Dan Morrison , CEO of ITToolbox

by francine Hardaway on November 8, 2007

Dan Morrison , twitter
Originally uploaded by hardaway

What a wonderful talk for entrepreneurs!

Dan is telling us about his nine-year adventure bootstrapping ITToolbox and selling it for a pretty sum. He is saying that an entrepreneur needs only a good idea and a willingness to do whatever it takes — there are no other real needs. There are many paths to success.

He says with some things, there’s no substitute for experience. There are a few key advisors you whould bring in asap. Lawyers, accountants and bankers are key. If you choose a good attorney, they’ve seen every business challenge. If you bring on an accounting firm, they will help you hire a controller. And if you bring on a banker, they will help you understanding finance.

Dan was ahead of the market. He started ITToolbox just when the dotcom market tanked, and it had an online advertising model.

He is saying he also joined an executive network. When you share your problems with other CEOs you find out that they all have the same problems you do. These groups also hold you accountable for your own actions. They can see you heading for problems before they arise.

An entrepreneur adds a value to a company that an outside CEO can’t. The entrepreneur has the vision and passion to make the company happen, and a key to succeeding is to understand that no one else giving you advice really takes into account the uniqueness of your vision. The ability to continually make good decisions in line with your vision is the important function of the entrepreneur.

Dan learned what a CEO does from Vistage. Set the strategy, grow the team, manage the business, and look after strategic business relationships. “Stop doing what you were good at, and start doing the job of a CEO.” The job of a CEO is to create an organization that is capable of succeeding with average people, but then putting above-average people in place to achieve exceptional results.

You cannot scale a company with rockstars who can do everything. There just aren’t enough of them.

Your success is related to the number of highly talented people you bring on.

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