Many entrepreneurs realise too late through their journey the critical importance of surrounding themselves with a guard of people who believe in their abilities, provide them with support, and are here in tough times. Aside enjoying beautiful moments together as well.
As a founder, you should engage (and renew this effort on a regular basis) with incredibly smart, highly capable and well connected individuals:
- The very smart ones will provide you with greater ambition, better clarity and ways to reflect on the most important things in your journey. They are the unlockers of your highest potential.
- The highly capable ones will successfully pull off all the challenges with the right attitude, velocity and excellence. They can be side players used for specific short term missions / advisory or full time employees that help you grow and scale the company.
- The well connected ones will introduce you to the best people in their network, with hopefully compounded effects from the new meaningful connections that will follow.
Multiply the sources of those interactions through one time events, hiring process, random connections, investors, mentors / advisors, even friends. Cross those abilities with the following personas as well:
- Like-minded people will help you go deep in your thoughts through the confidence of behind heard and understand. You can share everything with them.
- Specialists can help you pull something specific out from their expertise and experience. company building, fundraising, international expansion…
- Strategists will help you see things through a different, higher perspective, they will find ways to trigger non obvious decisions that will appear simple, obvious and brilliant afterwards.
Some of those people are or will become close friends, while some others will keep more distance. In any case, make sure that you foster those relationships to take the most & best out of them.
- Explicitly require honest, thorough and articulated/intelligible arguments. The best relationships can only thrive by putting aside all kind of artifice, they really exist only through the lens of trust and the truth that comes with it.
- Go through regular interactions, through call, text or in person. With some people, it comes naturally, but most of the time it requires discipline and consistance. Simply use reminders.
- Do not just jump into conversations, bring as much context and structure as possible to trigger the right dynamic and unlock the value from those interactions.
Keep in mind that all relationships go both ways. You choose people as much as they choose you. You must act up to their expectations, level of service and commitment. Be reliable, fast & thorough.
It’s ok to be overwhelmed, to miss the mark or fail, as long as there is progress, people understand. Just don’t fall short in your interactions with them, your attitude is a compass towards the future of your relationships.