Business Magazine

Growing Startups Should Only Hire Entrepreneurs

Posted on the 24 February 2011 by Martin Zwilling @StartupPro

Entrepreneur_MindsetEvery startup lucky enough to get some traction gets to the point where they decide to hire some “regular employees” for sales, marketing, and administrative tasks. Then they are surprised to see productivity and creativity take a big dip. What they should be doing is hiring only “entrepreneurs,” meaning people who think and act as if this is their own business.

This commitment to hire people who think like entrepreneurs, or instill an “owner’s mindset” in every employee, should be a high priority in every business. It’s what every customer looks for in every transaction. Most people will tell you this is impossible, but I found a new book, “Army of Entrepreneurs,” by Jennifer Prosek, where she seems to have actually accomplished this.

I like how she was able to motivate, train, and reward employees, including the implementation of an incentive program to get every member of the team actively involved in generating new business. She also identifies the typical qualms about using this approach, and describes how to overcome each one:

  • Entrepreneurs are born, not made. The reality is that all entrepreneurial skills are learnable skills. The entrepreneurial mindset is a function of motivation, priorities, and risk versus reward, all of which you set or enable by your leadership and example. Hire employees who have strong skills, with the motivation to learn new ones.
  • Employees will care only about work they create. This is really an issue of the quality of the people you hire rather than the management or compensation system. The key is to hire people with the right mindset, and communicate it daily to your whole team, by your actions as well as your words.
  • Junior people shouldn’t be involved in new business. This is the platitude of an obsolete corporate culture where you had to “pay your dues” in menial jobs before adding creativity or making decisions. In today’s marketplace, junior staffers are often the most intimately connected to the market, technology, and the customer network.
  • Employees will lose focus on their work. Old management models encourage employees to optimize their own task, often at the expense of the overall company objectives. There is new evidence that people want to understand the bigger picture, and business growth financial incentives will increase productivity, rather than lower it.
  • Sales will be the organization’s sole focus. Again, you get what you demand and reward. If sales are the only way to get rewarded in your organization, then sales will take precedence over other activities. Motivate for a spectrum of entrepreneurial behaviors, and you will see results.
  • We don’t need to reward lead generation. For a startup, you don’t have a recognized brand to bring in the leads. All businesses need to proactively seek leads, rather than simply attract them, with the creativity and initiatives of every employee rewarded for every contribution.
  • There is too much risk associated with decentralized decision making. When you have to move and change quickly to survive, centralized decision making is too slow. You become the bottleneck. If you train people properly, empower them, trust them, and they understand the business, your evolving business can become a revolution.

Every large company wishes they could harness the power of a thousand entrepreneurs within their employee ranks to re-create the exceptional business growth they once knew. Instead, for growth, most have resigned themselves to buying startups that exhibit these characteristics.

Thus, the last thing you need as a growing startup is a “regular employee.” Hire entrepreneurs like you, grow like an entrepreneurial company, and stand above competitors in the acquisition process to carry that fire forward. That’s a win-win for everyone in this new culture and new economy.

Marty Zwilling


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Mitsubishi A6M3 Reisen (Zero)

    Mitsubishi A6M3 Reisen (Zero)

    @ Camarillo Municipal Airport, CA August 2017 A rare flyable Zero performs a flyby at the Wings Over Camarillo airshow.  This aircraft was recovered from New... Read more

    8 hours, 22 minutes ago by   Htam
    PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIETY
  • 8 Ways To Instill A Sense Of Purpose In Your Startup

    Ways Instill Sense Purpose Your Startup

    Starting a new venture and thriving in today’s economy is hard, but the best have figured out that customers and employees need to feel that you have a sense... Read more

    8 hours, 52 minutes ago by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • Karakoram Summer 2018: Summits on Broad Peak, Missing Climber Found by Drone

    Karakoram Summer 2018: Summits Broad Peak, Missing Climber Found Drone

    While the teams on K2 sit, wait, and watch the weather, things have been progressing in other parts of the Karakoram. In our last update from the end of last... Read more

    9 hours, 22 minutes ago by   Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: A Second Look

    Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Second Look

    When I wrote my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks post last Thursday I wrote it that day, early in the morning, and it seems during a time when the site was... Read more

    10 hours, 22 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING
  • Salmon with Olive-pistachio Tapenade and Tomatoes

    A foolproof trio loaded with flavor: moist and flavorful salmon dressed up with a juicy olive and crunchy pistachio tapenade. This simple, but elegant, dish... Read more

    11 hours, 12 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Vintage Avon Lady Beauty Tips 1946

    Vintage Avon Lady Beauty Tips 1946

    Simple beauty advice for the 1940s woman – Vintage-Avon-beauty-Tips-1946—the-elbows Elbow Tips: Keep them from getting rough by massaging Night Cream over them... Read more

    11 hours, 33 minutes ago by   Glamourdaze
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE
  • Top 10 French Albums

    French Albums

    The FIFA World Cup has come to an end with France being crowned World Champions! To mark the occasions we have compiled the Top 10 French albums of all time.... Read more

    12 hours, 55 minutes ago by   Tomatrax
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC

Magazine