Sunday, July 26, 2015

The need to adequately build, lead and involve a team to participate and help in the mission

I’ve just had one these overly drawn-out, ultra-realistic and vivid dreams from which I believe a lesson can be drawn.
I know that the realism of it will soon dissipate and I won’t remember much about it, if anything.
We all have these dreams from time to time that seem more real than life when we first wake up, but that we can barely recall a few hours later.
I find the phenomenon certainly interesting.
So as an experiment, I’ve decided to capture it while it is fresh in my mind and while it is still having a strong impression on my psyche.
I suspect I’ll feel pretty stupid after the fact for having written about it, as it will have been just a dream after all; but that’s why it is an experiment, I suppose. At first, I considered saving it as a personal document on my computer, as it felt a little too weird to write a blog post about a dream, but for better or worse, I decided to go with the blog post.
I’ll keep the narrative to its minimum and strip off the extraneous details so hopefully the post doesn’t come across as conceited.
The essence of the dream — which borderlines on a nightmare, actually — is that I had proven to be competent at managing an existing large restaurant, and was then compelled to open my own.
In the typical way in which dreams are often disjointed, the next scene jumps to opening night, in which there were hundreds and hundreds of customers; probably well over a thousand, sitting at tables — row after row of them — in a sprawling outdoor, somewhat idyllic setting (and strangely, they were mostly wearing dark clothes!? Go figure…).
The problem is that there were too few staff to help me, and those that were presumably working were largely standing there, feeling disaffected with my lack of leadership, and so I was mostly going at it solo.
As good as I had thought I was, I clearly had blind spots.
It gets more colorful than that, but I'll cut it short here. The obvious takeaway I see is I had failed to adequately build, lead and involve a team to participate and help in the mission.
As much as I was convinced that I could pull it off on my own, I needed help.
I’m sure that a therapist could have a field day trying to analyze (or over-analyze) this, but to me, while the dream is still impinging and before its effects dissipate into the ether for good, I can say that its interesting side effect is to have driven home the fact that doing a startup and going at it alone is a recipe for failure.
It has somehow made that even more clear to me, which is something I need to “chew on”, being that I’m a solo founder.
At the same time, I’m all too aware that getting a co-founder is akin to getting married in some ways, and that you have to find the right person; and I’m committed to go at it alone unless I find that individual in a “natural setting”, at the right time.
As well, I’m looking at bootstrapping rather than raising money, and so assembling a team with only the cash flow generated by a nascent company is tricky — and that certainly is an understatement.
Nonetheless, and as absurd as it may sound, this dream has brought these considerations to the forefront of my stream of counciousness.
Dream or no dream, the sooner one comes to truly appreciate the importance of creating a team and a culture, the better off they’ll be, IMOHO.
You’re nothing without a team.
That’s clear to me now in a way that it wasn’t before.
It’s as if I had learned it the hard way, but the experience came from a dream, interesting…

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