Who is on your team?

2015-06-08 08.13.49For much of my life I prided myself on being fiercely independent. I did things for myself, by myself, and would move mountains before I’d admit I needed someone else.

I even avoided letting too many people get to know me. I didn’t see the same hair stylist more than 1 or 2 times before moving to the next one. I would choose the big gyms and spas where I could be anonymous. Somehow believing that by getting to know these people and letting them get to know meant that I was not as independent and free.

So when I decided to work for myself, I really embraced the solo part of solopreneur.

But the truth is that we need each other. Human beings are pack animals. Community and companionship is important for safety and for our mental health (among other things).

Over the last several years, I’ve surrendered to the idea that I need other people (duh).

That I cannot, in fact, do everything myself. (It’s still hard for me to put that into words. I believe it, but that defiant, independent, competitive part of me is throwing up a little as I say it).

So I started building my team.

What I mean by my team is not that I have people who do my work for me. They mostly don’t high five or fist-bump me. And many of them don’t know they are actually on my team.

My team is a bunch of people who have never met each other, but each of them helps me be my best self and do my best work in one way or another.

The point of having a team, your team, is to help you do your best work.

My team includes everyone from my hair stylist to my husband to my mastermind group. They all help me feel good, stay sane, and keep on trucking in my life and business.

I’m still building my team as my needs change and my business shifts. And your team will likely include different kinds of people than mine does because you have different needs.

But here are a few places to look to get you started building your team:

  • At home: who keeps your home feeling like home? This could be a significant other, a housecleaner, a pet, or even that design blogger you’ve never actually met who inspires you to keep your home looking fresh and beautiful.
  • At work: whether you are a solopreneur or an employee or something in between, you need work support. This could be the work friend you can vent to, the mentor who answers your questions, the teacher of the online courses that help you grow your list, the web designer who keeps your site pretty, the mastermind group that keeps you accountable, etc.
  • Your money team: could include a tax professional, bookkeeper, financial planner, or the team at Shoeboxed. Or maybe Suzie Orman. Whoever keeps you sane about money.
  • Your health team: your doctor, dentist, eye doc, favorite fitness instructor, nutritionist, masseuse, or whoever keeps you healthy and feeling good.
  • A few others to consider for your team: you might want to include a hair stylist, nail professional, masseuse, therapist, coach, a friend you call when you want to eat-all-the-chocolate, and an author or teacher who inspires you and keeps you grounded (like Oprah or BrenĂ© Brown who have both spent some amount of time on my team).

Building a team means identifying the people you can rely on. You have a tax question, so you ask your tax person. You need a pedicure, you go to your nail person. You need to drink wine and vent about a tough day at the office, you know who to call. You need to be cheered up, you know which movie(s) to watch.

This means you don’t have to start from the beginning and re-tell your story every time to someone new. They already know you. And you know where you stand.

You can tell someone they are on your team if you want to, but mostly that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you know who to call when you need them.

Who is on your team?