“Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.” – B. R. Ambedkar
I am, as most people who are aware of my business philosophy will realise, a massive fan of the collaborative approach when it comes to business. Without collaboration, and cooperation, and partnership, and mutual respect – what is there really? What point is there in being in business, apart from slogging away at the bottom line day after day?
I am a believer in partnerships. In the give and take of business relationships – and yes, the incorporation of friendship within said business models. Some people scoff at me for this, and say that it leads to grief; I say that if you can’t enjoy the journey, what is the end point about?
But I admit there are times when despite all the collaboration and partnerships and mutual work, it comes down to one thing; you. If you aren’t tough enough, and savvy enough, and have enough chutzpah and smarts and business acumen to see the lay of the land – then all the collaboration in the world is not enough to make your business succeed.
Sometimes what is needed is a collaboration with yourself. And to work alone; even if it means alienating some people who are used to you constantly propping them up.
You need to ensure that you are not just giving out ideas and intelligence to others, but are investing strategically in your own growth at the same time – and in fact concentrating on it. Don’t be so caught up in being helpful and partnering for performance with your colleagues that you neglect your own business. Make sure that the focus is firmly on yourself.
Don’t be afraid to be selfish. You can rest assured that everyone else is thinking of one thing first and foremost – themselves. You need to ensure that your own business doesn’t suffer out of respect for other people.
Does this sound harsh? Perhaps. But you have a business goal. You have set your mind to succeed. This doesn’t mean trampling on the fingers of those who are helping you on your journey; what it does mean is making sure that your own digits are safely out of the stiletto zone.
Sometimes there is only one hand clapping – but it still makes a sound. A big sound. Because the hand that is clapping is yours; and there’s only one, because the other fist is punching the air.
Don’t be afraid of being lonely occasionally in business. Those who you support, and who are genuine in their commitment, will support you back. And those who drop off?
I bet they can’t clap properly anyway.
Trust in yourself. Do your own thing. Be the best you can be. And thrive.
And give yourself a clap!