Don’t Sneak Your CEO Rewards Before You Do the Hard Work!

Establishing the necessary corporate infrastructure to look like a “real” company is an essential part of launching a company. Things like creating a logo, developing a website, and buying business cards are some of the most fun things about entrepreneurship! However, they are the rewards of your “hard work” and should not be performed instead of the “hard work!”

Creating a logo for your company is a blast. Government Contracting Academy founder, Randy Wimmer, admits that he’s too embarrassed to tell people how many hours (actually days and weeks and months!) he spent creating and polishing his early website and marketing material. He tells stories about staring, misty eyed, at his new business cards with the title CEO under his name. It was like a dream come true for him! Seeing all his dedication and hard work finally pay off was… Wait a second. At that point, he hadn’t done any of the “real” hard work yet. And there was certainly no “pay off” at that point!

Did you see how easily that just happened? Although this “fun stuff” is ultimately necessary, it’s sneaking your reward before you earn it. In fact, it’s no different than buying a large screen television on credit. Instead of working extra hours and saving for that bundle of high-definition joy, you convince yourself that you’ll charge it on your VISA, so you can enjoy it while you are “working extra hours and saving” to pay it off. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? However, now you’re watching a lot more television and entertainment. You’re neither working harder nor saving more money while planning your Super Bowl party.

Here’s the bad news for many folks. Much of this “fun stuff” should be done last. These things are nothing but a distraction at this point. It’s a major time sink that most people can’t properly manage. Randy openly admits that he couldn’t. He scrutinized over every detail of his logo, website and marketing brochures for a company that didn’t even exist. Technically, his company “legally” existed, but it was not a real company. Randy learned the hard way that focusing on “looking” like a legitimate company was preventing him from truly becoming a real, revenue-generating one. He made this mistake in 2003 and again in 2006. Yes, he’s not that bright.

But this “stuff” is important, isn’t it? In today’s “virtual world,” isn’t your web presence vital to your success? Let me answer this question via a response to a more applicable question that you should be asking. “How much money has Randy Wimmer made through his impeccably designed website and marketing material?” His answer is all-telling. Not a single penny.

Now that you’re sufficiently warned of the risks of becoming enamored with cool logos, websites and business cards, these things must make you “look like every other $300M company.” However, these fun things aren’t needed until most of the hard things are finished.