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From Strangers to Squad: 5 Steps to Building a Startup Team

Building a strong startup team can be a daunting task. But fear not, dear entrepreneur, for I have compiled a list of do's and don'ts to help you navigate the murky waters of team-building.


  1. Hire people who are more intelligent than you. It may be tempting to surround yourself with people who you feel you can easily manage and control, but this approach will only limit your team's potential. Instead, seek out individuals who challenge you and bring unique perspectives. For example, if you're a tech-savvy founder looking to build a strong marketing team, consider hiring a creative genius with a different background and skill set.

  2. Embrace conflict. While it may be uncomfortable, healthy conflict is essential for a strong team. Encourage open and honest communication, and don't shy away from debates or disagreements. By working through conflicts together, you'll strengthen relationships and develop better solutions in the long run.

  3. Don't be afraid to pivot. Sometimes, a team member who seems like a perfect fit on paper needs to be fixed. It's important to recognize when something isn't working and make the necessary changes, even if it means letting someone go. For example, if you've hired someone to handle your social media who can't seem to connect with your audience, it may be time to re-evaluate and make a change.

  4. Look for passion, not just skills. While skills and experience are essential, they're not the only things that matter. Look for team members who are passionate about your mission and genuinely believe in your actions. Passionate employees will go above and beyond to help your startup succeed.

  5. Create a culture of learning. A successful startup is constantly evolving and improving. Encourage your team members to take risks, try new things, and celebrate successes and failures as learning opportunities.


  1. Don't hire based solely on culture fit. While having a cohesive team is essential, hiring only for culture fit can lead to a lack of diversity and innovation. Instead, focus on building a team with a range of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills.

  2. Don't micromanage. As a founder, wanting to control every aspect of your startup can be tempting. But micromanaging your team will only stifle creativity and limit your team's potential. Trust your team members to do their jobs and allow them to take risks and make mistakes.

  3. Don't ignore warning signs. If a team member is consistently missing deadlines, causing conflict, or exhibiting other negative behaviors, it's important to address the issue head-on. Ignoring warning signs can lead to more significant problems down the line.

  4. Don't assume everyone is on the same page. Communication is critical to a strong team. Don't assume that everyone knows what's going on or understands the goals and vision of the startup. Take the time to communicate clearly and often, and encourage feedback and questions.

  5. Don't forget to celebrate successes. Building a startup is hard work, and it's important to take the time to celebrate successes along the way. Acknowledging and celebrating successes will help keep your team motivated and engaged, whether it's a significant milestone or a small victory.

So there you have it, dear entrepreneur. Follow these do's and don'ts to build a strong and successful startup team, and remember to have fun along the way!

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