(Not) Flying Solo

There are no true solo acts. If someone tells you they got where they are all by themselves, they’re lying. Don’t believe them, and don’t buy what they’re selling.

Wise words from my partner Sam Davidson, someone who has inspired me to turn an entrepreneurial dream into a reality. Whereas earlier this year I was simply surviving as an entrepreneur, since September, I’ve been living as an entrepreneur, thriving as a business-owner. Not going at it alone helps, a lot. Having other people who are equally committed to the success of a business is powerful stuff.

There’s power in numbers – smart numbers – not numbers for the sake of numbers. At Proof, we like to keep things close to the chest. We don’t have the desire to be the next mega-agency with a high-rise office – but we’re not (at all) opposed to handing out work to good, talented people. We’ve learned very quickly the importance of collaboration – and that getting the right people on board, paying them what they’re worth, and forming partnerships is invaluable (not to mention, a lot less lonely).

Sam encourages people to form partnerships:

You need to team up with someone, whether it’s a partner, a mentor, an editor, or an equal. Get input.Toss your ideas out into the open, where they can be critiqued and molded into something that’s much closer to perfection than you’re able to create all by yourself. Swallow the pride and stop believing the myths that people are self-made millionaires. There are no overnight successes and there are no true solo acts.

It’s been true as a business owner, and it was true before I took the plunge into this lifestyle.

When I read today’s prompt for #reverb10 – asking to think about a friend who changed my perspective – I immediately thought of one moment – one conversation with a very good friend, Nicole Crimaldi.

This client – turned partner – turned friend gave me a kick in my self-doubting ass when I was wondering if running my own business was even remotely realistic. I vividly remember a conversation in the suburbs of Chicago when she encouraged me, repeatedly, that this could be something that I not only should do, but that I could do very well.

Fate, as it would seem, got me fired from my job only a week or so later – not exactly the exit I had anticipated, but I thought back to Nicole’s o-so-wise words of wisdom, “Don’t waste your time with the things you can’t control”.

We all need someone like Nicole – who – like a personal trainer – pushes you hard, cuts through the bullshit, and gives you a kick in the ass when you need it.

We all need someone like Sam – someone who believes in you and believes not only in your own success, but in the combined success and in the beauty of collaboration.

It’s been one of those years – in a good way – and I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without the support, love, and motivation from great people.

Who’s inspired you this year? Who pushes you to be at your best? Who have you partnered with?

Check out the full rundown of my #reverb10 posts here