At the turn of the millennium my brother setup a business selling tropical marine fish to aquarium hobbyists. He built up a reputation and wrote monthly columns in a popular aquarium keepers magazine.
He even went to a remote part of Indonesia to help research the sustainable farming of coral.
One day however, tragedy struck. There was a fire and the shop burnt down. He lost everything in an instant. After anguishing for sometime he decided, to our surprise, not to reopen the shop.
We asked why. It turns out that he just had enough. He had been running his business for over five years and he just didn’t have the energy to restart it all.
And this is one of the points that Martin Gerber the author of “The E-Myth”, highlights as one of the risks for entrepreneurs and their start-ups: They basically decide to make a living out of something that they love, but soon come to realise that they spend more time running the business than doing the things that they love. They work 6-7 days a week making it work, but losing out in life in general.
Yet, a very similar thing happens within organisations today. It’s very natural when it comes to promotions, that the best person in the team is promoted. However two things often happen when this is the case.
- The team’s weakened because the best person is now spending more time managing the team.
- The new team leader is now no longer doing what he loves.
Now add to that the usual start-ups saga in that they commonly fail after 1 or 1 ½ years.
NineAligned Scares Me!
Within NineAligned, we need to recognise that people work really hard on their Startup but also acknowledge that the start-up will probably fail or the successful owners will eventually want to do something new.
Yet within the typical start-up incubator or accelerator scene, when that happens the people simply move on and pursue new paths, usually outside of that incubator. At NineAligned, we’ve understood that this is the last thing we want. We’ve learned to recognise that it is knowledge, which is the most important thing for us and the people within NineAligned. If these people just leave all that knowledge and experience goes with them. So what we want to do is simple: Keep them. And this is where the role of NineAligned as a “Tribe” comes in to play. We want people to feel, for sure, attached to their idea and the start-up that they’re working in, but what we want them to feel part of NineAligned too.
By feeling part of NineAligned, they have great confidence in their work and so encourages people to share their knowledge, to show interest in other ideas, to help one another and to take risks, experiment, learn and share those experiences with others.
Yet if they don’t feel part of NineAligned they will simply leave.
So how do we position NineAligned as “The Tribe”?
People need to feel that they are part of something that is greater than their own start-up or indeed themselves. Something with so much potential that it could be so frightening that when we imagine how it could be, it scares the hell out of us.
That is NineAligned.
And that is surely inspiring and worth belonging to.