Beware of the Executive

By May 10, 2010blog

I heard a story today that I’ve heard happen to half a dozen other entrepreneurs in the past year. It goes something like this…

1. Entrepreneur is growing company and has lots of good paying customers
2. Thinks they don’t have what it takes to take it to the next level (or is getting tired and wants to just focus on what they are good at)
3. Gets introduced to a former executive of a well-known company and thinks this person has seen a LOT more than them and could grow their company better.
4. Hires the executive on as their President, COO, CFO and/or CTO
5. New executive convinces entrepreneur to raise money to fund all the people they need to hire to really make their BIG plan work
6. Entrepreneur gets diluted down and sometimes loses control of the company
7. Entrepreneur wakes up and realizes their BIG executive didn’t really know anything about growing a small company, fires them, rights the ship, and wishes they had believed in THEM-SELF at step #2, were more patient, and grew it themselves.

I think part of the problem is executives from big companies have credibility in managing already successful systems but don’t have experience in being entrepreneurial and creating growth. Entrepreneurs have experience and an intimate connection with creating value in their business but don’t have the credibility in their own minds.

Now, I’m sure there are success stories out there where this story did turn into a happier ending. Hopefully, I won’t have to hear a hundred more to find one.

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