For those of you that have been following along for quite some time, you’ll know that I work with both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs to help them find alignment, fulfillment, and happiness at work. When intrapreneurs are considering a journey into entrepreneurship, the most common question I hear is, “Am I really cut out to be a founder?”
Today I’m sharing my take on that question, as well as the five things I believe you need in order to be a kick-ass founder.
All of us have the ability to get on the court with our unique form of brilliance and share it with the world —but, real talk, the journey to entrepreneurship is easier for some than others. Many of the women that I work with say that a lack of access to capital is a major hurdle for them. According to Crunchbase, in 2019, 2.8% of VC funding went to women-led startups; in 2020, that fell to 2.3%. Women, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folks aren’t getting access to capital in the way their cis-het male counterparts are, which is a major stumbling block. There can be higher barriers to entry for certain founders.
One of the most important pieces of being a founder is surrounding yourself with folks who can fill in the gaps for you. We each have areas where we are inherently great, and we each have areas where we’re not so great— and I say that from a space of compassion, not judgement. Being a successful founder means knowing your strengths and weaknesses and building your team to support you in the areas where you need it most.
I truly believe that everyone can be a founder. Here are my five must-haves to thrive in the role:
- Boundaries: I love and live by the quote from Prentis Hemphill, "Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously."
- Clarity around your purpose: Ideally, as a founder, you’re working in the business that is a reflection of your purpose. I believe that the great work of our lives exists at the intersection of: where our gifts are, what we value, what brings us joy, what we want to impact, and what we need to bring it all to life.
- Know your brilliance: As I shared earlier, I believe we all have a unique form of brilliance that we came to share with the world. As founders and leaders, we need to be abundantly clear on ours and be ready to unearth it in others as well.
A clear vision for your company: Vision doesn’t mean that you are committed to one direction, rather, it’s a strategic path forward that has room and space for agility (see my next point!).
- Agility: This has served me the most, particularly in the current moment we’re in. As leaders and founders, many of us have had to quickly change direction. Business conditions change, markets change, our people change, the world changes and we need to be prepared to respond to that and move with it.
Take a look at this list. Where are your checkmarks and where are your missing links? If you'd like to explore what entrepreneurship might look like for you, hop on over here and schedule a clarity call.