Singapore Markets closed

Escape From Bullshitters, Surround Yourself With A+ People

Willis Wee

Darius Cheung posted an interesting opinion piece about his thoughts on the startup scene here. And I particularly like his point about 'waiter vs doer.' If you have been following my thoughts, I think it’s pretty obvious that I hate waiters as well. Not those in a restaurant - but people who don’t act and just complain about things.

Apart from waiters, I also hate celebrity entrepreneurs, those who talk and tweet a lot but with no real results. Their mouths are their most valuable assets. My closest allies are people who are doers, people who sometimes talk (yes, inevitably) but also produce good quality work - be it an entrepreneur, investor, interns, or someone climbing the corporate ladder. I have the inbuilt habit to detect bullshitters and I will usually move myself away from them. Because bullshitters, I believe, are negative people to be around. And I really mean it.

So enough of the ranting. My point is that as an entrepreneur (myself included), we've got to be more ruthless with ourselves. I can’t speak at Darius’ level as I have not yet crossed the victory line in the way that he has. But I do know that hard work is required to get something done well. You know that too, don’t you? School taught us that, but it seems hard to apply the same thing in real life, unfortunately.

Hard work and sweat aside, you also need to mix with the A+ people. Not those snobbish people who think they are smart, but with people who you know you can rely on for group projects. And in entrepreneurship and business, it is important to mix with people who are doers, and not waiters. Seriously - your clients and customers included.

Surrounding yourself with A+ players makes you positive and want to strive for the best. It helps to get things done quicker too. Many folks advised me to hire only the A+ doer-type people. I did that and I have been very fortunate so far. But that’s not enough: you've got to hang out and network with other A+ players outside your team, including people like students/interns who have the potential to be an A+ type player. It also requires you to detect bullshitters so you can remove yourself from him/her. The doers are the ones that make things happen while the waiters will just stand there and BS about things not going their way. As an added bonus, the A+ people also attract other A+ people. That’s the general impact that I find and it should only get better as your network gets larger. Have fun doing, not waiting or BS-ing.