There are very few truly one-man (or one-woman) shops. Show me a successful sole proprietor, and I’ll show you someone who leads, and relies upon, a team of talented individuals…whether they realize it or not.
How can this be? Doesn’t the definition of sole proprietor mean that one person is the sole talent? Well, sort of, but not quite.
Imagine that you’re an awesome flower arranger. Your bouquets are exquisite. Their beauty is unmatched. You decide to take a risk and open your own flower shop. Your confidence is high. After all, your flower arrangements are incredible. Customers will come from miles around to buy your arrangements.
A few weeks into the process of opening your new shop, you discover that flower shops don’t run on flower arrangements alone. There are building leases to negotiate, furniture and fixtures to procure, point-of-sale systems to deploy, website interfaces to create (if you’d like to receive orders from some of the national flower delivery services), suppliers to line up, insurance coverage to purchase, merchant account services (if you plan to take credit cards), and payroll systems (for the one or two part-time employees you’ll be hiring, just for starters).
You’ll need to connect your talent with the talents of a wide array of other people, just to open your shop.
It’s the same thing in a larger company. Your ability to build trusting relationships across your company, and across your industry, will have more to do with your long-term success than individual talent. Creating a reservoir of trust with talented people, and relying on them, just as you’d rely on yourself, is critical to your success…and theirs.
Your talent, alone, won’t be enough. Enough for what? Enough to accomplish whatever your definition of success is.