Dear Aunty B,
I founded a small software company with another entrepreneur and for several years we grew really fast. But the past year has been tough and just recently my fellow director, who is a serial entrepreneur, has become obsessed with a new start-up.
D Glen, Brisbane
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Not much information to work on here so let me make some assumptions. First, I assume this is a problem. (Some companies I know would be quite pleased if a fellow director diverted their attention elsewhere.)
If he is a younger man, I would say he is not just running away from problems but is bored. Now one of the great unspoken reasons companies fail is simply that the attention of the founder wanders. As you know, all entrepreneurs suffer from ADD – that is A Desire for Distraction.
It’s time for a heart-to-heart. Remind Distracted Director (DD) that his focus on the business and core operations is crucial and that he is not to use the new project as a means of distraction.
If he is middle-aged, you have a BIG problem. How many times have we read about the successful entrepreneurs who keep wanting one more throw of the dice?
But you could still appeal to DD’s hip pocket, and ego. Recast the budget and approach him with figures that include the costs of several new (expensive) people that will be needed to cover his dwindling involvement.
Then provide DD with the names of people who will be sitting on a new advisory board (be sure to include a few people that DD CANNOT STAND).
Finally, try and think up a major new challenge for DD that he will love, and present it as crucial to the success of the business. Good luck winning DD back and let us know how it goes.
What are you waiting for? Email your questions, problems and issues to [email protected] right now!
For more Aunty B:
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CB writes: Sounds like D Glen has lost her business partner. Tell her to try this instead: My Virtual Business Partner (MVBP). I came across it recently; a virtual support network consisting of on-call professional facilitators that work in conjunction with you to grow your business. It creates the experience of having a partner or highly skilled employee while avoiding the legal, recruitment or adding headaches that go with partners.