Tuesday, July 01, 2008

If you want to be an entrepreneur, one of the skills you must learn is how to deal with authority.

On the one hand, if you listen to advice from authority figures, you'll never become an entrepreneur. Too risky. Too much of a long shot.

On the other hand, if you decide that none of the old rules apply, you're likely to end up like the dot-bomb entrepreneurs who thought that they were immune to old-fashioned economics.

Entrepreneurs have to walk the middle path of respecting, but not obeying authority.

Respect authority for its implied wisdom and experience, but recognize that it is far from infallible. Authority thought Wilbur and Orville Wright were insane for thinking that man could fly--even after they had done it!

Listen carefully to what authority has to say, and if you have good reasons for disagreeing, ignore it and do what you think is right.

In the end, even if you're working within a larger company, disobeying authority can put you on the fast track to success.

Authority makes rules for a purpose--to get results. If you get results, you can rewrite the rules.


Tom Cole said...

I say flout authority, but while maintaining business sensibility -- such as having a well-defined business model!

Richard said...

There's authority and reality - sooner or later you need to make money if you want to have a business (there are a lot of complicated and delayed ways of doing this that can work, but I prefer to directly exchange something for cash).

When it comes to other people's authority and "the old way of doing things", my rule is that it's not always right but you can't fight everything all the time. Pick the one thing that will set you apart and show people what you can really do!

Anita Zimmern said...

I agree with Richard. Sometimes you just let things go and not pick a fight. It only creates bad blood, which can create bad business.
Interesting article, though. I want to run a business and an entrepreneur, so this is helpful.I'd rather buy a business instead of starting one from scratch, but I haven't had much success looking for one. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks

Annie Kim said...

Yeah, don't be passive, but don't be too controlling. Everything can't always go the way you want it to.

And Anita, I suggest checking out BizTrader.com. It's an online global marketplace where you can buy, sell, and invest in small business. There's a wide selection of businesses to chose from, so I'm sure you'll find something you're looking for. Check it out and good luck!