By Peter J. Strauss
Special to Valley News 

Forward-moving entrepreneurs evolve through three stages


Last updated 3/31/2018 at 1:41pm

Growing a business sometimes demands that the owner grow as well. The willingness and ability to evolve – in part by embracing change and creating it around them – is an important trait shared by successful entrepreneurs.

The trick is getting the employees to buy in to the changes and evolve themselves. And if that’s accomplished, then the third part in an entrepreneur’s evolutionary cycle comes – fostering growth for the company’s clients.

True entrepreneurism means not only evolving as a company, but also helping clients evolve as well. Why would they not want to be the best version of themselves? Whether you’re talking about your own people in your company or your clients, there is this giant middle market that has no idea of their potential. They go to work each day just focused on what they do, but they don’t think about things that could help them better their businesses.

The three stages of entrepreneurial evolution affects how personal and team growth can inspire the same evolution within a client’s company.

First, it begins with self-admission. It starts with the owner or CEO’s willingness to fully commit to evolving. They have to evolve as an individual before their organization can evolve. The company leader must admit they need help with some areas in order to stay relevant and keep growing. Fully exploring the options to seek knowledge and advice on the right direction are crucial. Eventually they have to trust the guidance they’re getting.

Next, employees will buy-in or push-back. Here the tug-of-war with a company’s future often begins. They need people on their team who have ambition to grow and want to be part of something bigger than their job definition or personal goals. Individual rewards will come as the company prospers from the growth changes. But they do run the risk of losing their core group if they don’t believe in what is happening. Most people, even the ones who have been with the company the longest, probably won’t like it because most people fear change. It’s a very dicey game to play, but it’s necessary and liberating once the process plays out. It’s classic pain before gain.

Lastly, apply changes in-house and with clients. Once the owner knows he has the right people in place, including new hires, they have the management team push through the changes. It doesn’t mean there’s a new sheriff in town, but rather a new way that’s going to make the company and everybody with it better if they don’t fight it. Then they’re able to walk the walk with their clients as they evolve and to provide them with things they can’t build themselves because it’s outside their scope and focus.

It’s important, when a business leader is evolving, to see others evolving around them. People can do more for each other, and their clients ultimately can evolve like the business did.

Peter J. Strauss,, is an attorney, captive insurance manager and author of several books, including most recently “The Business Owner’s Definitive Guide to Captive Insurance Companies.” He is the founder and managing member of The Strauss Law Firm and also the founder and CEO of Hamilton Captive Management. A graduate of the New England School of Law, he holds a master’s degree in law and estate planning from the University of Miami and speaks regularly at public seminars.


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