Legally, your organization and you are recognized as separate individuals. But beyond legality, the lines are more often than not very blurred. This is especially true for start-ups and the entrepreneurs with big dreams and ideas.
How often have you, as an entrepreneur, found yourself funding that one marketing expense out of your own pocket? That land your factory needs can be your own asset - then the money is all with you right? Wrong – in reality, if a business has to be run like a business it has to be separate from you – so if your business owes you something, it owes you – you cannot write it off saying it’s all mine. Again - that’s the legal stand point.
Reality: You are one with your business, so embrace the concept in spirit. The idea for the venture usually is a big dream. And a dream has a fundamental premise. You, as the dreamer, have a certain ideology backing up that dream. The details of the implementation plan will include how you want to fundamentally do business. What kind of an organization do you want to build? What sort of customers do you want to attract? What values will your venture stand for? What is the core reason for your setting up the venture?
“I want to make money” is rarely the only aspect that drives anyone to set up a complete business. If that is the purpose, then your business will and has to be focused on that end only. So business volumes at the cost of quality could be one way to go. The core thing to keep in mind here is that if you have “money” as your core purpose, you should be alienated from your business and essentially work on building it and packaging it for a good exit X years down the line. Because a sell-out is the best way to actually get the best returns – assuming you have set up a successful business.
That is just one scenario. More often, it’s a case of a dream too big to sell so easily. Ideals that want to leave a legacy and pride in ownership is what drives most entrepreneurs. But when the business reaches a growth stage, the lines get blurred - because the business needs seem to take over. This is what I like to call a sort of inflection point. Most often, letting go of core ideals and beliefs and pandering to the “generally executed” norms, often leads to a confused organization and an even more confused strategy which may not be in sync from start to finish. Also, remember, when you decided that this was a winning business, it was based on a package of what makes you (and therefore your organization) tick. Take that package away, and the foundation is gone.
Your organization will be a reflection of you. A plan needs to be flexible but not at every level. Unless there is an earthquake, more often than not, a sturdy foundation is what holds a building together. Same goes for your venture. Keep certain non-negotiable ideals and strategies which are close to your core – it will keep you in sync with your set-up. And if you are in sync with your set-up, you know you can steer the course.