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Before launching my first business in 2017, I made a decision that helped shape its success — I declined several C-suite positions. Although they were financially attractive, the opps didn’t resonate with my core values, particularly my commitment to ethical business practices.
It’s common for entrepreneurs to leap at the first opportunity that presents itself, typically driven by financial incentives. For many, years pass quickly, and though they have all the shiny things, many remain unfulfilled and miserable.
An alternative path does exist. Leverage your passions, core values and strengths, and selectively embrace opportunities that align with them. How about the rest? That’s simple — delegate them to trusted partners.
This approach has helped me shape a more fulfilling and successful entrepreneurial journey, one that allows challenges daily in vastly different industries while never feeling like I’m actually “working,” the latter always my ultimate goal.
Here are two strategies that have helped me on my journey.
Related: 3 Tips for Creating Powerful Partnerships
1. Resist ill-suited opportunities — a test of entrepreneurial resolve
For new entrepreneurs, quick success and financial gains are tempting. Although these arrive sometimes, the real challenge resides in resisting opportunities that don’t align with your passions, core values and strengths.
This happened to me ahead of launching my first business in 2017. First was the passion and core value elements.
All of my years spent studying literature and music helped shape my focus of only doing things passionate to me. This passion, along with a few of the business practices that didn’t meet my ethical standards, prompted me to turn down a highly lucrative C-level position. It was the best — although most challenging — decision in my entrepreneurial journey.
Before jumping on an enticing opportunity, pause and reflect. Do you possess the necessary knowledge and skills? And, more importantly, does it resonate with your passions and ethical outlook? Pursuing a venture that’s misaligned with your passions, core values and strengths typically fails.
Instead, focus on nurturing your unique talents. Embrace opportunities that allow you to leverage your interests and the skills you’ve honed over time. This approach increases your chances of success and leads to a more fulfilling career.
Building a business that mirrors your true self — your interests, skills and values — not only has a greater chance of success but also brings job satisfaction, leading to higher productivity, quality output and profitability. Someday, your interests may pivot, but as long as you built a solid business around them, you can also pivot from your role and pursue other opps. This could mean selling a business, passing leadership to someone else or simply taking on a new role within the company.
That said, all of that relies on having solid business partners, leading me to the next point.
Related: How to Use Strategic Partnerships for More Explosive Growth
2. Relentlessly seek ideal business partners
Outsourcing is a strategic move for small businesses. Instead of trying to juggle every task, finding partners who excel in areas outside your expertise or interest is more effective.
Identify tasks that are outside your wheelhouse, whether it’s complex IT challenges or social media marketing. Find individuals who specialize in these areas and who are passionate about them. Their expertise and enthusiasm ensure superior quality and commitment.
In my journey, I’ve learned that finding the right partners goes far beyond mere skillset matching. It’s about forging relationships with individuals or entities that resonate deeply with your business’s vision and core values. This alignment is the crux of building a partnership that’s not just functional but genuinely synergistic.
It’s like a well-orchestrated band where every member’s unique style and expertise contribute to a powerful performance. When partners share your vision, they bring more than their skills — they bring a shared commitment to your business goals, a mutual understanding of what you stand for and an unwavering dedication to driving the collective mission forward.
This synergy differentiates between a business that simply operates and one that thrives. It’s about creating a network where each component amplifies the other, leading to exponential growth, innovation and success. It’s a lesson I hold dear and a strategy I advocate for any entrepreneur looking to not just build a business but to create a legacy.
Also, this approach goes beyond mere delegation — it’s about optimizing. When experts manage tasks, they’re executed with greater efficiency, improving productivity, reducing costs and enhancing quality.
Related: How to Develop B2B Partnerships That Grow Your Business
With the right partners, you can concentrate on what you do best: boosting your productivity and work satisfaction. Seeking the right partnership can significantly enhance your business success. Combining your unique strengths with those of your partners creates a robust, dynamic business that’s well-equipped to succeed in a competitive market.
For budding entrepreneurs, it’s vital to resist the temptation of taking every opportunity and instead focus on areas where you excel. Outsource other aspects to individuals who are passionate and skilled in those domains.
This strategy leads to a streamlined, efficient business that thrives on your core competencies. Embrace the power of selective collaboration and watch your entrepreneurial venture flourish, anchored in your passions and expertise.