How to set a company culture for your early-stage startup
The Six Percent Entrepreneur
How to set a company culture for your early-stage startup
May 2, 2021
In this episode, we talk about a different point of view on building a company culture for an early-stage startup.
Here's what you need to know about building a company culture for your early-stage startup. And when we think about company culture, a lot of times, we might think about team-building exercises, etcetera. However, when I think about company culture, it really comes down to the values of the organization, and here's how you build a company culture. 

You need a purpose, so your "why", you need a mission, which is the goal that you're going to get to and you need a set of values that everyone can vibe around. And these set of values, this comes from the founder, it's whatever the founder deems is important. So when we think about values, let's say that a founder values, timeliness, rigidity, everything works like clockwork and this is like a very suit and tie type of environment. And that's okay. When this founder sets up this type of environment, he's going to attract customers that value that he's going to attract employees that value that. 

So if there is a person that doesn't value those things, let's say that they're on the opposite side of the spectrum, right? Instead of rigidity, they value flexibility. They value creativity. They value all these other things. Someone like that is not going to thrive in a culture that values the things that this person doesn't value. So as a founder is really important for you to sit down and write down what are your values. What do you value the most and share these values with anyone that you hire or anyone that you even work with because your team, your vendors, your customers, they should share the same values as you do. And this is what's going to keep you happy. And these values are what holds the culture together. 

So for me in my company, my values are one, brutal honesty. Two, team his family. Three, build things and play and four, yo hago lo que me de la gana, which in Spanish means I do what I want. So in other words it just means freedom was very freedom-oriented. And whenever I interview with really anyone, whether it's a partner, vendor, new teammate, a client, I do this with clients as well. We try to see how we can actually get along. 

Oh, I will tell you that my business manager doesn't have the same values as I do. But that's on purpose because my business manager helps me, helps keep me in check. So my business manager does value rigidity and timeliness and all this stuff, which is awesome because you do need people like that in the organization. But at the same time, my business manager understands my values and the way he works with me is he caters to my values and this is something that he's comfortable with and that he's open to doing because we talked about it in the beginning, we talked about what the company culture here is like. 

So you set a company culture around a set of values. You want to write down your set of values and make sure that anyone that you work with knows what these values are and then you have to start with your y your purpose and your mission where you're actually going. So your purpose, your why, this helps tell the story on why you do what you do. For me, of all the things that I've done in terms of like building startups and my life experiences in terms of being a natural-born entrepreneur and having risk-averse immigrant parents that took me away from entrepreneurship. There's a lot of people that share in this similar story and this is kind of like my why. Because I feel like I built a time machine where I know how to build these ventures now and I'm going back in the past and I'm helping other people not make the same mistakes that I do and I'm helping them avoid the pitfalls, so they don't crash and burn, they don't go into bankruptcy and they don't go into debt. 

So that's my purpose. That's my why. And a lot of people can rally around that and then my mission. So I've shared my goals on this podcast before. My mission is to help 35 startups, be able to get a paying customer without having to rely on venture capital investors, pitch decks, or business plans. I'm on a mission to help make founders happy instead of making venture capital is happy. I want to make the founder happy and I have a purpose. I have a mission. I share my values and this is how we build a company culture and people that come into the company culture, they like this, right? 

So my friend and my teammate Ana, she understands these values and she knows that every single client that we work with what we're actually doing, she feels the impact of it and it makes her feel good. It makes her feel like she's actually doing something in the company. And we try to also take care of her in terms of bonuses and compensation. So she can really feel like this is part of her company and that's how we set a company culture. You do it around a set of values and you have a purpose and a mission and you share this with your staff, your teammates with your clients, with your customers. And this is what will set the culture of your company and it all starts with the founder what the founder values. So sit down right now, pull out a piece of paper, write down four things that you value. Just start with that, write down four things that you value, and let that brainstorming process start. Happy building. This is Robin Copernicus boom bam. I'm out. 

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