Laziness or Leverage?

February 8th, 2010 by | Print


Having worked in corporate America for more than a decade before branching out on my own five years ago, I understand the joke in the picture above. It’s true, many profitable companies create space for less motivated people to slack behind true leaders. However, as a solopreneur, drafting isn’t necessarily lazy, in all reality, it’s leverage for survival as long as you take your turn as lead bird.

If you caught my last post, “An Army of Sum” you’ll remember we discussed the advantages of banding together in a tribe. Even though Tribe Mastery 2.0 focuses predominately on elevating the awareness of their fellow members’ blogs, the concept applies for participating cooperatively in building up partner businesses.

Here are the 4 basic building blocks for successfully creating and operating a mutually beneficial community of solopreneurs.

1. Find Similar Partners

When I say “similar”, I’m suggesting you band together with other solopreneurs who have a common drive, commitment, and ethics, but complementary strengths and skills.

For example, if you have a strong background in managing money and you’re committed to helping families take control of their personal finances , you will do well to find other people with the same level of drive (i.e. putting in the same amount of hours), commitment (i.e. not bailing out at early setbacks) and ethics (i.e. playing by the same rules) while having complementary strengths (i.e. a connector, a copywriter, a sales pro, a marketing marvel, and technical expert).

2. Set Mutual Beneficial Goals

The team won’t stay together if there isn’t any equally gain for all involved. If all solopreneurs involved put in the same hours, but one or two members reap the biggest reward, the other members will stray their own way.

Keep in mind, however, that at times, some partners may be more active than the others in the flock. Each member will take turns being lead bird while the other members draft behind them. For example, the marketing marvel and the tech whiz may have action items to complete when ramping up while the sales pro may be less active. Each member’s activity will fluctuate over time. Don’t keep a daily ledger nickel and diming time spent. Instead, focus on activity and benefits over a period of time – say monthly and quarterly.

3. Connect Regularly

I recommend you meet once a week. Any successful team needs to communicate regularly. This helps quickly identify any opportunities and obstacles not identified in your original plan allowing the group to adjust quickly. Plus, this builds momentum by having the members fire each other up on a weekly basis. Once a month is far too infrequent to keep the flame burning.

4. Hold Each Other Accountable

When you worked for a boss, you were held accountable for turning in work on time and hitting goals. Now that you are your own boss, it is far easier to cut yourself a break at time when you should stick to your commitments. Being accountable to other members is an excellent way to stay focused and finish your tasks on time. It is your responsibility to ensure you and your solo collaborators stay the course.

Flying solo is a challenging task. Flying in a V formation is only lazy if you never take the lead. Finding other solopreneurs flying in the same direction and leveraging off of their skills, motivation and strengths will help you go further faster as long as all involved maintain an equal commitment to the four basics listed above.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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