In the fast paced world of entrepreneurship, you must learn to wear many hats to get sh*t done. For example when I first started launching (and crashing) internet businesses I would wake up every day before the butt crack of dawn (typically 4:30 am) to create content, build products, begin prospecting, and learn web development, email marketing, and growth strategies. I did it all and sucked at most of it.
“Do I do it myself or pay someone to do it?”
So I began the search for help with my mission like most entrepreneurs, I had no money so I try to find virtual assistants in other countries who could do this work for me for less than $5.00 an hour. I also tried to find people who would work for equity or promises of ownership because I had nothing to give in form of money. Sure I had great ideas and the ability to bring people together and inspire them to a common mission but I still lacked the ability to make things move.
Heck, I still struggle with these things. In fact, I will let you in on a little secret… every business owner is struggling with their value proposition, finding great team members, and how to fully optimize their people in a way that is exciting and rewarding to everyone. Cut yourself and me some slack and just admit that you don’t know everything but you are learning and growing.
There are some lessons that I have learned and am learning about teams and working with people that I thought I’d share with you.
- Rocket Fuel – This book has given me the freedom to be me. Lots of times I have struggled with certain types of tasks and projects. You see, I had A.D.D. before it was a legit excuse to be a daydreamer and powerful idea generator (more on the power of A.D.D. in the future). I learned that I was built a specific way and instead of fighting it, I should leverage it. There is no one in this world who is better at X than I am so I must focus on that value (I inserted an X, because this message is not about how awesome I am at X but how I learned to learn). The beauty of life is that through really caring for people and creating relationships, I have found that other people are really great at Y and I’d be thrilled to share in the glory and profits of a job well done.
- Good To Great – This book is an incredible resource for growing companies. We must first try to find the right people and get them on our bus as step 1. Step 2 is trying to help find the right seat on the bus for that person. This step takes time and experimenting and pivoting. Be patient, to scale you must invest in people.
- Virtual Freedom – This book is about hiring virtual staff, sometimes from other countries. One of the biggest lessons I learned from this book is that we must be able to clearly define a job, give clear instructions on how to do it, and what does a job well done look like.
When I learned that everyone has a value proposition and a purpose they are working towards, I saw the power of creating overlapping sandboxes. A wise person once said something like this…
One can put a thousand to flight, but two can put ten thousand to flight.
The power of WE is the ultimate formula for growth.
I read so I can learn from the successes and screw-ups of others…. Reading allows me to live a thousand lives
- Procrastinate on Purpose – Great framework of thinking about processes… Should this be done? Now or Later? And Should I do it?
- Linchpin – Written by S. Godin, this book began my thinking about personal value proposition… Linchpins are indispensable so they get the best jobs… “How do I become a linchpin?” Best question I ever asked myself
- How To Be A Power Connector – Maybe I should save the best for last… I feel like my friend Judy wrote this book for me, a guy who gets past the velvet ropes and gets invited in places that no one else can get in. (Side note about personal value proposition and purpose… my opinion: Our goal in life is to discover how God built us, what are we supposed to do with it, and do it with our full energy to help people and bring him glory)