As an entrepreneur, you’ll be mainly concerned about creating innovative products or services and thinking outside the box. When that product or service actually launches and your business gets going, you’ll need to tap into a new set of skills: the management skills that keep a business running smoothly.
At that point, some entrepreneurs opt to jump ship and to move onto the next big thing, leaving the managing part of the business to people trained as managers. But if you’re the type who wants to stick around and run your new enterprise, you’ll have to find a way to combine all of your skills in order to succeed.
Management and Entrepreneurial Skills
Managers and entrepreneurs do have some different skills, but there is some overlap too. Researchers have found that both entrepreneurs and managers tend to be creative, risk-taking, independent, committed, energetic and confident -- all things that are required whether you’re starting a business or keeping it going.
Where they differ, however, is when the focus shifts from the need to implement changes or to come up with new ideas and moves into the day to day, hum-drum stuff like creating schedules or managing payroll. Managers tend to be more concerned about developing and nurturing strong relationships and can be more compassionate with employees than entrepreneurs. In addition, managers may have a greater need for control and security.
So how to combine the two? It might come down to what phase the business is in.
Create something you believe in
Obviously, tapping into your creative, confident, risk-taking side will help you no matter what hat you’re wearing, though the motivations might tend to shift as you go along. When you’re just starting your enterprise or coming up with new ideas, you’ll likely be focused on creating a business that suits your needs and will be something that continues to make you get up in the morning. Tread carefully during that time to create something you really believe in, because once you’ve created that business, you’ll have to learn the skill of thinking about what’s best for the business -- something managers do well.
Then focus on the health of the business
In other words, the creation phase is the time to think about yourself and what you want, while the day-to-day operations phase is the time to think about the health of the business and what steps to take to make it as successful as possible. That includes taking time to ensure your employees are happy, that relations between the various employees are going well, and that the operations of the business are as efficient as possible.
That’s not to say that you’ll have to throw away your entrepreneurial side all together, because chances are you’ll need to make changes to your products, come up with new marketing campaigns, or otherwise innovate to make things better -- but by then, the focus will need to be on making innovations that work toward the business’ overall success.
The line between entrepreneur and manager is sometimes really hard to distinguish -- but it’s that focus on the health of the business and not only on your own personal needs that will help you succeed as both an entrepreneur and manager.
Image source: eizil