Same Path, Different Shoes

You can work in the same office or factory building and look out of the window. Chances are you’ll have a different view than the person stood next to you. Oh sure its the same stuff you’re looking at but you’ll see it differently, a slightly different angle, maybe some of the view is obscured, non-the-less different if only slightly.

Its these differences that eventually take each of us along a slightly different path than the next person. We all get the same training, rewards packages but somehow we all end up in differing positions.

The more you consider your future the more likely you’ll look back on the past. You’ll ask your self the what ifs and why certain parts of what you have achieved seem like such a black art. You’ll also be asking yourself if everyone faced the same problems you have and how they responded to the challenges.

Advice: if you’re thinking these thoughts then you are not alone. Plenty of people have thought them before and plenty more will in the future, its just that its so personal to you, that’s all. Here’s the advice bit; if you are now considering going alone and you need some financial help don’t just reach for the lowest cost help in terms of equity and/or value returns. Instead seek out a venture capitalist with a record of running a business, someone who’s been there before.

Look out for the ‘some experience’ bit in the pitch they give you for the opportunity to invest in you and your new business. Its this ‘some experience’ part that’s the most important. You are going to want people around you who know the pit falls, who will not panic when the stock market goes through a correction, who will offer insights and help if needed. This is where the ‘some experience’ pays off and the investment seems better than just low cost.

Keep in mind however, that although these types of investors have been there before and done the job for themselves, they haven’t yet done your thing. Its yours to make, yours to grow and yours to run. In short its going to be you who is the driving force and makes the difference, nobody will care as much as you about your new venture. They may have been great business leaders in their time but now they are investing in you and usually you alone so its you that’s got to build the great business, you that’s going to have to hire the great team and produce the great product or service.

Yes YOU!

Some place in the back of your head you should be able to hear the faint tick toc of a clock, this is the beat of your business and idea. Pay close attention and try to make it louder. The louder the better. Use you investors as mentors, and seek their help and friendship when the going is good not just when its bad or tough. the tick toc should not get so loud it drowns out all other noises but it should be a constant, it should be present in all your waking hours. But I warn you the tick toc will stop, and when your time runs out so does the tick toc. Its the rhythm and beat of your business, but one day, maybe not soon but one day that beat stops. You have to find a chair and decide what you are going to do.

Carry on? I suggest not

Sell up? If the value is there then yes, sell. You have a new beginning with your own seed money.

The only time I’d say not to sell is when you have a market dominant position and is unassailable in the foreseeable future. In this case you stay put, recruit some talent to run the business and carry on taking a payment. You are then free to do as you please, your business remains yours and you have provided opportunity to a talent for the future.

Thanks for reading.

Philip

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