Freelancers, solopreneurs, and business founders face the same enemy, and it is mostly invisible: isolation.
Isolation is the enemy of excellence.” – Aaron Walker
You are alone with your thoughts all day long. Even if you have a team, there are some limitations to what you can share with them.
Will they stay with you, if you admit you are not sure how you will pay their salary next month?
Wouldn’t the upcoming downturn in your industry scare them off to look for a job elsewhere?
So, you ponder those worries and issues alone, in isolation.
Small Business Administration says that problems with cash flow is the #1 reason why small businesses get out of business. I dare to disagree. Behind 95% of bankruptcy cases lurks isolation.
Entrepreneurs are human beings, and human beings are designed to thrive in a pack, not in isolation. Thus, alone, they do all kinds of stupid things, which they wouldn’t have committed, if they could share their burdens with others.
Let’s just have a look at some of the common cash flow issues. What are they? Let’s see:
-not separating your business and private bank accounts
-allowing third parties (a spouse who has no clue about your business!) to have access to your business accounts
-not tracking your incoming and outgoing money
-not setting aside funds to pay taxes
-allowing your customers to get away with late payments
-doing small “side gigs” for your customers for free
-underpricing your products and services
C’mon! Avoiding the above pitfalls is just common sense! Yet, a majority of businesses close their doors because they commit those obvious blunders.
Why? Because it is so easy to turn into a moron in isolation.
Almost all the other business afflictions can be tracked down to being ‘not excellent’ because of isolation: hiring the wrong people, taking the wrong customers, lack of clear marketing message, spending time on new projects without doing the market research, procrastination on important projects, putting out fires instead of preventing them… the list just goes on and on. And all the items on this list could’ve been avoided if you asked for feedback or shared your thoughts with someone else.
On the other hand, if you can get out of the self-imposed “loneliness at the top,” you can tap into your potential and grow much faster. Avoiding common pitfalls will obviously accelerate your progress, but so will new ideas and resources you will get access to thanks to collaboration.
Just one tiny example: a guy in the Smart Passive Income Pro community asked for recommendation of a cheaper email marketing provider. I recommended my provider – Bird Send. I’ve been saving about $25 a month with them over my previous provider. The guy who asked me is saving hundreds of dollars a month because of the enormous size of his email list. One answer, one resource can save you (or make you) a lot of money – but you won’t get them in isolation!
Alone you are blind, that’s why you are stumbling in the dark. You don’t know what you don’t know. Sometimes, you don’t even know what questions you should have asked.
However, your situation is clearly visible for others. They can point out your blind spots. They can help you excel. And I have success stories of collaboration in spades. Read about them in the following articles from this series:
How to Beat an Isolation as a Business Owner Series
Three Collaboration Success Stories in My Business
How Not to Be Lonely at the Top
Solopreneurship Is a Myth