If your family is similar to mine, there are childhood stories repeated within the family — and to anyone else who will listen. These family stories are repeated until they become legend or until someone gets sick of them and shouts “Enough!”
There are many such stories in our family and I dominate my share of them. But the Ginny story repeated most often by my parents was about the first sentence I ever uttered: “Me Do It Me-Self!” And as the story goes, I’ve been very independent ever since. Now that I think about it, this is probably the exact reason and moment I decided to be an entrepreneur!
As business owners, we are independent types. How else could we withstand the daily joys and challenges of running a business? And the ability to make decisions, stick with them, implement them and deal with the consequences — good and bad — definitely serves us.
Except when it doesn’t…
Like most other characteristics, there are pro’s and con’s to being independent.
1. Willing to delegate: As a business owner, if you are too independent, you will try to do everything yourself. This will make it difficult for you to delegate work to others or to trust others with projects and tasks. After all, you can do it yourself…
2. Sharing knowledge: As an independent entrepreneur, you may believe that you can learn what you need to know on your own. As a result, you may feel that others shouldn’t need your assistance or instruction. This independent approach will isolate you from the benefit of others’ experience.
3. Engaging with others: You may feel you can sustain yourself and your business without building relationships with clients, vendors or employees. You may have the strength to handle your business alone, but you will miss out on the friendship, business networking and referrals that will help you — and others — build business.
4. Finding satisfaction and fun: You may be able to conduct business alone, without building relationships or sharing with a team of employees or colleagues. And who will help you celebrate wins and brainstorm to solve challenges?
5. Scaling a business: And if you maintain that independence throughout your business life, how can you possibly grow a business? If you are the only resource, the sole source of knowledge, working alone without a network and encouragement, you will reach a maximum amount of work you can do and goals you can accomplish alone. Beyond your maximum there is no growth…
Periodically, a Facebook post circulates that suggests that as humans, we need three bones: a wishbone, a funny bone and a backbone. Your business does require you to have the strength to decide and carry through on plans. It also serves you and your business to have the other two bones! In order to start, grow and succeed in a business, you do need others. “Me Do It Me-Self” may work with parents and shoe tying. To succeed in business, this is only part of the skill set. It’s not a weakness to learn from others’ experience, to gather a team and delegate work, or to interact with others. Reach out – and succeed!