Business is personal. We all want to personally connect to the work we do. Many of our strongest drives—to create, to achieve, to relate, to make a difference—play out in the arena of work. The fact that business is personal is the very reason many of us choose to become entrepreneurs in the first place. It’s the reason employees leave large, impersonal companies to join new ventures. It allows us to connect our startup passion with people who share it or support it. Ap­proaches for connecting your passion are:

■ Personalize business. In building D1, J. C. Faulkner used ritu­als and practices to create a workplace that valued and high­lighted the personal nature of work. As an example, he paid for professionally photographed portraits of all headquarters

Employees’ children and loved ones, giving copies of the por­traits to each employee for their home use. In addition, every portrait was hung along a prominent hallway in the headquar­ters building, creating a mosaic of the faces most important to the hundreds of people who worked in the home office. It was a poignant reminder of why most of them came to work every day. This became a touchstone of the culture and added perspective and depth to interactions in the building.

■ Enhance your team’s alignment and readiness. Keep in mind that the principles of founder readiness apply not only to you, but to everyone else on your team as well. Bob Tucker, J. C. Faulkner’s business attorney, recalls J. C.’s awareness of this fact. “He once told me,” Bob says, “that he wanted the people on his management team to never have felt smarter, to never have felt more confident or more capable than they were in their D1 jobs. Anything and everything that could be done to achieve that outcome he wanted to do.”

■ Find “yourpeople.” This useful concept comes from Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation, who has built her thriving consulting, coaching, and writing practice by attract­ing people who share her passion and not losing sleep over people who don’t.16


Resources and Readings

Thanks to Internet search technology and social media interconnec­tivity, answers to most entrepreneurial questions can be found with a few clicks. I have attempted to list sources beyond the usual …

Startup Readiness Tool

This tool can be used to: ■ Evaluate and improve a founding team’s readiness to launch a business ■ Calibrate the timing of a startup effort (accelerate or delay) ■ …


The deepest form of entrepreneurial commitment acknowledges and accepts that there are forces in the marketplace that are beyond the founder’s control, forces that will impact the venture’s destiny for …

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