I had a recent conversation with a friend about his business woes. We ended up discovering together that he seems to be well-suited for the initial start-up phase of the business but not for the managing and day-to-day operations.

He's not the first person I've encountered like this. As I write this blog I can think of three others in my life who have similar personalities. It reminds me of an article I read years ago about “serial entrepreneurs” (and apologies to the person who coined the phrase… I can't give a reference because I read the print-based article about 10 years ago in a magazine I picked up once).

It doesn't come as a surprise that some entrepreneurs are not suited to manage a business. After all, many people leave the humdrum corporate life of middle management to start their own business because they're interested in the excitement of it all.

There really are two different kinds of skills at work in starting and growing a business: in the early days there is innovation, guts, blind ambition, extensive planning, and sweat equity. In the growth stage, there's much more of a management mindset.

Are you one or the other… or both?