My mind told me that I should share a couple of cents which might leave an
impression on your life as a start-up owner ! These opinions have emerged from experiential traits of observing, listening, watching, engaging and at times even reading during all these months..
Which success metrics have you defined for your start-up baby? Break-even the costs by next year? May be achieve next round of funding inside three months? Or even double the number of clients in six months?
You wish you could do it all yourself ! May be you could, if you were a superhero but even then 24 hours in a day were not going be enough. How do you achieve all that and much more? Wait a minute
Do not expect me to talk about that one-in-million magical solution as it never existed. Yeah, I am not talking about out of the world rocket science here. All you need are ‘PEOPLE’ who can make-it-happen! People who have cool heads and are a bundle of energy. May be you could hire them from outside, if you’re a cash-rich start-up.
Coming down to ground reality, most start-ups cannot afford to loose people as it is difficult to find a single replacement for any guy who quits. Each person thinks multi-dimensionally and is engaged in cross-functional work.
So how do you make them happy? Throw more money at them? May be it will work in some-cases but for the rest?
To begin with, Never promise anything to them that you cannot deliver. For e.g. you make a promise to your senior guy that he is a key member of the strategy group but sideline him
Second- the key to make people a part of your growth is by involving them in the so called decision making process. Provide them the right opportunities at right time/stage. For e.g. If you are caught in a web of problems, feel free to consult them for help. No, it is not a help in-terms of bugfix but instead help at a mental level. That is where you will be able to judge their mindset and take a call about things which you never expected them to do.
Third, never fall into a fixed mindset trap as that is the easiest thing you can do at this stage. for e.g. a marketer can only pitch or a developer can only code. These are all mind-games that you tend to play with yourself. Because of your one-dimensional thoughts, you are sometimes unable to visualize the potential of people in your team.
Fourth – Trust your people. Trust them for their thought, for what they have done, continue to do and what they can do. Make people feel counted as a part of the group. Listen to them, ask them what they feel/think. Never try to be their boss and impose your decisions on them.
Fifth - Drop your ego. It is a 360 degree cycle of feedback. The so called ego rules which apply to your employees are also valid for you :)
Remember, it takes more than a sweat to build a quality team. If you can do that success comes naturally to you and your start-up! On the flip-side it takes not more than a blink of an eye-lid to get back to the same mode of hiring replacements for the people who have left you. So what do you want do to – take one step forward or two steps backward?