I spoke to a group of founders a few weeks ago who asked me what it took to be a successful CEO as a founder. It was a question based on the fear of taking capital from investors and the fear that at one point you will be pushed out of running your own company. It is a valid concern as it certainly does happen.
My answer is being self-aware. We all have the ability to do many things, wear several hats and rise to the occasion if need be. The question you should ask yourself is what am I best at and wed that with what do I enjoy the most. Some founders really love managing a team while others dread it.
I am seeing founders at early stages be self-aware enough to know that in order to really grow their business to where they know it can go, they should not be the one managing the day-to-day of the business. It doesn’t mean that they should not be overseeing their companies because after all, their idea and vision are what got the company to where it is but if they began as a fantastic product person then maybe the value is spending more time in the product.
Obviously being self-aware is a huge value to any part of building businesses. Investors can be more self-aware of their value and what they bring to the table, as it isn’t just about capital. I have a few founders who are excited about bringing someone on to run the day to day operations of their business and I applaud them. It takes a lot for an entrepreneur to be self-aware enough to say, let’s bring someone else on to grow this because I am not the person to do it. In the end, everyone benefits because just because you can doesn’t mean you like to.