As we close out this week of entrepreneur posts, I saved one tough subject for all those people who want to be the star. You know who you are: you make statements like “Look what I did – on my own.” There are many solo entrepreneurs who want to get it all done themselves. They work and work, afraid to get help. But we can’t all be superstars. We need help to make things work. This year people here in Dallas got a true look at what a team could do verses a solo star or two.
I spent most of my day watching the parade and the following ceremony and celebration we had here in our town. I watched as a leader and entrepreneur honored the team he built to bring the NBA championship to Dallas. Mark Cuban bought the team in 2000 and, being the great entrepreneur he is, took it from a losing team to winning its first championship in the team’s history. It was a dream that he had from the day he bought that team; in fact, it was the dream of the team’s creator, Don Carter. Yet neither of them could not do it by himself. Cuban built a team to make it happen.
Well in life the bigger your goals are, the bigger you need your team to be. See, it was not just those players out there on the floor that were honored in this event. There were a lot of behind-the-scenes people who were also responsible for making this happen – from the coaching staff, to the office staff, to the General Manager, to the announcers. They have a team of dancers, a drum line, mascots. The list could go on and on.
But let’s look at the small entrepreneurs: who is on their team to help them win, to help achieve their dream, their ideal, to reach for their goals? It’s especially challenging if you don’t have the bankroll of a millionaire to spend on your team. Let’s put a list together to see who you need for your team, and who can fill those spots for you now.
- Customers. This is the first team we need for any business. We all need someone to serve; without someone to build a product for, to serve, or to play a game for, there is no need to start anything. So first thing you must do is find out who your customers or clients are. You might even make a few sales or contracts before you start to create the product. This is what most people do: they create the demand, then hit the workshop to create the product they just sold.
- Administrative Staff. This is where family or friends come into play. You may say “Yeah, but I have no money to pay them.” Well first you should use your family or home and your living expenses as your motivation to make this enterprise work. The biggest push to make profit come from this venture could be the demand of having to pay the rent. That keeps more small businesses afloat than you could ever imagine in this country. Well the other thing is if you cannot afford to pay them, work with your family for shares of ownership of the venture.
- Marketing. There are so many ways out there to simplify the marketing process. The first thing you could do to bring on those friends and family who want to work for you is to offer them a part-time job as your sales force. Develop your products or services with a margin to pay larger commissions to those who are willing to hit the streets and find you more customers. Paying them a commission to find customers for you while they do another job could be the motivation that someone needs to pay their rent this month. Use networking groups, or offer rewards to your current customers for referrals.
- Karma. The last team member you need to work for you is the old sowing and reaping, or Karma. Remember that everything you do will be returned to you, like the farmer who plants his seed for a crop. You must plant the seeds of what you want to reap from your venture, or enterprise. As we watched here in Dallas, the owner of the Mavericks went to the city and offered to pay for the entire festivities today. Before they had actually won, he had received a request from the very first owner, Don Carter, to just touch that trophy if they won it. Well Mark Cuban did something most prideful men, or those seeking to be alone in the spotlight, would never do: he brought Don Carter onto the podium in Miami and had the trophy first handed to him as the man who started this team before he would touch it himself. That is a man who understands you do for others before you do for yourself.
Today is the last post for our week, and as you can tell, this is one of my favorite subjects. I love to write and find stories that help you, my readers, find the entrepreneur in you. I want to see more people in our world become creative problem-solvers, forward thinkers who think out of the box and find different ways to get it done.
My hope for you is that you learn to be this kind of entrepreneur: create an idea, a business that serves, become a star at the company you work at now.