Author’s Note: This is a guest post by Glorelys Mora-Liz, the Social Media Marketing Manager for WiShi (Wear It Share It). WiShi helps people find value in their personal closets by letting users style one another with clothing items they already have. Mora-Liz will also be a guest on #IDEAchatCNY tonight at 6 PM and will be a panelist at Emerging Talk at Destiny USA on Friday, April 11th. After reading this post, I can’t wait to hear what he she has to say on #IDEAchatCNY and at #ETalk14.
We live in the information age where Millennials, especially, are privy to understanding new methods of making life much easier, enjoyable and tech enabling for others. Start-ups are in style and the trend will not be going away, rather there will be more funding aggregated towards these developing organizations. So, the question is: with so many job opportunities in the start-up sector, are you really fit and prepared to work at a start-up organization?
There are six necessary traits and characteristics that you will need in order to survive and be successful while working at a start-up (or starting your own). They are listed below:
- Self-Discipline: The beauty of working at a start-up is that the culture of the growing organization will not likely be that of a traditional corporate setting. Unlike Marissa Mayer, your boss is likely to allow you to work from home or telecommute from Hawaii. Allowing for this luxury can lead to many distractions, with this great power comes great responsibility and major self-discipline. You need to be able to follow your schedule and cross off to-do tasks daily rather than letting them pile up. Also, being on time to every meeting is a MUST as you may be missing important opportunities to leverage your company and misrepresenting your start-up, which will subsequently lead to a bad reputation.
- Entrepreneurial Mindset: If you work at a start-up, the company belongs to you as much as it belongs to the CEO. Once, you start thinking of the company as yours you will take the necessary risks and complete the important tasks that will take your start-up to the next level. Formulating innovative ideas and strategies to grow your start-up is important. Every member of the organization plays an important role in the success of the company and every member must take ownership. Working at a start-up is a risk in itself that only people with the entrepreneurial mindset will be able to understand. There are only two fates of a start-up organization; people with the entrepreneurship mentality know the proper risks to take and which risks will payoff.
- Ability to Give and Take Constructive Criticism: There will be bugs, there will be errors and there will be a lot of product development. You must be brutally honest if you want to achieve success. The same goes vice versa; you will make mistakes, you will be wrong, and you will grow. There is not a lot of room for sensitivity in the business. The start-up industry is for those with tough skin because many situations and people will try to break it. You must be strong.
- Ability to Wear Multiple Hats: Yes, even if fashion is not your forte, you better like wearing multiple hats. Some people may view this as a burden, but it really is an honor. Having the ability to use your special skills across different departments in your company actually gives you a competitive edge. If your company does not take off right away, at least you are prepared to work in any industry rather than just having one skill-set with limited options. And, the total opposite can happen: your start-up might have a huge ROI and you will be compensated for your ability to work across multiple departments.
- Passion and Faith: With the help of funding, some companies are able to compensate you, some very handsomely and others not too well. Bills need to be paid, but if you are working at a start-up just for the money, then it simply isn’t the place for you. You will have to put in many hours, while possessing passion and faith in your organization. You can easily tell the difference between someone who is only working their job for the payout versus someone that believes in the mission and slogan of the company they work for.
- Positive Team-Building Attitude: Your staff will become your crew and in most cases your friends. You spend so much time together and no one wants to be around a sour apple or a Debbie downer. Working at a start-up is supposed to be fun so your attitude will have to match the environment. You need to be a team player. The start-up team is as strong as their weakest player. You have to learn to build and grow together and are responsible enough because your team members will often rely on you.
Before working at a start-up do your research. Is the company really creating something or filling a need that you think is vital? Does the company’s mission align with your own personal beliefs? Do you like the idea of telecommuting and making your own hours? Are you really disciplined enough to be relied on?
Personally, when I first started working at my start-up organization, WiShi, I had no idea what the outcome would be; I took a risk. I decided that I loved the idea of creating my own schedule, working from wherever I wished in the world, and having free-range to do as I wished in my department. Before I knew it, I was wearing multiple hats while developing skills I did not even know I possessed such as: copywriting, product development, coding, public speaking, fashion styling, and more! Furthermore, I really believed in the company’s mission and goals: to rid people of their ‘nothing to wear days’ and help people find value in their personal closets. For over a year, I have dedicated most of my energy and time to the growth of this organization and I know that all of my hard work will pay off.
Working at a start-up is not for everyone but if you believe that you have what it takes, I strongly suggest embarking on the untraditional path to success. You will learn more and evolve more by working with a growing start-up than you will by working in a corporate environment where you are just another person. If you have any questions about my post-grad experience or about how working at a start-up has impacted my life and career, please feel free to reach out to me anytime at:firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow your heart and passion!