Note to Editor. Okay, I know I am pushing it with this title. But it came to me in a moment of epiphany and once I had it in my head, that was that… (Don’t worry, I will go on to explain my analogy later in the post)
Two days earlier…
Driving down to Bizcamp on Monday..(Bizcamp is an event for Entrepreneurs and Business People to share knowledge, ideas and best practice on Business, Technology and Digital Media) I started to pontificate about how my Corporate background was helping me in my journey as an Entrepreneur. Quite often or not, and this is how I observe it, rather than fact; the Corporate World and its Structures are frowned upon once you leave that ‘World’.
I can remember on the day I had been told I was ‘officially’ being made redundant, I decided to ride to work
by bike! Now those of you that know me personally, will realise that this is possibly not my transport of choice, but I clearly remember riding past a number of ‘Corporate’ and suited souls, and quietly chuckling to myself. I made a vow that I would only ever wear a suit again if I really had to! Although I was about to hear momentous and bad news, I had already prepared myself for the eventuality and therefore I had decided to treat my new journey was positively as I could! Now, I have worn a suit a few times since, but on my own terms and this might suggest why working for myself is perhaps the best way forward. Being an Entrepreneur might not ‘suit’ everyone as every choice you make is your own…But, so far, I like this freedom, as at least they are my decisions, and hopefully the right ones too…
But this is the thing. When I initially left work; I read books, learned about gardening, listening to music (from the period 1994 – 1998), grew a beard, walked everywhere and lost weight! However, some of this has since been reined in. I do shave before I go to a meeting, I have started eating chocolates again and I do use the car more (its cold). Now, it is a fine balance between the two, and some of the corporate structure I initially rejected has started to creep back in. Why?
Simple. The Corporate World gives you Structure. Structure should not be rejected, as like it or not, a Business, if it is to succeed, needs structure. Structure, really means organisation. Bearing in mind I am not
very good at being naturally organised, it is understandable that some of the traits I learned during my time in Commercial Recruitment are now helping me in this journey. Therefore don’t be afraid to lose the habits you disliked, but keep the experience, structure and knowledge that you gained. It will come in handy, but also helps you to keep in mind that each day you should have a target, a plan, a goal and a focus…
Therefore I drew a very basic diagram. (I starting to sound like a guest speaker at one of these motivational corporate days!) It basically suggests that; STARTUPS should think CORPORATE! (that doesn’t mean always acting Corporate, mind you!)
However to deepen this discussion further, it might be a good idea if CORPORATES should think
STARTUP!Now I mean this in the loosest terms possible, but I will give you an example. Big Business has a responsibility to encourage entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking. A good company, would be one that allows creative thinking and individualism. A brave Corporation, would be one that encouraged entrepreneurialism within its ranks, encouraged a 25-50k award for best Startup Idea, and that idea and money was then given to that person for a stake in their business, not the other way around. Why would I give my best ideas away, if the incentive was that you had little control over what they then did with the idea…
So how is Robinson Crusoe an Entrepreneur? Well, starting a business, means that you can get the
‘business’ to represent yourself. Robinson Crusoe does that, in a loose sense, when he is stranded on an Island on his own. He has to adapt, learn, do new things (whilst growing a cool beard)…. but he also creates structure, builds himself a house and begins to use the skills that he previously gained to make sure that not only did he survive, but he ‘grew’ as well.
This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week and it is no surprise that today we have specifically chosen to post interviews throughout the day of Entrepreneurs with a social heart. However, as liberating as all three Entrepreneurs and their businesses are, I am pretty sure that at the heart of their organisation there remains the burning embers of corporate structure. Take this with you; The soul of your Business is what you do and how you act, not the organisation or structure that gets you there.
Check out all my previous Diary Posts here and please also take 10 minutes out to read our Global Entrepreneurship Week interviews from the last few days….