Only those who are very, very sure that they WANT to co-create and lead a start-up. BUT will not start one themselves EITHER because they’ve realized that they don’t have the spectrum of skills to make it possible alone. OR because they cannot take the extreme risk of being at Rs Zero salary and investing the kick-start capital themselves.
We’re at pains to always underline that apart from the romance and excitement of start-ups (which is true) there are other dimensions of what it means to really co-create and/or lead a start-up.
It means you should be fine with a pay substantially-lower than corporate levels. You’ll get enough to allow you to live comfortably without depleting your savings. But you’ll not be able to afford a lifestyle that can be enabled only by a corporate CXO salary.
You cannot have major financial liabilities (sole responsibility for a family, significant EMIs…) which compel you to keep earning at your current salary level. This means you should be fine with an uncertainty about any increase in income for at least 24 months.
You should be able to re-locate and move to Goa. Not forever, but at least for the foreseeable future.
You’ll need the drive and motivation to spend long working hours (including some weekends) or occasionally be on business trips for a week at a stretch. And sometimes forgo the luxury of a vacation.
The only person who should join us is the one who fiercely WANTS to be an entrepreneur. And believes that Prototyze can enable entrepreneurial success that he may not have been able to achieve on his own.
- COMPETENCE at his or her designated role is the first quality we look for in a leader.
- A critical ingredient is CHARACTER: Does a prospective leader naturally resonate with the mission, values and culture of the organization?
- Another is COMMITMENT: Are they willing to sacrifice significantly in terms of their time and their optimal earning capacity to co-create a success venture?
- Ability to remain committed is also a function of BEING AT THE RIGHT LIFE-STAGE. We always try to check if prospective leaders understand the following:
- Do you have Energy? Prototyze is a high-performance, high-expectation, high-sacrifice (both personal and professional) setup, like every digital economy company that hopes to succeed.
- Do you have emotional resilience? The expectation of performance will ratchet-up with every passing week and month. You cannot afford to float by or rest on your previous achievements or reputation. Also, high-energy, high-intensity environments create friction and confrontation and force you to perform out of your comfort zone. So you must be willing to soak in pressure. And occasionally get a dressing-down (perhaps even in front of a group) if you stumble.
- Do you have risk-taking ability? Startups need to extract the maximum out of an individual, with minimal current compensation and no guarantee of rewards in the future.
- Do you have mental bandwidth? You must have the mental clarity to contribute on multiple fronts and be able to multi-task and switch context without damaging your brain or your health.
- Is your personal life stable? Your personal world should be solid so that it can survive the significant demands that entrepreneurship makes on the family. And if you are single, then be prepared for your personal life to be temporarily held to ransom. This is not the right life-stage to coast.