The business is too small. How many owners looking to sell have been told “there is not enough here for someone to buy.” It’s hard to hear, but changing that may be more about you, and how you engage the world around you. Tenaya (T.J.) Tison reminds us that to change our small business we need to “get out there.” We love to share great stuff we find online. Reprinted with permission.
2 years ago I was living in obscurity in Western Wisconsin, running my little business helping businesses grow. I kept plodding along, but knew deep down that there had to be more to this wide world of business than my minuscule snapshot of the marketplace.
Sure, I read articles of current success stories and books from the business greats, but they all pale in comparison to the real, live people who are out there every day, just like you: doing their best to get it done the best way they know how.
Today my world has been opened to people in continents that I have never set foot on, people I never knew existed, and I have learned more in the past 2 years than any degree could’ve ever taught me.
My name is T.J., and I was once a “solopreneur”. I say that in the past tense, because now I am a firm believer and advocate for business owners to get out there.
I’m not talking about tweetchats and joinme meetings while working in your favorite corner of the coffee shop. I’m talking about face time with real people. The kind of contact that all human beings crave. We are made to be social creatures. It’s wired within us-even in those who are introverts-to have other humans in our lives. As you know, people don’t buy from businesses, they buy from other people.
Just because you are alone in your business, aside from the occasional networking even and your VA (who you never really see), doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. In fact, if you want a business that thrives and grows, you better ditch your solopreneur attitude.
Some business owners aren’t soloprenuers, but they act like it by isolating themselves in their businesses to their own detriment. I have worked with over 25 different business owners through the past eight years, the ones that are successful know that they can’t make it on their own.
Maybe you’re content to have your business where it’s at and you like to “fly solo”, but here are a few reasons why you need to re-think how you may be sabotaging your business with your attitude.
1. You need skills you don’t have
No one can do everything and do it well.
As entrepreneurs, we tend to wear many hats, and are often under the delusion that all those hats fit us well. The truth is: they don’t. They can’t. There are things you do well, and things you stink at doing. No one can do everything in their business with excellence and proficiency. The ones that are willing to admit that find people who can take up the slack where they lack.
List those things in your business that you are not good at, and then find someone who is. Maybe you call someone like me to add my skill-set to your business; maybe you collaborate or partner on a a project, product or service offering.
You need people who have what you don’t. The longer you ignore that truth, the more damage you do to your business.
2. You need connections you don’t have
It’s the principle of proximity. People know people. And people who let other people into their world will meet more people.
When I mapped out all of the people I have met in the past two years, I am blown away by how interconnected we all are. Six degrees of separation is not a far-flung idea. Your circle is only so big, but by connecting to other circles you will meet people that can help you thrive both in business and life.
There are people in the world that you need to meet. You may not notice the gap in your life and business until after you have met them. But their impact on your business success will be apparent after that connection is made.
You can stay in your own little business bubble, seemingly protecting from being popped, but your business will float away into obscurity while all the other bubbles have joined together to form and ocean.
Nothing is more damaging to a business than isolation.
3. You need to contribute what you have
Newsflash! It’s not all about you. The first two reasons were about what you can gain from ditching the “solopreneur” attitude, this one is about what you can give.
You have experiences and lessons that are unique to you and your business. You have something to share that can benefit someone else.
It’s selfish to keep your knowledge and experiences to yourself. Share!
I share these articles here and elsewhere to help others. That’s it. No agenda. No monetization. I just want to share what I have learned and am learning in hopes of helping someone out there do business and life better.
Just think about what the marketplace would look like if the business greats never shared with us what they learned and discovered? You may not be a “business great” but what you have can and will make a difference in someone’s life. Share!
When you contribute what you have, you will be on the lookout for more lessons to learn and in their process, your business will improve, you as a person will improve, and you will come to know the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Give!
We do life together. No one is an island. No one is here to go it alone. And your business won’t make it if you do. You’ll plod along, work hard, and wonder why you aren’t getting where you want to be in your business.
You’ll think you have it all under control, while your business boat is leaking and sinking.
Get out there, bring others on board, ditch the solopreneur attitude and share what you have. You and your business will be better for it.
What do you think?
Are you a recovering solopreneur?
How has stepping out improved your business and life?
Share if you care.
Tenaya (T.J.) Tison is a business leader and entrepreneur who is passionate about propelling others in their work & faith potential, by strategically directing them in business + work; and in full-faith living. Find out what T.J. does here. Follow T.J. on Twitter. Invite TJ to speak.