A lone ranger is someone who prefers working in solitude or isolation. Sometimes life circumstances can call for us to adopt this attitude. When it comes to marketing our business, however, adopting this mentality can prevent you from achieving the success that you desire.
There are many reasons why people operate in isolation. Some do not know there are better or easier ways, while others prefer to work alone because of certain personality characteristics. Yet working with others in our businesses or even on certain projects can provide us with a boost of energy, motivation, and inspiration.
When we’re coming from this place, we can more easily and readily take advantage of business opportunities. As Red Holzman, basketball coach for the New York Knicks once said, “The power of we is stronger than the power of me. ”
What types of lone ranger activities are you engaging in and how can working with others create more business success for all involved?
1. Not enough money. One of the most common reasons cited by people for working in solitude revolves around money. Because most small business people are not making a great deal of money at start-up, they feel they cannot involve other people because they cannot pay them. This is when you need to put on your creative cap. Why not barter or trade your expertise for theirs? Or perhaps there is someone who would be willing to act as an unpaid intern for you in exchange for learning more about what you do.
2. The need to control. When just starting out, many new business owners want to control everything. They feel that if they don’t control every aspect of their business, then something will go awry. Often the underlying fear is the fear of failure. So the result is usually one very burned out business owner. It is important to learn to delegate tasks whether it is to a temporary or full-time employee, or to a virtual assistant. It’s easier to control when one is coming from the perspective of a manager rather than an employee or jack-of-all-trades. Delegation is a great skill to learn, and the sooner the better. By offloading responsibilities, you’ll give yourself the space to be more creative which can be a great benefit to your business.
3. Protecting your assets. Many of us create intellectual property. When we’re starting out, we are quite fearful that people will steal our ideas for e-books, e-courses, articles, books, and audio collections. The sad truth about this is that there are unscrupulous people who will steal from you. But, the reality is, most people won’t. It’s important to keep in mind that you are not the first person to come up with a particular idea. You certainly can’t copyright or protect your ideas, but you can put your particular slant on it. The best attitude to have is that you want people to benefit from your material and let it go at that. If you don’t feel you can move past the fact that people will take and use your material for their own benefit, find another avenue to disseminate your work.
4. Doing it all. Some people are just used to doing everything themselves, never relying on others to lend a helping hand. While that is all very good in and of itself, that type of mentality might not be serving you or your business well. In today’s competitive market place, where being quick to respond can mean the difference between getting a new client or not, you might need to re-consider working with others. At first, when your business is small, you can probably manage everything on your own. But when your business starts taking off and you find yourself rushing around from 7 am to 7 pm, or later, on a daily basis, working weekends and holidays, it’s time to rethink things. You can’t do everything and do it all well.
5. Asking for help. Some people aren’t comfortable asking for help or support from others. They might look at asking for help as something that signals a sign of weakness or neediness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Asking someone to help you out in your business is a wonderful gift you can give to them. People love having the opportunity to help someone out. You never know how their wisdom might contribute to your business success. You might even uncover an opportunity to partner with someone on a project; something that never would have otherwise come to fruition had you not asked for some help in the first place.
6. Where are they? You have a great business idea and you’re certain it would be a real winner if only you could pull it off. But, it might be just too big to handle all alone. Or, you might not have the expertise to make it happen. You don’t know who to ask to help you because you can’t find someone with the same interests to partner with you. So you decide to remain isolated, the idea goes nowhere, and no one benefits – not you and not your clients. This scenario is more common than you might think. The easiest way to find people to partner with is to start networking, whether you’re standing in line at a bank, attending a chamber meeting, or sharing with your clients. Tell everyone you know about your idea and see what they have to say. Before you know it, you’ll find someone who wants to know more about it. They might just be the person who will help you make it happen, or knows someone who can.
7. Too critical and judgmental. Being critical of others is a popular reason for many people to remain working in isolation. You might not think anyone can do the task or project as well as you can. Each one of us is unique and we all have talents and gifts in different areas. Rather than judging or measuring someone in a particular area in which you excel, look for areas in which they excel, from which you can benefit. Another person may be strong in an area in which feel you are weak. By combining talents you can create more than you could have if you remained working in isolation. Take a step back, and set aside your judgments of others. Instead look for the treasures inside of them.
8. Superman syndrome. Many people feel that they are like the fictional character Superman, who could do everything, even see through concrete and steel. Unfortunately, humans are far from this idealized cartoon character. As Jonathan Swift once said, “No man is an island. ” We can’t do it all ourselves and if one really thought about it, there is nothing that you have that is solely based just on your physical or mental efforts. It’s actually more fun not to do everything yourself. Let others help you out. Let them share their ideas with you and vice versa. Lighten your attitude, delegate tasks or projects, and really enjoy the work you are doing. Doing everything is not a badge of honor, but rather it is a sign that you don’t know the power of working with others.
9. Not enough for everyone. A scarcity mind-set is a strong underlying component of the lone ranger mentality. This often happens when we “fall in love” with an idea, thinking it is “the idea of the century. ” And because of that, we don’t want to share it with anyone. We remain in isolation because we fear someone might do a better job or become more successful with that idea than we ever could. Put your ideas out there. Don’t make the mistake of not sharing your talents and gifts with others because you think you’re going to “corner the market” with your ideas.
10. Not understanding of the power of collaborative partnerships. Lone rangers don’t understand the power of collaborative partnerships. These relationships are a strong and necessary component of any successful business. A collaborative partnership is one where the participants bring their talents and expertise to the relationship. There are open discussions, sharing, and creation of ideas where everyone can benefit. Each participant expends less energy than they would have had they been working in isolation, but the result can be much more than they could have ever hoped to achieve on their own. Seeking out people who have the skills you are looking for while offering your own talents in return, is a great way to break out of isolation and experience new opportunities for business growth and success.
© Copyright 2004 by Alicia Smith
licia Smith is a Coach and Trainer whose specialty is helping coaches to Make Money Now. This article is derived from just one of the 90 lessons contained in her e-course, 90-Day Marketing Marathon. To learn more about that course and her other products and services, please visit the following sites. (You also can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org . ) http://www.90DayMarketingMarathon.com http://www.discninja.com http://www.InternetAssessments.com