Founders, the quickest way to attract investment is to already have a team in place and the wheels in motion. People will join your startup prior to raising capital when they are committed to you as a leader and the mission of the company. 

You do not need money to hire exceptional talent. You need to know who the business needs first. Then bring value to them personally and/or professionally based on their pains & desires. 

Today’s Quote:

"Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team." 

- John C. Maxwell

Our guest today: Carey Ransom, President of the newly formed OC4 Venture Studio & Host of Accelerate OC

Carey is an entrepreneurial thrill seeker and company builder, serving team members and customers along the way. He has a founder attitude, even when he joins a business already underway, or take over the reins of a company. Carey excels in business and corporate development, technology and product strategy, marketing, sales, and channel partner development, and has led many startup-to-growth companies to successfully pursue breakthrough business opportunities. He’s done millions of dollars of business via LinkedIn as well!

Today we are going to cover: 

  • Why you should build your team BEFORE you try to raise capital
  • How to recruit people when you have no money to pay them

Why is it important to build your team before you start to raise capital?

  • -Sell the idea, gets people excited about it. 
  • Convince people to join, but the employee experience on the inside suck

Where do Entrepreneurs get stuck?

  • Pretending you have it all figured out is really dangerous
  • -the opposite of the strong figurehead, being vulnerable
  • -we are looking for help and we are willing to listen

Rick’s Input:

  • Best way to prove your company has legs is to have a team
  • Allow people who are involved to become invested by active participation
    • Utilize their talent and keep engaged
  • “Once I get the Money” syndrome


  • High ego to start, 
  • Be selfless as you can and give it away. 
  • Want everyone to be a founder in their mind
  • Being transparent & vulnerable
  • Not having to make every decision 
  • Not always having to be right

How does one build a team without having the Money?

  • Create a Safe Environment for people to take risks without penalization
  • Encouraging risk - leader fails first- set the example 

Rick’s two cents:

  • Network

    • Get to know your teammates before you approach to hire
    • Understand their career pains & desires
    • Look for alignment (do not force it…. Nurture Campaign)
    • Plant seeds
  • Seize the Opportunity
    • Ask for help!
    • Gain involvement (advisory to start)
    • Communicate and keep involved
  • Allow the relationship to grow & evolve
    • Create the ecosystem for each person lean in
  • Give what you can
    • Equity
    • Title
    • *maintain high integrity

Key Takeaways:

  • Look at every single person as an investor. Be open to different types of arrangements
  • Be careful to not oversell/overstate your advisor involvement
  • Find people who will be really real to keep you grounded. Ultimately the best team wins!
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