Not every entrepreneur is cut out to be a CEO. Entrepreneurs have different personality traits, strengths, and abilities that need to be considered as the business becomes more complex. One thing is clear: trying to do it all is a fast path to burnout. It may be in your nature to do all the things, but as your company increases in size, you will have to sacrifice your need for control for the greater good of growing your business. This tough transition includes being flexible enough to shift your focus where needed.
Three ways that the role of the entrepreneur changes within a growing company are that he or she transitions from:
1) The driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat (navigator)
2) The supervisor to the advisor
3) The micromanager to the strategist
A business owner is used to taking the wheel in the early stages of business development. However, according to an article on Brown University’s Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship website, as a company moves forward, an entrepreneur will shift from a more product-centric approach to a bigger-picture focus. Instead of continuing to focus all his or her energy on one idea or product, the attention shifts to include an overview of all the elements that comprise the company. This doesn’t mean an entrepreneur will have his or her hands in every decision, but rather, the individual will be available to guide, or navigate, the company as a whole.
Secondly, the role of the entrepreneur will change from supervisory to advisory as his or her company grows. According to vocabulary.com, an advisor is someone who “gives advice or leads a group.” An entrepreneur can transition to advisor because he or she has become an expert in his or her niche. As you take on this new role, you will need to hire and train supervisors to fill the void of your presence. This also means that the business-owner may or may not be “running” the company as CEO, although many times that is the case. He will certainly be available to advise where needed, especially where it concerns the company’s brand messaging, vision, mission, and purpose. After all, the entrepreneur birthed the initial concept for the business, so who knows it better?
Rather than micromanaging daily operations, the entrepreneur of a company will need to adjust his or her approach to becoming more strategy-focused rather than tactic-focused as the business matures. This transition feels difficult and unnatural to business owners who are used to being involved in the decision-making process from start to finish. However, strategy is no less important than decision-making. In an article published in Entrepreneur magazine, the author iterates: “Not only will micromanagement eventually break down an organization, but it also severely stunts the growth of the employees who should be doing the day-to-day tactical decision-making, robbing them of the chance to grow into the strong, well-rounded managers that the company needs them to be.” Even with the best of intentions, an entrepreneur’s need for control will eventually smother his or her employees and snuff out a potentially successful company.
Moving Forward in Your New Role
If you are finding it difficult to take on a different role as entrepreneur of your growing business, just know you’re not alone. After all, it was your concept from start to finish and no one knows it better than you. Change is inevitable with every successful business. But although progress is a positive thing, it can feel unnatural at first.
Are you a seasoned entrepreneur who’s floundering in your new role as navigator, advisor, or strategist? Reach out to our Aepiphanni team of experienced business professionals for an initial consultation. We specialize in helping business owners and their companies win at the entrepreneurial game.
Aepiphanni is a business consultancy that works with values-driven entrepreneurs seeking to organize, optimize or expand their business models. Your company’s excellence is our end goal, and we achieve this through our vision and messaging and the implementation of proven, holistic business strategies, thereby enhancing your business’s performance so you can win. Our entrepreneurial, multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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