The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Do It Alone

What is the No. 1 thing you can do as an entrepreneur to massively expand your capabilities, increase your revenue, and build your ideal lifestyle?

It’s quite simple, actually. Stop doing things yourself.

The most common mistake entrepreneurs make is that they get hung up on how they’re going to do something. They then hit a roadblock when they realize they don’t have the capabilities, know-how, or resources to do it themselves.

The problem is, they shouldn’t be trying to do it themselves in the first place.

Successful entrepreneurs know this

Successful entrepreneurs don’t do everything themselves. They’re successful because they’ve found the right people with the right skills to accomplish nearly everything for them.

Just ask Dan Sullivan, the co-founder of Strategic Coach and the No. 1 entrepreneurial coach in the world. He has built practically his entire coaching business on one simple concept from the legendary marketer, Dean Jackson: who, not how. 

He challenges entrepreneurs to stop asking themselves, “How can I do this?” and instead start asking, “Who can do this for me?” It’s a powerful mindset shift that isn’t as easy as it sounds, which is why he’s gone on to write an entire book about it with Dr. Benjamin Hardy.

When you start thinking with this “who” mindset, you open yourself and your business up to any potential skill-set or capability you may need. But the mindset is only one part. Let’s look at two ways that you can put this into action in your business.

Utilizing on-demand labor

Hiring employees is an obvious step to embracing the “who” mindset, but it’s not always feasible.

If you can’t hire employees, look into using on-demand labor to outsource projects in your business. Costs can easily be justified with time-savings–this becomes even easier if you calculate your own hourly rate, something I recommend every entrepreneur do–and the fact that you can spend this newfound time on revenue-generating projects within your unique zone of genius. 

As the founder of a growth agency, I’ve built my entire business around the concept of on-demand labor and I believe it will play an integral role in the future of work. Now that remote work has become commonplace, it’s easier than ever to find highly-skilled on-demand labor and outsource nearly anything in your business.

Want to start a podcast? Want to automate your sales system? It would take you hundreds (if not thousands) of hours to become an expert at these things–or you could find a “who” that’s already an expert.

You don’t need to know these things as an entrepreneur. These types of projects likely don’t utilize your Unique Ability or give you joy, and there are people who have already invested thousands of hours in those skill-sets–plus, they actually enjoy doing it! You’re just paying a small premium to skip to the front of the line.

There are, however, two rules to follow when outsourcing:

  1. Take into account the true cost of a task. Hiring an inexpensive freelancer will likely result in more of your time spent guiding them and fixing their mistakes. When you factor in the cost of your time, it is often less expensive in the end to hire a more experienced, highly-skilled freelancer than an inexperienced, inexpensive one.

  2. Get extremely clear on your desired outcome. Before you think about outsourcing a task, you must clarify exactly what success looks like in your eyes. If you can’t visualize it, then your freelancer won’t be able to achieve it. Spell it out in writing.

But at the end of the day, all of this still requires money. What if you simply can’t afford to not do things in your business?

Partnerships: The magic problem-solver for entrepreneurs

Partnerships are perhaps the most underutilized and underrated growth tactic across nearly every industry. By collaborating with other entrepreneurs in your network, you can multiply your results with little to no upfront investment. And the best part? Everyone wins.

The easiest way to think about partnerships is to ask yourself, “Who has the services, capabilities, or skill-sets that my clients need?”

In my business, our team of marketers and operational specialists can accomplish nearly any project our clients may need. But when we don’t have the capabilities, skill-sets, or resources–or if someone else can provide a better result than we can–I look to my network to see who can help.

I’ve partnered with branding experts and CRM consultants to offer customized packages for our clients, and I’ve partnered with groups like Joe Polish’s Genius Network to offer on-demand help for their members. All of these are symbiotic relationships–we generate more revenue or gain more clients, while our partners generate more revenue and help their clients. 

Partnerships have, in one way or another, contributed to over half of the revenue I’ve gained in my life and business. And every single one has cost me nothing while massively benefiting everyone involved–myself, my partner, and my clients. It all comes down to getting creative and engaging with fellow entrepreneurs in your network.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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