The myth of the rugged, independent, self-made man is as antiquated as it is wrong. First, because it’s defining feature is “manliness.” In my experience, women tend to be much better at getting shit done. Observe any mother.
Second, being “self-made” fails to address current realities. You, as an individual, are not scalable. You are not accountable. You only have one perspective. You only have certain skills. You cannot keep up with the pace of innovation. You only know what you know.
Being fully cognizant of your personal limitations is not the least bit defeatist. It’s honest and empowering. It means you understand that you are just one person with limited capacity, but with the help of others, you can be a force multiplier.
Recently, I started mentoring two new startups. Both are pre-launch. I’ve been there myself and credit some amazing mentors for helping me successfully navigate that path. Although I have coached hundreds of other small business owners, I asked one of my mentors for advice on how to be a good one.
She said, the most important skill as a mentor is, “A strong understanding of what you should and should not give advice on. In short, know what you don’t know and don’t give advice on something you don’t know, but instead help them find someone that can.”
That’s good advice for all us: Know what you don’t know, and get help from someone who does.
Fewer mistakes. Faster results. Less time.