I have gone silent, I have stopped writing my blogs, and even become almost quiet at work.
My book has just arrived from the printers documenting the trials and tribulations of the first five years in a fast growing business. The launch event is next week. I should be on top of the world.
The next five years are more daunting than the first. The first were all about “one for all and all for one”. Fast growth is an adrenalin rush. Anything less than three digit growth is not really playing full out.
In the past few weeks, since returning from the Advanced Entrepreneurial program at MIT in Boston, I have come to the realisation that I might be getting in the way of continued sustainable growth of the business.
To have dramatic growth you need dramatic stability – and am I the one truly to deliver that?
I have always had comments such as ‘we get so much done when you’re not here’ or ‘one more idea and I think we’ll explode’. My team are amazingly resilient, patient and calm. But at what point is it time to get out of their way and let them get on with it.
My concern is that the larger you become, no matter how in touch you think you are, you eventually become the emperor with his new clothes. No one wants to tell you how it really is.
It is so humbling to be acknowledged as a successful business leader, but it does not mean that we have it on easy street, that we do not face challenges every day that we don’t necessarily have the exact answers to.
I remember Tim Pethic (Nudie juice fame) saying being a true entrepreneur is like being a punching clown, we get knocked down and then we pop back up to fight another day. Punch, pop up, punch, pop up…
I’ve found that it has just taken longer than a few minutes to pop up this time. But I’m not ready to roll over and play dead. Call me the “Duracell” bunny, we just keep on keeping on.
I’ll keep you posted as we move into the next phase. We are no longer a start-up.