And the winner is…
From the Golden Globes and Oscars to a plethora of lesser-known accolades, the awards season is upon us.
In the business world, it sometimes feels like there is a gong for every category going. Many are hugely prestigious, highly sought after and worthwhile. Others feel a little too much like a money-spinning exercise. I am often approached by organisations telling us we’ve won this category, or that award… but would we mind paying for the privilege?
Ironically, some things that are truly worth celebrating sometimes get forgotten about. Last year was a record year for company sales, and while it’s great to talk about the numbers, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the stories behind them. By that I mean the business owners who have founded, grown and taken the decision to sell their companies.
For me, a true mark of success is when you build a business. Successful entrepreneurs create a market, win and retain clients, and attract and keep talented staff. From healthcare, to forestry, engineering to marketing, manufacturing to software – these are the key factors that make a great business.
Once you’ve built a business, to decide to sell is an achievement in itself. Oddly, many business owners can be too modest about the brilliant businesses they have created. I often think of one client from last year who found it incredible that a multi-billion dollar conglomerate was buying his company.
In his words: “We have 16 staff. They have 23,000!”
Owning a business is like running a marathon. To be successful often means you are running the race over many years. There are pain barriers to go through – recession, market changes, new legislation. And the statistics for entrepreneurs can make painful reading. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first 18 months.
This is a race that few succeed in, and an accolade few can claim to have achieved. Which is precisely why those that do succeed deserve our admiration and respect.