I’m on a roll today (and yes there will be like maybe one or two more post following this)!
So I was reading Monocle, you know, that awesome magazine I pretty much revere?
And I stumbled upon an article about a successful European advertising company that chose NOT to expand, because the owners wanted to remain involved in their work instead of just becoming managers.
Which led me to realize, sometimes bigger isn’t always better.
Many successful companies, despite perhaps earning less than they could, retain their strengths and therefore profits by choosing to NOT expand.
Because not all founders, especially in the creative industry, make good managers.
Which leads me to explain the difference between managers and leaders.
Leaders inspire, they lead, they elicit passion and action from people, that’s good and all but someone’s got to manage.
Someone has to keep track of what everyone is doing, when are things due and what isn’t being done; aka, someone needs to manage.
I feel like people confuse managing with leading, a good manager may not be someone whom people listen to, but they’ve got their head screwed on right and they know the big picture clearly.
It’ll be great if good leaders were good managers but alas we don’t live in a perfect world.
People how CAN be managers usually are too soft-spoken, therefore they’re pushed over and not given managerial roles, which are given to natural leaders, who sure, can lead, but then because not all subordinates are structured, disciplined and clear-headed, you end up having two enthusiastic blind people trying to go on a treasure hunt. Not pretty.
So back to my case, not all bosses make good managers, and a CEO is more of a manger than a leader.
Therefore not all companies are suited to expand and become an organization, a corporation.
In fact becoming a corporation isn’t always a good thing, for some companies yes, but for even more companies, it isn’t.
The illusion that corporations earn more is just that, an illusion.
Yes they do EARN more, but they spend more to earn more, because they need more people, more space, more budget, and where is all that money going to come from!?
Unless you’ve got some damn good CEO and CFO managing all these big bucks (finding these big bucks actually), expanding into a corporation is a bad idea.
But loads of successful entrepreneurs are going to pull you into this rabbit hole.
You can only earn millions and billions if you become a public corporation!
And so they say, which is true.
But bigger earnings also means bigger losses, if you can’t handle that then the corporation game isn’t for you.
So whilst the promise of more money seems attractive, you have to know if you’ve bitten off what you can chew, if you’re capable of being a manager.
If your strengths are in creating, are in doing, not managing lots of people, keeping track of system and details, then you better stay far far away from the corporate system.
Bigger is BAD BAD BAD.
So, if expanding isn’t a proof of improving and success then what is?
Better quality, tougher projects, setting new trends and benchmarks of course.
Small companies work because one person in a small company has the working strength of 3 people in a corporation, sometimes it isn’t about ability but just flexibility, there is less bureaucracy to get around so you can come up with better ideas and get them done faster.
You’ll notice that nobel prize winners aren’t the best-selling authors, so quality definitely trumps quantity.
Basically, I’m just saying, you don’t have to be big to be good.
Of course I’m also not saying that all corporations are bad, successful ones DO make a lot of money, but they’ve got lots of savvy managers, more managers than leaders, to keep the clockwork running, and not everyone can afford that sort of operations.
And so, bigger isn’t always better, bigger isn’t always bad either, but neither is smaller.
So play to your strengths and be a comfortable size, steady income is sometimes worth more than the big boys’ money.