Countdown to the Olympics: How to be an Olympic-level entrepreneur #26

The Olympic Flag flying in Victoria, British C...
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In 26 days, the 2010 Winter Olympic athletes will compete to be the best in the world. Entrepreneurs compete for a similar pinnacle of success every single day. This series of blogs will countdown to the Olympics with 31 ideas about what it takes to achieve gold in your business.

To be an Olympic-level entrepreneur, you need to be part of a team.

When the athletes arrive in Vancouver to compete in this year’s games, they aren’t competing for themselves or by themselves. Their effort is not the effort of one person. They are up there because a group of people worked together to make it happen. Getting an athlete to the Olympics is result of dozens of people: Doctors, sport coaches, health coaches, nutritionists, masseuses, and other sport-specific specialists with technical proficiency.

Similarly, Olympic-level entrepreneurs are the face of their organization. They market. They sell. They deliver. They bring core competencies. They have a vision for the gold medal. But they don’t do it alone. They surround themselves with a team people who can help them — either as employees, partners, or outsource providers. Everyone works together to make the entrepreneur an Olympic-level entrepreneur.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of small business owners who don’t get this. They will never get past the “little leagues” because they are convinced that they’ll save money and be more profitable if they do the work themselves or if they pay the cheapest possible price for help. They do their own marketing; they make their own sales; they build their own websites; they do their own bookkeeping, they buy low-priced web design. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying: It’s okay to do some of these things – things you enjoy and things you’re good at – and you should manage your expenses. But, to become an Olympic-level entrepreneur, you need to embrace the team mentality and be willing to invest in your business by investing in talent: Surround yourself with good people who can make you great.

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