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Rules of Engagement, Creators Lounge & It’s Your Silent Birthright

Weekly eNews Blog: October 23, 2017

 

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October 23, 2017 0 comments

Are You Ready For War?

Probably not.  Chances are that most founders and future-founders would high-tail in the opposite direction if ever to encounter a war zone.

Despite its fun and excitement, entrepreneurship is like a never-ending war in which we wage everyday battles for a wide variety of small and large wins.  We fight for funding, market penetration, visibility, customers, recognition, differentiation, a timely delivered and well functioning MVP, and strong network of like-minded supporters.  The list goes on and on.

So this week, we’re wondering, what are the best war strategies for thriving as an entrepreneur?

A long time ago in a land not-so-far-away, Niccolo Machiavelli penned a lesser known meditation on the Art of War.  While he lays down 27 general rules of engagement, one in particular stands out: “Never lead your soldiers into an engagement unless you are assured of their courage, know they are without fear, and are organized, and never make an attempt unless you see they hope for victory.

Implicit in Machiavelli’s warning is sage advice for ensuring your team– your army– is equally prepared against the onslaught of entrepreneurship and exponential growth.

What are your rules of engagement?  We took the time to detail a few of ours:

Rule No. 1:   This is a space for meaningful experiences.  The work will be tough, thankless, and at times, downright discouraging.  So we will make time for moments of meaning. Because we believe these constant reminders are the key to sustained engagement and motivation.

Rule No. 2: Ownership is horizontal, not vertical.  Our culture is flat and we value the contributions of all team members.  We strive to be an Army of One (aptly borrowed from the US military). The relative success or failure of our endeavours depends on universal buy-in at 100 %. No exceptions.

Rule No. 3: Be humble.  Ask for the help you need whenever you need it.  We can’t be honest about enhancing collaboration if we don’t practice what we preach.

Rule No. 4: Experiment, experiment, experiment and then experiment some more.  We view our workspace as lab because we know that creativity and experimentation is what keeps the wheels of innovation turning.  Recognizing that while we may not be able experiment with all aspects of this operation, it’s perfect reasonable to allocate a safe zone to try new things.

Rule No. 5. We are passionate about this work.  We are bullish on idealism and a vision for the growth of this community that is not yet visible or commonly-held.   If you are not, then this probably is not the best place for you.

Rule No. 6:  Metrics matter, but the people we impact matter more.  Innovation is about more than numbers; it’s about improving the human condition in big ways and in small ways.

Rule No. 7: Trust is everything.  And trust, we believe, is premised on radical transparency, authenticity in our interactions internally and externally, and honesty about fears, failures, and accomplishments.

Rule No. 8: Respite, rest, and reflect are necessities, not luxuries.  Why? Because tone and energy are on par with work product and results.  Neither is more important.  So let’s be mindful of how we affect the environment and people around us.

Rule No. 9:  R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  ’nuff said.

Rule No. 10: Pride doesn’t actually come before the fall.  The moment we stop being proud of our work, or less inclined to share our good deeds with friends, family and acquaintances, it’s time to re-calibrate.

Cheers,

Venture Cafe Miami

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