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There is no I in Entrepreneur

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I remember very vividly a poster my neighbor across the street gave me when I was in Jr. High. He was a coach for the University of North Texas football team – the poster depicted four very well built football players standing boldly together with the phrase “There is no I in the word team.” At a young age I learned the importance of teamwork, and that nothing is accomplished without the help of others. The same is true for any entrepreneur.

When starting a business, even if it’s not a partnership, you are never doing it alone. Recently, President Obama was criticized by Republicans and entrepreneurs everywhere for saying, “If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” The saying was published across the Internet as several memes like the one below. I even remember being outraged by the statement myself, having only been a year into the start of Bearded Brothers. How dare Obama say that I didn’t build this business and provide people jobs.

You Didn't Build That

You Didn’t Build That

However, I see his point more clearly now, and it was actually well stated when he said, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges.” Sadly some of his words were taken out of context and the main point of his message missed.

Throughout my life I had had several influential people that have shaped who I am today, from parents to teachers, to mentors and career coaches. Without these people in my life I would have never had the boldness and faith to start the business I am so passionate about today.

Since starting the business we have had several people work for us that have helped our business grow. Currently we have three all-star team members that are helping us crush it and grow our business. Without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.

I have also learned through other entrepreneurs that it’s important to be willing to hire people smarter than you. Even though our company is only two years old I see the importance in this and I’m sure we will be making many great hires in the near future that will only compliment that current team we have in place. Having smart people on your team will only benefit you.

Businesses, while often started by individuals, don’t survive or thrive with individuals – they require a team. Most importantly, they require a team that believes in your mission and vision, and can help you grow your company in areas you are weak, or in ways that free you up to focus important tasks that help launch the business to the next level. No matter what the task is the individual performs it’s an integral part of the system that helps everything move forward. You can’t take any one person for granted on your team.

In Summary

– Your business isn’t a solo mission
– People in your past, and on your current team are helping you succeed
– Hire people smarter than you to ad some fuel to the fire
– Don’t take any of your team members for granted (always show them appreciation)
– It’s the team that makes your business thrive, not any one individual

About Caleb

I'm the co-owner/founder of Bearded Brothers, an organic snackfood company. I love ultra running, rock climbing and cycling. I'm also a vegetarian, passionate about health and well-being.
  • Caleb

    Let me know what you think!