To all fellow entrepreneurs, people who want to work at a start-up and my current/future employees you MUST read this!!!

March 10, 2008          Comments (8)

So there’s been a lot of talk on the blogosphere of a particular post written by Jason Calacanis. He wrote a great blog post about how to save money running a start up.

On the list he wrote, “Fire people who are not workaholics. Come on folks, this is startup life, it’s not a game. Don’t work at a startup if you’re not into it–go work at the post office or Starbucks if you want balance in your life.”

Then TechCrunch, wrote a blog post entitled, Calacanis fires people who have a life, which caused an unbelievable uproar.

Calacanis later renamed his post, Fire people who don’t love their work, which I couldn’t agree more with.

Here is what I believe:

I’m working. In fact, if I’m conscious, I’m working. That’s largely because it doesn’t seem like ‘work’.

If I’m doing this for fun (and I am) then I might as well be doing something remarkable/great/worth doing/worth talking about.

Otherwise, why bother?
And if you’re going to join MyBodyTutor, why bother unless, you want to be part of a company that is doing something remarkable/great/worth doing?

Then TechCrunch editor and founder Michael Arrington, wrote a follow up post that I happen to love.

Arrington writes, “Startups that hire incorrectly fail. They don’t probably fail, or maybe fail. They just plain fail. You must hire the right people. In particular, the early employees must be perfect. This is more important than anything else, including the product or business idea.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Then he writes, “The most important part of hiring correctly is to not hire the wrong people. The second most important part of hiring correctly is to hire the right people. What that means is that it is better to not hire anyone at all if you can’t find the right person. And if your startup fails, all the perks, time off and general coddling isn’t all that useful.”

“So who are the right people and who are the wrong people? It’s not that hard to tell. The right people are the ones that really, really want to work with you. You can tell they’re excited to be a part of the team.”

“I’ll take the fired up warrior any day over the more experienced but otherwise meek alternative. Skills can be learned quickly on the job. But if you aren’t already the kind of person who’ll just get the job done no matter what, you’ll likely never be.

Warning signs to look out for during an interview: people who care about status symbols like titles, people who resent the success of others, people who act like they’re doing you a favor by talking to you. And people who want to negotiate salary endlessly but couldn’t care less about the stock options.”

Again, this is all so true. I want you to be thrilled to be a part of the MyBodyTutor team. I want you to be so excited you can hardly contain yourself. And I really, truly, mean that. This isn’t a game. It’s my life. (And yours too!) I’m not looking to build another me-too company. I have a vested interest in seeing my company succeed and so will you.

I have spent countless hours and dollars on my company. Hours I can’t get back. Hours I could’ve been building something else. But I chose to do this. I want to build something worth building. Something that will go down in business books.

And I also understand that you want to make money, too. That’s fine. I don’t expect you to ‘work’ for free. Making money doing something you love is what I’m all about. But, if you’re only in this for the money, and not the big picture, the vision, the dream, then you sincerely won’t be a good fit. There are far easier ways to make money.

He then writes, “I’m not saying you should chain people to the desk. I’m not saying you should make them work 24 hours a day. What I’m saying is that you should hire people who work 24 hours a day because there is nothing else they’d rather do. If you’ve got a product to launch and you’re ultimately trying to disrupt a bigger and better funded company (like we are!), it’s likely that you are going to need a superhuman effort from the team. I doubt Google’s early employees complained about the hours (and take a wild guess as to why Google gives employees free lunch and free dinners).

Amazing! Our superhuman effort is going to come from giving our clients amazing support and doing whatever it takes to help them stay consistent because we truly care about their success. And if you don’t…stop reading!

He then writes, “If something about this doesn’t sit well with you, that’s ok because you are part of the vast majority of people out there who have an appropriate work-life balance. That doesn’t make you a bad person. It just makes you a bad hire for a resource-strapped startup that needs a team of kick ass all-stars to have a hope in hell of succeeding.

The bottom line is this. The only people in the world that should feel warm and fuzzy around you are your customers/users. Your employees don’t want to feel warm and fuzzy. They want to win. If they are warriors (and that’s what I want!), they’ll respect what you are doing and follow you into the wee hours of every morning to mark their place in history and fill their bank accounts with stock option dollars.”

The great thing about working for MyBodyTutor is that you won’t need to work full time. You’ll have a fantastic work-life balance. You can do this part time. However, and this is a big, however, I want you to want to work full time.

I want your mind to always be focused on our clients. On how you can help them. On what you can do, and what we can do, to make this the company we all dream of! Have an idea or strategy that you think might be great? Send me an email. You’ll make my day. Show me that you’re thinking about us. About MyBodyTutor. That’s what I am looking for.

My entire philosophy is based around this one sentence: If I’m going to do something then I might as well be doing something remarkable/great/worth doing/worth talking about. Otherwise, why bother?

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  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. I really enjoy your style of writing. Keep up the great work and I look forward to following you through your journey!

    Peter Quinn

    Comment by Peter Quinn — March 10, 2008 @ 8:00 am

  2. Well said Guru. I like your style man and I know that you’ll get to where you want to be.

    Your passion and enthusiasm is evident and judging on your past successes and work ethic, you’ll make it happen. I know you won’t let it not happen.

    I also read TechCrunch and I’m very interested to know what other blogs, newspapers, etc., you read.

    You seem to be very well informed and very much on top of what’s going on in the business world.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Comment by WOO HA — March 10, 2008 @ 9:18 am

  3. Great post Adam…except I was planning on writing the EXACT SAME post later today haha. Seriously – even starting with the Starbucks quote. I have it on my to-do list – guess I’ll check that one off…

    Comment by Adam McFarland — March 10, 2008 @ 11:48 am

  4. @ Peter, Welcome aboard! Glad you came across my site.

    @ WOO HA, Thank you very much for your kind words. My must reads every day are the Wall Street Journal and the NY Times. I also read the NY Times Deal Book, TechCrunch, a few blogs on marketing/entrepreneurship, too many blogs on health/fitness, and some blogs on lifestyle design and improving productivity.

    I know you’re looking for specific blogs. If you email me, I’ll be more than happy to share with you exactly what I read, although I might dedicate a post to what I read down the line.

    @ Adam, Hahah – write it anyway!

    Comment by Adam Gilbert — March 10, 2008 @ 1:02 pm

  5. […] Today I was planning on writing a post about the startup life and the mentality required to live it, but Adam Gilbert stole my thunder…by using the EXACT same quote I had written on my index card this morning. Adam basically summed up my thoughts in his conclusion: If I’m going to do something then I might as well be doing something remarkable/great/worth doing/worth talking about. Otherwise, why bother? […]

    Pingback by Having Non-Work Related Goals at Adam McFarland — March 10, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

  6. Adam – would you mind sharing what you read on a daily basis with me as well, thanks!

    Comment by Mar — March 10, 2008 @ 3:32 pm

  7. Absolutely, Mar. Email me and I’ll be more than happy to do so.

    Comment by Adam Gilbert — March 10, 2008 @ 4:57 pm

  8. Absolutely love your concluding sentance. That is how I live my life and my personal training practice. I am going to apply to see if I can join your MBT team. I am so inspired by what you have created.

    Comment by Jenn of — June 7, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

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