Why Most Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Do It Alone
The most common mistake entrepreneurs make is trying to make it alone.
Successful entrepreneurs know that no one can become successful on their own. Everyone needs help.
So instead of asking yourself: “How can I do this?” ask, “Who can do this for me?”.
One of the most damaging perspectives you can have is believing there’s no one out there who can get the job done.
You are not the first person to run a business or possess the skills required in that business. There is plenty of outside help available to you. Whether you are tempted to invest in a business coach for entrepreneurs or outsource your accounting tasks, the important thing to remember is that, actually, most successful entrepreneurs don’t do it alone.
This article is about the specific problems that come with trying to do it all alone:
You overwhelm yourself too quickly
When you try to take on everything by yourself, you’ll feel overwhelmed quickly.
When you feel overwhelmed, it makes you feel incapable of achieving what you want, and you lose focus and motivation.
You can’t achieve success when you are not motivated.
This can lead to burnout.
When there’s no one else around to pick up the slack or contribute to the success of your business, the fatigue can quickly turn into burnout.
Burnout is simply too much for most people to deal with. When you get burnt out from it all, the business often fails too.
Technical issues require technical expertise
Most entrepreneurs are T-shaped – this means they are an expert in at least one thing but also somewhat capable in many other things.
No one is an expert in everything. You need outside help with technically complex issues, including everyday things like IT support to run your business smoothly from the get-go.
Having a technical co-founder will make your life so much easier and it will also attract more investment as you are seen more holistic team.
Your time and knowledge are limited, so outsource early
There are only 24h in a day. That means no matter how much you try or think you know, there is not enough time for one person to do it all.
So hire for those skills as soon as you can.
Outsourcing routine tasks like payroll accounting, HR frees up time to focus on more important work.
Outsourced accountants will be able to assist you however you need. Think about all of the operational items on your to-do list that you don’t enjoy, that you don’t excel at, and simply outsource them to an accounting firm.
If you don’t have any help and you’re trying to do everything yourself, you’ll push things too far, miss deadlines, and feel like you’re always playing catch up.
Lack of accountability can become a problem
When you are a solopreneur, a lack of accountability can be a problem.
When you have no one around you working, there’s no one to hold you accountable for the things you’re doing and the decisions you’re making.
A lack of accountability stops you from seeing where you’re going wrong.
It’s very easy to lose the ability to even judge whether you’re taking the right approach or not when there’s no one else involved.
You need others to challenge you.
It’s harder to scale and grow
It’s a lot harder to grow and scale your business because you need more people, more expertise, and more money.
As a result, you become the bottleneck because everything that needs to be done waits for you.
You see your passion, dedication, and attention to detail as a huge plus. Others see it as detrimental to the growth of the business.
Once you have employees, customers and investors – you need to ask yourself: What would happen to your business if you got hit by a bus? What would happen to your investors?
You need to create a self-running machine that works without you.
Outsourcing, or hiring even if part-time, is a must for growing your brand. Your objective is not to overwhelm yourself with tasks but to find a great solution to a problem and execute quickly.
When you scale, you want your business to run without you. This means hiring people who can meet the demand efficiently.
It’s all so much easier with talented people around you.
You don’t have to finance your business yourself
Money, or starting capital is important when first launching your business.
But you don’t have to use your own money to do it.
There are 7 ways to finance a business:
1. Bootstrapping: fund your start-up yourself
2. Get support from friends and family
3. Join an accelerator or an incubator program (popular in tech businesses)
4. Venture capital funds (for high growth startups mainly)
5. Reach out to the Angels Investors
6. Try crowdfunding
7. Request a small business grant from a government or a loan from a bank.
You always need people.
You’ll lack a sense of camaraderie
There’s something special that comes with starting a new business with a small group of committed people who want to find success together.
That sense of camaraderie can get you all through the toughest times.
Don’t underestimate how impactful it can be.
Employees and investors question your leadership
The first rule of management and leadership is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t.
If you try to do everything yourself, people will question your ability to lead the company. Investors and employees only want to get involved with your business if it has the potential for growth. This is a telltale sign of bad leadership.
Employees will question whether your in-control management style will give them the authority and accountability to execute, or will be micromanaged instead.
A successful business is never built by one person.
A big mistake that entrepreneurs make is thinking they are all alone.
There are plenty of good reasons to find a co-founder, business partner, or a small team you can rely on early.
Surround yourself with wise counsel. Don’t try to run a new business by yourself.
You can incentivise a few people to join your company as advisors in order to receive continuous feedback so that fewer mistakes will occur.
Doing it alone might seem appealing at first, but if your goal is to build a sustainable and profitable business, you need people.
It is not a weak person who seeks help, it is a risky one who does not.