My company is a 3-year old startup based in Brazil. We reached the breakeven, got major customers and a good revenue. As it is not a technology company, it is hard to escalate, but we have 35 people on board. I'm having troubles with the majority shareholders: what should be a vibrant, engaged, decentralized culture became "corporate-y" too quickly. Bad hires, leading to bad managing habits, evolving to cracks in products and services. 25% of the revenue comes from my sales alone. Everybody just underperforms. While I'm trying to get to strategic level, the company needs my revenue directly to keep going. I'm starting to burnout. I feel I'm working for money only. I feel distrust growing, I'm feel I'm being "Woz'ed" away, and not by a Steve Jobs. I need some insights!!

Congrats on the success you have achieved in just 3 years! That's statistically uncommon and reveals that the initial focus of the company was effective and worth reviving.

Yes, it must be frustrating to feel like you are the only one carrying the company uphill. I've been in a similar position.

First, I suggest you take responsibility for the position you currently find yourself in. It's easy to cast blame on people and circumstances outside of yourself. It's the most common first reaction.

If you really think about it though, you will realize that where you are did not appear overnight. Every day for the past 3 years you have either consciously or unconsciously agreed to move towards where you are now.

By doing that you are no longer a victim of circumstances and can move forward from a place of power.

As the primary producer in the company you do have the leverage however, you also need a pro-active plan to promote using that leverage and it needs to be something that benefits everyone involved.

First of all I would check your perspective on the whole situation by calling a meeting of stakeholders to recalibrate the company vision.

The idea here is to get everyone to tell you what they see as the primary problems with the company right now and where they each would like to see things improve. You need to see what everyone else is seeing not only what you are seeing.

This meeting in and of itself might change your perspective entirely. If it reveals nothing that profoundly changes your view then move on to the next step.

If you are the star salesperson then you have a method by which you get results. Try creating a sales training program out of that method and then go to the team and present this training plan. There are books and resources online on how to create a sales training plan like this. The goal is to duplicate and systematize how you achieve your above average results.

Frame the plan as a way to get all the other team member goals accomplished. Whatever those goals are, inevitably they will require more money.

By using your leverage as the star salesperson and taking the initiative to create a program that will effectively create more star salespeople then you are bound to create more revenue for the company. This way your goal is a means to an end for everyone else's goals. This way you get unanimous buy-in.

Set a goal of 8 weeks or so to implement this training across the enterprise. Provide bonuses and other incentives to participants to achieve this goal as well as longer term sales increase goals.

Create company-wide perks for achieving these long-term sales goals. Maybe a retreat somewhere awesome? You get the picture.

The idea is to create a win-win situation for everyone to get going in a positive direction that will, in the end, alleviate your present problem as well as achieve a greater success for everyone involved.

Hope that helps. Best of luck!

Answered 6 years ago

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