This is the first in a series of weekly articles focused on business start-up, raising capital, growth, exit, and problems that companies have in these areas. Feel free to substitute the word “service” instead of “product” throughout the series, as concepts apply equally well to nearly all types of businesses.
First up—inspired by the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday—is that all start-ups require the effort of a team of people. While there are usually one or two founders driving the company, setting vision, and keeping everyone moving in the same direction, start-ups usually require the herculean efforts of many people to succeed. Anyone reading this who has worked in a start-up knows that speed in executing is essential to success. As a founder you may be able to get everything done by yourself; however, your team helps you execute with speed. Showing gratitude for their efforts is crucial to your long-term success.
Personally, this time of year is also a reminder for me to be grateful to the teams of people with whom I’ve worked. In fact, this season I’m specifically reflecting on my mentors. As a founder or co-founder of more than five companies, I’ve realized over the years that people like Joe Adamski and Dr. Lynn Morris have both played a huge role in my life and my ability to help others execute their dreams. They taught me how to approach problems, do the work, analyze, figure out what’s needed, and then help my clients make a decision—many times with only 60% of the information available, as that’s all that there is. They also taught me that people skills are as important as analytics—because it’s people that run the company, not spreadsheets or systems.
My own gratefulness this year also extends to the Northern California firefighters and first responders who worked tirelessly and under incredibly difficult conditions to put out the fires in Sonoma and Napa counties last month. Our home survived, though it was smoke-damaged, taking six weeks of clean up before we were able to move back in. There’s a series of articles percolating on dealing with insurance and smoke remediation companies down the road. But first, next week we’ll start with your outline business plan.
All The Best,
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