How to Build the Foundation for Your Startup

Posted by Nailah Morgan on 2014-07-31

The Founder LaunchPad gives aspiring entrepreneurs exclusive tips and tricks through video clips from the Founder Institute's worldwide network of 3,100+ mentors. For more Founder LaunchPads, visit our Startup Founder 101 YouTube Channel.

In this week's Founder LaunchPad, Marcos Polanco, Co-Director of the Puerto Rico Founder Institute, provides three methods that will help you construct the core of your company. He encourages Founders to explore and utilize the latent skills which make them unique. Marcos then advises entrepreneurs to root themselves to their startup in order to create a vision that will attract the right consumers, and stand the test of time.

4 Questions That Will Help You Discover Your Entreprenuerial Strengths

In this video, Marcos highlights the idea that every human being has at least one area of proficiency. He urges his audience to explore any hidden skill or ability that could help launch a successful business. If you are unsure of where your expertise lies, answer these four questions to help uncover your entrepreneurial strengths:

  • What do you love to do that never bores you?
  • What do you do that doesn’t seem like work?
  • Im at my best when_______.
  • Does doing ______ for twenty years create your vision?

According to Marcos,

You have superpowers. Every human being has some savant ability in some area… So what are you the best in the world at? What unique capability can you bring to your company?”


Can Your Passion Withstand Time?

Here, Marcos shares an exercise that will help you devise a startup idea, rooted in your character and aspirations. He challenges Founders to visualize themselves running a business until their last days on earth:

  • For a moment picture that you are are 92 or even 102.
  • The undertaker is about to come.
  • What are you going to tell him? 
  • If you plead for more time to manage your company, then you know that you’re pursuing your passion.

According to Marcos,

 To the extent that you are totally and completely living your life, your dream, no one can compete with you. As Adeo sometimes says, 'people can copy your idea, but nobody can steal your dream.' That is how you are able to root your startup in who you are.”


Don't Pitch Your Product, Pitch Your Passion

In this episode, Marcos explains the importance of selling your passion rather than your product. If you successfully attract people to your startup’s vision, there will be no need for “sales”:

  • Declare your startup’s core purpose.
  • Construct a strategy to achieve this purpose.
  • Share your vision with your targeted audience.
  • Generate sales through your vision, not your product. 

According to Marcos,

You should be so excited to bring people to your vision, that there is no such thing as 'sales'." 


The Bottom Line

Your startup's foundation should stem from what matters most to you in life. It should root to your dreams and passions, it should encompass your soul and being. You must establish a strong connection with your startup in order to create a vision that not only influences, but attracts an audience that is willing to advocate for your brand. 

According to Marcos,

Today you have the opportunity to build your vision. To look inside yourself and ask, ' What do I want to build by the time that I perish? What is it that I can do today? What do I want my tombstone to say about my life? Answering these questions will give you your vision."

If you could benefit from expert training and feedback to launch a company, apply to the Founder Institute today. We are currently accepting applications in many cities worldwide.

(Image of businessman looking at starting point on road via Shutterstock)

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