Communication is everything and the bigger your team grows and the more we live in an online connected world, the less phonecalls are made. You often start to work decentralized because you can not afford an office and therefore you have to use phones and the internet to stay connected. They chat through Skype and Facebook, they organize in Facebook groups, they write e-mails. In a startup you do not have the time for awaiting replies.
As a founder it is your task to keep your team connected. Educate them to communicate instantly – as fast as possible. Don’t let them block each other. Push them to solve problems fast because the longer they need, the bigger the problems seem to be. The faster they solve their problems the more often they experience success. And this is crucial to stay motivated.
Nothing is more blocking than people who depend on each other. And as soon as you need an answer to go further, your progress stagnates and depends on someone else. You can always fill the time with other things. But in order to get things done very well, you have to stay focused and shouldn’t try to get 20 things ready all at once. This is a lesson i recently learned. Don’t let your team procrastinate.
The adolescence. Sometimes you feel fear, sometimes you feel like a hero and bursted by euphoria and then you notice that you are still far away from achieving the well desired success. While going through these phases the most have to finish their school. All these heavy feelings accompanied by different things like the first relationship to another girl or boy, stress with parents and teachers, working together in projects with other pupils and so on. You fall and you stand up. And all these obligations from which you neither know what they are for in the future nor getting paid for them. And in the moments you think you know how life works, you just know nothing about it.
First-time entrepreneurs will go through all these phases again. Fall down, have to stand up, walk, wait and work their asses off and no – again they won’t be paid for it. But what they all should consider is that they all had these phases one time before and they are still alive and they already succeeded because they are in a position and have the mental power (or illness ) to be a first-time entrepreneur – again – but this time in life and in business. Keep your chin up.
Without budget it is hard to build up a complementary and hardworking team. But the power to grow a team is not the money, it is you.
People who work with you do it because they trust you. They are willing to do things for you as long as you show reliability. You have to lead, you have to be the rock. Three ways to be the rock they can rely on.
1. Be honest
Honesty is very important. Never lie to your team. I mean never. Do not make promisses from which you are not 100% convinced to fulfill. You can not afford this. If you lose one of the teammembers because he or she does not trust you anymore, others will follow him or her.
Imagination is the key to success. We follow our dreams and we want others to follow our dreams and make them come true too. It is very important not just to share your imaginations, your dreams and your visions. It is also important to know what your team thinks. You should ask your team: In which mood are they right now? Where do they see the startup in five years? What are they willing to do for this dream? Let them write it down and share the documents which each other. So everyone can read what every single one is thinking. Share and try to create a collective vision. It is crucial to work on the same dream. Only this way you can work on it together and it will be easier to make future decisions together.
3. Demand feedback
You read blogposts like this, you are hungry for information and want to improve your startup. So do not forget to demand feedback from your team. They observe what you do and sometimes they won’t like what they see. Ask them not only what you can do better (better meetings, better organization, better team-building events etc.), also ask them what they think the whole team could do better. It will strengthen your team-culture and ends up in a better productivity.
There are a lot of more important things to consider. Start with these three and than we will move on to the next ones.
In Germany there is a growing startup-scene. But what we are still missing here is venture capital. This is why we need more entrepreneurs who aim across the borders not just for their startup but also for themselves and the high potential of the German startup-scene.
So let us begin with me. From now on i will blog on philippzentner.de and also on philippzentner.com. Hello world – German entrepreneurs are coming!