Last week I had a conference call with small group of successful business people. We are discussing cooperating on a project (side project for me) where each of us will bring our own experience, expertise and contribute the skills that we have picked up along our professional journeys.
This sort of project is exciting and interesting; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Whilst there are never any guarantees, the putting together of a team that - at least on paper - looks as if it covers all the areas required to make it successful does give a certain confidence and a freedom to the individual. It doesn’t mean you can take a free ride, but knowing you can also rely on others within a team to help make a venture successful is undoubtedly a comfort that often brings added energy to the individual, allowing him or her, in turn, to perform better.
The Benefits of doing stuff on your own.
Of course there is always a danger that this reliance leads to something sometimes known as "Social Loafing”; namely the attitude that “if I don't do it someone else will” and to avoid this the team must make individuals accountable but the individual must also be motivated.
With this motivation in mind I would like to highlight the benefits of doing stuff on your own. I have worked most of my life with people, as part of large and small teams, both as a charge and in charge.
When stepping away from the rat race, I rather suddenly put myself in a position of not having others to rely on, not working with others and not being accountable to others. This “freedom” carries quite a lot of weight but I think deep down in my psyche I needed this.
We all have a desire for personal success, even within a group or team situation.
This blog is intensely personal. Nobody is helping me to do this. Beyond some outsourced search engine friendly content writing for the main site, I am currently doing everything. I am on a seemingly endless and impossible quest for a reliable Virtual Assistant (more of that another time) but right now it is for me to grasp the rudder, steer and row this boat. Perhaps that means going on a journey of discovery to find out exactly where I want it to go, but nevertheless, it is all down to me. If it is rubbish it is down to me. If it is great it is down to me. If it is mediocre it is down to me.
When you do something on your own there is nowhere to hide, you have no crutches. You are simultaneously exposing yourself and challenging yourself. And this is good. I think in a way I am also looking at this site as a way to prove something to myself. Probably because I have always been my biggest doubter and, in the past, suffered greatly from a lack of self-confidence.
On a solo project you have to make all the moves and improve your performance without necessarily comparing yourself to others. As in the case of individual sports, this means struggling harder through the low times and maintaining a high level of discipline to succeed. However, by increasing self reliance and having to take the initiative you build self confidence all of which can produce results, not only for you as an individual, but can also greatly empower you in a team situation.