Scale is the entrepreneur’s Holy Grail, the stage when results can rocket. The crucial, earlier steps in the Arc have prepared you now to channel your vision and ambition into ever bolder actions. Scale is where you discover the size of your dreams, where sales, revenues, user base and productivity can expand beyond anything you imagined.
Today is our final excerpt from the Entrepreneur’s Faces, and we thought it fitting to feature our epilogue, fittingly about scale. We wrote these words in June of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. More than a few experts expressed doubt. They warned us this was no time to publish a book, let alone one about entrepreneurship. But like the entrepreneurs we celebrate, we held firm to our self-awareness and core belief that the world needed to hear from us. The model works, and it scales. Now we’re looking forward to writing new articles for Startup Nation, Inc., and Smart Brief, to share even more stories of fearless founders. We believe, and we hope you’ll reach out and tell us about your journey.
[Below content is excerpted from The Entrepreneur’s Faces, © 2020 by Jonathan Littman and Susanna Camp. All rights reserved.]
The Entrepreneur’s Faces: Epilogue
Scale is the final stage in our book, but it’s by no means a last chapter for an entrepreneur. On the contrary, scale is a hopeful rite of passage. The realization of a goal that provides a fresh vision for the future. Having proven your venture has legs, now is the time for a different kind of growth – whether linear, lateral, or exponential.
You’ve likely picked up on something that may not have been clear when you started reading this book. We have told our characters’ stories through the lens of their dominant archetype, the Face that most prominently represents their mindset and nature. But we are not locked into any one persona. People adapt and change. We wake up one day and want to be more of an Athlete or Collaborator. Or find ourselves hungry to take on an Outsider mindset to discover less obvious opportunities. Instead of dwelling on perceived limitations, or getting stuck in the past, we can split off from what would seem to be our planned trajectory, and glimpse ahead, peer around the curve to someone we hope to be.
Yes, Uwe was a consummate Evangelist, but also a prolific Maker. Mait, our Accidental, stumbled into his role as a startup founder yet he is also now growing into a Visionary, carving a path toward a radical new approach to learning. Karoli is as committed a Guardian as you will find on the planet, but she and her company wouldn’t still be standing if she wasn’t a terrific Athlete. She dashed barefoot through the streets of Helsinki to make a crucial investor meeting and then five years later, had the courage and strength to totally pivot her focus to streamlining immigration for fast-growing companies. This ability to shape-shift makes entrepreneurs light on their feet, providing flexibility and speed at key junctures. The Faces give a form to who we are becoming, and as you set out on your entrepreneurial journeys we hope they speak to you and help you become your best possible self.
Learning to identify the entrepreneurial types is another way of maximizing your potential. Who do you need on your team as you Launch? Go for the Money? When you’re battered by the series of tribulations we call the Test and you have to try something you’ve never done before, consider which type you might surface to help navigate to success.
As we write these words we are facing an unprecedented public health threat and economic crisis. We don’t believe the ultimate solution will be isolation. Pain often spurs the entrepreneurially minded to experiment. The global pandemic is a huge Test for us all – including, not surprisingly, the ten extraordinary people you’ve gotten to know in these pages. They’re facing the crisis with courage, resilience, and yes, creativity. Taking bold, new steps is never easy.
We consider ourselves fortunate to be collaborating with some thought leaders in the world of UX design, video conferencing, remote culture, and online learning (both here and in Portugal). We’re experimenting with how entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs can come together over the Internet to share and build upon good ideas, and develop new products. Now, more than ever, is a time for an Awakening toward a new way of working. We have already made our initial Shift. We invite you to join us.