Relying on others will make this agency great.
I am on this obsessive journey of creating a great company. In creating this company, I have concluded that while I have the passion and obsession to make No Limit Agency the greatest mid-sized agency that ever existed, I am only one person (duh). This means, that if I really want to create a winning agency, I will need to continue to rely on others to support this vision and, hopefully, join in on the ride.
I think we have done a great job of finding people who can be obsessive about the path. But as the company progresses and I search for the next shareholder of the company, I am going to be looking for something more.
I want someone who is willing take risks in exchange for potential wealth. I also want him or her to think and act like a partner, not an employee.
I once talked with a former agency owner (he got exhausted and sold his agency) about partners. I asked him if anyone on his staff ever broached the topic of partnership. His answer was quite interesting and has stuck with me. He said of course, but that the conversation quickly broke down when he asked if that employee was ready to take on the liability of owning the business. Was that person ready to take on the risk that if payroll was tight, that he or she would have to dive into personal funds, based on the percentage of ownership, and help cover? He said that each time he presented the entrepreneurial risk back to the potential partner, he or she balked — quickly walking away from the conversation, unwilling to take on the same risk he had.
There is no such thing as a free lunch — that lunch costs stress, fear and obsession. Each being accompanied by good, bad and ugly moments.
I fully expect to have partners in my companies. I know that 50 percent ownership of a $50M company is much more than 100 percent ownership of a $10M (hypothetical, of course) company. If partnering with complimentary minds and obsessive leaders will help us be more destructive, then great — here are some shares, here is some risk — let’s fight this battle together.
When I started No Limit (then, Media Consulting) I did so without using my last name, which is somewhat standard for PR firms. I saw a bigger picture, both in one day evolving from just PR to full service and to one day building the organization much like a law firm or an accounting firm in which there were partners. This is still in the cards.
I once wrote about catching the entrepreneur before he/she catches you. I still feel this is a critical plan for winning the business game while building a company to last. I look forward to the conversations of how X person can do X if they were just given a piece of the pie. As I said, I don’t need the whole pie, just want to make sure that whomever comes in the barracks with me is prepared to do whatever it takes to make our company great.