attention to detail to create something new that no-one’s ever seen before?
But what’s the incentive?
Why bother going to the trouble of creating something totally new?
Well, in addition to the structural challenges that business systems based on hierarchy are facing due to exponential change in the market, employees are proving to be increasingly unwilling or unable to perform in the ways that are most essential when engaging in a hierarchy-based system.
So, done properly, a new business model could unleash previously untapped reserves of latent creativity and passion.
It’s those qualities that can only be gifted into a business culture by it’s members that are what will make the difference between success and failure in the future.
What if small groups of autonomous individuals could easily come together for productive ends and pursue resources while trusting that the resources would be distributed meritocratically all without the need for a “BOSS”?
We don’t have the answers to all these questions yet.
But these are the kinds of questions we’re tackling on a day-to-day basis here at Transformation Agency.
What questions does this line of thinking bring up for you?