What seems like flexibility can turn into isolation. What looks like independence can feel more like quarantine. Business just isn’t a solo act.

If you spend all your time thinking you’re alone in this game, you’ll never take full advantage of the sheer breadth of people available to you. Plus, you’re likely to make the same mistakes over and over again, suffer from the same assumptions, and miss out on big opportunities.

Business is a social act. Click to tweet!

4 people you must have on your team


Your business team might be the single biggest factor in your success.

Whether you have a vision for building a robust, in-house team, or whether you’d prefer to be lean and mean, you need to surround yourself with the right people to get the results you want. You can’t just dig in on your own and wrestle success into being.

In the New Economy, “team” is a distributed concept. Your micro business team isn’t just the people that you pay but everyone who contributes value to your business. Your team is your community, your clients, your colleagues, and your friends.

Take a minute and take stock of who’s on your team, how they’re a part of your business, and what value you’ve received from them in the past. Then, consider whether you have these 4 absolutely essential people on your team.

…And where you could find them if you don’t.

Someone to Show You Your Unique Contribution

When you’re in your own head, it’s hard to tell that what’s going on in there is probably different than what others have going on in their heads. Take Natasha Vorompiova, creator of Systematic Success and one of our Quiet Power Strategy™-certified coaches. Last summer she made an off-hand remark about being able to run your whole business (project management, CRM, etc…) in Evernote.

As an Evernote addict myself, I said, “Woah, woah, woah. You can’t stop there. You must explain.”

She started to lay it all out, bit by bit. Allow me to speak for the group listening when I say our minds were blown.

She capped it all off by saying that she’s beginning to realize that most people don’t look at apps and tools and think, “How could I use this to simplify my business?”

No, Natasha, we do not. We think about adding, we think about fitting it in, we think about getting it to do 1 little thing instead of 100 big things.

We all have unique things to contribute. We all have a different way of seeing the world. We all have different strengths and ways that we’re effective. But we take them for granted. Our unique contribution colors everything we see.

You need someone in your corner to regularly point out your unique value to you. Sometimes she’s a boss, a business partner, or a colleague. He could also be an employee, even a contractor. Other times it’s your community.

People all around you are likely pointing out your unique contribution. But you’re not listening. You’re not hearing them when they describe in detail the unexpected way you solved that problem or the surprising way you handled a tough situation. Listen. Own it.

Someone Who is Making It Happen

Do you have business owner friends who are just trying to get ahead? Or do you have business owner friends who are making things happen? Too often, the people I talk to have friends who are all hustling and going nowhere fast.

It’s not that you should only spend time connecting with successful people. It’s that, if you don’t intentionally connect with successful people, there’s a good chance you’re missing a big piece of the puzzle.

Everyone you add to your business team who is making it happen has something they can demystify for you. While their answers may not be your answers, their stories can help you connect dots you wouldn’t have connected on your own. You can find your way more easily, even without copying their plan.

Sometimes these people are the contractors we hire. They’re experts in their fields and they can help you learn the ropes. Other times, they’re the coaches we hire. Their experience can provide a foil for your own. Still other times they’re our friends, colleagues, or people in our mastermind groups.

Trying to figure it out with a group of friends or employees can be helpful, but gaining knowledge from the experience of someone who’s been there, succeeded at that, is priceless.

Someone Who Complements You

Look, you’ve got strengths and you’ve got weaknesses. I have strengths and weaknesses. The beautiful thing is that there is someone out there who believes in your vision as much as you do who has the opposite strengths and weaknesses. That person should be on your team.

Recently, I hired my mother to manage projects, monitor communication, and create systems in my business. In the Fascination Advantage system, I am Power + Prestige, she’s Alert + Trust. In Myers-Briggs, I am INTP, she’s ISFJ. In English, that all means that I’m a big picture creator who performs best when I’m on stage and in charge. She’s a detail-oriented caretaker who performs best when she’s making all the puzzle pieces fit together.

She complements me.

Don’t try to be something you’re not. That’s what your business team is for. Whether they work for you or create value for your business more casually, find people who complement you.

Someone Whom You Can Trust With Responsibility

You are not your business. Even if you’re operating a one-woman show, you are not your business.

You need to be able to hand off responsibility. It’s not enough to outsource a task or try to fill in the blanks on a big project. You need to let go to succeed.

If the people on your business team can’t be trusted with true responsibility (the ability to create value for your business without your constant intervention), you’ll never feel like you’re getting ahead.

If you’re not at the stage of bringing on actual team members, think about what you’d like to let go of—not just because it’s annoying or time-consuming but because it’s not something you need to do. Consider creative ways to trust others (or tools or applications) with that responsibility. And if no creative solutions exist, make a plan and benchmarks for bringing a business team member on board.

You can’t get ahead without support. Whether you choose to invest in a program like Quiet Power Strategy™, a contractor or employee, or your community, make team-building a priority for your business this year.