6 Lessons In Scaling a Company From the Founder of One of the Leading Web3 Funds
Charles Read helped build Rarestone Capital into one of the most active venture funds in the blockchain industry in just under a year. Here is how
Great businesses steam from great communities. They are fun places to be and where your colleagues feel like friends or family. Those communities are the heart of what your company culture represents. When Charles founded Rarestone Capital at the age of 27, he picked 5 partners with skills very different to his own, but people he knew he could count on. More importantly, they knew they could count on him.
In just a year, Rarestone Capital has scaled to 5 Partners, 5 Associates, and 7 Venture Partners, while investing and servicing nearly 75 companies. As with any high-growth business, scaling this fast comes with its unique challenges, especially when employees are scattered across the globe. Distributed businesses are here to stay, along with autonomous organizations that can strike that elusive balance of providing enough support and resources with autonomy.
To learn more about scaling a business for longevity and building a family focused culture, Charles shared his six most valuable lessons learned.
Enable people to do their best work
Great company culture starts with putting people in the jobs they are best at. Keeping them inspired and engaged in their daily routine is absolutely paramount to creating results. There’s a sort of perfect harmony that you can reach in a business when everyone is engaged, and the energy is really noticeable. You can only reach that by putting people in the right roles. Regularly ensuring they’re doing what they love, will get you the best results.
Great leaders don’t have followers, they enable other leaders
Charles explains, “Nobody works for me. They work with me. They enable me to do what I do best, by doing what they do best.”
By creating a trusted work environment and giving the team more responsibility, team members can feel empowered by their position and go on to create great things. It is important to encourage a two-way open communication stream between team members and allow them to speak their minds, even with problems and concerns.
Create opportunities for good people
One major takeaway from Rarestone’s success is the ability to stay nimble enough to quickly change roles and responsibilities to best suit someone’s desires and skillset.
Charles says, “I don’t really believe in job titles. They serve a purpose which is mostly for optics or to accompany financial incentives, so when we hire we struggle to create job descriptions; we tend to just hire people we like, creating jobs for them because we know they’ll be able to deliver. If you find someone but you don’t have a job for them; make one.”
Encourage entrepreneurial spirit
A lot of founders and leaders are worried that their employees or partners will leave. One thing to remember is that you must enable the entrepreneurial spirit and encourage the people around you to always look outside of their comfort zone. This levels the playing field for everyone with both incentives and motivation shared in a common goal.
“If someone decided they wanted to leave the business, I’d do my absolute best to support them in their new career. While I don’t wish for this to happen, I strive to create an environment where entrepreneurs are made, and I hope one day everyone on my team creates something they are as proud of as I am of Rarestone,” explains Charles.
Teach hunger and inspiration
Money talks, but so do status and recognition. It’s important to know what life the people around you want to build; and to help them build it. In fact just being aware of it is usually enough.
Charles adds, “When I look back to my career before all this, I realise that my seniors didn’t really care much for my ambitions outside of the business. Lead by example!”
Make sacrifices for the long game
It’s important to see the bigger picture and to occasionally make significant sacrifices in lieu of your own personal gain to support a wider team. Whether that be financially or a sacrifice of your time or energy, being a team player at every level of the business is a growth hack to getting people to realise you’re their friend, not their boss.
It’s easy to get greedy when your business starts to do well, but rewarding performance and loyalty will absolutely benefit you more than paying yourself more. It’s also easy to take your foot off the gas when you have good people around you - we’re all guilty of that - but it’s important you remain hungry and focused to inspire those around you.