Back October 28, 2016

It’s Not You, It’s the People

Building a product and running a startup is a true adventure. In every sense of the word. You don’t really know what will come next. You may have a good road map, a clear direction, but field reality is quite different from the projected one.

As entrepreneur and leader, you may fall into a trench and not know it until you hit the bottom. Luckily, you have the crew to catch you in time or to pull you out and continue the journey.

Think about your team

Entrepreneurship is not only about the product, consumer, process, business, and market. These elements condition the mere existence of any company, but so do its people. Any entrepreneur is expected to have his mind focused on product and business strategy, but the team is just as important. The decisions you make will have an impact on them, sooner or later; so don’t think only about how this or that impacts you or the business (number-wise), but also the team.

Entrepreneurs need to be people persons. If you are not, learn how. Because the business decisions you make are not so much about the product or the client, but about the people who keep your business going, those who rely on you.

Talk to your people

Be open about where you are heading. No matter how specific their tasks are, your team needs to know what the plan is, what happens and where the company stands. Is it good news? Great, celebrate it together. Is it bad? Let them know something is going on; maybe not in detail, nor how bad it is, but still they need to be aware of the situation. They can tell, you know, if something is not right. Uncertainty is the enemy of motivation – even a greater one than the bad news.

Planning something new? Share it with them, let your team be part of the vision, not just performers.

Keep them motivated

As exciting as it may seem, the life of a small, young company is not full of everyday newsworthy events. There will be times when it seems nothing new happens; frustration may occur because no matter how hard everybody works, results stubbornly refuse to emerge. It is then when the entrepreneur needs to be a people’s person more than ever. Help your people acknowledge their importance, the great part they play in the company’s life. Keep their interest alive and the spirits high.

Seems like a lot of work, doesn’t it? No one said it will be a stroll in the park. It’s part of the entrepreneurship package. The most important part. If it’s only about you, then you’d better go ahead by yourself. It is not wrong, just another way to do it. But figure it out in time to avoid failure and frustration. Yours and others’.