Can you succeed as a lone wolf business person?

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Akela, the Lone Wolf

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that trying to be alone wolf small business operator doesn’t work.

If you take yourself back to a time when you were struggling on your own, you may remember how hard things were.

Go back to when you were just starting out in your own business. What did it feel like working on your own? Didn’t you find that it took your time, too much time, to learn through trial and error what you could have learnt with someone helping you?

Being on your own, facing the world alone, is not easy. You have to work out everything for yourself. You have to do everything yourself. You have to come up with your own ideas for everything.

As you work alone, relying on yourself for everything, you become more and more isolated. You work longer hours than other people do. You eventually feel the loss of connections with family and friends.

It’s possible to succeed as alone wolf operator but the people who do are usually the exception. The small minority who are able to do things on their own, all by themselves. The danger is that your isolation can blind you to opportunities or lead you down wrong paths.

Take the example of the business person running a small main street shop who works on his or her own. Customer tastes change. Modern business methods are introduced. Competition grows. The business person continues, slogging it away on their own almost oblivious to the changes happening in the market, all around them. They won’t listen to staff suggestions. Before they know it, the business life has become very hard… close to the perilous line of being viable or not.

Picture the possibilities of working with someone who can be a guide, mentor or even just a sounding board. Problems that loomed large in your business just seem to melt away. With two heads working on a problem, the solution appears quickly as if by magic.

Yet the biggest obstacle to letting someone help and advise in your business is trust. You don’t trust outsiders. You’ve seen partnerships go belly up. You’re petrified to let anyone know how you make your money. They could become competitors. They could break confidentiality and tell others what you’re up to. You’d rather… be left alone.

The lone wolf doesn’t last very long out there in the wilderness; but the wolf packs do.

Even if you haven’t started a business yet, do you have knowledgeable and professional advisers? Who will you turn to if something goes wrong? Have you thought about someone who could help jumpstart your new business idea without going through all the pain and hours of sacrifice before you turn a profit?

Before you start your business, think about the support system you will need.

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