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Recruiting resourceful people key to building successful startup So who are you recruiting?

By Vivek Srinivasan

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Are all your recruits problem solvers? Problems are a part and parcel of life. They pop up at strange times and strange place. They are usually very uncomfortable to deal with, and take up a lot of mind space. How quickly you are able to dispose off a problem, depends on... the problem.

As a startup, you will have problems. Guaranteed.

In business and in life, it is important to be resourceful to be able to solve problems. The dictionary defines resourceful as "having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties". I think it is knowing and having the resources to overcome challenges.

Money is but, one resource, that most people have. It is most certainly not the only resource that you have. Often people who are described as resourceful find solutions which do not involve money.

YOU choose the type of resource that will solve your problem. You can either choose to throw money or you can choose to throw people at a problem.

A lot of the problems can be solved using the power the perseverance and conviction. Is it easy? No, it is not. Is it possible? it certainly is.

I always choose to throw people at problem. If you are using money to solve a problem, eventually at some point of time, you will run out of money or the incremental value of that money is going to disappear. (Law of Diminishing marginal utility)

To the contrary, if you were to treat perseverance and conviction as currencies, their marginal utility increases as you expend more of it.

Most problems in life involve people. Invariably solving a problem comes down to convincing the person at the other end, that the solution that you are offering is the best one. A resourceful person generally ends up coming up with great barters and convincing offers that all parties involved can agree to. At the end of the day there is a person at the other end of the problem and it is possible to negotiate a solution with that person.

Whether the problem is securing time to make payments, or of negotiating a price, or getting something done the way you would prefer it done; there is a person that is causing this problem. Dealing with this problem implies dealing with the person who is the source of the problem. To convince, cajole and persuade the other person is all is needed to make certain the problem is solved. This requires an innate understanding of human nature, patience and calmness.

Quite often the problem is that something is not selling the way you expect it to. Marketing is about getting people to behave the way YOU want them to. Throwing money is not the best way to get people to behave the way you want them to. Convincing them that your way is the best way IS. More often that not, this involves a great deal of human effort on a very personal level. It seems to be very convenient to put a billboard out or run a radio ad; but how many times have you been convinced to buy something because you saw a hoarding or heard a radio message.

A startup requires people who can think on their feet and figure out the way to convince problems away. These people are the ones who make success possible for startups. Every time you look at a startups, instead of the founders, check out the team. These are the people who are putting out many small fires all the time, in order to make it possible for the CEO to put out few large fires.

Recruiting RESOURCEFUL people is a pre-requisite to building a successful startup.

So who are you recruiting?

Vivek Srinivasan

Managing Director, VS Prudence Advisors

Vivek Srinivasan is a Startup Mentor who works extensively with early stage start-ups.

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