By Brian Mitchell, CEO & Managing Partner
You can’t do it all by yourself. You may be incredibly talented and dynamic but personal skills are simply not scalable. If you really want to build, you’ll need help from committed and competent partners and/or supporters.
When a General Contractor builds a house, she doesn’t build it individually. That would be inefficient at best and likely impossible. She’ll need an expert to draw the architectural specifications; she’ll need several strong simultaneous hands to pour and navigate the cement foundation; she’ll need several capable hands to scale the wooden and steel framework; she’ll need varied specialists to build out the plumbing, electrical, ductwork, windows, stairwells, fireplaces, and external landscaping. She’ll need to work with various suppliers and permit officials at appropriate sequences so the work continues on a timely basis. Proper planning of laborers needs to take place so their pay correlates with progress without waste. The General Contractor might be the central driver of the overall build and the critical inch of accountability for success or failure, but she must depend on others to achieve the desired outcome.
For the entrepreneur, it’s difficult to concede “control” over what he’s built to date, but if he doesn’t then the eventual scale will never exceed his individual skills, capabilities, and bandwidth. I read a book several years ago called “The Speed of Trust” which provided several empirical and practical examples of how the reliance of good faith in others proved multiple-fold benefits. The most significant take- away was that the achievements could have never been achieved individually. Nobody is suggesting handing over an important asset to unqualified or less than fully committed parties, however “giving up” or “giving in” to others is the wrong mindset. Many entrepreneurial failures stem back to a founder who couldn’t get out of her own way and allow others to improve and drive positive change in the business. 1 will always equal 1, but the collaboration of 1+1 can lead to 3 as the sumof the collective can prove much greater than the individual parts. 1+1=3 and 1+1+1=5 and 5+5=20. This is good math.
In your personal life or your professional life, these lessons apply, don’t go it alone.