Chapter 9Strengths and weaknesses

‘Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.’

Sun Tzu

I often tell people that while I spent a total of 13 years at university obtaining multiple degrees and cutting my teeth in the corporate world, I learned 10× more in half the time as an entrepreneur (okay, so that’s an arbitrary 10×, but you get the idea.) Not only did I learn about business but I had to learn about and develop philosophies that shape how I show up each day, in and out of the office.

Having said that, many of the character and workplace attributes I developed during my time in the corporate world were transferable and gave me a huge advantage over entrepreneurs who had never walked the halls of a large organisation, especially if looking to sell to one.

Lessons learned

For example, thanks to the time I spent in corporate gigs, I’ve found it easier to develop relationships with and sell to large enterprise companies. My years in that world gave me a better understanding of how internal sales processes work, how business unit budgeting and corporate cost allocation works, and how there’s usually more than one person or functional department to get on the bus before the proverbial John Hancock comes out.

From different worlds

Many first-time B2B entrepreneurs I’ve worked with who lack corporate experience seem dumbfounded by just how slow large organisations move and by the time it takes them to sign up to what the entrepreneur imagines ...

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