This is not Elle Macpherson speaking
I used to speak frequently in a professional context, and after a break, am just getting warmed up again, which is how I’ve arrived in the Legal Vision e-book here.
While I’m clearly not Elle Macpherson, I’m hardly the personification of a raging entrepreneur with a massively scalable tech business worth squillions of dollars, either. Not like say, my friend Dominic O’Hanlon, who runs Rhype, or Emma Lo Russo who runs Digivizer.
On building Nirvana from Chaos
A while back, I decided my professional purpose is Enabler, someone who brings people together and helps them communicate, connect and learn. I like to observe, and sometimes the virtue of not physically running the race yourself is your ability to see how just how well the horses are faring, spot the success patterns and fill the gaps. Paradoxically, the Enabling role is starting to create quite a lovely business in its own right. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. However, it’s best you don’t bet the house on Nirvana always emerging from Chaos because the bet won’t stand up as a business strategy.
Hustle baby, Hustle
What I know for sure, is that people with power, capital and influence are the critical success factor to a fast growth business. If you don’t know any and you’re the Founder or GM of a little company with big ambitions, you need to fix your connectivity. In a human sort of way, not an internet one.
Businesses who need money and customers cannot operate in a vacuum, or exist only online; you need to be able to wedge your foot into any door you choose in order to hustle your business sell stuff, and get money. If you’re cringing at the thought of hustling, why are you in business and not weaving sandals from dried grass for impoverished nomads? Get over it.
That’s right, hustle. Tech or no tech, no hustle no growth. Period. So Hustle Baby, Hustle; get out there and spruik your widgets for real.
Renewable income is the chocolate biscuit of business
I’m eating a chocolate biscuit as I write, and it’s delectable; sweet, a little crunchy and melty all over my tongue. I’ve been waiting all day for this chocolate biscuit to send my senses into overload, and it’s leaving me just a little bit guilty, but damn, I’ve worked hard for it.
Which is how you’ll feel in years to come when you skip off to the Bahamas and leave your business to run itself. It’s going to keep paying you too, in dividends. It’s possible because you’ve set it up to manage people, process widgets and most importantly keep earning money while you’re not there.
You see, making your business dependent on you is a game for little people with much less practical nouse than ego. Like slightly irritating adult children who still live at home, you can love your business, but if you can train it to exist happily without you, your life will look entirely different. In a splendid, liberating kind of way.
And, wait for it, this is a big ‘and,’ investors want to buy quality well-functioning business, independent from their Founders, plus the stream of reliable renewable annuity income coming is sweet for levering up valuations based on earnings multiples.
Don’t marry your business
Marriage is hard work; often the most difficult thing you’ll ever do. Except raising kids, which is even more difficult. When you’re emotionally committed to something or someone, you have to hang in there for the ride of your life and sometimes stop-loss is not an option.
Business is not marriage. You need to be objective, incisive and decisive, and you can’t afford to be emotional about business. Not to say you can’t be human, you can, but objectivity is crucial. Know when to stay and when to walk away, you can’t do that if you’re emotionally attached to your business.
There endeth the lesson.