Every Startup Needs More Than Just Founders Says Shaun Johnson

This article originally appeared in UnStuckable. Shaun Johnson co-founded the Startup Institute two years ago in Boston to help people like him who want to rebel against the corporate world by training them to become employees at startups and discover an alternative path to entrepreneurship.

He started his career off in the public sector working for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and then transitioned into management consulting for five years.  He said the biggest transformation of his career has been moving from the corporate world to the world of startups.

Shaun saw that when people want to make a career change they are missing one of the following ingredients:  skills, network or mindset.  Startup Institute provides all three to help those who want to work for startups.

He saw that want to provide skills, network and mindset . .. usually people are missing one of those ingredients when they struggle to make a career change. He also believes it takes more than the founders or developers to make a startup a success.  By the end of this year, the Startup Institute Alumni network will be 1,000+ strong.

Key UnStuckable Takeaway

There are more paths to entrepreneurship than being a founder of a startup!

Shaun Johnson believes it takes more people to make a startup a success than merely the founders or developers. It takes a team of people focus on a goal.

If you’ve been curious about entrepreneurship, but never thought you’d like to work for yourself, consider working for a startup or even a smaller business.  New and small business often give you more opportunities to have your voice heard, as well as to come up with creative solutions than larger, more established companies.

Quick Action to Get Unstuck

Identify the missing piece to achieving your goal. 

There might be several factors preventing your from achieving your goal, but which one is the biggest hurdle to overcome? Once that obstacle is removed, the rest of your obstacles won’t seem all that hard to overcome. Get started by:

1. Write down all of the obstacles preventing you from achieving your goal.

2. Narrow down that list to your biggest obstacle.

3. Starting writing down different ways you can overcome your biggest obstacle.

4. Reach out to people you think can help you overcome your biggest obstacle.

UnStuckable Quotes From Shaun

“Sleeping isn’t something that I’m super found of.”

“The ability to be alone with my own thoughts is a way for me to recharge myself.”

“Diversity is looking at the tapestry of different approaches and perspectives, and seeing that they can all fit in, but only if you allow it.”

“The delta between a good company and a great company is always going to be the people.”

“Every startup that succeeds has more than just founders and developers that made the company a success. There’s room for everyone.”

“Sometimes your success pulls you far away from what fulfills you.”

“There aren’t many sets of rules that will protect you or push you down in a startup.”

“Go out and get it.”

“You can probably break up your day up into the themes of your life and what’s really important to you.”

More Habits & Actions

  • Shaun understands he is an introvert and has an awareness about what energizes him.
  • Diversity in all aspects of his work is another source of energy for Shaun.
  • He says the move from management consulting to the startup world was the biggest transformation in his career because he had to redefine his identity.
  • When you start building a new career, you need to create new advocates for your career because your old advocates don’t even understand where you are going.
  • To start his transition from management consulting to the startup world, he took a position at TechStars, a startup accelerator.
  • Curiosity, a sense of perseverance and challenging authority when something isn’t right are key habits to becoming a successful startup employee.
  • Continuous self assessment enables you to constantly monitor the efficient use of your time and energy toward your goals.

Alternative Perspectives

  • If you switch careers and need to take a pay cut to do so, don’t look at it has taking a step backwards because it’s not a linear progression. Money alone doesn’t define your progress.
  • It takes a lot of courage to deal with the loneliness when you break from the pack and find your own path.
  • Shaun wants to help people find fulfillment in their careers in a way their corporate job never gave them.
  • The world needs more entrepreneurs and also needs more people to work alongside entrepreneurs.