How Self-Reliant Should You Be As An Entrepreneur?
To start a business you need the help of many people. Few entrepreneurs have all the skills and specialized knowledge required to carry out the various functions of a corporate operation. You will also need a certain amount of money to get started, which means dealing with investors who are willing to fund your project.
However, putting together a team of people to run your company and a network of groups to fund it does not necessarily amount to dependence. You can still arrange things so that you are the sole source of planning and direction in the new venture.
But is such self-reliance a good idea? Many people become entrepreneurs because they have an instinctive aversion to authority. They don’t like being told what to do. Nor, as highly-qualified professionals, do they like being told how to do their jobs. This attitude can spill over into a general dislike of relying on other people—including partners, peers, and colleagues—for anything.
One advantage of being self-reliant as an entrepreneur is that it makes you master of every aspect of growing your business. But this comes with plenty of disadvantages. First, it is very hard to get into a position of such independence. Unless you have considerable personal wealth, you will need investors. And they will insist on having some say in the governance of your startup.
Second, the team you put together to establish your business will consist of driven and energetic persons such as yourself. They will likely be as averse to dictates and commands as you are. They will want a real say in how things are run. And in order to keep them you will need to not only delegate but distribute power and authority.
Third, being too self-reliant as an entrepreneur puts you outside the spirit of the times. Yes, the self-made man still exists—and he thrives! However, he succeeds only insofar as he can connect to people he can trust and depend on. Having people you can confide in, people who can act as a sort of alter ego is vital for successfully navigating your way through the shoals of the business world.
You will do better as a person and as an entrepreneur if you are able to maintain the kind of independence that does not cut you off from essential bonds of trust, and of reliance on others.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.