As we near the first anniversary of our regular #RogueStories, we realized what an incredible archive of advice we had built across all types of passions and journeys. So once a month in #RogueRoundup, we’ll be featuring the best gems according to theme.
There’s a reason why the ‘teamwork’ metric is observed at such an early age. Whether we can collaborate with others can make or break our chances of success. If you’re an entrepreneur, this lesson is an especially complicated one. Because you’re working for no one but yourself, an unshakeable (and downright stubborn) confidence in yourself is necessary. However, evolving your venture also requires huge leaps of faith in others’ potential. Strangers can become your biggest fans. Investors can become your most important mentors. Friends can become the professional number two you can’t live without.
There’s no way to know what anyone can bring to the table. And that’s the scariest—and best—part of starting something out of your own volition, and building upon it for the betterment of everyone else. In this #RogueRoundup, five #RogueStories subjects share their respective approach.
Janet Zuccarini, restaurateur, on why the “opposites attract” theory doesn’t quite work in the kitchen — or boardroom.
“I’m trying to get people who would run their business the Janet Zuccarini way, instead of me having to train them on how I’d see or do things. Battling it out with somebody or try to explain what you’re getting at is such a waste of time. It’s like finding a life partner. Successful relationships are between people who have a lot in common. That’s statistically proven. Why should that be any different in a company?”
When I started working in technology, I was quick to pick up that I didn’t look like the people around me… We only came to the world wide web not that long ago, and we’re all still learning how to navigate how we communicate. We’re only starting to understand how to integrate the web into our day to day lives, and the potential that it has. How do we do it in a way that is safe, inclusive and respectful of each other?
We’re very privileged in North America to have complete access to this sort of stuff. That’s not the case everywhere in the world. Whether it’s a certain gender coming online, or access to technology in impoverished areas. Until we get everyone onto the Internet and part of the conversation, there’s still a lot of grounds to cover.”
Elie Willoughby, geophysicist and printmaker at Minouette, on aligning the way you communicate with how others think:
“Learning about the environment and being a good enough citizen of science to know enough about the world from that perspective is important. Visual art is that next step. If you could tell a story visually, it’s the most direct means of communication. It speaks right to your gut: You see with your eyes. With art, people’s guard come down a little. It feels less threatening, because the goal for it is to be beautiful and lovely.”
“I wasn’t born an insider. I wasn’t born within even a city, so my parents weren’t able to hook me up with anything. I had to figure out how to enter the world myself, on my own terms. It’s very much a world where your friend will get you somewhere. Finding out who your friends are is an important aspect of working your way into fashion. You have to embrace the advantages and disadvantages you’re given. If I had been born in Toronto, I may have started earlier. I might not have had as long of an apprenticeship. I’m still in the process of becoming and I’m in my 30s now. But I’m so grateful for where I started because I have such a terrific narrative.”
“You need to be very proactive about building relationships. And build relationships with people at the times where you don’t need anything. Don’t try to build relationships with investors when you’re trying desperately to close your round. Build it with them when you’re thinking of an idea when you want advice / feedback, or when you’re in a great growth mode. Continually expand your network and not always doing it when you need something. Just build a relationship for what it is. Ask for advice and get twenty times gold in return. Always be inquisitive, and have a thirst for knowledge.”