The Team Behind You

Well – I’ve been meaning to get my blog up and running for most of 2011, but I didn’t. So I determined to get back to writing in 2012.

I decided to dedicate my first blog post to the importance of team in starting a company. There are a lot of great posts about building your actual startup team, picking a co-founder, etc. But I really want to focus on the importance of having a team around you – OUTSIDE the company.

The team inside the company is responsible for the day-to-day execution.  This broader team is mission critical to making it happen.  My inspiration for this post is none other than my wife Marcia, who is my inspiration for many things. I’ve come to realize how much work it is for everyone around an entrepreneur to keep that startup fiend on track and sane (let alone themselves).

My view of what you need on your “team”:

-        People who will help – friends, family, loved ones that will step it up for you and lend a hand – whether that’s sorting tee shirts, picking you up when you’re down, being part of your friends and family round, or just being a shoulder to lean on when you need it.

-        People who will push – people around you to push you to be better, to try harder, to care more, to challenge your thinking.

-        People who are smarter than you – surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Learn from them.

-        People who tell it like it is – no sugar coating or as my TechStars friends Brad Feld, Bart Lorang and others have been posting about – no grinfucking!

-        People who make it fun – starting and building a company is really hard work, but it’s also amazingly fun. Make sure people around you can help keep it fun for you, whatever that might be.

-        Community – I’ll write about this more in my next post as I write my now 6 month overdue post about my TechStars Boulder 2011 experience… but in the meantime. Community matters. A lot. Be someplace supportive with others around you doing awesome stuff and you’ll have a really big team rooting for you, helping you, pushing you, and making you better.

This concept of team is one I think about a lot – I hope to explore an expanded definition of team in startups in the coming months. Look forward to feedback and your thoughts on what makes the bigger team around you!

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