One of the hardest things to do in business is to share your idea with someone else. You always think about the possibility that they will poke holes in it prematurely and increase the already-daunting amount of self doubt you have. Or, even worse, what if they steal your idea? Business is about originality, being innovative, and what and I have tried to do over the past 13 years is not follow a typical business model for Strategic Admissions Advice. Even as we are starting this marriage, family, business, we recognize that we have to step away from our "competitors" and find our niche, our lane, in order to be successful.
In order to do that, we’ve learned it is important to collaborate more and view people who might be in a similar space less as competition. There's plenty of room for everyone to help people grow, whether it's as an educator, helping people get into college, or as a couple, trying to help spouses go into business. Helping people to embrace the struggle, the juggle, and the joy of being small business owners, as well as parents and spouses, is something that should be celebrated - not something that needs to be solely for us to do.
But, admittedly, I struggle with this. As an only child I've often depended on myself. My husband is also an only child, and he and I have learned to depend solely on each other. But we know that we cannot grow if we keep ourselves isolated. We've had difficulty sometimes hiring people, but we're learning. And as we begin to build new partnerships and push our own boundaries, we know we must keep faith in our journey. We're trusting that it's not in our hands as much as it is in God’s.
I'm not going to get all spiritual on you and talk about my prayers, but I will say that no one out here makes it alone.
No one is an island.
Collaboration is a lot more important than seeing other people as competition. Yes, you will have your competitors. There will be people you don't like, or people who don't like you. But, what you have to remember more than anything is that surrounding yourself with people who keep you honest and help you to grow, and who you do the same for in return, is a win/win for everybody.
I'm going into this second quarter knowing that collaboration over competition needs to be my mantra. Those who do not seek help, those who brave it alone, rarely win. Plus, that's not the point of being a servant. Being a servant is connecting with people, and that's something important that marriage, family and business do.