Arment Dietrich

The Three Stages of the Entrepreneurial Mind

By: Arment Dietrich | April 27, 2011 | 
15

During the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to work directly under someone (cough, Gini Dietrich) as she has evolved through each of the following entrepreneurial minds.

I’ve now come to a point where I think I’ve figured out how these minds work.  Yes, they say it’s lonely at the top for this select group of individuals, but because they move too fast for the rest of us to keep up, the loneliness is self-inflicted.

I’ve created a chart outlining the stages of an entrepreneurial mind to help the rest of us make it less lonely for our beloved CEOs.

It’s not as National Geographic as I thought it would be. In fact, it’s pretty simple.  Your own CEO is probably at one of these stages now.

Stage One: Mountain Top Envy

We all do this; we want what we don’t have.  But the difference is most entrepreneurs will do almost anything to get there.

Stage Two: I’m Lonely and Scared of Falling

Here is where you’ve reached the destination but you know that one wrong move might shake the rest of the foundation.

Stage Three: Conquered Mountain, Now On to the Next

Now that you have your footing and are confident, you see the next challenge and start deciding how you’re going to get there.

So what does this mean for those of us who work for these entrepreneurs?  Well, if you can take a step back and see which stage you are in, you can determine where the responsibility lies and when it’s time to make your move.

I’ll give you my example of Arment Dietrich, Spin Sucks, and Spin Sucks Pro:

Arment Dietrich was in stage one when we decided we wanted to create a leading PR industry blog.  We started Spin Sucks, learned a lot, and got where we wanted to be. Then, Gini decided she wanted to tackle the next mountain, and along comes Spin Sucks Pro.

I watched my CEO go through the stages and am able to recognize where opportunity is calling my name.

As any company enters phase three there are roles employees can play:

  1. Once you see your CEO/company sitting nicely at the top of the mountain now is your time to strike!  If you’ve been holding on to a great idea that you want to embark on, share it now!
  2. If your CEO is moving into phase three decide if now is the time to step up and let your boss know that he/she can trust you to take over management of that mountain while they pursue the next.
  3. OR, let your CEO know that you want to be their right-hand man on that next mountain climb.

In my case, I decided I wanted to go with option number two.  I let my CEO know that she can move onto Spin Sucks Pro as I help manage Arment Dietrich.  It is up to us to step up so we let our CEOs use their minds the way nature intended.

Is your company in one of these stages now?  Do you see an opportunity calling your name?

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

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15 Comments on "The Three Stages of the Entrepreneurial Mind"

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rustyspeidel
rustyspeidel
5 years 6 days ago

What did she say?

dino_dogan
5 years 6 days ago

Great drawing :-) …ok, maybe not, but a great point. Congrats on holding the fort down while Gini concurs her next Everest.

Im looking fwd to more insightful posts from the mind of Molli :-)

MichaelDurwin
MichaelDurwin
5 years 6 days ago

I thought this was going to be:1) Excited by the new idea2) determined to make it happen

3) deeply hateful at not getting funded

Alternately:

3) relieved to get funding

4) overwhelmed by feature creep

5) nervous about adoption

6) elated at explosive growth

7) confused as to why your board just fired you as CEO

8) depressed by the hand cramp from filing out applications for Starbucks

bdorman264
bdorman264
5 years 6 days ago

All I know is you have a great name; you can be the lead in the female version of “Being John Malkovich”. It just rolls off the tongue well, can I borrow it sometime?

Ah, keeping up with Ms Gini is challenge all by itself; knowing when to step in and contribute when it’s needed most is probably an art, and it appears you have figured it out.

There is no ‘i’ in team, right.

MolliMegasko
MolliMegasko
5 years 6 days ago

@bdorman264 Being Molli Megasko does have a nice ring to it.

MSGiro
MSGiro
5 years 6 days ago
Molli I think you’re being too nice. Not nice to Gini or Gino or whatever the heck auto-correct chooses for her name, but rather to entrepreneurs as a whole. We aren’t “nice” people. Before an entrepreneur, which I am a member of that club, worries about mountains and falling and whatnot we deal with the creation of a defense mechanism to our arch enemy NO. It’s the word we hear the most and it comes from all over; friends, family, customers, vendors, hot dog vendors, random internet haberdashers who make stupid comments on blogs. Once we develop the immunity, which… Read more »
SoloBizCoach
SoloBizCoach
5 years 6 days ago

Great visualization of the three stages.

SoloBizCoach
SoloBizCoach
5 years 6 days ago

Whoops, sorry about the last comment. I hit the button before I was finished.

I liked your three stages. I think that a lot of people fail to make it to step three due to a lack of confidence. Some people just don’t have enough confidence to realize that they will not get knocked off the mountain. For those that do have the confidence, they will be the king of the mountain.

MSGiro
MSGiro
5 years 6 days ago

Awwww crap. TYPO in the last paragraph. Damn and I thought I was typo free. NOW I won’t sleep for days over this. I need a drink. @MSGiro

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 6 days ago

@MSGiro Get some Old Style. You’ll be fine.

adventuresinexpatland
adventuresinexpatland
5 years 5 days ago
Molli (and yes, Molli Megasko is one cool name), I happen to think you delivered on what you said you would: having worked for entrepreneurial minds, you’ve figured out how they work – in terms of what it’s like to be WORKING for them. Not what they expect or what they look for in you, what it’s like WORKING for/with THEM. Many of the comments talk about ‘what we entrepreneurs are really like’. Yeah, okay, got it. Having worked for lots of Alpha Dogs in the past (mainly in the political arena, but believe me, there are far more parallels… Read more »
Leon
Leon
5 years 5 days ago
G’Day Molli, Thanks for such an interesting perspective. Are you aware that most high achieving managers don’t quite figure how their staff see them? For some years I’ve been preaching that a CEO’s prime role in a small- medium business is marketing and PR. To achieve this, he or she must cultvate perfect employees who can handle all the day to day routine business perfectly. The CEO still needs to be involved in strategy. But if they’ve cultivated perfect employees, much of the strategy will be generated by the employees and pushed upwards to the CEO anyway. Molli, you wont… Read more »
MichaelDurwin
MichaelDurwin
5 years 5 days ago

@MypctweakComputerSolutions Don’t you just hate scumbag spammers? I know you’re just sitting around in your apartment in Illinois with nothing but time to kill, but really? You only launched your site in February. Use more above-board techniques and have some patience, you’ll get traffic.

RicardoBueno
5 years 1 day ago

I’m constantly moving foward… Jumping from one mountain to the next I suppose but always with a sense of accomplishment and having learned something along the way.

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