One of the guys in WordPress I’ve gotten to meet is Andrew Norcross … he recently wrote a really honest (and funny) post about going to work full-time for a company after running his own business.
The title is dead on … “It’s not selling out, it’s buying in.”
He talks about wanting to focus on code versus doing things like marketing and sales and other aspects of the business.
I think that rings true for many people and why they’d rather work for a company and alongside a team of people passionate about areas they hate.
For me, I realized as an entrepreneur that there were things I hated to do and drained my energy and passion for other things (accounting) … so I sought to find people who loved (or liked) those areas to do them for me.
But it comes down to passion … and the time and energy you’re able to devote to your passion(s).
Some entrepreneurs are passionate about just the work of the business — the art and science of their actual craft. To them, it was the love of the labor of that craft. And so the marketing, human resources and otherwise management of the business gets in the way of and distracts from the exclusive focus on that passion.
Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth, might call these types of people “technicians.”
My passion was and is building a business, not necessarily the craft or work itself. So I’ve sought to hire people who are solely passionate about specific crafts we need in order to provide value to our customers. Don’t get me wrong – I love most of the work involved in our business. But I’d prefer to look over the shoulders in admiration of others who thrive on writing code on their monitors all day that makes our products run, or creating new designs from a blank canvas in Photoshop.
Many of them could easily have started their own business and been successful, highly-paid consultants and developers … but they’ve echoed what Andrew did … they want to focus on their passion, which is their craft, and let others deal with the B.S. that comes with running a business.
Like Andrew, for our team, it was “buying in” to the concept of working with a team to “go far together.”
But the lesson for me in this is … whatever your passion … sell out to it.