Going It Alone

AloneIn a recent poll by Small Business Guru, 66% of small business owners said they were not involved in any sort of peer group.

It’s all too easy for small business owners to feel isolated.

For those of us working out of our homes it’s just the reality of our environment. But even for those who work in an office environment and maybe even have employees, that sense of isolation is still there.

You spend so much of your time putting up a strong front for customers, employees, and family that eventually you realize you have no one to turn to for help.

And let’s face it, asking for help — it can feel like admitting failure. While completely irrational, it’s a very real dynamic.

We invest so much of ourselves into our businesses that any outside involvement can feel like a personal attack.

Our usual response to someone giving us advice? We get defensive. What does he know? They don’t understand.

We just don’t want to open ourselves up to the possibility that we need help.

Why It’s A Problem

In The Wisdom of Crowds, James Suroweicki showed statistically what many of us may find to be counterintuitive: An average group of moderately intelligent people, working together, will make better decisions than one brilliant mastermind.

Now granted there are exceptions to the rule. But if you have diversity of opinions, independence, decentralization, and a trusted model to aggregate opinions into a consensus, you will make better decisions.

Put it this way – if you’ve ever been amazed at the accuracy and relevance of a search returned on Google, well you’re witnessing the theory of the Wisdom of Crowds in action.

In the simplest of terms, talking with others helps us work through a problem.

We only have the benefit of our world view. But when you open yourself up to different view points you r introduced to a whole new world of ideas.

You’d be surprised at what new ideas will come from unexpected sources.

While the answer may not spill out of the conversations directly, you’ll find one idea leads to another which leads to another which THEN to the answer.

Coming out of a discussion with a group of people you respect, you’ll be stimulated and energized. You’ll have the courage to move forward on new ideas.

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