Who's in Charge Here?

Ryan Phelan · November 11, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4812

By Ryan Phelan, VP Marketing Insights, Adestra

In my years of working with start-ups and developing companies, now in Dallas but in other locations as well, I usually reach a point where I have to ask a new entrepreneur this question:

Who's in charge?

Entrepreneurs who are building their companies will at times be unsure of their paths forward. They'll feel paralyzed at all the decisions they have to make. The pressure they put on themselves to be right all the time can be debilitating, almost too much for many new entrepreneurs to handle.

So, what do they do? They start asking everyone they meet for their opinions. They go to their mentors or friends. They read articles. As a result, they become inundated with unconnected ideas and no solid advice to resolve their dilemmas.

Too many questions, not enough good advice

The problem with this perpetual information search is that it's inconsistent in its direction. Not everyone you meet will understand what you are trying to do, the challenges you face and the market you operate in.

As an entrepreneur, you need to see your path and execute on that path. Yes, the path might change. You might even find you're on the wrong path. That can be frustrating, but asking everyone you meet for an opinion won't stop you from making mistakes.

Everybody messes up

You won't make the right decision every time. You will make mistakes. Everybody does. It will be frustrating, but it's better than listening to what everyone has to say and being unable to make decisions.

Listening to other opinions does have its place in the development of any company. At some point, though, you have to stop asking, get off the entrepreneur forums, and start executing.

When to ask and when to move

Sure, check in with your key people, including your mentors and advisers who reflect what you want to accomplish. But, I have worked with entrepreneurs who still ask everyone they meet for basic advice on where their products, services or companies should go, long after it's appropriate or helpful. 

At some point, you have to run your company, and you can't do it by opinion polls.

So, who should be in charge? The CEO, who's making the hard decisions about where to go. You should be fully informed but not overanalyzing your options so much that you don't know which way to turn. You'll never get anything accomplished that way.

In my business, we always say, "Quality, not quantity." All of your partners should understand this and focus on seeking quality advice, not advice in quantity.

One more time: Who's in charge?



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