As your idea starts making the transition out of your creative mind, it hits the inertia of reality. The more you push your idea forward, the harder reality pushes back. Overcoming Newton’s good ol’ Third Law can quickly use up all your energy. You can’t do it yourself.
Before going out to find co-founders or building a team, first find your “Dream Catchers”. Dream Catchers are special people. They “grok” what you’re wanting to create – they get your why, your passion, your motivation, even if you don’t yet have all the words to clearly convey your idea.
Dream Catchers do not have any commercial interest in your idea. They are not your business partners nor your customers nor your investors. If you ask them to take a role in your project, they will turn out not to be the right people.
In a recent business project, I attracted a group of smart and talented people to help me through the first steps of clarifying my idea. It worked great until I started asking them if they wanted to become co-founders or partners with me – and they basically said no. Each one had perfectly reasonable motivations for declining, however after asking them, the magic was broken and they started drifting away. I made the mistake of confusing Dream Catchers with partners.
Dream Catchers are as fragile as they are precious. When you try to put structure around them or ask them to make commitments to you, this breaks the magic and they will disappear.
Dream Catchers are first and foremost interested in you, not just your idea. They are your sounding board, helping to expand your idea and find the right way to convey it. They can connect you to people and resources which take you to the next step. They can be your cheerleaders, giving you energy when you are down. They want you to succeed. Because Dream Catchers understand your Golden Circle, they practice the Golden Rule.
The more Dream Catchers you have around you, the more momentum you gain. This new-found momentum powers you through the inertia of reality and gives your idea the space it needs.
Therefore, my recommendation to startup founders is this: before you go hunting for co-founders or investors, go find your Dream Catchers.