Would you start building your house with an empty toolbox?

Entrepreneurs can be made. It just doesn’t happen overnight. They just need to have the ability to learn on the job and be willing to learn everything. An entrepreneur’s innate drive to know and learn everything becomes their real competitive advantage. Building a company is like building a house. An entrepreneur has an empty toolbox. The job is to add tools to the box and improve the tools that you acquire. Get better at using the tools and once your skills have exceeded the capability of the tool, it’s time to upgrade your tool. You can pay people a lot of money to work on your house and be ignorant of what they are doing, or you can do it all yourself. If you do have to hire a professional, it is important to learn from them while they do the work. When something breaks in your house, which it will, you are best equipped to fix it and make it better.

My first real startup, I chose to replace myself with a better executive team prior to our public offering. My only condition was that I would have no direct reports and would be able to learn from the executive team. Our new Chairman recruited the best team. I, in turn learned everything I could consume. In two short years, I had a deep grasp on almost every functional area of a public technology company. I gained a new appreciation for Finance and Human Resources that I new would have had under most circumstances.