4 Essential Rules for Staying a Startup Forever

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Published on Jan. 06, 2015
4 Essential Rules for Staying a Startup Forever


Building a successful start-up demands energy, time, and a lot of passion.

Entrepreneurs have to work long weeks, pinch pennies, and never give up if they want their business to grow.


A lot can change between a company’s one-year anniversary and their twentieth, but the entrepreneurial spirit should never be forgotten… The best companies infuse this attitude into their company culture, ensuring they see rapid growth decades after their first year. 


1. Hire employees with personalities… and don’t ask them to change. A start-up’s first few years always demand long hours, so find people who will make it fun.

When employees have fun doing their jobs, they are more engaged and ready to produce.

These employees also shape the company culture early on, so make sure they are invested in the company’s mission and values.

As the company grows, remember the importance of hiring people with personalities, and don’t fall into the trap of hiring fast because you need bodies in seats.

Surround yourself with diverse opinions and unique backgrounds, guaranteeing the company has new ideas and fresh perspectives… when the company is 1 year old and 25 years old.


2. Hire slow, fire fast. When starting a business, entrepreneurs are usually careful who they choose to work with because their life’s savings are on the line.

As the business grows, however, they often become less selective and hire fast to fill new roles. This can lead to hasty hiring decisions and poor employee performance… but because they need staff to grow, they tolerate it.

Companies need to invest time and energy into finding people who can produce and who will fit. Have each candidate meet with 4-5 people at the company. If several employees have concerns, chances are the candidate won’t be a fit.

If a bad hire does slip through the cracks, don’t be afraid to let them go, and fast: their impact on company culture and productivity is significant, and can hurt the company’s growth.


3. Get excited about everything…small or big. No matter how much a company grows, every sale and every meeting is still as important as the first. Take nothing for granted.

Celebrate every accomplishment… employees should be as thrilled about a $1000 sale as they are about a $100,000 sale.

Get excited for coworkers’ successes, major or minor, and then push them to do better. Never use the word “just.” Nobody should be “just a small client” and nothing should be treated as “just a minor project.” Everything matters.


4. Run. Literally. Run to get the phone when clients call, run to get things off the printer, have a sense of urgency. Teach employees to value their time and their clients’ time.



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