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Two professors of the Illinois university, Albert Shapiro and Lisa Sokol in their article “The Social Dimensions of Entrepreneurship” describe an entrepreneur as a person with characteristics such as initiative-taking, consolidation of resources, management, relative autonomy, and risk-taking.
In addition to those characteristics, in my opinion an entrepreneur is basically a status quo challenger. In other words, an entrepreneur is a creative person who does not like the world as it is and tries to figure out a way to make it even a little bit better.
In a startup proper coordination among team members is vital. But nobody expect a rookie entrepreneur who has got an idea and gathered few of her/his friends around, to be the perfect human resources manager. Learning team management is not a prerequisite for becoming an entrepreneur. Experience is the best trainer and along the way, successes and failures will give you the best education.
A startup team member should have these personality traits:
- On time
- Be able to say No
- Avoid premature judgments about colleagues
- Be able to accept her/his share of failures
- Goal-oriented, focused and serious
Bringing people on board to do something with a high level of uncertainty is not that easy. And not everybody can work in such condition. It appears that becoming an entrepreneur needs those personality traits more than expertise.
As a startup founder if you want to know your team members better, ask 2 important questions:
1. To be able to continue our work, we need money. Who wants to help?
If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get any idea of that house at all. You would have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost a lots of money.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!” ~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
When someone spend or invest money on something, she is going to take it serious and will do her best to make it better. If despite having enough money she would not like to contribute, you can assume her intention to join your startup is internship rather than entrepreneurship.
2. When we started to generated income, how should we spend it?
A team member’s response to this question clarifies her level of hope and optimism about the future. A person, who thinks she should get salary at the beginning of income generation is probably better off to work in a big established company rather than a startup.
Startups teams are small. So you, The Prince (startup founder) should do whatever you can to protect and grow your flower (startup).
What do you think? How a startup founder can find the perfect team members?