The ultimate professional goal for many entrepreneurs, myself included, is to become a serial entrepreneur. Even with 2 registered businesses and a few income streams under my belt, I’m still in the infancy stages. But I’ve seen and learned enough thus far to realize that successfully managing multiple businesses/income streams is a lot like horning.
For the record, I am not a hornerman, nor do I aspire to be one. I am happily and faithfully engaged to a wonderful woman, BUT I have enough friends who are engaged in said lifestyle and sufficient past experiences myself (leaving that intentionally vague) to have some knowledge about what makes a good horner… person (I’m all for inclusivity).
So, what makes a successful serial entrepreneur and successful hornerperson?
- Have a good team.
Whether that’s one excellent right-hand person or a group of people looking out for you and your business’ well-being, a good team is a necessity. No one can be truly successful at horn and business by themselves. None of us excel at every aspect of business, so you’ll need people whose strengths take the place of your weaknesses who can have your back. You’ll also need someone to cover for you, someone who can say, “Dwayne’s been by me all day!” or “ Oh nah, his phone not working; I’ll tell him you called, though.”
- Delegate, delegate, delegate.
Related to the first point, but important in its own right, delegation is crucial largely because you can’t do it all, certainly not if you want your business to scale. Many of us have issues with letting go of the reigns. And yet proper training of your delegates to perform the way you require ensures that you can take your mind off those business aspects and focus elsewhere. But what is delegation in horn? Letting the significant other handle the things you won’t.
- Practice great time management.
As Rayvon sings in his horning anthem, ‘Games We Play’, time management is extremely important in the…eh hem…management of multiple partners (he phrases it a lot cooler than that). The same applies to serial business.
You need to focus on multiple income streams consistently. Taking your eye off of one for a prolonged period might lead to failure. Schedule time for what needs to be done in each venture. It’s sometimes okay to exceed the allotted time with one business, but understand that you can’t overdo it while disregarding the others — that’s the price you pay for the game you’re playing.
- Continuously seek Problems and Solutions
A hallmark of serial entrepreneurship is an insatiable need to find the next consumer problem and a creative solution. It can almost seem like problem finding and solving is the goal and earning income is the bonus.
Likewise, for serial horners, the search for new partners is always ongoing.
- Know when to move on
Lastly, serial entrepreneurs and hornerpeople need to know when to move on. You can’t stay on one business or person forever. (Rather than serial, that would be just a ‘ship’ – entrepreneurship or relationship.)
Sometimes the business will let you know when you can move on – it’s doing well and you are needed less and less to make it run successfully. Many of us get very attached to our businesses and partners, but to be serial – whether horning or in business – we need enough ‘emotional distance’ to accept that the threshold has passed, things are not working out, and it’s time to move on.
Thankfully, though, the failed business usually doesn’t get bitter and try to key your car or confront you in a big scene in the parking lot.