Being a starter
In the aftermath of Baremetric's sale, Josh Pigford wrote an wonderfully honest account of what happened and why.
Josh's realisation that he is "a starter", someone who is most effective (and gets their joy from) the start of the projects rather than growing them to significant size, is a lesson for us all.
Being honest with ourselves about where our strengths lie gives us a superpower. We can play to our strengths rather than placing the burden of continued success on ourselves.
In one of my favourite jobs, I worked closely with a CEO who's entire plan was to sell the company and move into a less pressured role. Understanding that they enjoy building products rather than everything that comes with being a CEO.
And this plan can only materialise with clarity of where your strengths lie and what you enjoy.
Another friend of mine has a similar outlook. Deciding to avoid investment like the plague, to remain in total control of their business. Knowing full well that they're at their best when they have freedom to do as they see fit.
Clarity like this only comes from experience. Josh, for example, perhaps wouldn't know he is a starter without having taken Baremetrics as far as he did. My friend too, wouldn't understand the constraints he works best in, without having worked with investors and in roles which took the necessary freedom away.
I see parallels with my experience as well. I know the type of business I want to create, and the circumstances I want to create it in having experienced the VC grind and worked for a Unicorn behemoth. I wouldn't have this clarity had I not experienced what I don't want to create.
Perhaps you're a Starter too? Where you're best suited to kicking off projects and dealing with the vast array of different responsibilities that come along with that. Or you’re a Grower? Where you’re happier when you’ve already got a foundation to work from.
Maybe you’re a Closer, like Harvey Specter? You could be something else entirely.
Remember that everyone has their place. Those at the start need those who do best in the end game to finish things off. And they need the starters, so they have a role to play at all.