I remember starting my business as a solo practitioner who believed building an internal team was the only way to grow your business. I was under the pretense that if you build your own team members from within (at the early stages of your business), you would eventually experience teamwork – a euphoria of a somewhat milestone accomplishment for any small business owner.
I spent countless hours and money trying to build and rebuild an internal team. And for a rookie entrepreneur with a bootstrapped budget, this could be quite challenging and expensive. I soon learned the importance of partnerships and genuine connections. I began to form strategic alliances with other business owners who complimented my services and were experts at their craft. I began to work with my mentors, business friends, and local organizations that naturally progressed into business partnerships.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a proponent of team building, especially one that is rooted within an organization’s culture. However, if you are a beginner entrepreneur, do not be afraid of alliances and partnerships. For me, it meant reducing my expense of having to pay salary wages to an entire internal team of web developers, graphic designers, writers, etc. It meant strategizing for a client project without sacrificing quality of work.
What I’ve learned is that these alliances have helped me value the meaning of teamwork. I’ve partnered with business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, directors, and organizations that I respect and admire. These individuals are part of my network of influence. They’ve become my mentors, my business partners, and my friends.
Teamwork can happen externally, outside of your company’s walls. Teamwork consists of dedicated people who are willing to mentor you, help you grow your business, form partnerships with you. Teamwork can also happen at your home. Your family or dedicated spouse who is willing to hold the house down while you hustle for business.
And although today I have three internal team members, I continue to value the partnerships and family support I’ve acquired as an entrepreneur — this to me is teamwork. My team holds it down because they understand my hustle.
This blog is dedicated to all those that have helped me grow my business, mentored me, and supported my hustle.