Founders who consistently make decisions that build wealth are more likely to achieve what I call a “Rich” outcome (greater financial gains, lesser control), while founders who consistently make decisions that enable them to maintain control of the startup are more likely to achieve what I call a “King” outcome (grater control, lesser financial gains) (Wasserman, 2012).
It is essential when starting a business to know what the end goal is. This will govern the decisions and actions taken to reach said goal. As the above statement mentions, determining whether wealth or control is more important will help guide the decision-making process. It is possible to have both, but ultimately one will outweigh the other. It is also possible for founders to shift their preference and become governed by the lesser at any given time. This change will undoubtedly change their thought process and can essentially affect their business. Shifts can be beneficial as a business grows, as each presents their own advantages and risks. Learning to shift gears, and when to shift gears is essential. This can help the founder make decisions more easily and ensure they are consistent with what is best for the business at all times.
Many business owners seek to gain wealth with their business. I was in a meeting just last week at my place of employment where It was stated, “The business is changing. Unfortunately, everything is about money now, so we have to adjust”. I wholeheartedly disagree with this approach. It is because of this approach that my place of employment, and many others have high turnover rates and burned out employees. Companies are so fixated on the bottom dollar that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
For my venture, Zealous Muse Designs, I plan to go in with a “King” approach. I plan to focus more so on controlling the dynamics of the business as opposed to the wealth. As the founder and visionary of the venture, I want to be specific about the brand and how it is portrayed. From the website, to the products I want everything to cohesively flow. As such, I think it is essential that I focus more on controlling the business so that this can happen as oppose to wealth. As the brand grows, focus may shift. However, I plan to be innovative and always seeking new opportunities for the venture which comes with control.
Wasserman, Noam. The Founders Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton Univ Pr, 2012.