Wednesday, July 1, 2009

FLASHBACK: You Don't Have To Be A Pilot To Start An Airline

I wrote the following blog back in April 2008, but it thought it would be great re-post:

You may respond to this by saying "I'm not interested in starting an airline." Well, neither am I. The point of this blog is to emphasize that you do not have to possess industry skills, to start a company in the industry.

In other words, if you want to start an airline - you do not need to learn how to fly. If you want to start a software company, you don't have to be a programmer. If you want to start a catering company, you don't have to be a chef.

The only thing you need to know in these scenarios, is how to find and manage a pilot, a programmer, and a chef. And of course, it would be good to at least understand how these different industries work.

Too often though, entrepreneurs will come up with a great idea for a business, but dismiss that idea after they realize that they don't have the needed skills. Well, with the exception of certain cases like Bill Gates who was a programmer who started a software company - most scenarios are quite the opposite.

For instance, Collett E. Woolman, founder of Delta Airlines was not a pilot. Also, Pierre Bellon, founder of Sodexho (a large catering and food services company), is not a cook - and has never been one.

Broaden your sense of thinking when it comes to business. While you should pursue business endeavors that interest you, don't just stick to ideas that encompass your skill level.

Running a successful business is about management and marketing. Manage the people who have the skills, market those skills to potential customers, and go down in history as a successful businessman or businesswoman.


  1. This was right on time for me with where I am in my life right now. Thanks!

  2. Just wanted to let you know, these were encouraging words. Thank you!

  3. Hey there!

    This is VERY true!

    Oprah is a prime example of a successful corporate executive who gathered a team of experts when she had the gift of gab but not the extensive expertise in running a production company....

  4. I just wanted to say that you are right on the money. I really like this post and it has me back on track with a few of my potential clients. I tell my clients something similar all the time but you said it quicker and more to the point. Thanks!