This could have been avoided. . .

My heart goes out to Chris Neary. He’s the guy who got busted for carrying 15 kilos of marijuana, in a pack sack, across the border from Canada to the United States.

He was a business man

He wasn’t a smuggler. He was a small business man but his business wasn’t doing well. He became isolated from his friends and associates and, in his own words he was desperate, isolated and totally uniformed about what he was getting himself into. He said he didn’t ask anyone’s opinion about the wisdom of what he was doing. He just did it. Here’s a quote: “I felt it was up to me to turn things around and I tried to do everything myself. My ego took me to the top of the mountain literally.”

A lesson for all of us

Now, Chris has a lesson for all of us who are in business for ourselves. He fell into the classic small business trap of ‘I have to do it myself’ and this can lead to colossal failure and incredibly bad decisions. I know. I’ve made a few of them myself, and no, I never smuggled marijuana but I’ve done some awfully silly things in my small business that a colleague could have advised me against.

I’ve written about this

I’m just embarking on a small business alliance with another person who also provides communications services.  We don’t compete directly, although I suppose we could.  But it makes a lot more sense to support each other with business alliances.

We’re coaching each other

Here’s what we’re doing. We’re developing strategic plans for each of our businesses and we’re coaching each other to ensure that we follow our individual plans.  And when that gets rolling smoothly, we’re going to analyze how our individual pursuits can benefit both parties.

We both have challenges

She has different strengths than I have. I have different strengths than she has.  And of course, we both have our challenges.  Having done it on my own for many years, I welcome this affiliation.  Even though I’ve developed strategic partnerships in the past that fizzled and died, I really think this one is going to work.  I know from experience how difficult it can be to find the right person to work with you but when you can finally put it together the synergy is well worth the effort.

Develop strategic arrangements

If you’re a small business person who’s trying to do it all themselves, I urge you – stop doing this.  I can’t stress strongly enough the importance of aligning yourself with other people who can balance your challenges and who can benefit from your strengths. And you don’t have to limit yourself to one strategic partnership.  You can develop strategic arrangements with a wide group of people who have similar value.  If you find people you can align yourself with, who can help you to move forward while you help them to move forward, you’ll both benefit immeasurably.
What kind of strategic arrangements do you have in place?  How’s it working for you?  Tell us all about it.

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About Thomas Moss

Thomas Moss is a speaker, writer and coach who provides business communications services, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, including Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga. Service is also available outside of the GTA.

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