Two Heads Are Better Than One
There is often an impression that the world of entrepreneurship is somewhat hyper-competitive, with many people under the impression that if you can’t do it all on your own than you might as well forget it. There is a fairly negative impression of sharing, of accepting or looking for help, and once the game is over and the money is counted, the people with the most smug smiles on their face are the ones who are able to say they did it all on their own. Some credit has to go to these people, undoubtedly, because they have done a fine job to get so far without any input from someone else. But would it be such a bad thing to enlist help on occasion? Sometimes a partnership is, after all, more than the sum of its parts.
Whatever you call it – outsourcing, joint venture, partnership or anything else – there are times when doing it all on your own becomes counter-productive. Maybe it is true that no-one knows your business better than you do, but sometimes you will need to look beyond the world in which you are comfortable and allow someone else to take a look at things. Working together with them in an official capacity could be the smartest decision you make – and the best for you. Some people avoid joint partnerships because they feel that they will have to share more than they would like. But what if a half-share in something big is better than a hundred per cent of something smaller? It does not have to be about doing it all on your own. Sometimes the partnership is the soundest business decision and the best for your bottom line.
It is best to accept early on in your business career that you are not going to be a master of all trades, because no-one is. There are gaps in everyone’s knowledge, holes in everyone’s experience. This is not an admission of weakness. It is strategic realism. If you accept that you are not an expert on everything, and enlist someone who is an expert in a field that can help you, you will benefit from their expertise and you will see better results for it. Indeed through working with someone else you can find yourself absorbing knowledge that could help you in many other ways somewhere down the line.
It may be that someone else speaks another language which will help with an overseas market, or that someone has an innate knowledge of a specific way of doing a job – something that your customers have requested several times in the past. The other person may have an ingrained knowledge of the geography of an area you want to crack, but whatever it is, the important thing for you as an entrepreneur is that it can aid you in your dealings and take you up a level. Spurning the chance to work with someone else, someone with experience and intelligence, is simply cutting off your nose to spite your face.
First Published: Sep 6, 2009 EntrepreneurJourney.com