I've been thinking a lot about this lately, what makes a successful start up team?  I'm not sure "start up employee" is the best term.  Entrepreneurs generally cringe at the thought of being an employee.  But, we all need to *work* in and on our businesses.  Most entrepreneurs would agree that starting a business by oneself is a daunting task.  We often suffer from the Lone Wolf Syndrome, as our resident EOK psychiatrist Dr. Scott would say.  But all the experts always tell us that we need to build a talented team of individuals, each with complimentary skills, to make a successful start up. 

That always puzzled me.  All the entrepreneurs I know all have their own projects they want to turn into the next big thing.  How do you find the right talent AND convince them to drop what they are doing to join your crazy idea?  That's where I've been coming to the realization of the importance of start up employees.  Start up employees ARE entrepreneurs, they are not regular work-a-day people.  They understand the complexities of boot-strapping, valuations, stock options, no revenue, heck... no salary!

I know when Jonathan Patrick approached me about GoGrabLunch.com, I was a little weary at the first conversation.  I heard it before, "Frank, I got this great idea, if only you can build it for free for part of the business."  That's usually not how to get me excited about a project.  But Jonathan made the case for a very brilliant idea, and more importantly, the idea came with a team and an action plan.  Something clicked, I guess, and off we were running.

For me as an entrepreneur, I think the thrill of the start up far out weighs whether the idea was originally mine or not.  I know the EOK has numerous talented people with great ideas just waiting to be built into something wonderful.  I challenge us all to think about being a team member to some of these ideas.  The EOK can produce awesome new businesses, create jobs, and get our faces on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine.  I can attest that contributing my part in a start up is just as gratifying, if not more, than trying to do it all myself.  Lone wolves are tenacious, but it's the pack that devours the kill.



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Comment by Frank Podlaha on April 28, 2011 at 9:12am
"Speed Dating" to find start up partners in Atlanta. http://dating.startatlanta.org  Interesting concept, perhaps we need to facilitate one in Knoxville?
Comment by Walter Lounsbery on April 26, 2011 at 4:00pm
I hear the baying of the hounds behind me...time to bring out the key member of my team, Mr. Walt Mossberg 12 gauge! :-)  Don't bring wolves to a shotgun fight, I always say.


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