How to Illuminate Your Vision to your Startup Employees

Starting with the “Why”

How do you illuminate your vision to your startup employees? After all, the vision is what drives the attractiveness and the energy in your startup. Especially in the beginning, it's probably the only thing that can help you attract employees because you can not yet offer great salaries or major responsibilities. But what you can offer is being part of the startup’s vision. Particularly for younger people who are in the early stages of their career, it can be enticing to be part of something bigger than themselves. That’s why many founders agree that having a vision and understanding why the startup will have such a big impact in the world is a key part of finding and sustaining success.

A community, not just a product

Likewise, it’s not always about the product but rather envisioning a community. It’s about what you bring to the world and how you help people. Apex Trading is a great example of this. This is a startup that offers a wholesale cannabis platform. That’s why CEO and founder John Manlove’s vision involves the community of people who grow plants and are fond of growing cannabis, referring to it as a plant-first approach. For Pedro Goes of InEvent, the vision involves staying focused on customers and creating happy customers. For him, it’s less about revenue and more about making a difference and being able to improve people’s lives. In fact, Pedro has a big, audacious goal of impacting one billion people with InEvent. Tracks for Trucks founder Jakob Muus also has a vision that has nothing to do with generating revenue. Instead, he wants his startup to help people understand the impact of CO2. He wants Tracks for Trucks to be a catalyst for change within the trucking industry, helping in the push for more electric trucks on the road.

Focus on the customer

Having a clear vision and being able to convey it to your employees can make it easier for founders to stay focused and avoid distractions. Sebastiano Bertani of Italy-based startup Tanaza believes that rather than looking at the next big thing or a shiny object, a startup’s vision helps founders to pay attention to the roadblocks and problems that stand in the way of achieving that vision. This is why Sebastiano is always asking himself what needs to be done to achieve Tanaza’s vision.

Disciplining yourself as a founder

Of course, this is easier said than done, which is why founders need to have discipline. But having a clear vision and sharing it with employees can help to give founders discipline. When founders have communicated their vision with employees, they can help hold the founder accountable, forcing them to stick to their original vision. This is why it’s critical for founders to always write down their vision and goals in an official document. Doing this makes the vision of the startup clear and known to everyone, helping keep their eyes on the prize. This is just like a mountain climber who looks up and sees the peak, never forgetting that the top of the mountain is the ultimate destination.

Roland Siebelink talks all things tech startup and bring you interviews with tech cofounders across the world.