Last year I decided to step down as CEO of BlogMutt. While I'm still founder and board chairman, I'm no longer involved day-to-day.
What comes next?
Well, I'm now realizing that I'm not interested in starting another company, not at the moment. I don't mind hard work, but creating another startup from scratch right now just feels… lonely.
However, there's a problem: I don't play golf.
I don't ski.
I don't want to train for a marathon, a triathlon, a decathlon or even the Butt-Numb-Athon.
In short, I gotta get back in the game. I wanna be in it, solving problems, making customers happy, bringing new approaches to sticky problems.
A bunch of friends asked me what I want to do when I announced I was leaving, and I didn't really have a good answer. After a bit of a break, and thinking about it for a while, I finally have one, so this post is essentially the answer to that question.
Here's three scenarios of what might make sense:
Scenario One: Entrepreneur In Residence
Let's say you are in an established company. Maybe a growth-stage tech company, maybe a media operation. Maybe even a non-profit that's got a good track record.
Things are going well enough for you, but you realize that the world is changing fast, and you have a sneaking suspicion that you aren't really keeping up. What you'd like is for someone to come into your operation and do a few things without upsetting the apple cart too much.
What kind of things?
- Talk to the team, see what entrepreneurial ideas are lurking around, but aren't getting any daylight.
- Launch a new low-impact initiative, maybe a podcast or something that everyone thinks is a good idea, but it never seems to get done.
- Evaluate other new ideas, see if there's any traction.
Typically an EIR just comes in for a defined time, usually one year. After that you'll have a much better sense of the future, and you'll have a program in place if you want to bring in another fresh set of eyes a year from now.
Scenario Two: New Product Leader
Let's say you have a new product idea, but your current team is busy with the current product. You've got some indication that this new product could do well, but you need to know how well it will integrate with what you do now, and you need to figure out what you don't know about actually launching this thing.
You want someone to come in who won't freak everybody out, but will also move the concept forward, and fast. That I can do.
Scenario Three: CEO Transition
I just ran a process to gently ease a CEO out of his position, run a search that he liked, and then found a great new CEO who is now kicking ass.
It's true, I was the first CEO in question there, but I have to say that I really did a good job at that.
Do you know a CEO who is, perhaps, a bit restless? Or perhaps that CEO just is no longer a good fit for what the company needs? And that CEO knows it, but just doesn't know how to let go?
I can help. I can help the CEO really look at the situation without a lot of emotional baggage. I can give hope to that person to see what the world might be like having moved on? And I can run a search to find the perfect new candidate, and then make sure that new CEO gets going in the right direction.
It would be hard, if not impossible, for someone who hasn't been in those CEO shoes to have that conversation. There are a lot of recruiters out there, but this is something entirely different. I've been there. I can empathize, strategize, and then move things forward for the person, and for the company.
Scenario Four: ??????
I realize that what will actually happen may be a bit different from what I plan on happening. Always works that way, right?
But if you are someone, or if you know someone, who might be interested in talking to me about one of these scenarios, or something entirely different, be in touch.