Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Entrepreneur and the Employee

I was alerted to the following "heated debate" on LinkedIn recently:
So here I am trying to build a commission only sales team for our web development startup company. I must admit that such task has never struck me to be a daunting one. In fact I used to find most sales people energetic and willing to give just about an...[Read full article and comments on LinkedIn here]
If you are not signed up to LinkedIn, you can read the original article and less heated comments here

Although the article is related primarily to sales agents, several important points are raised in the responses relating to mindsets of the entrepreneur and the employee.

For a serious business blog, the comments in the discussion are incredibly "passionate" to put it politely, ranging from one word answers to insulting name calling to reasoned analysis. I can fully understand the originator's position and I am still coming to terms with the damage that employees can do, having been subject to multinational corporate bullying in a sole director "one-man" company. Ultimately, I know that I am to blame for having employed the people in question and trusted them, only to realise that my whole business model was wrong but that knowledge doesn't necessarily make it any easier to accept.

My comment on the discussion thread was:
My business failed for many of the reasons that seem to underpin the originator's frustrations and IMHO, he is looking at the wrong branch of the people tree.

What he seems to be seeking are partners with an entrepreneurial mindset, not people with an employee mindset. To get someone to invest mind/body/spirit in the way he wants, he needs to look for people with enough financial resources and belief in his business to allow themselves the "luxury" of working for future rewards with all the risk etc that is entailed therein.

1. he is prepared to do that
2. his product/service is unique and competitive enough to attract such investment
are questions only he can answer via personal examination, quality market research and a comprehensive interview process... or possibly a visit to the Dragon's Den!

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