The 4 Principles
1. Make it happen
This is our motto. Excuses are for losers; when we stop making excuses for ourselves we learn that challenges are just boundaries, not barriers. If I have to complete a specific task by noon, but I know my aunt is coming to visit around that time, then get it done by 11 AM. If I have to finish a task by a specific day, but the following day I said “I could not do it because…” Then you are missing the point. DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES. If you can not deliver because you don’t have the right tools or resources to do so, then either find a way to do it without those resources, or figure out a way to get them. You are not an intern, you are a startup founder, nobody owes you anything. You are self-employed. There is no excuse to doing nothing; that’s on you. Be three steps ahead. If something sudden happens, then talk to another team member and see if they can take over the assignment. Everything is time sensitive, everything is ASAP. We are a startup, and our success is measured in our ability to execute and gain traction.
2. Work hard, play hard
Notice work goes first, this is intentional. The order matters. You need to earn your fun, but you are expected to have fun and stay sane. If you are not having fun it is either because you are not working hard enough or you are working too hard. If you go out too much, or begin to neglect the company because you are not earning your fun, then it is our duty to call each other out. We are like an orchestra; if one person misses their cue, the whole song sounds like shit, not matter how hard and beautifully the other people are playing. Your part matters, and it could either make us better or shit all over us. To continue with that metaphor, we all have assigned instruments or talents, and if we can play in sync and have fun while doing it, then people will want to listen to us. This relates to our motto, play your notes, stay on track, smile, make it happen. We play hard too; we will go out, party, travel, we will get to do it all! But we need to earn it. You should feel physical pain if you are out having fun while your co-founders are busting their ass trying to pull the song together. Let's play a great fucking tune every day, then have a beer after (or more).
3. Love thy co-founder
We are a team, we will spend more time together than with our significant other and family, at least at this stage. The most important thing is to be honest, loving, and forgiving with each other. We are each other's support system. If we notice something off, we need to speak up and make sure we are being taken care of. Do not talk shit about each other, but rather to each other. There is nothing more toxic than being afraid of confrontation, because this leads to gossip and loss of confidence. This will destroy teams. If someone is dropping the ball, or is out of line, tell them. Do not tell your significant other, do not tell your friends, tell that person directly. Give that person a chance to respond and remedy the situation. You may be surprised to hear their version, or to know what they are struggling with. When you love each other, you have each other's back. When you love each other you want to know what is going on in their lives, and you want to help each other succeed.
4. Go the extra mile
You are not Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or even your high school geometry teacher. You are under qualified for your job, this is a fact. If your job is sales, then read up on sale strategies. If it's tech, then learn as much about it as you can. If you hate to read, then listen to podcasts, or watch youtube videos. Continue to learn and make yourself qualified for your position. Great founders understand this fact; they know they have to become their position. Just because your business card says CEO, it does not mean you are qualified to be one; understand that and you will be a great CEO, because you will work your way there. If all you do is the assignments you have been given, and you don’t focus on growing into your title, then you will be left behind. You will be replaced by someone who can execute and keep up with the orchestra. There is someone else out there who has read more than you, who had done more than you, and who has learned more than you. Work on yourself every day, replace bad habits with good ones that will make you a better CEO, CTO, CMO, C(whatever)O. Mediocrity is optional; bad reports, shitty customer service, sloppy code, poorly written emails, and fruitless meetings are all optional.