Entrepreneurs are an energetic bunch - creative, determined and often on the lookout for the next amazing opportunity that no-one else seems to see.
Ian and Christine are utterly prolific when it comes to diving into new business ventures, and their entrepreneurial drive saw them create a whopping twenty-two businesses in twenty-two years.
Ian is the quintessential entrepreneur - it is clear that his energy for business innovation is the key to his heart and soul. When he and Christine married, she loved his passion and drive to fill the gaps in markets he saw around them, but she became concerned with the frequency in which his focus would change (remember, twenty-two different businesses in twenty-two years). She said “When we were first married, it was all fine but after a couple of years when I see it as a reoccurring thing I started to get really annoyed.”
Ian’s philosophy was that if you pump out enough businesses, surely one would stick and be successful - it’s a bit of a numbers game, after all. However, he was unaware that despite changing up business focuses and coming up with new ideas, he repeated the same mistakes in each venture:
“With all of this going on, I actually didn’t notice that there was a trend, that there was a replication of what I continued to do.”
It’s easy to misinterpret behaviours, especially when facing issues or trying to work out why a business isn’t doing as well as anticipated. The truth is, everyone has strengths that can be hugely beneficial to a business (and a few weaknesses to keep in mind). Knowing their context and where they are best applied can be the key to success that has otherwise been elusive.
Ian is a self-described ‘big picture’ person - we call this ‘breadth’ in the context of Fingerprint for Success (F4S), and our research found it is actually a behaviour associated with successful entrepreneurs. However, Ian’s through-the-roof motivation to initiate and his low preference for detail, meant that he was missing vital elements within the business that contribute to its overall health. And right beside him, his co-founder and wife Christine, was the missing piece to the puzzle:
“We had this relationship where I made the decisions, really - I was the boss of the company. I wouldn’t allow decisions to be made by Christine. I missed the power of who she is.”
The F4S toolkit highlighted the co-founders complementary strengths and areas for development, showing Ian and Christine how they could work together to reach new levels of success. Her focus on detail was the perfect pairing to Ian’s natural strengths, filling in the gaps that hindered their success. Until they joined F4S, her incredible value in balancing his strong tendency towards breadth went unnoticed.
So, how did they go? Stay tuned for part two of their journey in getting acquainted with their unique entrepreneurial blueprint.