There’s a myth about entrepreneurs that needs to be eradicated once and for all: the idea that they’re individual geniuses, who build up a company on their own. They have people around them, sure, but they’re the ones pulling all the shots, the one who makes the business tick. It’s a nice idea, but it’s not true – and never has been. The self-made entrepreneur has always had other people around him or her. If you’re building your empire, remember to check your ego at the door. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can utilize the strengths of others and make life easier for yourself.
1. Be Accountable
You might be the CEO, and it might be your company, but beware of the damage that these two facts can have. If you’re not being held accountable to anyone else, you’re liable to let the power go straight to your head, and maybe even believe your own hype. There’s a long list of CEOs who this has happened to, and they all come to their senses in the end: and the advice they recommend is to make sure it’s not just you pulling the shots. You need someone who will say no to you from time to time (just make sure you listen).
2. Play Only to Your Strengths
You have a selection of useful skills, but the list of skills you don’t have is much longer. In any case, there are simply too many factors to take care of in business, and you can’t do them all on your own. Bring in the people who have the expertise to boost your company. You should be hiring a firm that specialises in IT consulting and support services to make sure your IT infrastructure is watertight; you’ll also want to outsource your tax, accounting, and bookkeeping. Finally, social media experts will be able to provide you with a level of internet know-how that you’re unlikely to have yourself.
3. Embracing Feedback
You’re going to be getting feedback whether you like it or not; you can’t control that. What you can control is how you respond to that feedback. You could take a leaf out of the book of Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber, who answered unsolicited feedback with anger and insults. Or you could do things the mature way, which is not to take feedback personally and listen to what’s being said. If you’re able to embrace feedback rather than see it as an attack, you’ll have plenty of ideas of how to improve your business – and you won’t have had to spend a dime to get it.
4. Learning from Others
You’ll have been influenced by the entrepreneurs who have gone before you, but influence is a world away from learning. Find a mentor, a person that you admire, and be open to asking them questions about your company. You don’t know everything – nobody does – so be willing to learn.
Always keep your ego in check, be aware of your shortcomings, and your company will be in safe hands.