Great Scott… Solutions, Not Excuses! To be Resourceful is the Fourth Breathe Life Value.

This is the fourth in a five-part series about the Breathe Life core values.

In last week’s article, I explored what the value Proactive means to Breathe Life. About how we want every team member to be confident and make decisions. Similar in vein to Facebook’s Move Fast and Break Things, our mantra is all about taking risks and being assertive in your decision making. This week I’ll be looking at a value that is very closely aligned with Being Proactive, it is to Be Resourceful.

Resourceful can seem quite similar to Proactive, but in fact, one comes before the other. While Being Proactive means to ask for forgiveness and not permission, we look at Being Resourceful as how you get to that point. It means to find solutions and not excuses. Essentially, it’s all the steps that lead up to being able to make the decision.

The ability to be resourceful is something that we are always looking for when we hire new team members. We’re looking for people that are skilled at solving problems, that are innovative, independent and autonomous. No matter what role someone is being interviewed for at Breathe Life, we put a focus on figuring out if they are resourceful. The startup world is a crazy one, it’s one where most people are doing a million things at once and everyone is constantly hustling. We need to bring on team members who can take things on, on their own, self-starters who can find the tools, work the problem and get the result. So far, we’ve been lucky that our rigorous hiring process has helped ensure that every Breathe Life team member fits the bill for this.

Lamine N’Dao, who joined Seb’s Product team as a Senior Product Designer last September, can attest to this.

“When I was being interviewed, Seb focused on my ability to be resourceful as a designer. More so than my concrete design and product skills, he wanted to understand how I would approach problem-solving to ensure that when building Breathe Life products I would always be thinking creatively and be able to execute independently.”

Looking beyond just team members, it’s crucial that the Founders can be resourceful. One of my startup analogies is the similarities between Entrepreneurship and Doc Brown from Back To The Future. In the movie, Doc Brown is trying a million different things and eventually, one thing works. When it does, he continues to work on that path and follow what worked. It’s the same with launching a business, in order to get an MVP out you need to test and learn and test and learn until you get it right. And you often need to do this in an extremely lean manner with few resources or help. This requires you to be very resourceful!

At the end of the day, no matter how important proactiveness is to a company, you need to have a resourceful team in order to be able to be proactive. Something that I believe deeply as a Founder is that when you trust people to do their work and you trust them to find solutions, they’ll get to a point where they’ll figure it out and find the resources necessary to do so. This is something that we try and live daily at Breathe Life.

Stay tuned later this week as we look at our fifth value — Playfulness

-Ian Jeffrey, Co-Founder & CEO