Building a Transgenerational Business
Entrepreneurs don’t have to produce ‘sweat, tears and blood’. Most times it comes cheap but even cheap is built on the foundation of unadulterated hard work. This piece is centered on the entrepreneur himself and will no doubt impact on his business plans and decisions.
Most great entrepreneurs have been known to command high worth via their business holdings. Howard Hughes was no exception.
A typical example of the American Dream, Hughes was the equivalent of Bill Gates in his time. He was an exception to the Jack of all trades school of thought. His CV read: entrepreneur, air plane designer, movie producer, hotelier etc. However, this American Dream ended like a nightmare.
Beyond extending his business prowess in the manufacturing, aviation and entertainment industries, Hughes was a successful real estate investor. Much of the rah-rah we see in Las Vegas themed movies today were down to the influence of Mr. Hughes. He amassed vast holdings of undeveloped land both in Las Vegas and in the desert surrounding the city which had gone unused during his life time.
His latter years were a shadow of who he was.
Drugs were a major feature of these years leaving the man to become a bonafide sickly recluse.
At his death, the world’s former wealthiest man on the planet was seen at his grave by only 16 people. He was laid to rest in an unmarked grave and not one of the people who witnessed this had a tear on.
- While we may not have privileged information about what transpired in his life, the entrepreneur can learn a couple of valuable lessons:
- We can make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give. Wise words by Winston Churchill. As you further your entrepreneurial pursuit, never let giving become a difficult task.
- Learn to create platforms that can enable other upstarts gain speed and relevance via mentorship and resources. Empower your team. Don’t go solo on the path to greatness. Your business isn’t all about you. It’s more than you!
- Incorporate a legacy mindset in all you do. Yes we know you want to be a business mogul like Hughes was. However,your relevance can be much more than 16 people at your grave. We aren’t using people or their tears as a yardstick but the point is to ensure that what/who you become in your latter years inspires hope and confidence in many especially the youth.
Make transition a key element of your business strategy.
The greatest businesses that have survived centuries of harsh economic realities don’t joke with transition. A good transition plan ensures that you avoid the ‘founder’s syndrome’, thus making your business go on strong even when you are no longer in the picture.
Whatever your pursuits, never forget that history prefers LEGENDS to men!