I was fortunate to join INspiring Capital during the early stages of the organization. Given that it is my first full time position, I was really excited to get involved with a startup and learn about business development and (social) entrepreneurship firsthand.

photo

The view from our office at 7 World Trade

Since I started in January, I gained so many new skills and lessons from being ‘on the job.’ I wanted to share a few insights I learned from working with INspiring Capital’s awesome bosses and day-to-day operations:

  • A positive attitude goes a long way: I am so grateful to have such happy, cheerful leaders in our organization. It really makes a difference in the team’s work ethic and overall disposition. More importantly, working at a startup can be very demanding at times, and it really helps to be surrounded with a team that constantly supports you with a smile.
  • Create systems early on: As the organization grows from a 2-person to an 18-person operation (woo!), it is important to have internal management systems in place. Syncing calendars is an important step to ensure meetings are scheduled seamlessly and enough time is allotted for internal brainstorming or strategy sessions. Using Asana also helped us manage dozens of assignments for each person, while also coordinating team projects all in one place. Moreover, Contactually reminded us (constantly) to reach out to our contacts to find INspired collaborations and business opportunities.
  • Don’t neglect your personal well-being: As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link… and the same goes for the team! Sometimes at work, life just gets in the way and a great way to support team members is to have weekly check-in sessions or relaxation programs to help employees become more productive. For instance, our INspire impact team has regular weekly yoga sessions to help us refocus our mindset and reprioritize important tasks at work.
  • Building trust is key: I learned that in any organization, especially in small teams, transparency is important to build trust with your colleagues. If you can’t trust a team member internally, how can you trust them to represent your organization externally?
  • Learning from industry experts: Networking is a crucial component to business development, especially for a startup. Thus, our INspiring leaders help us bridge connections and learn from experts by having industry leaders lead training sessions. From finding a work mentor to coalition building, these training days are a great way to learn hard skills while also have team building exercises!

photo-1

A team #selfie during 'moving day' at our new office!

These insights above are only a snapshot of the lessons learned during my six months at INspiring Capital, and I am eager to share more later on! Stay tuned for more #startup and #socent tips by following us on Twitter @inspiringcap and @lorainnemarie

-Lorainne Lopez