November 30, 2012 | 5-minute read (836 words)
Many entrepreneurs balk at the idea of hiring a fellow entrepreneur. In some cases, this may be because they believe that they need more proven experience on their team, the kind of experience that comes from years of working for a big corporation—the kind of proven experience that actually has been shown to have little correlation to future job success...
In other cases, the hiring entrepreneur may fear some sort of power struggle with a fellow entrepreneur—or they may be worried that the hired entrepreneur will have little loyalty to a company that is not of her own making and may cut ties as soon as her own idea gains some traction.
But, in fact, hiring other entrepreneurs can be a great move for growing your business.
You already know how essential it is to hire the right people—particularly early on as you’re trying to lift off, ramp up, and establish your company culture. You’re not just hiring for skills; you're hiring for objectives. All of your employees need to be on the same page in terms of drive and motivation in order to execute.
Fellow entrepreneurs are just the kind of people you want to join your team, here’s why:
1. Innovation drivers. Entrepreneurs are innovators who are not afraid to take necessary risks to make things happen. It is much easier to install an entrepreneur on staff than it is to try to instill a non-entrepreneurial staff with entrepreneurial spirit.
2. Resourceful. Entrepreneurs understand how to work with a minimum of resources. They know, first-hand how to bootstrap, cut corners wherever they can, and still achieve their goals. No one is more obsessed with ROI than a fellow entrepreneur. And entrepreneurs are experts at wearing many hats so you are almost guaranteed to get your ROI from an entrepreneurial hire.
Contact Early Growth Financial Services for bootstrapping advice and other financial services and support.
3. Problem solvers. Fellow entrepreneurs are just as excited to solve problems as you are. And they approach problems with more than just enthusiasm. They offer a fresh perspective that will hopefully complement your own perspective, if not turn it upside down. They attack problems from all sides, challenging your thinking and preventing you from falling into the same old grooves and becoming too set in your ways.
4. Risk takers. It’s not that entrepreneurs are dare-devils, seeking out risk just for the heck of it. But entrepreneurs are experts at assessing—and taking—calculated risks. Once he’s identified the direction he must head, the entrepreneur is on his way. This fearlessness will take your company far, allowing you to test, pivot, launch, and adapt as necessary.
5. Passion. Almost by definition, entrepreneurs are passionate people: passionate about their work, about solving problems, about creating value. If an entrepreneur wants to work for your company, it means they really want to work for your company. Their passion for work will translate into passion for your work.
When hiring another entrepreneur, you do need to be careful to give them room to grow. Don’t try to shove them into a confined role with no room for creativity. This is a worse fit than trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. The whole point of hiring fellow entrepreneurs is to allow them to be themselves, and to bring their spirit and energy to your company. This doesn’t mean allowing them to take over your company, but if you hire an entrepreneur, you have to be ready to commit to keeping an open mind and being accepting of what the entrepreneur has to offer.
To keep your end of the bargain, create an environment in which your entrepreneurial employees can innovate and effect real change—without getting stuck in the tedious boredom of the daily grind. In order to thrive, fellow entrepreneurs need just what you need: a large degree of freedom and flexibility and the tools and support necessary to achieve.
Filling out your executive team with other entrepreneurs will help push your company further, faster. Harness this entrepreneurial power without hampering it (or being intimidated by it) and you’ll have a strong engine driving you—and the success of your company.
Do you have a team full of entrepreneurs? Tell us about your hiring strategies in comments below, or contact Early Growth Financial Services for HR support.
David Ehrenberg is the CEO of Early Growth Financial Services which offers a complete suite of services from high-level financial strategy to day-to-day transactions that can easily be outsourced without impacting business operations. Early Growth Financial Services provides CFO consulting services which include assistance with budgeting, financial forecasts, fund-raising, accounting and treasury oversight, and general business analysis. They also provide accounting consulting services at the transactional level including assistance with accounts payable, accounts receivables, monthly close, basic treasury transactions, general ledger support, and tax preparation.