Last night I found a really interesting nugget from a Tedtalk about the baseline difference between wannabe and real entrepreneurs.
The presenter said that the difference between two types was that the 'real' ones had come to a decision making crossroad where there was a point of no return and taken it, whereas the wannabe's never came to that point.
It is clear that everyone has a different point of no return/ your compromise equivalent (and it's worth thinking about). i.e
- If you were older, you might believe that committing 10 years to starting a new business would be your point of no return
- If you had kids, you might believe that committing to a job that pays under what is required to feed your family would be your point of no return (i.e 'buy in')
- If you had $10,000,000 OR $20,000 and you invested half, you might consider that to be your point of no return
- If you were recruited and took sweat equity instead of pay you might consider that to be your point of no return
- If you took a loan that if defaulted would mean your house was gone, this would be your point of no return
...and so on.
If I reflect on certain teams that I have supported and staff that I have hired over the last few years the people that had past the point of no return / made a compromise that would be equivalent to passing that point were the most successful.
*I have absolutely no problem with people looking into startups / small business / entrepreneurship - I think it's great and there is no shame in deciding it is not for you. BUT, what I can say with 100% certainty, is the people who were improving / growing the best (working for or starting companies) were the ones that seemed to be all in, or compromised past the point of no return.
Whether taking on a new job or starting something for yourself - there are certainly some important things to consider and I understand everyone is in a different situation.
An example of my thought process If I were considering starting something or joining a team:
I have over 10 years experience in building international business, working in some of the highest competitive spaces, building community, raising money, building cash-generative profitable businesses, leading teams etc. I also have a daughter, which means I need a base salary and also to be in Brisbane most of the time.
My current situation is a good salary but the feeling of an empty void of ownership/ drive.
So the things I would consider if I were thinking about jumping onboard with a business, or starting another one;
Time/buy-in - 7 years is what it takes to build something special, so I guess that's the commitment that would be needed, thus, the shares and position in the business would have to be substantial enough for me to feel ownership (management, top tier shareholding)
Pay - I can make $250k/pa+ helping teams with their growth currently, so the pay would have to be equal
Learning - I have the time/ contacts to spend about 14 hours per week on pure learning, so that sort of connection or time availability would have to be equal
Potential - The businesses I see with the most current future potential - Neobanks/financial services, Health/mental health, Complex service based marketplaces. So the business would have to be in one of these sectors.
THUS - If I were going to reach a point of no return and make a decision about starting something the compromises or non-compromises I'd be willing to make in order to feel like I was all-in.
Time/buy-in - No compromise - minimum employee share scheme + bonus incentive shares based on KPI's (equal to catching up to original management)
Pay - Compromise - $120-150k/pa
Learning - No compromise - 14 hours
Potential - No compromise - The business would have to be going for world domination
However if someone offered $500k/pa salary, I may compromise on the other 3 elements. Why?
Because 1 year of that salary could cover my daughter for the next 8-10 years until high-school and I could then risk 7 more years on a big project - makes sense? I think?
Now it's your turn to do some careful consideration.
Why is going to a point of no return be important?
A) You have no choice other than to succeed or fail massively - you don't take public holiday's, you work
B) You need to be as effective as possible - so you do things like learn to speed read and consume the right information quickly
C) You take everything personally and seriously - you wouldn't hire people unless you were 100% certain
Again, I'm not saying everyone should take big risks - but should take a risk, depending on the asset you can give up (time for example) so that you truly are pushed to reach your potential. In my opinion you should always be all in or all out.
Burn the boats.
*P.s all of my posts are first drafts, my researcher will buff them out — so make sure to write in and ask for extensions or explanations if you are interested.