The Misconception of Being Number 2
There’s always been a big misconception about being number two. You hear a lot of quotes and catchphrases about being number two. For example, nobody remembers number two and if you’re not first, then you’re last. The funny thing about that is, it is not relevant when it comes to business. A lot of times, we overlook these billionaires that are number two in billion-dollar companies, who live very successful lives, and their families are doing amazing. The reason why they were able to be so successful is that they understood their positioning, they understood where they would be best for the company, the organization, or partnership. Think about the late great Paul Allen, who was number two in Microsoft, one of the biggest companies of the 21st century. While he was number two in Microsoft, what many people didn’t realize and went under the radar is that he was the owner of two major league franchises in the United States, the Portland Trailblazers, and the Seattle Seahawks.
He was totally number one there, but the money that he got to purchase those franchises came from him being number two. The list goes on for those other major brands, such as Facebook and Twitter. Or, you can pick from any other Fortune 500 or Fortune 1000 company. Oftentimes, they’ll speak about the owner of the company and say he is worth $50 billion. What about their second-in-command? Are they not billionaires? Are they not worth almost nine figures? Why do we have this huge misconception about being number two?
Of course, I answered my own question earlier with those catchphrases. However, I want to delve a little bit deeper into why we feel that way? Not what we hear from other people, but why we have a hard time getting in our position, not in any position, cuz you can play any position, but getting into the position that we play best.
A lot of times when you go out to make these decisions to get into business or into a partnership, you have to put your ego to the side. You have to put things in perspective and ask yourself, where can I be the greatest? Where can I be best utilized? Where can I put in the best work? These questions apply even in your own company. One entrepreneur that comes to mind, in particular, is Russell Simmons, he is quoted as saying, “I’m great at starting businesses. I’m not great at running them.” And that was amazing to hear at a young age and being a young entrepreneur because he understood his position. He understood that he was a visionary. He understood that he could create an amazing company.
He can have a great idea, but in order for it to come to fruition, he would be willing to fire himself and hire somebody else who can go ahead, run it and make it successful. And we are not taught that on a regular basis. Sometimes even the CEO has to be okay with saying, I’m going to be number two in this level of negotiation. Or, I’m going to be number two in the day-to-day operations of the business in order for it to go the way it is supposed to.
Here are my questions to you, what position are you playing? How is it holding you back from growing? We are moving into a space now where entrepreneurship is thrust on almost everybody because of how many jobs are missing. We have jobs that have been moved overseas to never come back.
Now the world is dealing with virtually everything at this point (virtual work, virtual school), and some companies have already started doing business in virtual reality. If you don’t have a skill set, a specific skill set, to make you more marketable to the world, then even when it comes to your own business, you are going to fall by the wayside. What’s more important than that, is knowing that once you establish your position you play that position the proper way. Just because you had the idea doesn’t mean you have to be the one to execute. The executioner should know that the role you play is the one that’s going to put you in the best position to win. Not just you, but your company, your new venture, and everybody around you. Think about it. You would have a hard time in your household if you allowed your children to play parent. They have to live in the house just like you, which means it’s definitely not their position. Your children playing parent would cause your house to be in disarray, versus you being the parent and playing your position. There’s a time and a place for everything. It’s the same way in business. Just because you’re in the same place, doesn’t mean everyone needs to be operating in the same space.
And sometimes it’s gonna be a time for that founder or that visionary to step up. But are you willing to be number two when the time comes or are you gonna fall victim to the misconception?
Think about that as we go into this next week. Of course, as you move forward in your business, know I’ll be right in your business corner.