Your startup is your tribe.
You spend more time with them than you do with your family (#sorrymom). There are shared lunches and late hours and at certain points, you all wear every single hat. Because when you’re working to build something together, you switch hats, pants, shoes; the words “I can’t do that,” are not part of your vocabulary. In many ways each of you is the "ideal worker"-- something that gender and labor scholars have identified as the person who shows up early, leaves late, never says no, never gets sick, answers emails morning, noon, night, weekends, makes every meeting, is a go-getter, ad infinitum. These are employees who work hard and challenge themselves on a daily basis. In a dream world, every team member of your start-up is that person.
Here on earth however, there are specific people that fit better into certain roles and make the squad function like a well-oiled machine.
Often the CEO. They think big and small, they see far ahead but also catch the tiniest of details right in the moment; the little things you would never even notice. Nothing gets past them, but it's because the Visionary knows how they want to see their vision executed. Thinking outside-the-box is one part of their supernatural abilities. They are highly-functional, fast-paced, and fastidious. "The ways in which people consume everything," says Jaclyn Johnson, Founder and CEO, "has changed significantly. So if we are not evolving, we are not doing our job. We want to help advance the new creators, the thinkers, the other dreamers. And we've only just begun. We don't want to create a pipeline of new workers, we want to burst open the whole channel and see what happens."
The Closer has perseverance and structure like you wouldn’t believe and solutions to any problem. In part it's because they’ve "been, there, done that"— and bring experience from many industries to the table. They know how to work a conversation to their advantage. They are great at team management and turning ideas into action items— especially at executing the vision of the dreamer. Bess Wyrick, Senior Events Producer at Create & Cultivate is our Closer. "It's just not an option," says Bess, "to not get it done. And if you have that attitude at work, don't expect to go very far. You take an idea, or you have an idea, and you make it happen. If it doesn't look or feel right, you do it again. We've nixed entire concepts day-of the conference because it wasn't perfect. I mean, look, there's no wrong way to enjoy a glass of wine, but there is always a smarter way."
Part social butterfly part go-getter. The unicorn of the the bunch is known for making magic, and doing it with pep and a smile. Hope Evans, Accounts Director. is as gregarious and unicorn-like as workers come. From meeting with clients to working with talent, she's the ultimate team player. Because part of that sociable charm is the inherent caregiver— keeping team morale up even as stress rises. "It's not magic," says Hope, "it's about chemistry, about making a room feel at ease by making every person feel taken care of-- from talent, to speakers, to sponsors, to everyone who has purchase a ticket. If you treat everyone as an individual, your company will standout as a whole. Especially day of the conference, it's a runaway train that you just have to ride, and make sure everyone is riding along with you. No one falls off this train. No one."
THE NO-NONSENSE TYPE
Follow-through is one of the main traits of the no-nonsense employee. Enthusiastic but firm, the no-nonsense type is a bit like sandpaper— firm, tough, but smooths out anything. For C&C that’s Steph Chang, Director of Events. She’s a nose-to-the-grindstone, no-nonsense worker that will always be crystal clear on what she needs-- especially if she doesn't like the way you're doing something. "When you're planning events you are dealing with so many vendors, sponsors, the venue, parking, food, people, everything-- everything where you can't see the work, a ton of work went into it. So you have to be firm, tenacious, get everything in writing. If you miss one detail, Rome topples. And we've already learned that lesson. From big picture, to the nitty-gritty, nothing is falling apart on my watch, even if it means a sternly worded convo, or two."
You know the person. They're always saying yes. They are there to talk out an idea with you, jump in, give you their thoughts, and share their best ideas-- all the while grinding out what's on their own plate. The Heart sticks on brand and is less concerned with credit than with crafting the right message. At times our Heart, Director of Social Media, Priscilla Castro is a headphones on and head down worker. But tap her shoulder and she's right there with you. "A startup like ours is about the collective, so even though my job revolves around spreading the word, it's important that everyone else on the team is on message as well. Which, yes, means breaking from my to-do list and jumping in where I'm needed."
A bit of a worker bee that’s self-motivated, the Pistol is a straight-shooter that fires off ideas, and gets work done at the same speed. The Pistol doesn’t wait for ideas to come to them, nor do they second-guess themselves. Editorial Director, Arianna Schioldager says, "We don't take what we're doing lightly, and the idea that our conferences and content are encouraging young entrepreneurs to take major leaps fuels our days and nights, but that responsibility means we have to always be innovating. Always providing the best. That means tons of ideas. Plenty of which get thrown out. But you have to keep shooting, and shooting straight or we lose the trust of our audience and attendees. We shoot the moon every single day, and even though this makes for tough moments, no one ever said landing the moon was easy."