Some key takeaways from a decade of building long term relationships with founding teams and early stage investors. This is not exhaustive but a good basis to help build longterm professional relationships.

Here we go…

Takeaway 1 – Be clear and honesty from the outset

  • Selling a dream and failing to deliver sucks. Don’t over egg it. By all means be ambitious (I am) but be credible. Define the gates of success in the short, medium and longer term.
  • Be sure to understand your co-founder and investors vision for the startup and be happy and comfortable with the direction of all involved. Consensus is the key.
  • Understand your roles and responsibility clearly. Write it down. Don’t be afraid to return to it and modify it as a core team.

Takeaway 2 – Be prepared to give

  • Relationships (especially in business) are about giving as well as taking. Pay it forward and give your time. It will come back in ways that you do not realise.
  • Be consistent, set expectations and stick to them. Do not be that unpredictable person, be clear with what you can give and can’t give.

Takeaway 3 – Listen and communicate clearly

  • Everyone is different. The roles we take up when founding a business are varied and ever changing. There are going to be times where you just don’t understand a co-founder or investor. Their behaviour may create immense frustration and even resentment. Listen to that and…
  • Try your best to communicate your frustrations clearly and in turn try to understand your counterpart; how they operate, their role and their current state of mind. Reach out, be clear and go that extra distance for the relationship and business.
  • Where possible provide solutions rather than just problems (age old).

Takeaway 4 – Be visible

  • Be seen by your investors, founding partners and wider team. Sometimes it is very easy just to crack on in your own world, but these people have invested in you and need to see how you are getting on. Set up feedback sessions, reporting documentation and be proactive.

Takeaway 5 – Check yourself

  • One thing I do often is to self assess. How am I succeeding in my role? Am I holding up my end of the bargain? How can I improve? We have a 360 feedback process in MOHARA and it is part of my self assessment. Be curious, ask questions.
  • Be respectful.

As I say, this is not exhaustive and will no doubt evolve as we grow MOHARA and I as an individual and business leader.