During the critical startup phase of a business, the entrepreneur needs capital, advisers, free help and support, product development, suppliers, customers and the list goes on endlessly. Successful entrepreneurs know that every person representing any of their specific needs is a valuable resource to moving the business forward in a meaningful way. The size of the dream to conquer the world in their chosen product domain does not trump the significance of the people who generously agree to provide expertise and time to the business at this crucial stage.
If dominating the universe becomes part of the entrepreneur’s psyche, then unfortunate behaviors may emerge. The entrepreneur will assume they are always the most important person in the room, will not listen to sound advice and suggestions offered by experts, will even show up late for meetings or perhaps even not show up at all. Ego and arrogance seem to take over an entrepreneur who believes they are on some special track to conquer the world, leaving all of the common people behind.
Entrepreneurs often feel they are running a marathon by themselves, with many people on the sidelines questioning why they are running. The belief and commitment to the dream compels them forward regardless of the naysayers and of the periods during which the goal seems to get farther and farther away. Yet push on they must and if they don’t lead the charge, the goal may indeed fade into obscurity.
Unfortunately, running ahead of the people you rely on for support means ignoring all of the good advice and support they may provide, relying instead on your own experience and wisdom. We can admire the confidence that comes with commitment and dedication to a dream when so many people question the idea. The list of entrepreneurs that successfully germinated and developed profitable businesses relying only on their own knowledge, skills and intellect is extremely small.
The people you seek out for advice and counsel may not share the dream. Even more reason to listen carefully to as many of them as you can find. They will help to sharpen your focus and answer difficult questions you may be blinded to in your relentless pursuit to global dominance. Keep your appointments on time and let them know you appreciate their support, regardless of how small their contribution may be. Snubbing advisers and mentors, particularly when you have asked for their time and support, can have the same effect as reversing the polarity of a magnet.
Never ignore the significance of the network effect. You never know what or whom the next person you meet knows and through their contacts the thousands of additional contacts that can play a huge role in assuring your success. Intentionally turning away in arrogance at this vast array of potential help may just be the best indicator of your business potential. People want to associate themselves with success. Converting advisers and mentors into raving fans of your business and yourself builds a strong team that will be instrumental in the development of your business. Ask, listen, act, and repeat.