Anything not built on trust and truth will not last

My first job out of college was a marketing manager for five small businesses. Here, I apprenticed under an entrepreneur.

He built a multimillion-dollar fashion brand from scratch.

He constantly repeated the phrase, “Anything not built on trust and truth will not last.”

I can attest to this myself, as a similar thing happened with me with my first startup. A a solid, honest foundation needs to be built by all people involved. If not, your business will crumble. Maybe some achieve success in the first five years or so on, but in the end, inauthenticity and pretentiousness will kill a busiiness. It happened to me, as I usually have to learn the hard way. You can, however, learn from my mistakes, and set yourself up to build a business with sustained success.

People to be wary of will say things like, “I’m all in it for you, solely to help you, that’s it.” This is a huge red flag and a trap for some major pain to hit later in your business life cycle.

Oppositely, when you come across someone that says, “This is what I want out of this relationship,” sharing their agendas with you, then you can let your hair down and relax.

We’ve built a multinational company from scratch. The team is people whom I’ve never met in person. Yet, we stayed together for six years. Alexey, our designer in the Ukraine, joined with me while he was going through a terrible two-year breakup and was not working much. Currently, Alexey is in a war zone and producing remarkable works of genius still.

Omii, our developer in India, endured a miscarriage with his wife, among other things, while working for a good two-to-three years.

There is the African proverb, “Go alone, go fast. Go together, go far.”

As a founder, you must believe in the people you work with no matter what. You must see in them what they don’t even see in themselves: their potential. Never give up on your team. If you build your business on trust and truth, not even a war can stop your business from thriving.

The first step to creating an authentic culture is to be vulnerable off the bat. It’s optimal to let your colleagues know your fears, agendas, and insecurities (it may be overboard, but I did it). They will accept you if the relationship is sincere and they are a right fit for your business.

The upside to this, especially in today’s world, is that when people feel comfortable to be themselves, they say what is on their mind. Anger included, with everything out in the open, eventually the differences will be set aside, and respect will take its place. Watch the innovation that comes out of your work. This is a recipe for a business culture that creates disruptive technology.

This is not easy to do but it is worth it, I promise you. Your company will run like the human body, effortlessly moving on its own.

This is essentially the foundation of your business. An old man, my second father, John Mantas, who’s opened up over twenty restaurants in Chicago, attests to needing a solid foundation. If the pillars are made from foam or plastic, it will not last.

Build your foundation out of truth and trust, and an environment where you can feel comfortable to be yourself in and you will have a business that will withstand the test of time. It is your world to create!

Have at it!