Choosing a Co-founder and Picking your Team in Business - Cutting the Mustard
Speaking from my own experience, I can say indefinitely that who you pick to initially set up your business, whether it be co-founders or employees, will be one of the major keys as to whether your business will be successful or not.
The team you choose to surround your business with defines so many variables within the business and how it operates, from its culture to quality of the products it produces, that when choosing members it is imperative to be shrewd and not settle for average. It might seem painfully obvious in hindsight, but when it comes to cutting the mustard, and you’re at the beginning; excited and optimistic, you tend to want to just run and launch as soon as possible.
The first business I started, a video production company, happened to form a team somewhat automatically, because we just happened to combine our resources to (my business brain, their film skills) to start a company. I made the mistake of combing business and pleasure by starting a business with my friends, a mistake however, that I won’t make again in the future. Initially it was a dream, I felt like I was on top of the world and I was having the best of times. We had executed an advert really well for a client and had just got paid. We launched a website, registered the company, bought business cards and started hustling to find clients- well at least I did.
Although we were regularly gaining clients and were generating a steady stream of revenue, the cracks started to painfully appear. I found myself with a group of unmotivated and unambitious people who didn’t take the business as seriously as I had hoped and wanted them to do. I had to consistently stop one of the members from getting distracted on his phone, and it was hard to be strict with them because they were my friends, I felt like I had to tread on egg shells. Good criticism is as good as gold, and in start-ups it’s especially important to question everything. From what I’ve learnt in my experience, it’s imperative that you work with people who are able to clearly and strongly disagree and dispute with so you can find what the best course of action to is to take, without causing chaos or demoralisation to the business.
You want strongly committed people who see your vision and are as motivated as you to reaching the businesses goals. A good motivational leader is a great thing, but what’s more important is that you find people who love what they do and work hard because they love it, without the need to be motivated by external factors such as money. I think this is what makes the difference between loyal employees, who will be resilient and pioneering in the hard times, and who will make the extra effort, against those who just want a pay check and to work from 9-5.
Finally I think having good talent is above all what will determine how successful your business is, it is important to surround yourself with great thinkers, specialist in the fields who are creative and knowledgeable about what they bring. Do not waste your time with people who are average and who do little to advance the innovation and execution of your ideas. This will only hinder your productivity and bring the rest of the team down. It may seem a bit mean, but if we look at some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, such as Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, they had similar philosophies of only hiring “A players”.