“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.“ – Michael Jordan

I just had an amazing travel back through time as a guest on the Your First 100K podcast with host Joseph Warren, which just went live.

Client and good friend Nigel Bennett referred me to him, and it was a phenomenal experience. Joseph took me back to when I started my business 25 years ago, and the struggles to make my first $100,000. I found myself laughing as I remembered some of the crazy stuff I did – some of which worked, and some didn’t! If I knew then…

So, what didn’t work?

I started without enough money and racked up debt because I was living the lifestyle I used to have when I had a great job. I eventually had to move back in with my parents when cash flow became too tight. And I procrastinated on new business development activities.

But the biggest mistake was trying to do everything on my own.

My big turning point came when I realized that business and entrepreneurship is a team sport – not an individual sport. From there, the three things that worked the most and had the biggest impact were:

  • Collaborating with a great mentor and past manager of mine on a sales training program
  • Joining networking groups to meet and build a network of people where we could help each other
  • Helping to create a mastermind group of other start-up entrepreneurs to support, brainstorm and collaborate on strategies to improve our businesses.

Although these seem basic and obvious, it was all new to me when I was in my early 20s, as I started out in a new industry, with no experience working for a consulting or coaching firm.

Talking about it in the podcast made me realize that if I were to start again, with the same capabilities I had back then but with the strategies I know today, I could have grown my business dramatically faster. 

It’s about knowing the right things to focus on. That’s why I talk about the importance of getting advice and mentorship in chapter 11 of my book, Quadruple Your IQ. You can learn a lot from people who have successfully dealt with what you are facing, 14 times before. I call them the 14Xers.

New entrepreneurs often try to do too much on their own through ignorance, pride, or ego.

Those who learn that entrepreneurship is a team sport from the beginning, definitely have the advantage.

Challenge

  • Think about where you are today, whether you are starting out or scaling up a large enterprise. Reflect on what made you successful initially: Is there something about those simple principles you can return to that can make your company better today?
  • Is there someone on your team who needs to go back to the basics, who you can mentor to share your knowledge?