Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hello? Is there anybody in there??

"Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in art, in music, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man."
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Entrepreneurs have often felt lonely – believing that no one else shares their vision or their passion for building a business. But, we are not alone (pun intended) in that feeling. With today's growing workforce of soloists, telecommuters, work-at-home parents, independent salespeople, and virtual teams, loneliness is a feeling that millions of business owners are fighting.

During the ups and downs of completing a project, or finding new customers, the feeling of loneliness can set in and limit our vision and our productivity. It can be discouraging and be a wallop to that old self-esteem. And, with the gadgets we tote around, we unknowingly make it worse. Technology that's supposed to connect us – email, voicemail, and PDAs – often fuels our loneliness, enabling us to do a better job of isolating ourselves. For some reason we don't treat every email or voicemail like a real person is behind it. Why acknowledge it?

We're also intentionally distracted. We're plugged into our new I-Pods, or tapping our PDA screen playing a game. How about using technology to interact with real people once in a while?

There's no need anymore to pretend that you're too busy dealing with important people and projects. I know the truth. As a small business owner, I am one of you, and it's vitally important that we connect and help each other's ventures grow.

Yes, it was your idea in the first place, as John Steinbeck says, but greatness was never created in a vacuum.

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