You may have a great business idea that compels you to think about starting your own business. Before you do, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting and answering this question, “What founder skills and qualities do I need to possess in order to begin well and increase my chance of success?”
This question is not apparent to most first-time founders, who obsess over their business idea and operate from the view that if their product can sell and scale, they can raise money and are on their way to creating a business and profiting from it.
I’ve collaborated with new business owners for two decades and observed them in the startup trenches. Many are unaware that they’re not the first one to think of their business idea. Someone else on the other side of the country or the world is thinking of it, too. And being the first to market does not guarantee long term success. Clearly, there’s no new business if there’s no viable product. That said, an exciting product idea has no chance of success if the new founder fails at the helm as its skipper.
Picture your entrepreneurial journey as a sea voyage and as founder, you’re the captain in charge of your vessel. With a crew of two or a crew of 10, you shoulder immense responsibility and wield great influence over outcomes. You want to take the helm with confidence. A qualified skipper possesses training and experience in survival skills, celestial navigation, ship handling, maritime law, cargo operations, and crew management.
In the startup world, this means you need to know more than just product development and sales. First, you need to know how to manage yourself in the founder role. You’ll also need to know how to hire, manage and lead your crew; allocate and monitor resources; solve unanticipated problems and crises; and ensure that your product, people and company succeed. You’ll learn much on the job, but you’ll want to start as well qualified as you can be. The entrepreneurial landscape can be very unforgiving so you want to avoid “winging it” as much as possible. At the minimum, as a new entrepreneur you need to develop your business idea in tandem with your founder skills, and certainly before you immerse yourself in the Product room.
Why is this important? Because you want to avoid the most common misstep committed by product-centric entrepreneurs who lose sight of the big picture — that a thriving operation comprises more than just a successful product launch. Many didn’t realize until it was too late that they also needed to cultivate founder skills to lead and navigate their startup competently, successfully.
Your product idea may evolve or change completely over time. The one constant that can affect your venture is you — the founder. Train yourself with The Navigator – Develop Founder Skills to Lead Your Startup Successfully (https://amzn.to/2Er5jWH). Proper planning prevents poor performance.
Copyright 2018 – My-Tien Vo