Pressure is defined as a continuous force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it. Something we’ve observed, if not often openly stated…
The founders and leaders in our startup community are under an immense amount of pressure.
And pressure can do two things:
- Pressure can prove to be too much for an individual to shoulder alone (bursts pipes).
- Pressure can reveal opportunities for people to demonstrate their potential (makes diamonds).
Notice the difference between the two. Negative pressure pushes us away from community while positive pressure draws us into it. There is no doubt that individual effort is an important factor in success, but only as it relates to outcomes that positively impact a team.
Our founders need support networks that allow the pressure they face to produce diamonds!
What does that look like?
- Peers – Founders coming together, not just to share startup advice & experiences (good and bad), but to have some fun too.
- Mentors – Investors, Accelerator programs, academics & corporate employees offering a variety of help & guidance.
- Community – Feeling like a member of the community is essential to belonging. Make time to discover the literature, arts, music and culture the talented people of Charm City are contributing. Find the spaces, places and events available that provide us opportunities to pick our heads up, put our work down and enjoy the beauty of the city.
- Family – Whether your definition is blood, legal, or chosen, find, create and/or embrace a family and lean on them for work-life balance, unconditional support and love.
What is needed to create these networks?
You guessed it… Y-O-U.
- Founders – Be open and honest about where you are on any given day. This startup community understands the founder journey is a rollercoaster and will celebrate you at the high points and support you during the lows.
- Mentors – Show up and make time to share your knowledge, experience and advice with those seeking to learn from them.
- Corporate Partners – Get to know the founders in our startup community. What they are building… Who they are hiring… The interest they are attracting… The stories they are creating for our community positively impact all of us.
- Talent & Pathways Partners – Making sure you’re engaged is the key to ensuring we’re building an Equitech city now and into the future. Strong families include people of all genders, ethnic backgrounds, and lived experiences across multiple generations. Keep showing Baltimore’s adults, kids and parents they belong in this growing tech community!
Make no mistake about it, we are building an Equitech City and family. To paraphrase Mayor Scott, whom we met with earlier this week, “We’ll succeed if we do it together.”
Pressure + Equitech = Diamonds!