The Choice Every Entrepreneur Needs to Make: Centre Stage or Behind the Scenes?

When starting from the ground up, every entrepreneur has a choice.

You can either build a business around you or you can build a business for you.

The question you need to ask yourself is:

Do I use my skills, talents and expertise to deliver value to the customer or do I use those skills to build a machine that does that on my behalf?

The former is a lot easier. You may already have expertise in a particular area, and so deploying that on the market comes naturally.

The latter, however, sets you free from the customer. You go from working for them to working for your business.

The delivery infrastructure you’ve created (in the form of people, systems and technology) does the legwork for the customer. You’re the invisible designer or engineer that ensures the machine is built for purpose.

Over time and distance, you focus on improving and upgrading the machine. Quietly and diligently, you focus on ensuring the machinery is operating at maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

The alternative of course is to become the machinery itself. You’re the componentry rather than the person making the parts.

Both have their pros and cons.

It can be very rewarding to be on the front line serving the customer, witnessing the transformation before your eyes. When you’re contributing towards solving your client’s problems first hand, the emotional connection to the result can be highly intoxicating.

The challenge is, once you’re the value delivery mechanism it’s hard to change roles. You become so finely tuned to your section of the machine that you can’t step out and replace your part. The machine cannot grow beyond its current size because your part and the parts you support just can’t take any extra load.

You may think you have a purpose greater than you, but suddenly, your ego doesn’t like the idea of not being the visible componentry anymore. All the kudos and recognition you once received would otherwise get transferred to someone else. Your desire for recognition is the very thing that’s taking away your capacity for growth.

That’s a very confronting thing to come to terms with.

So, which desire tugs at you most? A life behind the scenes or a life front and centre stage?