Regarded by the Wall Street Journal as “The dean of America’s business and management philosophers,” Peter F. Drucker wrote in his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship that “Entrepreneurship is ‘risky’ mainly because so few of the so-called entrepreneurs know what they are doing. They lack the methodology. They violate elementary and well-known rules. This is particularly true of high-tech entrepreneurs.”
Having been an entrepreneur for 35 years and having been guilty of not knowing what I was doing in several important areas of my business during my first decade in operation, I am eminently qualified to write on this subject. Moreover, having learned from my mistakes and built a successful business as a product publicist for many technical entrepreneurs for whom I’ve been working closely for over 34 years, I can tell you that the key to success in business is to “know what you don’t know.”
Knowing what you don’t know is a huge problem for bright, technical entrepreneurs who believe they can learn anything and master it more than most people. Related to this is the axiom “your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness.” For entrepreneurs: ambition, emotion, drive, and control are great strengths and weaknesses.
The bottom line: identify where you need help and learn how to evaluate and trust others to provide that assistance. Learn how to evaluate their work, define your expectations, and articulate clear goals. Find others who can help you so that you can spend your time doing what you do best and what generates the most ROI for your company.
(C) 2012 Steven M. Stroum