Follow the Leaders
Often, people equate being an entrepreneur with freedom and flexibility. They have visions of multi-week vacations, days spent playing golf, and coming into the office late and leaving early while the troops deliver superior results. In reality, it takes extreme intestinal fortitude to withstand the emotional rollercoaster of navigating the milestones necessary to achieve entrepreneurial success. Interestingly, many of the lessons I’ve learned in business also apply to my “Dad job.”
My twin boys, who are seniors in high school, have formed a band called 5 Second Rule. Running a band is a lot like running a small business: You have to work as a team to create a product (in this case, music), budget time and money, acquire equipment (one of my sons is a guitar player and has become quite proficient at acquiring gear), market to potential clients, deliver on performance expectations…and execute.
“The allure of launching a business venture often outweighs the realization that entrepreneurial success requires risk.”
One of the things I see holding back budding business owners is the actual ability to be entrepreneurial. And being entrepreneurial, I think, starts with a unique passion for what you’re doing, expressed with a conviction and authentic enthusiasm that’s captivating to others.
The allure of launching a business venture often outweighs the realization that entrepreneurial success requires risk. Great entrepreneurs, like successful parents, take calculated risks constantly: We will never see our kids or our businesses grow into what they can be if we don’t allow ourselves, our employees or our kids to take risks. Not everyone can stomach the risk of building something new, letting something go or investing in a new idea. But those with an entrepreneurial spirit thrive on these kinds of challenges and realize that each failure is an opportunity to move forward to the next experiment.
Another key attribute I see in most successful entrepreneurs is an incredible commitment and ability to execute. In business and at home, it comes down to a commitment to execution. The commitment to being a great parent or entrepreneur consistently requires placing many important things in distant second place—things like sleep, time with friends or actually playing that round of golf.
Life balance was, frankly, mostly non-existent when we arrived home with newborn twin boys—at least for a period of time. The same was true as I grew a business. Those who lack an entrepreneurial spirit may not understand or appreciate the obsession with execution being a successful entrepreneur requires. But my commitment to doing whatever it takes to raise great kids is no different from my commitment to doing whatever it takes to build a great business.
“Most see the hurdles in front of goals. I think parents and entrepreneurs see the actions needed to get around them.”
Having an action-oriented mindset is something I find critical to running our high-growth firm. As a simple example, in year two of our business, our angel investor mentioned that we should consider moving our office to another location where space was available. Before the end of the day, we had picked up our operation and moved and were back to running the business. Many business owners would get stuck on the obstacles to getting through the move. We took action. I can apply this simple example to moving into new service lines, acquiring new talent and making impactful investments in our business. Most see the hurdles in front of goals. I think parents and entrepreneurs see the actions needed to get around them.
My business partner and I have been blessed to build a great team of people, a great brand and a great business by challenging each other to be entrepreneurial, to take action on calculated risks, and to have faith in our decisions. I’m equally blessed that this philosophy has served me well in my family life, as my wife and I have raised entrepreneurially spirited kids who are unafraid to take risks. Rock on, 5 Second Rule!
About Rich Reinecke, Co-Managing Partner, Co-Founder, The Fahrenheit Group
Rich Reinecke is the Co-Founder of The Fahrenheit Group and a recruiting industry veteran with a unique blend of large corporate experience and dynamic entrepreneurial spirit. Rich works with every level of business, from emerging growth and middle-market to Fortune 500 companies, and is key in client development and recruiting talent both internally and for clients. Learn more.
The Fahrenheit Group is a valued Sponsor of Virginia Council of CEOs.