Yesterday I was watching the documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. Shep Gordon is an ubermanager that managed Alice Cooper, Blondie, Groucho Marx, helped create the celebrity chef with his management company ‘Alive Culinary Resources’ (subsidiary of Alive Enterprises), and many others.
It reminded me how much entrepreneurs need a strong team around them to make their vision a reality. In Shep’s case, his entrepreneurs were the musicians. They were talented people that were passionate about what they were creating but in order to continue to create it and eventually profit from it, they needed a manager.
A lot of times an entrepreneur just has a vision. An idea and little more than the passion to make it come to reality. However, there are lots of technical skills that have to be utilized to make an entrepreneur’s vision come to life.
Lots of my clients have the same issue. They have a great product but don’t have a team to make it happen. I advise them to find all the areas in which they don’t have the knowledge/skills to make to launch their business. Then hire the necessary person or hire/outsource that task.
If you don’t have the funds to hire someone, then you will likely have to offer equity within the company. This is MUCH easier said than done. Most people cannot afford to go without a steady paycheck for long periods of time in the hopes of future revenues. That is why you gotta go through lots and lots and LOTS of candidates to find the right match; in skill sets, temperament, and even personalities (if you bring on the wrong person you will suffer, like one of my clients). You have to sell yourself and your business to this individual. You have to convince him/her to take this chance on your business. Being persistent and persuasive is once of the most important skills an entrepreneur can possess. You’ll need persistence and persuasiveness when finding partners, getting financing, negotiating rental terms, the list goes on and on. In business school, I took a negotiating course and one of the themes was “You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.” How right it can be.
No one said starting a business will be easy. It is not for the timid. Nonetheless, for those that make it, the rewards are tremendous.