Support for Founders

Photo by Joshua Harris on Unsplash

I love business ideas. I love hearing about them, creating them, researching them, helping others refine them, and rolling up my sleeves to participate.

Ideation is a strength.

Ideation is also a threat to my focus and commitment.

Miscommunication compounds the issue.

I have created personal ground rules to keep my appetite in check to avoid past mistakes. Early into conversation with founders and entrepreneurs, I try to clarify their expectations from me. I enjoy helping, but we both need alignment on where I fit best.

There are three roles I can play, and my activity differs based on what they want:

  • Friend
  • Advisor
  • Participant

Friend.

I’ll cheer when I see wins. Buy drinks when you’ve had a rough day. Endlessly talk shop and bail you out of jail when I get the call.

I will not tell you what to do, and I’ll probably fall off the grid from time to time.

I have room for a lot of friends.

Advisor.

I will host whiteboard sessions, make intros, share insights, or do whatever you need. I am prepared for your idea to occupy regular space in my brain. You can count on me to hold you accountable, creatively problem-solve with you, and check in from time to time.

I will assert strong opinions and push you to think differently.

I have less room to advise but have yet to run out.

Participant.

I am in the trenches with you. I’m helping drive the idea forward, logging regular hours for the project, and using my superpowers wherever adds value.

When I participate, I have high standards. Whether I am paid as part of the team or a freelancer, I bring my A-game.

I have one speed: fast.

Each year I participate in fewer things but push harder to make them better and more successful.

Conclusion

Friend, Advisor, or Participant. What do you need?

I can be any of the three, but let’s align our expectations.

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CTO at Fast Company’s World Most Innovative Company (x4). Author of “Code School”, a book to help more people transition into tech.

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Morgan J. Lopes

Morgan J. Lopes

CTO at Fast Company’s World Most Innovative Company (x4). Author of “Code School”, a book to help more people transition into tech.

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