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Entrepreneurial Balance: Don’t Be the Person with Chicken Legs

Unlock Entrepreneurial Balance! Avoid the 'chicken legs' syndrome for a stable, resilient business journey. Bolster both 'legs' and 'torso' now!
Unlock Entrepreneurial Balance! Avoid the 'chicken legs.

I was in the gym amidst the grunts and clangs and couldn’t help but notice the parade of Herculean torsos and ‘guns’ seemingly anchored by the daintiest of legs. It’s the sort of body form that’s become almost a gym uniform, blending into the backdrop of barbells and dumbbells.

As someone bestowed with the affectionate moniker ‘Lucky Legs’ at school (“Lucky they don’t break”), I have an eagle eye for such disparities. Amidst the humour of this observation lies a parallel to the business world, particularly for entrepreneurs in the early stages.

Muscular Upper, Skinny Lower

It’s a well-known spectacle: many gym enthusiasts pump up their upper body, exhibiting enviable biceps and chests, while their legs remain stick-thin – seemingly forgotten in their workout regimen. Although a source of many a chuckle and playful jests, this imbalance presents a visual reminder of the importance of balance and attention to all aspects.

Chicken Legs and Business: The Connection

This ‘chicken legs’ scenario uncannily mirrors a trend in the entrepreneurial world. Highlighting the importance of maintaining entrepreneurial balance. Many founders channel their energy and focus into specific business sectors, typically areas where they excel. As the E-Myth rightly highlights, numerous founders are exceptional ‘technicians’ but may falter on the entrepreneurial side.

Hence, they hone in on product development, creativity, and service delivery, ballooning their ‘upper torso,’ while leaving their commercial efforts, the ‘legs,’ underdeveloped.

Just like our gym friends, this disproportionate focus leads to an imbalance, leaving their ventures teetering and vulnerable.

The Perils of Imbalance

This skewed focus translates to robust product lines, innovative services, and attractive marketing assets, but with scant visibility and reach.

  • Visibility: If no one knows you exist, what’s the point of flexing those big entrepreneurial muscles? Your business might be a powerhouse in potential, but without a sturdy set of ‘legs,’ it remains unseen and unappreciated.
  • Balance: Your ‘legs’ must be proportionate to your ‘torso’ for true stability. An imbalance echoes risk and vulnerability, akin to a top-heavy physique prone to toppling over. So there needs to be more focus on lead gen, not closing or worse – service delivery.
  • Pipeline Proportions: Ensure your firm’s pipeline is robust, aiming for at least 3x your annual revenue target. Anything less, you’re skating on the precarious ice of imbalance, leaving your venture wobbling on undeveloped ‘legs.’

Avoid the entrepreneurial ‘chicken legs’ syndrome by ensuring that your business’s ‘lower body’ is as sturdy and robust as the ‘upper body,’ promising a balanced, stable, and resilient journey in the business world.

Bolster Those Business Legs

So, how does one pump up those entrepreneurial ‘legs’ to ensure entrepreneurial balance and stability? Here’s the gym-bunny style workout for your business:

  1. Mindset Shift:
    • Traverse to the other side of the entrepreneurial ‘gym.’ Embrace unfamiliar exercises and tasks to beef up those ‘business legs.’ It’s about broadening your horizons and stepping out of your comfort zone to explore and strengthen neglected areas.
  2. Inordinate Focus:
    • Channel your energy and commitment towards bolstering those skinny ‘legs.’ Your ‘upper body’ skills – product and service delivery – are already robust. It’s time to redirect the spotlight to enhance your commercial efforts, ensuring a harmonious balance.
  3. Patience and Persistence:
    • They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your business ‘legs.’ It demands time, effort, and persistence to fortify this segment, equalizing it with your already robust ‘upper body.’

Beef Up Your Entrepreneurial Balance

Don’t let your business walk around with ‘chicken legs.’ Bolster those ‘legs’ with a concentrated mindset shift, dedicated focus, and unwavering patience. It’s about ensuring a balanced, stable, and resilient entrepreneurial journey underpinned by both a solid ‘upper’ and ‘lower body.’

Amidst the chuckles and playful nudges around the ‘chicken legs’ scenario, let’s glean the embedded wisdom and march forward, ensuring our business ‘legs’ are as robust as our ‘torso.’ Balance, after all, is the key to a sustainable and thriving venture.

Hutton Henry
Hutton Henry
Hutton has worked with Private Equity Portfolio firms and Private Equity funds since 2015. Having previously worked in post-merger integration for large firms such as Ford and HP, Hutton understands the value of finding issues prior to M&A deals. He is currently the founder of Beyond M&A and provides technology due diligence for VC, PE and corporate investors, so they understand their technology risks before entering into a deal.

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