You’ll Never Become Bigger Than Yourself If You Insist On Working Alone


You'll never become bigger than yourself if you insist on working alone.
As speakers, entertainers, artists, coaches, and consultants, we go into business because we love what we do. We have a passion and we want to share it with the world. We don’t have a boss. We set our own hours. We tell the world we are entrepreneurs, when in reality we are freelancers.

Seth Godin has gone into detail describing the difference between a freelancer and an entrepreneur. I’ll give a brief description here. A freelancer gets paid for doing a job. An entrepreneur builds something bigger than himself.

In reality, a freelancer has many bosses. Each one paying when the job, service, or product is delivered or completed. An entrepreneur on the other hand builds a business and can get others to run it. Once the machine is created, it can keep running without the active participation of the entrepreneur. He has built something bigger than himself.

One is not better than the other, but it’s a good idea to make the distinction. It helps clarify what it is that we’re doing.

As a speaker, author, coach, and professional magician, I’m a freelancer. I get paid when I do a job. I get paid when I speak, sell a product, or perform a magic show. If I don’t do the job, I don’t get paid. And for the most part, if I stop working, my business will wither away and die.

Like most freelancers, I wear many hats. I’m the marketing department, booking agent, project creator, and the star entertainment. Unlike most freelancers, I enjoy wearing all these hats.

The problem is there is only so much one person can do. We can become so busy running the business that we don’t have time to really enjoy the thing we set out to do. We become the bottleneck on activities and ideas that can propel our business forward.

So what can we do? We can build a team of people who are willing to work with us. This team can consist of other freelancers, but each team member has their own area of responsibility. As the team leaders, we set the goals for the business, but we have to be willing to let go of the reins and empower our team members to shine.

In the past year, I’ve developed a team of people who work with me. Sometimes they stumble, but they always pick themselves up and learn from the experience. By drawing on the talents and skills of my team, they’ve allowed me to reach greater levels of success than if I had tried to do it all on my own.

Build a team of people whom you can trust, delegate some of the responsibilities to your team members with clearly defined goals and areas of responsibility, be a leader, get out of the way, and watch your business grow.

Lou Serrano

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6 Responses to You’ll Never Become Bigger Than Yourself If You Insist On Working Alone

  • I have always enjoyed your blog tips and i wish to sincerely thank you for them. But with this your latest one titled ‘You’ll Never Become Bigger than Yourself If You Insist on Working Alone’, It’s something i have never heard anyone else mention before but i realise it’s completely true. as a mentalist and when you see the likes of derren brown in the u.k. you see he could not have made a name for himself if he did’nt have a team behind him like he does.
    Many thanks for your great advice.

  • Lou, as always, I love your blog, and your advice is always timely and on point. i know my comment is a bit late with regards to the actual posting, so i hope you don’t mind. as a freelance mentalist whose market is primarily corporate banquets, i am constantly finding myself doing most all of my own work; not because i want to or don’t think i can trust anyone else, but mainly because of needing to have things done in a timely manner and because i have the time to do it myself and see it is done correctly. things like graphic design, photography, or other type of professional work, i leave for the professionals in those fields. however, i often find myself doing everything else myself such as web design, management, social media management, direct mailing, networking, etc. I have friends who are lawyers, musicians, computer people, etc, who i look to now and then for advice; but perhaps I should look for more opportunities to actually employ those people to some degree and work some system of bartering with them. I’m mentioning this in hopes that you can mention some good examples of incorporating others into the business in a way that is a win for everyone involved, without breaking the bank. I never expect people to do things for me for free, and am always looking for ways to get creative with that. it is just not always easy to do as so many people i know are very busy with their own livelihoods, family, etc.

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