Can you become the founder of a successful startup?
The first free e-book that you get when you buy ‘Kan het vliegen?’ for chapter 3 is ‘From employee to entrepreneur’. Many founders of startups and directors of scale-ups have worked in large corporates in different industries. But many of them do not succeed.
From employee to entrepreneur.
Many employees dream of leaving the secure employment of a large incumbent and build their own innovative startup in Fintech for instance. Unfortunately, they are not successful as I often see with my partners of when I am a member of a startup-jury like with the Dutch Fintech Awards or in a local startup- of pitch contest for instance. Why that is? Because they do not have the right mindset. As you can read on LinkedIn here, I personally have made the transition from employee to entrepreneur first part-time as an Internet marketeer and online entrepreneur from 2001 on-wards. Taking the final step since the end of 2011. That transition is a really difficult one. That is why in chapter 3, ‘Can you become the founder of a successful startup?’ how to build an innovative startup?’ We spend a lot of time around the issue of mindset, the transition and helping potential founders of innovative startups to decide if they are really ready or not to make that step.
How you think and approach your current job is a good indication of whether you have the mindset of an employee or an entrepreneur. Finding out which suits you best is a way to avoid pitfalls and failures in wanting to start your own company and be sure you’re pursuing the opportunities that will take full advantage of what you can offer.
Even though you may work from home or your own office and consider yourself an entrepreneur, there are still people who control your ultimate success. For example, if you’re a freelance accountant, you depend on other companies or individuals for your income.
It’s the way you think about your work and your attitude that determines whether you would function better as an employee or an entrepreneur and how you can make the transition successfully. It’s possible to satisfy your entrepreneurial spirit while working for employers and/or clients but it is not the same as becoming the founder of a startup and taking it successfully through the stages of prestartup, ‘Lean-startup and scaling.
Working for a large company that values your entrepreneurial spirit can sometimes work quite well. It can flourish long-term and build relationships that work to satisfy both sets of goals. But, unfortunately, many large traditional companies take a dim view of the entrepreneurial spirit of their employees. They may see you as a person who’s difficult to manage, a maverick’, and who doesn’t conform to their ideas and goals.
Here are some differences in the mindset of an employee versus the mindset of an entrepreneur:
- Many employees have become more like worker bees who specialize in specific work techniques, tools and plans an are focusing on objectives of the company.
Entrepreneurs are planners and used to act. They are visionaries and strategists who see the finished product (or goal) rather than the details of getting there. And that is especially the case of successful founders of startups.
- Employees focus on their individual responsibilities.
Entrepreneurs see their jobs as intertwined with the entire infrastructure of the business and their ecosystem. Especially in the beginning, founders have to carry out a lot of tasks and the same thing applies to the phase in which they have formed a first founders-team.
- Employees are often frustrated with meetings and other issues which distract and keep them from their “jobs.”
Entrepreneurs feel connected to the way a business operates by gathering as much information as possible about the overall workings, they like to work with customers, investors and other stakeholders and they work closely together with the people in their Board of Advisors.
It takes the combined strengths of both employees and entrepreneurs to make a business into a success. Both ways of thinking must be present to help the business grow and thrive. But in a successful innovative startup, every employee has to have a ‘can-do’ attitude and has to have some other critical soft-skills.
An employee likes to focus on what has been successful for the business in the past and acts – and the entrepreneur wants to ensure its future by making sure he knows trends and by weeding out what didn’t work and figuring out ways to make better choices. With a focus on what paying customers want and need and how to provide an innovative solution.
Figuring out which type of mindset you have – employee or entrepreneur – is key to finding your happiness in either a job which appreciates your entrepreneurial spirit or exploring your own business options, taking a dive an becoming the founder of an innovative startup. And that is what you will discover in chapter 2: to you have the right profile to become the founder or co-founder of a successful startup?
Don’t miss the free e-book ‘From employee to entrepreneur’.
We will be making the free e-book ‘From employee to entrepreneur’ available for download soon. So make sure to follow me on these social media Facebook, Twitter (@tonydebree and @ideetotstartup, especially for ‘Kan het vliegen?’), Instagram (‘kanhetvliegen’) Pinterest and Linkedin. And on YouTube here. So that you do not miss they announcement of the publication of this new free e-book for readers of ‘Kan het vliegen?’. If you click here, you can see which e-books are available and which ones will be published soon per chapter.
Tony de Bree