There is a myth that entrepreneurs are the hero of their business and it’s solely up to them to find all the solutions.
In my first business I bought into that myth; I guarded my ideas fiercely until I felt they were “perfect,” ready for public consumption. It was an exhausting process that left me feeling isolated, with the specter of failure lurking around every corner.
It wasn’t until after I sold my business and formally studied entrepreneurial resilience that I saw there was another way. In my new role as a Business Advisor for a local economic development agency I do everything I can to dismantle that hero mindset.
I recognized the signs that Myriam had fallen into the same dreaded trap. The owner of a Cornwall, ON second-hand bookstore, she is passionate about keeping books out of landfills. With weekly donations of 2000 books, she is running out of space and becoming overwhelmed.
Reaching out to me felt like a last resort. When I suggested put out a request for input to her clients, she was skeptical. A few days later Myriam wrote:
The response to your suggestion is a bit overwhelming, in a good way! 🙂
It turns out her plea for help on her Facebook page went viral! Last time I checked it had generated 56 comments and been shared 79 times. It was published in the local paper, and picked up by major news outlets like the Ottawa Citizen. Then CBC News paid her a visit and filmed a video, which generated more input.
Now Myriam feels overwhelmed by support. She may not find the perfect solution, but she knows others care. She is more resilient because she doesn’t have to be the hero anymore, and her business is more resilient because of the exposure.
Remember: going it alone is not the solution. Don’t wait to have the new product or service all figured out. Your best solutions will come from your customer base. Ask for help to create!
Please share your experiences and thoughts below. Let’s learn from one another and celebrate each other’s successes.
Thanks for reading!