The Micro-Entrepreneur

I recently met with a group of young entrepreneurs who are seeing early, strong signs that the business they have launched is going to be wildly successful. The immediate problem I saw was that we spent a decent portion of our time together discussing the OTHER things they wanted to do. These things were NOT part of the core business and, indeed, could be launched as separate stand-alone businesses.

Don't get me wrong, the other ideas were not bad ideas. As a matter of fact, they were actually very good ideas, but focusing on good IDEAS when you've got a WORKING MODEL is a BAD IDEA.

Here's what I wrote to this group of young men to encourage them in their entrepreneurial journey:

"It was great to meet all of you guys and exciting to see your rapid growth and aggressive determination. As a fellow entrepreneur I'm very happy for you all. At the same time I understand that opportunities like this, where you really lock onto something that is growing rapidly and has few limitations, don't come along very often. I believe this is one of the big reasons that 9 out of 10 startups fail – simply picking a horse that was never destined to run. You've got a stallion with this startup and my encouragement for you to focus goes well beyond simply helping you raise the money you need, to ultimately growing a life-changing endeavor. 

One of the most difficult transitions for an entrepreneur is to go from inventor to operator and I sense that all of you are struggling with this transition. There will always be entrepreneurial opportunities in your business, but should you choose to grow this business you're going to be moving from macro-entrepreneurship (bringing big, new, bold ideas to market) to micro-entreneurship (making minor enhancements to products, procedures and policies). It's still very creative and absolutely necessary but it's about building a better mousetrap than building a brand new bear trap. 

 I can only provide this encouragement as a guy who has blown an opportunity to grow rapidly in a previous endeavor by feeding his entrepreneurial appetite and chasing the new shiny object rather than focusing on the obvious. In Nashville, the ultimate entrepreneurial endeavor is songwriting. The entrepreneur gets to create, polish, present and (possibly) cash out over and over again in a very short period of time. Most of the successful writers spend most of their time polishing and presenting. Most of the unsuccessful writers spend most of their time creating and never take the time to polish and present, thinking the next one will be THE ONE. 

 It feels to me like you guys are on THE ONE – so polish, present and cash out (eventually). You'll have plenty of other opportunities in the future to pursue the next big thing – and if all goes will with this venture you can do it on your own terms and out of your own pockets, which is a much stronger and opportunity-filled position. 

 Allright, I'm putting my soap box away – sorry for the speech! 

 Much success to you all - Andy"


  1. Great advice Andy! May the Lord continue to bless you in your journey. Sincerely, Riki

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