This month marks 20 years I’ve been in public practice as an accountant, and during that time I’ve worked with and then advised thousands and thousands of business owners all in varying stages of their business and also in varying stages of success. They are all to some degree, entrepreneurs. Over the last 5 or so years I’ve purposely moved into a more entrepreneurial space not only in my own business ventures, but also in my mindset and the propensity of advice I give to clients now more than ever working in this arena.
As I interact with more hard-core entrepreneurs in this part of my career, it recently had me thinking about who in my career of 20 years have I seen be successful, and, what type of entrepreneur or mindsets do they have. It seems to come down to a spectrum of absolute discipline across to absolute creative chaos. Looking back I haven’t seen any entrepreneur at either ends of that spectrum really succeed in the end.
My experience has been that absolute disciplined business owners/entrepreneurs are too risk adverse to take opportunities, instead sticking with the status quo. They may do OK, and they may be the ones buying a franchise, but they never seem to really make it big. Or, they don’t move with the times and new technology and end up failing by the same virtue.
If I think about the other end of creative and chaotic entrepreneurs, yes, they come up with all kinds of great ideas and take huge risks however their lack of business acumen let’s them down and they don’t end up monetizing their ideas, or, they are too trusting and money and opportunity slips through their fingers.
So where have I seen success? It’s been with the entrepreneurs who do have great ideas and willing to take some risks, however know their limitations of discipline and so work with or engage professionals and take the advice of those professionals to monetize and develop their idea into a robust business. None of us know it all, and just coming to terms with that and reaching out for our shortfalls is really half the battle. Really good entrepreneurs will collaborate and take new information in and use it to develop their ideas commercially.
And where do I see myself? Well I come from a disciplined education in accounting so that’s in the blood, however I’m also a little extroverted, social and therefore see opportunity and so explore new things. I probably sit pretty smack bang in the middle of that spectrum, and that seems to represent the steady success I’ve had during my time up to now.