Dreamer, Doubter and Doer

It’s been months since I quit my day time job as a financial analyst. Though I don’t particularly miss staring at Excel all day long, I learned some of the most valuable lessons there about teamwork. The company I worked for is a global multibillion dollar company with traditional management structure. Its traditional command-and-control management method was conducive to avoidance of taking risks and fear of changes. My coworkers would talk about the company’s heydays and people who left the company because of the cultural misfit. I wonder to myself “Then who are these people that are still working for this company after 30 years?”

This is my grand theory.

There are three types of people: Dreamers, Doubters and Doers

Dreamers are people who are creative and propose strategic plans for the company’s future. They are risk takers. They think long-term rather than short-term. However, they often fall in the trap of getting emotionally attached to their ideas and coming up with seemingly unachievable goals.

Doubters are people who can foresee the obstacles in the future. They are your brutally honest friends that will tell you millions of reasons why your new idea sucks. They are often mistaken as a pessimist or a doomsayer. If utilized correctly, they will ground a dreamer’s dream and make it more realistic and foolproof.

Doers are people who can make tactical plans. They see a gold nugget at the peak of the mountain 300 miles ahead of them and can plan the exact route it takes to get to it. They motivate other team members to partake in the workload it takes to get there and make sure the work gets done.

The balance between all three types are VITAL in a successful team.

Often the personality types of those three people will clash and end up in an unresolvable difference in opinion. However, if they learn to work with each other and respect each other’s opinion, the team will be bulletproof and be able to lead the company to long-term success.

So back to my last job. I noticed that most of my coworkers fall in the category of Doubters. Some Doers – though, scarce resource. Very few Dreamers.


Startup and Partners

So you got a good idea/s. You want to see if this can work and secretly you believe it will. You run that idea by your spouse, friends, family and some random strangers who have time to hear you. The more people you talk to the more you realize how much work would be involved in this endeavor. A bit daunting… But you are not a quitter! You will make it happen but will need a few helping hands.

Photo courtesy of Zazzle.com

Photo courtesy of Zazzle.com

This is when you make a mistake of taking someone’s helping hands without carefully examining whether that person is a good fit for a partner. You may think in your mind I have a technical partner who has a CS degree from a reputable college that can make the website I’ve been dreaming of for me. He or she may have the necessary skills to carry out the task you have in mind but you still don’t know if he or she is a partner material. I recently learned that lesson the hard way and am resolved not to dish out equity for a task I could’ve outsourced to a contractor for payment. What makes someone a good partner is not only the skill level they possess but their tenacity, commitment to the project, persistence, personal characteristics, financial stability and willingness to do and learn anything to make the startup take off the ground.

If I have a choice of someone who meets all the criteria of a good partner but lacks technical skills I need from that person, I’d rather pick the former and trust that he or she learns the necessary skills on his or her own. I am an Accountant/Financial Analyst turned self-taught front-end web designer and programmer. Anyone can learn and master anything, as long as he or she is not afraid of stepping out of his or her comfort zone to learn new skills and spend time doing so.

Meeting the right partner is as hard as meeting someone whom you can spend the rest of your life with. But when you meet that right person, you know your business will survive even if it goes through multiple changes of idea.