How to Stop Squandering Talent After Your Startup Has Arrived

There’s a hustle and a grind inherent to entrepreneurship. Instead of cubicle walls and watching the clock as you would in a 9-to-5, you have wondering when your next sale will come and a seemingly never-ending alternation of self-doubt and unbridled confidence. It’s not for everyone.

But if you’re lucky enough to push past the initial phase and are steadily expanding, you need to stop thinking like the company you used to be and instead face the company you are. There’s a danger in this period because you can fall into the trap of glomming on extra responsibilities to everyone who was there with you in the trenches prior.

And if you blindly hire people just to maintain the heat under your startup’s fire, you’re going to wind up extinguishing or at least severely dousing it for a while. Indigo Triplett, a human resources consultant and the CEO of Careers in Transition, spoke to on this very topic. She said: “As you grow, you need to really look at the job description... otherwise you’re going to start moving people around... and you might lose a good employee because they were utilized incorrectly.”

Don’t take this the wrong way, but a company is like a toolbox. Different departments have different functions — you wouldn’t use a hammer to lay drywall, would you? So just because you need to get more done with the same tools, don’t wear them out doing silly things.

While you’re at it, go hop over to and see Indigo’s video on the subject. It’s a minute! A single minute. Surely you got that, you go-getter.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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