The entrepreneurial journey is tough enough on its own, with its winding road, ups and downs, highs and lows, and peaks and valleys. It’s certainly not cut out for everyone, but strong-willed individuals who don’t mind sacrificing their personal time and social life can usually stay ahead of the curve. Because entrepreneurship is a such a difficult journey usually taken by a single person, it can be a lonely one.
You will experience many successes, but you will experience far more failures and setbacks and you’ll have to endure it all by yourself—you don’t have a boss or co-workers to share that burden with you. You have to constantly sharpen your business strategy, find new customers and generate fresh ideas. The best way to get ahead is to embrace business collaboration and release negative competition.
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. – Hellen Keller
We think of the entrepreneur as a solitary figure, pursuing their own vision of change. As a result, the concept of entrepreneurship is focused on the individual. But what if entrepreneurship could be totally reimagined and recreated? What if entrepreneurship was focused on the power of teamwork, the power of collaboration? What if entrepreneurs could join forces to make a collective vision for change come to fruition? A big idea in the hands of many entrepreneurs has the potential to have a wider-scale global impact.
Regardless of your industry or status as an entrepreneur, collaboration is a powerful tool that will prove useful and beneficial to you and your business.
When you come into consistent contact with other like-minded entrepreneurs and make connections with them, you’re provided with opportunities to get fresh perspectives, new techniques, and tools to improve your business. And, as you continue to expand your professional network, you’ll find that every interaction outside of your immediate circle will teach you something valuable and contribute to the development of your mind and your business.
Despite its well-known benefits, many entrepreneurs hesitate to embrace the powerful tool of collaboration. Why is this?
There are generally two reasons:
Typically, when entrepreneurs decide to take the leap and start their own business, it’s the result of following an idea or passion that’s important to them. We find that little nugget of gold in our souls–the change that we envision for the world. Our business idea is usually personal, close to heart, and innovative. So, it can be hard to share that idea with others, for our fear that our idea will be stolen is overwhelming. The fear is most definitely real, any entrepreneur will tell you that. But, is the root of the fear well-founded?
Well, not so much.
The only way to combat this fear is to realize and understand that while idea theft is a possibility, the benefits of collaborating with other entrepreneurs far outweigh the risks. Remind yourself that your ideas are yours. While someone can take your idea, they can’t make it come to fruition with your fiery passion, determined grit, and entrepreneurial spirit. Your idea in the hands of someone else will never equate to what you could do with it.
They Don’t Know Where to Start
Deciding to collaborate with other entrepreneurs is hard enough in itself, but figuring where to start is even harder. Luckily, there are tons of ways to find other like-minded entrepreneurs within your niche.
Be Active on Social Media- Being active on social media and using hashtags like “entrepreneur”, “startup”, etc. is by far the easiest to find and connect with peers within your industry. If you find someone you admire, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Join an Entrepreneurial Organization- There are several organizations that accommodate those just starting out (Business Collective), more established entrepreneurs (Founder Society) all the way to the most elite entrepreneurs in the world (YEC). A simple google search for entrepreneurial organizations and groups near you will help you find like-minded entrepreneurs.
Organize a Local Group- If you can’t find any entrepreneurs near you, take the initiative and organize your own group! Find a meeting place and spread the word on social media!