If you’re trying to build a business, a platform, or just a better mousetrap, it’s a lot easier to hit your goals if you have a team behind you.
When I left Thomas Nelson to start speaking and writing full time, I was mostly on my own. I had a speaking agent to help coordinate my events, but beside that I was running solo. It felt exhilarating at first. Liberating. Back to basics.
But that feeling didn’t last long because soon I was running into my own limitations. It wasn’t long before I was bogged down by the basics. It turns out that The Lego Movie is right: “Everything is cool when you’re part of a team.”
Things got desperate before I realized I needed some people running with me. I started with a virtual assistant, then I got another. I strengthened the relationship with my Web designer and brought a few more people on board. Pretty soon I had built a small company.
It’s a little unconventional, but we’re getting more and better things done than I ever could on my own. Now, the exhilaration is back.
What a Team Can Do
After recently talking with one my team members about some goals for next year, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much had changed for my business in a few short years. We’re are executing on plans and beating goals that wouldn’t have been on my radar if it were still just me.
The benefits of a team are probably endless. But depending on the type of team you want to build, here are four new possibilities for your business:
- More focus. A couple hundred years ago Adam Smith taught us about the division of labor. We gain efficiency from focusing on the things we do best. Greg McKeown applies the idea to modern business in his book Essentialism.I’ve personally experienced the upside of doing more of what I do best by building a team to handle the rest. When I was going solo, I was drowning in the everyday details of growing my business. Not anymore, and the focus is helping us beat our goals.
- Better execution. When it was just me, I could do things that needed to be done. I just couldn’t do them all very well.Because of my team, I now have design, marketing, and Web development help that far surpasses my own abilities and allows me to maximize my own talents and gifts. Everyone is freed to execute on the highest level because they’re doing what they do best.
- More ideas. By having people play to their strengths, we’re getting more than just better execution, we’re getting more creativity. Investing in a team is the best way to grow your intellectual capital.You can only learn and master so much information, nuance, and technique. By expanding your team, you expand the potential problem solving, strategic and tactical thinking you can employ.
- Better ideas. I cannot understate this point. Not only will you get more ideas, you’ll get better ones—out-of-left-field ideas that will radically change your business.My business has grown in directions I never anticipated at the beginning. Why? Because team members brought expertise and insight I didn’t have. Once the new ideas were on the table, we could leverage the unique strengths and skills of our team to accomplish things none of us could do on our own.
Do you absolutely need a team? It depends on what you want to accomplish. The more ambitious and complex your goals, the more likely you need a team.
But need is the wrong angle.
How Far and Fast Do You Want to Go?
The real question is how far and fast do you want to go? Yes, you could slug it out on your own, but a team will unlock possibilities you didn’t even know were there.
And here’s what’s cool: It’s easier than ever to build a great team. You can start with a virtual assistant through BELAY like I did. You have no idea how capable and helpful a good VA can be. The right VA can double your productivity. And you don’t have to hire someone full time. You can get great help for as little as five hours a week.
One of the biggest challenges of starting a business is overcoming the feeling that you are all alone. The burden of a big dream is sometimes too much to shoulder on your own. But a team can distribute the weight and maximize your momentum.
If your goals really matter, it’s worth exploring how the right team could help you accomplish them better and faster than you could on your own.