Do it yourself, outsource or employ. Building your core competence

One of the VC’s I met during my journey as an entrepreneur (which i’m nowhere close to finishing) said this to me…

“One man doesn’t win the battle”

And over my entrepreneurship experience, I’ve realized that to be true more than a lot of things. Sure there may be exceptions to this rule, but that does seem like a small probability. I would much rather concentrate on building the army than to figure out the exceptions.

To build an army, you need to ask 3 fundamental questions

1. What is most important or what are the critical success factors?

2. What am I super awesome at?

3. What do I love doing?

After You’ve asked and answered these questions, plot all your answers on the following 2×2 matrix (Yes, I’ve done MBA, I wonder why you wonder!)

Building core competence
Building core competence

Quadrant 1 – The burnout zone

Here is what will happen if you yourself do the stuff in Q1

1. It will cause a fast burn out and will pull you down to no end

2. It will make you feel like your dream is a burden

3. If won’t enrich you and make you happy unless you somehow figure out how to take it to Q3 or Q4

4. You’re going to spend much lesser time doing what you’re awesome at and what you love doing.

If something is in Q1 – either outsource it immediately, or hire someone to do it, or get someone in your founding team to take care of it.

After all, won’t you much rather do stuff in Q2, 3 and 4 and get better at it? Build on strengths and not weaknesses.

Army building decision: Get an expert on board or outsource the tasks to another company

Quadrant 2 – Teaching zone

For everything in Q2, you’re the mentor for your team members and employees. Ensure that anyone in the company who handles work in Q2, reports to you or keeps you in the loop.

Army building decision: Freshers or interns

Quadrant 3 – Learning/ Nourishment Zone

What I love doing includes: I love the idea of doing this.

This is the work you have to learn as quickly and as much as you can to take to quadrant 4. If you’re not able to reach Q4 with this, hand it over to someone else in your team.

This is a good zone to come back into every time you want to try out something new and see if you can push it to Q4.

Army building decision: Hire a senior level person who you can learn from

Quadrant 4 – Awesomeness

You’re the master of all the critical success factors here. This is where you can make magic happen. Mentor your team mates and employees in everything here and build their strengths in these things.

Practice everything in this quadrant to achieve Zen master levels and you will see magic happening.

Army building decision: Intern, fresher, mid or senior

This might serve as a great exercise for the founding team as well. Or any team for that matter.

Here is how to do it

1. Get together and list all the critical success factors for your business/ project

2. Each team member then plots these on this matrix

3. Each individual’s matrix is compared and responsibilities are assigned accordingly. Additionally, it will also help you figure out the go to person for each critical success factor.

Hope this helps you think through a few things. I would love to hear what you think about this. Do share your opinions in the comments below.

Go build something AWESOME. Best of luck.

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