Yes, Richard Branson is over-quoted. But maybe there is a reason for that. He has been an entrepreneur since he was 16, and has seen success on a scale most of us can’t even visualize.
This article focuses on the concept of being an ‘intrepreneur” – which is a catchy way to say it takes a village. No entrepreneur, at least that I’ve ever heard about, has made it without the help of those around him or her. “To be successful in business, you need to connect, collaborate and delegate”. If there were only one thing I could tell every entrepreneur I meet (actually, every individual I meet), this would be it.
Accepting help from people around you is not a form of weakness. Quite the opposite, actually. It takes strength, courage and wisdom to admit when you are not the best person for the job, when you don’t know how to do it, when you can’t devote the time it deserves, and to let that be known to those around you.
This is an idea we preach every day. It takes a village. Chat, relate, network, connect, smile, strike up conversations. See someone wearing your alma mater’s colors? Ask them when they graduated. Trapped next to someone on a 6-hour plane flight? I call that a captive audience! Plenty of time to find what you have in common. You just never know who you’re going to meet that will change your path, help your cause, give you new ideas, or know someone who knows someone who does exactly what you’re looking for.
If you’re not comfortable striking up a conversation in the grocery check out line, join meet up groups that intrigue you or focus on your industry, attend seminars and find local networking events. It’s a bit easier to open up and talk to strangers when you know you are all there for the same reason; that you are all looking to build a networking community.
Don’t try to hack it all on your own, there is just no reason to suffer like that. Skip some of those “everyone makes mistakes” steps and learn from what others have done! Listen. Advise. Grow. Succeed.