We now live in a time when solopreneurship is possible, fun, rewarding, and fulfilling. I like the fact that the most powerful marketing tool is at everyone's fingertips (I'm talking about the internet of course).
But I also think that solopreneurship is overrated in some ways. Working alone, trying to do it all, being the superhero... At some point, you will find your limitations. You might even burn out. You won't be able to keep up with everything on your plate.
But there is an even greater drawback; that of losing sight of what you're really trying to accomplish. Your creative efforts can expand out into every direction, and you can forget your purpose altogether.
I think that humans were meant to live in community. No one was meant to go at this thing called life alone.
Building a team, collaborating, working together, however you want to frame it... I believe the best way to grow your online project is to work with others.
The Power of Collaboration
Glen Allsopp has a case study on his website showing that two bloggers working together can dramatically increase their chance of success and long-term growth.
It seems like such a simple thing, but how many of you reading this right now can honestly say that you have a blogging partner with whom you trade links, share posts, and generally support each other? If not a blog, then how about your business?
There's almost an aversion to that, isn't there? Like, "well, they could become my competition at some point" or some other fear-based thought.
Of course, no relationship is perfect, but if you can find someone who's at your level and is committed to their craft, there is so much you could be doing to help each other. In fact, you might not be able to reach your personal potential without it.
I think this definitely applies to other areas of online business too.
Against the Grain
In North America, we tend towards the "every man for himself" mentality, right? But I don't think this is very useful in any kind of business.
Yes, we all want to make money, and yes, we'd rather be the one that gets that money than our competition. But maybe that's backwards. Maybe helping people - even other businesses - really is the way to growth and even wealth.
After all, what do we do as entrepreneurs? We add value. When we help others, we add value.
I mean, sure, there are definitely those that give it a bad name, and abuse the system and use black-hat marketing techniques and spam people and all that kind of stuff. But there are people that give every industry a bad name. At its core, it's not the title so much as the person that's wielding it.
There are bad car salesman and there are bad bankers. And there are good ones too.
So, working together really is kind of counter-culture. If you really truly want to go against the grain, isn't it about time you found a partner?
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Other people can often see things you can't; especially as you plunge deeper and deeper into your own projects. They can help you correct your course, or even stay on course as the case may be.
Who do you know that you would readily endorse? Is there someone out there that puts just as much thought and effort into their business as you do? Can you think of anyone that has a really strong passion for their niche or topic?
Maybe you can find a way to partner up. And, if you can, don't be surprised if your business grows at twice the rate.