Entrepreneurs are investors, both in terms of time and money.
An entrepreneur sees an opportunity. Ideally, the opportunity manifests itself in terms of customers who have a need which the entrepreneur can fulfill….most importantly, fulfilling the need results in profitable revenue for goods and services.
I had a conversation with the Founder & CEO of Moxye, Darryl L. Dye he states “getting to this outcome is the challenge, becoming an independent entrepreneur is an achievement and giving birth to a brand like Moxye is an accomplishment however, you’re not finished; the race has just began. To reach this goal, the entrepreneur has to be able to multi-task. In the beginning it’s all hands on deck, just so happens my hands were the only pair on deck when I launched Moxye. I learned how to executed and performed every task that I needed to do to succeed, when a task did not get completed I only had one person to blame guess who that person was? Me!”
The first role is a business operator. The second role is an asset manager. Usually the stage of growth of the business dictates which role dominates the entrepreneur’s time and focus. Evolving from operator to asset manager is an essential shift to ensure long-term success.
The entrepreneur as a business operator is a sleeves-rolled-up, get-the-job-done role. This role dominates in the early stages of a business. At this juncture of business growth, finding customers and growing revenue are the top priorities. On a practical level, it’s all about validation. Customers validate the product or service. Profits validate the business model.
Once the initial validation solidifies, the entrepreneur evolves to a builder and delegator. “Building the company is a function of increasing revenue and profits to fuel the growth of assets. Building the company is also the growth stage where the entrepreneur shifts from business operator to asset manager”, states Darryl Dye.
As a builder, the operating side of the entrepreneur improves the products, the services and the value delivered. The person streamlines operations and strengthens channels of distribution.
The asset-manager side of the entrepreneur identifies the best customers, hires the best people, builds a strong management team, improves facilities and capabilities and finds solid strategic and operational partners. In other words, the asset manager builds and strengthens the company’s assets.
Shifting from operational management to asset management is a critical juncture for the business. It entails the big step of delegating and letting go. That is a hard thing to do because it means letting go of the day-to-day activities that drive revenue.
As operating managers, entrepreneurs ask essential questions that are revenue and profit focused, such as:
How much revenue are we bringing in?
Where/how can I get more customers?
What do we spend money on?
Are there profits?
Is the cash flow positive?
“An entrepreneur as asset manager is more decision-maker than doer. We lead the people, the management team, the customer relationships, the money and the marketing and market position”, states Darryl L. Dye
Most importantly, asset managers realize that a business is the sum of all of the internal and outside relationships and how these relationships interconnect and build upon each other. It is this web of relationships, when leveraged effectively, that builds wealth.