Over the years, I have listened to over 3000 funding pitches by entrepreneurs looking for us to help grow their business. During that time, what stood out clearly at each and every pitch was the people or person behind the idea. How they connected with each other, with us, how they conveyed their idea, their passion, their vision.
The pitches that stood out for us was the ones that had chemistry and that chemistry came from a team connecting with each other and working towards a common goal.
What also stood out for us, deafening in its absence, was the lack of a team. When a team in the midst of unresolvable conflict came to us or an inventor that wanted to go it alone and didn’t believe that a team was needed, no matter how magical the business idea itself was – we knew we had to walk away.
Being a solo act in starting up a company can be very lonely and while sometimes can feel like you are getting things done faster (as you don’t have to wait for anyone else) – it also doesn’t allow you the chance to bounce your ideas off others. Without having different perspectives or just plain support, results in your running fast and only looking up where you arrive only to find that you are not at quite the right destination you expected.
The flip side is true as well, getting partners for the sake of needing a time right now, and not spending the time to really see if you connect, will result in even a faster failure, as in reality you will be all alone but in a crowded room! So you won’t be able to make your own choices and more than likely your business wont develop until your partnerships are sorted and the risk is in the time it takes to face this and sort it out – your business might have run its course.
What is the key learning that is coming through in the quote above? For me, its that without a team that is connecting and working together your business will never reach its full potential.
The risk is that we only focus on the tangible challenges – the product, the website, the logo, the finances and so forth and we forget about the communication, the relationship, the environment and the dynamics in the team, we run the risk of failure.