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ASK GERBER: FIRST GENERATION ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS EXECUTIVES, HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?

by Randy Gerber, Founder & Principal
 

Simply put – they think differently.

When tackling a business venture, executives and entrepreneurs have different thought processes. In each individual management style, the obstacles and risks tied to each business decision are viewed and handled in a different manner.

As a First Generation Entrepreneur, I have a very reactive yet strategic approach to business decisions; every new hire or change in process affects me directly – my business, my finances. As an executive, you don’t hold the same hesitations; the personal risks are not necessarily tied to your business decisions. Yes, business risks still exist for business executives, just to a vastly different degree. 

OBSTACLES

o      First generation entrepreneurs view obstacles as opportunities

First generation entrepreneurs are eager to invent, try new things – in order to be successful we have to have failures, just fail as fast as you can. Facing temporary failure is a common obstacle entrepreneurs learn to recognize and overcome as they grow their business. We really have no other choice- instead of dismissing problems we face each hurdle as a possibility, rather than a setback.  

o    business executives view obstacles as career risks

When you’re in a large company, your vision of failure is very different. As an executive attempts to tackle an obstacle within their business, they make decisions based on what is best for the company, while sometimes accepting short term consequences as a cost of doing business in reaching that long term goal. When a decision does not directly affect your personal assets, you don’t have as much of a personal interest vested in the decision. Think about it – It’s a lot easier to justify spending $1 million dollars on a new employee search when the cost isn’t coming out of your own pocket.  

COMPETITION

o    First generation entrepreneurs focus on external competition

Entrepreneurs, specifically first generation entrepreneurs, are driven by their desire to make the world a better place. Our willingness to invent and experiment is driven by the competition we see by our peers in the market rather than the talent within our organizations. 

o    Business executives have internal competition

Non-entrepreneurial leaders are driven by the approval of their superiors, shareholders and the desire to grow within the business. Corporate politics sprout, more often than not, as leaders attempt to align their goals and missions within an organization.  

RISK LEVEL

o    First generation entrepreneurs HAVE LIMITED RESOURCES

The alignment of goals is much simpler for us; the decisions that drive our businesses are a reflection on our personal value system and have a direct effect on our personal capital and time.

For example: While in the hiring process, an entrepreneur hires ONE person, the perfect person. As a business owner, you generally do not have the bandwidth to endure your hire to fail so you need your hiring process to be that much better. This new employee is not only a business investment, but also a personal investment – when you bring on a new employee you don’t want that person to fail because that is a reflection of you, and your business.

o    Business executives HAVE UNLIMITED RESOURCES

For an executive, the marketplace has already deemed their value – they have a paid salary based upon their talents that is nondependent upon the industry’s market value or competitors.

For example: While in the hiring process, an executive may hire 100 people, knowing that 98 of the hires will fail. They have the liberty of funds, and time, to compensate for these failures, knowing that two individuals out of the 100 will be successful and drive a vast return for the company long-term. Their personal assets are not directly in jeopardy.

 

Bottom line – every leader has a different way in dealing with the challenges of a business; executives and first generation entrepreneurs simply have a different mindset of priorities in their businesses.
 
 
Any opinions are those of Randall Gerber and not necessarily those of Raymond James.


INDEX
  • ASK GERBER: HOW DO I HELP EASE EMPLOYEE STRESS DURING BUSY SEASON ?
  • ASK GERBER: DO I NEED TO HIRE HR?
  • ASK GERBER : DO I NEED A CEO?
  • ASK GERBER: DO I NEED TO HIRE A COO?
  • ASK GERBER: DO I NEED TO HIRE A CMO?
  • ASK GERBER: DO I NEED TO HIRE A CFO?
  • ASK GERBER: HOW DO I KEEP PASSION AND PROFITS TOP OF MIND IN MY BUSINESS?
  • ASK GERBER: WHY DO I NEED TO INVEST IN HOSTING AN ANNUAL RETREAT FOR MY TEAM?
  • ASK GERBER: HOW CAN I ENGAGE WITH MY CLIENTS/PROSPECTS WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK?
  • ASK GERBER: WHAT IS A CLIENT SERVICE MATRIX? PART DEUX
  • ASK GERBER: WHAT IS A CLIENT SERVICE MATRIX? PART ONE
  • ASK GERBER: THE HIRING PROCESS. WHY IS IT SO DAMN HARD?
  • ASK GERBER: WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW AND GROW YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
  • ASK GERBER: HOW DO I ACHIEVE THE WORK/LIFE BALANCE AS A BUSY ENTREPRENEUR?
  • ASK GERBER: HOW DO I PREPARE MY FRIENDS FOR LIFE AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
  • ASK GERBER: FIRST GENERATION ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS EXECUTIVES, HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
  • ASK GERBER: I PUT SO MUCH OF MYSELF INTO MY BUSINESS THAT I WORRY I AM FALLING SHORT AS A SPOUSE AND PARENT. WHAT CAN I DO?
  • ASK GERBER: ARE CHILDREN OF FIRST-GENERATION ENTREPRENEURS MORE LIKELY TO BE SPOILED?
  • ASK GERBER: WHAT'S YOUR STANCE ON REMOTE ACCESS FOR EMPLOYEES?
  • ASK GERBER: WHEN DO I NEED TO HIRE AN ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT?
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