The Dual Roles of Successful Entrepreneurs: Action-Takers and Deal-Makers
Where do you find yourself on the continuum between being an action-oriented doer and a visionary deal-maker? On one side, you have business owners who excel at operations. They meticulously plan, understand their metrics, and diligently execute their strategies. They focus on incremental improvements and are often hesitant to explore new approaches because they trust what has proven to work.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the deal-makers. They quickly grow weary of the day-to-day operations and are constantly seeking the next big opportunity. They are always on the hunt for businesses to acquire, innovative concepts to negotiate for, or strategic partnerships to forge.
Some of the most accomplished entrepreneurs possess the ability to excel in both roles – being both action-oriented doers and visionary deal-makers. Most business owners have elements of both personalities within them, leaning more towards one side or the other. However, complications can arise when one leans too heavily towards one side.
Consider the journey of Jonathan Jay, a seasoned entrepreneur from the United Kingdom, as an example. Jay began his career by publishing magazines but soon desired a change. By the age of 27, he successfully sold his publishing company. He then ventured into the coaching industry, competing with a single provider. When his competitor encountered difficulties, Jay swiftly purchased the business after just a week of due diligence. Eventually, Jay sold the combined entity for a substantial seven-figure sum.
However, Jay’s restlessness led him to start a digital marketing company soon after his retirement. While acquiring clients proved challenging, he entered into a partnership with a marketing expert who had an existing customer base. In exchange for access to the marketing guru’s list, Jay offered a 50% stake in his company but neglected to draft a comprehensive partnership agreement due to resentment towards legal expenses incurred in an unrelated matter.
Unfortunately, conflicts arose between the partners, forcing Jay to regain control of his shares without the support of a formal agreement. Undeterred by this setback, he proceeded to acquire another struggling marketing agency, assuming its debts with minimal upfront investment. Jay strategically extracted the valuable components and merged them with his marketing company before placing the remaining entity into bankruptcy. Within a year of the acquisition, he sold the combined business for another substantial seven-figure exit.
Jay’s story is undeniably captivating. It reflects a high-stakes tightrope walk of negotiations, successes, mistakes, and eventual triumphs. However, one cannot help but wonder if Jay could have achieved even greater success and experienced less stress had he balanced his roles, embodying both the action-oriented doer and visionary deal-maker within him.
Whether you tend towards being a deal-maker or a doer, it is worth self-reflecting on whether you may be leaning too far in one direction. Striking a harmonious balance between executing plans effectively and seeking strategic opportunities can lead to a more fulfilling and successful entrepreneurial journey.
Contact Investment Business Brokers to learn more about how to balance working in your business vs. working on your business.