You know what you want to do, but you do not have all the required skills. Is that a problem??
The answer is clear: Entrepreneurship is best done as a team!
Perhaps you already have partners. Great. Maybe you have some people in mind. Good. (If you truly want to work alone, these other skills can be outsourced. But outsourced vendors are unlikely to have the passion and desire that a start-up will need.)
What if you do not have partners but would like to find some. What should you look for? These are some things we suggest you consider:
- Commonalities of Values: This is crucial. You must have common values. Else, life will be a struggle.
- Diversity of Experiences: Such differences will allow you to look at the world with different perspectives; thereby letting you find many different ways to solve problems.
- Diversity of Thought: This is crucial. You do not want “Yes” people. You want people who are independent thinkers.
- Different skill sets: If the other person is just like you, one of you is redundant, most likely you.
- Team Players: Prima Donnas, as smart or talented as they may be, are never worth it. Being a team player means working towards team goals. Personal agendas are a distraction.
- Shared Goals: Do you want to go the same place, in the same way? It is better to get to know the team members before they become team members.
A bit of work ahead of time may be one of the best investments that you make. It will save you the trouble and time of training someone who is not a right fit. How do you do this? Ask for references; and then speak to these references. Spend 30 minutes asking questions about a person. Ask three or four references the same questions and you will develop a pretty good idea about the person. Their social media pages may also hold useful insights. Ask them to come to work with you for 90 days before making any firm commitments. Cut your losses quickly. Cherish the good ones.
When I think about the teams that have done well, it seems that they have a common passion. They develop an ability to “call each other out.” Often they will go through a crisis. Perhaps an idea crashes and burns, one person is not carrying his fair share of the load, or someone is sucking up the oxygen. The first instinct of a team is to let things slide. Invariably the work suffers and the team is miserable. Finally, a confrontation will occur. Harsh words may be exchanged and even some tears shed, but the whole experience will be cathartic. I have seen teams doing a barely adequate job suddenly swing into high gear and deliver great results. Surviving the crucible leads to smiles, a deeper sense of teamwork and the dawning belief that success is within reach.
Verinder Syal, Author: Discover The Entrepreneur Within