Being Invincible: A Successful Transition from Solo-Founder to a Leader

business-leadership

Jeff Lopez founded Gloob Marketing back in 2007. As we know the inspiring stories of College Drop Outs but the great leaders, Jeff also doesn’t hold any college degree, but he was able to grow at a fast pace. He has worked with great organizations like Dolby Cinema, Warner Bros Pictures, and ReelzChannel, to name a few. And you know what, he got his name placed on Forbes’ 30-under-30 list in the marketing & advertising industry.

Inspiring, right? Just like Jeff, are you a young entrepreneur? Are you on the journey to be your own boss and setting up a successful business breaking all the barriers via a transition from start-up to an established business? If you are on it or researched the market, you know it pretty well that the transition from a solo-founder to the leader can be cumbersome, and the obstacles may seem insurmountable. Here are a couple of lessons I’ve learned so far -

You Need Enthusiasm at First:  As your start-up develops and gets bigger, you’ll be faced with all of the aggregated issues that come from growth and diversification. It’s the time when you need to remind yourself of how you came to where you stand today, and how far you have grown – Once you do it, the problems don’t seem so large.
 
Believe Your Inclination:  Successful leaders trust their instinct. “Intuition – an essential leadership skill”, Shelley Row mentioned in Forbes article. “It plays a preliminary role for making decisions in rapidly changing circumstances, specifically, if there are contradictions in the data insights”, she said.

In this modern era of Big Data, decision making seems easier, but most leaders still believe that you should respect your gut-feeling.

Get Ready for Knock-backs: See, you’re new, you’re young and just started out in the business environment that means people wouldn’t take you on a serious note as you’re anticipating. On different platforms, on different stages, I’ve been talked to business owners at events, at one-on-one meetings and hear it most of the times – “Well Shyam, when you have started your agency, then give me a call!”. It’s useful to slip your turnover into the conversation early on to help overcome this.

Develop a Reading Habit: We live in an information-led internet world and there is a wealth of business advice out there to help us deal with the concerns. I remember my friend, Deepak Sihag, goes through Entrepreneur.com articles daily, no matter how much Clients’ projects work-load is there. You see all the leaders, let’s say, Bill Gates – He reads about 50 books every year. Mark Cuban, he spends more than 3 hours daily on knowledge acquisition through reading.

There are tons of examples of successful people dropping out of school or college, but they never stopped learning. Set yourself some free time away from your gadgets to allow you to focus on research and learn something new.

Listen to Someone You Trust: As they say, it can get lonely at the top. Things can be tough for a young business owner to offload to their peer group, so better to have a mentor or business advisor you can trust for invaluable advice. When Genie Recycling turned into clothing segment, they had 70 years of authenticity and experience trading in fibers and wool. They closely followed the company’s ethics and formula from senior management during the transformation.

Will Rees, started the business with his father so he always had someone on hand to discuss things with. If you don’t have your family members in the business, try looking online or connect with Growth Hub locally for further guidance and business advice.

Come up with Your Own Leadership Persona: All business giants and leaders have their own specific style, and you’ll see introverts as well as extroverts at the top of the game. You know what’s important? Remain true to the personality you have and don’t be tempted to be like someone else just because you think that’s what is expected. You should bring honesty and integrity, so stick to doing things naturally and treat other guys the way you would expect to be treated yourself.

Don’t Deceit: Nobody, I mean nobody knows everything. If you don’t know the answer, no need to bluff. It’s not a sign of weakness, so be honest. Lucky us, this is one side of the story where being young and inexperienced has its own advantages.

Delegating Better: This is you who started the journey, so you are the one who knows better than anyone else how things should be done. However, shifting the focus from just a manager to a leader can only be succeeded positively by delegating tasks to the right team. The bottom line is – you need to master the skills of delegating things. One way to accomplish it by spending enough time with staff members and show them how to adequately perform the responsibility, set performance benchmarks and make sure communication goes smoothly if any problem arises.

Last but not the least, you’re the leader: Building relationships with the team and being approachable is fine and important to the overall success but don’t forget that you are the boss. Keep a safe professional distance. Everyone should be aware of their lines of responsibilities.

Conclusion:

Again, making a transition from young entrepreneur to the business leader may not be as simple as you think. Leading a business and team will going to become about more than just the implementation of your early business idea; it will surely take time to develop the environment and skills you need to manage it and the team. Sooner or later, you’ll have to spend your time to focus on developing these skills as they’ll play an emerging role in shaping your business into a successful venture. Remember, the younger you do it, the more time you have to enjoy the success! That’s all about how well can you navigate the journey.

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