Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Entrepreneurial power

For many mid-level managers, the prospect of becoming an entrepreneur involves a romanticized view of making a lot of money and being one's own boss. However, starting up a new business can be one of the most challenging career choices. Unless, of course, you already have an established advantage in your chosen field. Such advantages include owning monetizable relationships with potential customers, or possessing the required technology and tools that are not readily available to would-be competitors.

Without these types of advantages, the entrepreneur will need to work continuously often day and night to stand out and succeed. You are not guaranteed a pay check in any given month regardless of any exciting benchmarks achieved during the period. You will need a crystal ball (not to mention cash) to identify capable employees that are motivated like yourself to make the business succeed. You need to convince the target customers that they need to switch to your offering, or start buying if there was no prior alternative. You have to protect the cash, equipment, intellectual property and any other assets that was contributed to the business. You will need to negotiate with often stronger counterparts in the value chain to ensure you make a significant margin. Indeed, establishing a new startup is no piece of cake and is ultimately not for everyone. 

But wait.  The process of building a new organization is something that many find to be exciting, especially if there is a promise of "attractive" returns if the business succeeds. The investor has much more upside (and downside) than employees working in a similar firm of the same size. The possibility of creating a dominant firm in a given niche also provides a tremendous feeling of accomplishment in addition to the financial reward. There is a chance you may revolutionize an industry with disruptive inventions, becoming the next Apple, RIM, Nokia, or Microsoft. The allure of such gigantic successes will continue to pull the "best and brightest" to yearn to start the next great venture.

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