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Passing The Torch (It's Not The Entrepreneurial Failure You Might Think It To Be) While it might seem like a founder needs to be the CEO of the venture they create, that is absolutely not the case.

By Aby Sam Thomas Edited by Aby Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


"The flip side of being your own boss is that you have to think of so many things you wouldn't have to think of otherwise."

When the firebrand Indian journalist Barkha Dutt told me this during my interview with her in February (which has resulted in this article for Entrepreneur Middle East), I felt like I was having a deja vu moment. It's a statement that I've heard from so many other founders who had decided to make inroads into entrepreneurship after having spent years becoming literal masters of their domains.

Dutt had left the news brand that she had been a part of for 20-odd years to start up her own digital media platform, Mojo Story, in 2021. While she has already been able to lead her startup to become an award-winning journalistic enterprise, she readily admitted that being at the helm has been a rollercoaster ride- and this was in spite of her exceptional domain expertise.

Dutt had nailed the reason for this: becoming an entrepreneur requires you to tap into a whole new set of skills that you might have previously thought you never needed. Most entrepreneurs, much like Dutt, have no qualms about getting their hands dirty to learn the tools of their (new) trade, and that's certainly worth applauding.

Barkha Dutt, Founder-Editor of Mojo Story, with Aby Sam Thomas, Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. Source: Entrepreneur Middle East

That said, founders would be wise to remember that they do not have to do everything themselves, and that letting others deal with aspects they are not experts in lets them to focus on their particular craft as well. Indeed, while it might seem like a founder needs to be the CEO of the venture they create, that is absolutely not the case.

In fact, more good might be attained by relinquishing that role to another. This is the realization that Dutt seems to have come to when she tells me, "I keep looking for somebody to run the business. And I haven't found that person, but I'd really like to set free to just be a journalist."

This statement from Dutt is something I'm personally quite impressed by, as I believe it to be an indication of not just her love for the art of reporting, but also her dedication to ensuring the success and longevity of the business she has created. And if that means handing over the reins to someone else, then she's ready to do that.

That's a move the rest of us should keep in mind for our leadership arsenals.

Related: Boss Lady: Tyra Banks Is Going All In On Her Entrepreneurial Persona With Her Ice-Cream Venture, Smize & Dream

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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