Independence and innovation are the foundations of American ingenuity. Self-reliance and a can-do attitude are not only the foundations of our country, they are the traits that make us strong. But working in a vacuum like this is not all it’s cracked up to be. Getting started in the apparel decorating business can be a lonely endeavor.
Sure you’ve got the know-how and the entrepreneurial spirit, but what happens when you have a new idea and just need a sounding board? What happens when you’re so excited about a new piece that you just have to tell someone? What happens when you wonder ‘is this any good’?
We are so often taught that we must carry our own load, it has become second nature to us. But as society changes and we spend more time in isolation from peers and family, our creativity and even our success can start to lag. Recent studies in both business and psychology show that we work better in groups.
When we have a chance to engage with others who support or even challenge our ideas, we are happier, more productive and find greater fulfillment and success.
IQ forum tells us:
- Working together creates positive relationships between people better than working alone or by competing.
- In a cooperative group, the members care about each other and about each other’s success.
- Many people learn better together than alone. (http://iqform.it.helsinki.fi/iqform/?node=iq_team_yksin_testi_eng):
When others are invested in your success, you tend to not want to let them down. Sharing ideas, increasing efficiency, broadening the knowledge base all enhance productivity, but they also tend to be happier and have more fun.
Even our own V.P. Kevin Camisa got started in the apparel decorating business at his mother’s dining room table. She may have wanted to serve dinner there, but she was invested in Kevin’s success. Though your mom may not be the very best business advisor for your small business, it is always advisable to get others involved and excited about your work.
You don’t have to go it alone. Find a friend, a partner or mentor. SCORE, for example is a nonprofit organization of retired executives who are giving back to the community by offering free advice to small business. They help “small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.” They are all over the country and they have been doing it for nearly fifty years.
‘Many hands make light work’ is not just a wonderful sentiment from the Bible, it’s a ubiquitous truism that has positive ramifications throughout business and society. We certainly experience it here with our team at Comfort Colors and with our customers and community.