SpringWorks - Le co-pilote de votre stratégie

The journey of an entrepreneur (3/6)

This is one of the expressions most often heard during executive committee meetings or team meetings. The reality for an entrepreneur is undoubtedly less rosy, but not entirely black either. Even if in last week's article - which you can find here - I said that the preparatory phases represent 80% of the path, this does not mean that the hardest part is done. On the contrary, it's during the execution that the journey takes shape, that you meet the unexpected and other obstacles, and that you have to be agile and enduring.

Text published on September 14, 2020

The path chosen is not the easiest one...

Following one's passion is not always a pleasure. It is not enough to have an idea, you need courage, confidence and perseverance to achieve your dreams.

The real superheroes of the economy are the entrepreneurs, the real creators of value, ... and jobs. When you're an entrepreneur, you carry the weight of the whole company on your shoulders, 24/7. There is no "pause" button.

The entrepreneur not only carries his ideas and ambitions, he also takes responsibility for his decisions - like a keystone - and assumes their impact on the company. This is the stereotype of the "jack-of-all-trades": having the vision, giving the direction, then getting their hands dirty to turn dreams into reality.

It is not surprising then that an entrepreneur can find himself alone with his destiny, overwhelmed by his role as a pilot on board / air host / air traffic controller / station manager.

To cope with this, the entrepreneur must be able to rely on a competent team and an efficient internal organization, and to resort to external help. For example, by bringing in a fresh pair of eyes with new perspectives and complementary skills.

As a guide capable of taking a step back, anticipating pitfalls, identifying opportunities, bringing in external resources and skills - if needed - and optimizing internal resources. All this to enable the entrepreneur to make effective, shared, agile and rapid decisions.

In other words: accompany the entrepreneur to get to the heart of the matter, and further... together: show the way through action, working hand in hand with all employees.

This is my vision of my role, my value to entrepreneurs: at the heart of the action. Action, not advice... A Belgian expression says - literally - that "the best helmsmen are down", the equivalent of the French expression "La critique est aisée, mais l'art est difficile" which I freely interpret as "Advice is easy, action is difficult".

Indeed, what legitimacy would an observer have who only gives advice from the side of the road? What better way to experience a company, its culture, its mission, its habits, ... than from the inside? What value would a list of recommendations have without being able to measure their effectiveness and efficiency on the spot? One should not give advice, one should give of oneself.

Thinking through solutions together does not guarantee success. Taking responsibility for decisions and their impact means planning, implementing, measuring and correcting actions. This is the only valid formula to grow better together, and thus to preserve, cultivate and develop the assets of tomorrow.

This article is the third in the series that talks about my experiences as an entrepreneur. And that speak to other entrepreneurs, so feel free to like, comment and share as I would love to learn from your stories. You missed the beginning, don't worry, it's over here. See you next week for the rest of the series.