Heads up, awesomepreneurs, if you want to live the dream–you can’t do it alone. Whether you’re a solopreneur, a small business owner managing a staff, or part of a large enterprise where somebody else calls the shots, you need your very own dream team.
Awesomeness doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Bestselling authors need editors, proofreaders, and publicity agents. Cancer curers need research teams, grant writers, and boards of directors. World changers need donors, community organizers, and message spreading allies.
- coaches and mentors
- professional peers (fellow entrepreneurs) and JV (joint venture) partners
- social networks and online communities
- mastermind groups and accountability buddies
- sidekicks and hug givers
- fans and supporters
- assistants and staff members
- accountants and financial advisors
- attorneys and legal guides
Fear not, start-ups and penny pinchers, some of the people on the above lists get paid to be on a dream team, but a lot of them don’t. Just because you’re not yet in a position to build a paid team, doesn’t mean you can’t start creating your own awesomepreneurial network of advisors, ass kickers, and uplifters. I’m living proof!
As a web designer and developer, I have a fabulous network of service providers who are always a phone call (and a paycheck) away when I need specific support or expertise on a project. But, at this point in my business’ life, the vast majority of my RKA dream team is unpaid or working with me on a barter/trade basis. Tip #22 for working with heart was all about swapping skills with fellow service providers and I can’t emphasize enough how profitable and enriching this arrangement can be when done right. But you and I need more than that to bring our awesomeness to the next level, which is why we must invest time in relationships with people who offer feedback, constructive criticism, and love love love free of charge.
I call ‘em friends.
As you grow in your heartwork, take note of the people in your life who are strong where you are weak. Break it down into categories.
When I create something new, ______________ gives the most helpful feedback.
When I feel stuck, I can always turn to ______________ for a strategic solution.
When I am low on energy, ______________ is a great momentum muse.
Complete these sentences (or create your own) and then promptly thank these people for contributing to your heartwork. (Thank you notes are a lost art, my friends.) When they’re done blushing, don’t be afraid to be candid about how much you value their input and support and ask if they wouldn’t mind being a part of your growing “dream team” from time to time. How much and how often will vary depending on your relationship with each person as well as their own schedule and work load, but you’d be surprised how much people who believe in your awesomeness will be willing to help when you acknowledge their value and importance in your life. The flip side of this coin, of course, is opening your heart so that you, too, may be a resource to others–no strings or subcharges attached.
In my case, my heartwork and I wouldn’t be half as awesome if it weren’t for my RKA dream team (you know who you are) and, many times, the love I receive from my extended business family gives me just enough fuel to get to my next destination. How’s that for lowering gas prices? Sometimes I fantasize about what the world would look like if we were all working together to make things a little more awesome around here. (It’s my favorite exercise in intellectual foreplay! I’m getting tingly just writing about it!) Imagine.
Tip #23 for working with heart – you need a dream team (even if you’re a solopreneur!)