Kids in fraternities get a bad rap. They’re seen as degenerates. Their priorities are constantly questioned. For the most part, the common perception of “frat bros” is that they’re keg-crushing, rule-breaking, brain-fried balls of testosterone.
You know what? These generalizations may not be too far off, but at the same time, don’t be so shortsighted. Just because fraternity brothers engage in some -- let’s be real -- promiscuous pastimes, that doesn’t say much about them as a whole.
Frankly, fraternity brothers aren’t as bad as you may think. Having been in a fraternity myself, I’ve witnessed the marvels accomplished by a house full of loud dudes in their early 20s. See, when you’re in a fraternity, you’re forced to just “get sh*t done.” It’s a wonderful concept.
Whether it’s a huge midterm that they didn’t remember to study for until the night before, or a noise complaint to the police that they'll ultimately have to sweet-talk their way out of, fraternity brothers always seem to “get sh*t done" right when they need to.
That’s a valuable lesson for the workplace. While more rigid work environments won’t allow for the more unorthodox routes of handling business, startups -- on the other hand -- will.
Here are the five reasons fraternity bros will thrive in the start-up environment.
They’re used to long, wild hours.
Startups are typically defined by obscene hours that run late into the night; this type of atmosphere should sound pretty familiar for any guys out there who have pledged a fraternity.
Although the nature of late-night activities is clearly not synonymous, there is something to be said for the frat bro who's used to partying every night of the week (aside from Sunday) into the wee hours of the morning.
While that “something to be said” may be, “Get more sleep,” it definitely will give a frat bro a slight edge the first time his boss says, “I need this done by 8 am,” at 10 pm the night before.
They're no strangers to competition.
Whether it's rush week, or intramural flag football, or those subtle, inter-fraternal battles over girls at the bar, fraternity bros are definitely no strangers to competition. This is a great mentality to harness when attacking the start-up world.
Especially during the early stages of any start-up endeavor, there will always be an underlying sense of survival. That’s the nature of startups – they’re “starting up.”
Just like members of a fraternity will boast their respective organization to prospective freshmen to create buzz and interest, members of a startup will likely be asked to do the same.
They’re used to thinking "outside the box."
Fraternity brothers are inherently creative people, I mean, think about it: For years, frat bros have successfully established social gatherings in which women wear anything but clothes to their houses simply by calling them “ABC mixers."
Got a beer to drink, but no more red cups? Leave it to the fraternity bro to solve this issue by pouring the contents of that beer into his shoe.
While not every idea that goes through a frat bro’s mind will be an instant success – the idea of thinking "outside the box” will help him thrive within the realms of a startup.
They’re used to “the come up."
Men who have pledged fraternities are no stranger to the process of “starting from the bottom," and their eight-week pledging program can most likely attest to that. The thing is, in a very abstract way, “pledging” mirrors the beginning stages of any startup.
In both scenarios, you’ll likely start at the bottom of the food chain and be forced to work your way up, proving yourself in the process. Fraternity brothers are well acclimated to periods of struggle and they'll likely have a higher threshold for such.
They’re used to working with inexperience and working independently.
In many cases, the startup you’re working at and the people you’re working with won't always be the most experienced. Again, that’s the nature of startups.
However, the ability to turn inexperience to success is a virtue that all fraternity bros experience the semester after they’re officially initiated.
Fraternities promote the aspect of “self maintenance," which is very similar to the independence that startups experience during their progression.
While fraternities might tear their houses down one night, you best believe in the morning they’re cleaning up after themselves to ensure another night to do it all again.
Those lessons of independence will surely translate to the startup environment.
Photo Courtesy: Hillflint