After seven years of running my own company and travelling the world with some of the world’s coolest business professionals, three months ago I made one of the hardest, but at the same time maybe wisest, decisions in my professional life- I decided to help out the Ministry of Healthcare in my country setup its communications channels.
Are you crazy – don’t get involved into political stuff! How will your company survive? You will be politically marked your whole life You will not survive a day there! These were only some of the comments that I received shortly after my announcement. (Between us, I stopped caring about other people’s opinions long time ago and surely the time when I felt obliged to explain my decisions to make other people happy has long passed. After all, they were the same people that told me I was crazy to leave my job seven years ago to start my own business.)
But I for sure had fears. Different ones though. I kept wondering: can my start up and Founder mentality be of any use in a government administration? More importantly, as a Founder, will I be able to survive in an environment where I am not my own boss?
Three months later I can tell you the following – if you can build a business from scratch and survive the heartaches of running your own company, the stress of whether your company will survive next month, you will be able to pay your bills or whether you will have the strength or energy to keep up with the sudden changes in the business world, you can survive and do pretty much anything!
We, (Founders and entrepreneurs) are sometimes (ok, most of the time) too critical of our abilities and our strengths and sometimes all we need is a short walk out of our Founder zone, to realize:
- Our businesses can survive without us: Yes, your business will not collapse if you take a short break to explore other opportunities, help out other companies or simply just take couple of months off to rejuvenate and look at your business from an outsider point of view
- Our employees are so much better than we thought: Yes, you don’t have to hold your employees by hand and live in a fear that if you are not there they will not do their jobs properly. If you invested time in training them, trust me, you not being there will make them stronger, will make them better decision makers and most importantly, will help them build the much needed art of responsibility in today’s fast changing world
- Our business is actually doing much better than we thought: Not going to work every single day and getting caught into the small details and everyday problems, will help you get a completely different perspective on your company and your efforts through the years. Taking that short walk outside of your zone will help you realize that your business is actually more successful and doing far better than you actually thought. You can see more clearly because you are finally looking at things from another perspective – you will finally have the ability to see the big picture by simply not getting caught in the daily routine of surviving.
- We are way better managers than we actually thought: Am i a good founder? Am I a good manager? Am I leader? How many times have you asked yourself these questions on a daily basis? Becoming part of another corporation or organization will help you realize that if you had the strength and ability to build a great team from scratch, against all odds, in a world where huge corporations can and are collapsing in seconds, your abilities to manage and inspire people are far greater than you ever imagined.
- Finally, we can adapt to changes faster than anyone else. As a founder, I have survived financial crisis, terrorist attacks, coups , revolutions, people putting me down, people telling me my business is not good enough, my product is not good enough, my ideas are not good enough, and god knows what everything else. And you know what? I am still here. My business is still here! You are also still here. Your business, hopefully, is still here. Do you know what this means? This means we can adapt to anything. If you have survived being a Founder or entrepreneur, you can adapt pretty much to any situation or crisis that happens around you and this is something that not everyone has the ability to do so. Let’s just say that, we as Founders, have that magical potion that turns crisis into opportunities.
So, go on, don’t be afraid to leave your business for a while. Don’t be afraid to explore other opportunities and help out other people, corporations or other startups. Your business will do just fine! Leadership is contagious and it is your responsibility to share your startup mentality and way of life with others. Sharing is caring, right?