Money or the Power?
After reading Wasserman’s, The Founder’s Dilemmas, I was informed about the “perpetual tension” that exists between wealth and control as founders bring their dreams of entrepreneurship to fruition. Seriously, which is more important the money…or the power? In my honest opinion and as Wasserman asserts, there is no definitive answer as it solely depends upon the overall goal/intentions of the individual (the book goes on further to describe that the depth of this situation is far reaching as many times, individuals themselves do not know exactly what their true intentions may be). More importantly, if individuals don’t initiate their ventures with distinct ideas of how they plan to govern and maintain their business they are likely to head down a road that will potentially lead to devastating consequences.
At the bare minimum, founders will need to decide if they want to be RICH or KING. You see…the RICH mentality ascertains that wealth takes precedence over control. Having this mindset ensures that profits and investments are steady, but that another individual will essentially be “calling the shots” per their own rationale. Let’s say you open a business; the business is doing so well that you decide to bring on additional employees and relinquish some of your control. As a result, you are still receiving your salary, but have less authority when it comes to the daily operations. On the other hand, being KING stipulates that one will principally retain control of all decision-making; but will ultimately experience less earnings due to their incredible involvement during the longevity of the venture. With that same company, instead of increasing employees, you commit to completing the work yourself; thus, creating more involvement and less personal time. While the founder knows that everything is functioning at an optimal level, almost every minute is spent managing the business! This equates to the entrepreneur being KING and preserving control but losing out on warranted compensation.
After mulling over this dilemma, I’d like to think that I could do what Sean Carter aka Jay-Z raps about in his song aptly titled, Renegade. With respect to this matter, I’d like to, “come to the fork in the road…and go straight.” I mean, why can’t there be some compromise towards having both? In my quest to become an entrepreneur my overall goal is to build generational wealth for my family. I like shhhmmoney (reference to pop icon Cardi B for those of you not familiar with the term: https://www.revelist.com/music/cardi-b-sayings/12361 )!!! While this is the end goal for me, at no time during my journey am I willing to “sell out” or compromise my beliefs just to make a buck. I envision making deals akin to those of Oprah who has branded and marketed herself as an individual who has become relatively wealthy from helping and empowering others.
Interestingly, Jay-Z has recently been in the spotlight for a deal which has put him in the position to have to debate about the importance of being RICH or KING. (see the link for more info: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/08/22/jay-z-nfl-partnership-colin-kaepernick-business-deal-talker/2082309001/ ) Although Carter decided to choose the RICH route, many have faulted him for seemingly not standing for his initial beliefs. In any event, he has hopefully done what Wasserman suggests. We can only hope he knows what he is trying to accomplish with his decision and that he has assessed what the intended and unintended consequences will be as a result.
I’d love to hear your thoughts…comments please ?
Fischer, Maria. “12 Sayings to Help You Speak Cardi B.” Revelist.com, 12 Apr. 2018, https://www.revelist.com/music/cardi-b-sayings/12361.
Jones, Ricky L. “Jay-Z’s New NFL Partnership Leaves Colin Kaepernick in the Dust.” USAToday, 22 Aug. 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/08/22/jay-z-nfl-partnership-colin-kaepernick-business-deal-talker/2082309001.
Wasserman, Noam. The Founders Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton Univ Pr, 2013.