Questionable reasons to become an entrepreneur #7 – My company makes all the money from my efforts

Questionable reasons to become an entrepreneur #7 – My company makes all the money from my efforts

By Rajesh Setty on Sun 23 Dec 2007, 11:04 PM – 3 Comments

You have been told time and again that you are VERY important to your organization. You have received awards for your service and every year you get a raise way higher than your peers. So the company actually backs you by words and deeds. You are happy with all the attention you are getting and the company is happy that you are happy.

However, recently you started looking at this more “logically” and realize that the company makes a LOT MORE than what you are actually receiving. You may really be short-changed you think.  Rather than working hard for your company you could have worked hard for yourself and made ALL the money for yourself.

Thinking about this some more you realize that you pretty much operate autonomously today with little support from your company on all projects. So when you start on your own, you will not miss much.

Finally, you make a decision to become an entrepreneur.

But wait!

Before you take the next step, please know that there is a flaw in the above logic. While it may seem like the company is not supporting much, in reality, it does support you a lot. Here are some things that the company brings today (these become invisible over a period of time) and you may be taking them for granted:

1. Your company brand: Do you have the same power without being associated with your current company? May be or may be not.

2. Your company’s support system: Be it operations or human resources when you need them they are there.

3. Your company’s existing relationships: While you may be thinking that you are doing your job autonomously, there are other people within your company who have relationships with your customers. Everything matters

4. Your company’s history: When you launch your company, there is no history for it. But your current company has a history and if it is good, it matters!

5. Personal brands for key people in your company: Currently the personal brands of key people within your company makes a difference (individually and collectively). When you launch your own company, initially all you have is your personal brand.

In summary, there are many more things to consider before you conclude how much your company is making from your services. You should also consider that all these “invisible” things are not available to you in your own new venture immediately.


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3 Comments so far, Add Yours

Vaughn Christie  on December 24th, 2007


You nailed it. Again. Brand, whether it’s your personal brand or the Company brand for which one works, plays a significant role in how others perceive you and your abilities. One should quantify both before taking on an entrepreneurship.

In the exercise of quantification, future entrepreneurs should also look at how their current employer may be diminishing their personal brand. For instance, BIG company’s (e.g., Fortune 50’s) are often cited as being risk averse, process-centric, and rather slow when it comes to change. Are these attributes you want to be tied to your brand?

Something to consider.

Singaravelan Narayanasamy  on December 24th, 2007

In addition to the traits listed, I would also give higher importance to a person’s psychological make-up (mentioned by you as self-esteem, drive etc), attitude and creativity that determines the outcome. I agree that the wannabe entrepreneur needs functional skills (sales, operations) to run the company and in depth research before jumping in.

Can you throw some light on the role of creativity here?

Rajesh Setty  on December 25th, 2007

Vaughn, thank you for the comments.

Singa, there are two types of skills – ones that are easy to copy and the ones that are hard to copy. In the first category are skills such as sales, operations, marketing etc. In the second category are skills such as creativity, innovation, building relationships etc.

Entrepreneurs need both of them although most will focus on the skills in the first category.



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