October 25, 2007

Let it go, Bill!

Last week I blogged about burning boats. Today, I’m addressing the case of an entrepreneur who has burnt his boats, given it everything he’s got, and failed because of pride.

I’ve spent extensive time over the past few days with an entrepreneur who needs to face a bitter reality: He has a great idea that he will never make successful.

We’ll call him Bill.  He’s been working on his project for 20+ years and has yet to turn the corner.  He can’t bring himself to walk away because people continue to tell him what a great idea he has and how big it could be.  The people Bill is talking to are telling the truth.  His idea is amazing and it works.  With the right management team, Bill’s company would have a high probability of success.

He has had several offers from investors/experienced entrepreneurs with successful track records to buy a controlling stake in his company, but Bill refuses to give up control of his baby.  He insists on being the one to lead the company and will not hear otherwise.  It’s his idea, he’s done all of the work so far, and ain’t nobody going to take it from him.

I’m sharing this story because I’ve heard so many like it from dozens of frustrated entrepreneurs.

I hope Bill will find someone who will take control of his business, help it reach its potential, and let Bill maintain a small ownership stake.   However, I’m afraid his window of opportunity is passing him by, and it may be too late for him to succeed.

Do you think like Bill?

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