Entrepreneurs need all the help we can get on every level we try to go.
Heidi Scott was my first collaborator. When my biz was out of the extra bedroom this wonderful Quick Start niece (then college student working part-time, since a highly successful entrepreneur) was my only employee. I learned a lot from her. She’d walk in the door ready to take on the world, chiming in with opinions, short cuts, and a bravado I could never match (but greatly admired).
The UPS guy was my next best collaborator. Wish I knew his name. He’d come in (wasn’t supposed todo this, I later learned) and help carry large boxes of educational books and games into his car. Along the way, he’d recommend better methods to taping them together, among other (what I soon recognized) were Implementor tricks.
My first fulltime employees helped edit, package, market, as we learned and worked together – or not. She missed understood collaboration as a “take over” (after all, SHE didn’t make as many mistakes as I made).
Those who expected me to be an all knowing boss , or one who paid them to do only what was in the job description (which I never wrote, but them sometimes did) never lasted long.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was always looking for collaborators, and those who just wanted jobs were both frustrated and frustrating.
The best collaborator of all the “blind” hires (people I didn’t know before they came into the business) is James, about whom I write below. He’s a generation younger, but born wise. He’s a primary reason I’m so in love with technology. What I wanted to try, he was willing to teach.
There isn’t a person on the Kolbe Corp team who I don’t consider a collaborator, whether they’re in operations, finance, technology, sales or delp desk. they all get involved in product development, concept issues, and communications of our mission.
Too bad government regulations don’t recognize the way collaboration actually works – but that’s for another blog.