Why Lone Wolves Make Terrible Entrepreneurs

I spent a lot of time yesterday talking to my teammates in Brazil. I walked away from that conversation with a realization that seems so obvious now.

There is a idea (especially in America) that good entrepreneurs are rebels and rule breakers and independent thinkers. While that may be true in some cases, (I know it is true in myself) those qualities don’t actually translate well to success.

Those qualities are a good starting ground, because you have to be somewhat delusional to believe you can start a business and succeed at it, but in terms of execution, those personality traits are counter intuitive.

I’ve had a website that I’ve owned for a few years that keeps growing and growing, but I haven’t had the time or the bandwidth to create a good business model around it. The site traffic keeps increasing, but that’s it. It doesn’t monetize and it’s all over the place.

Yesterday, I took some time and asked Victor and Douglas what they thought about it. I asked if they had any interest in working on it. I requested that they take a look and put some reports together that would give me a perspective on the site without my own personal biases attached.

They agreed and I felt excited.

It was after that conversation I realized my willingness to ask for help and to share in the rewards is way more valuable then my ability to take “the bull by the horns.”

Then I started thinking about my evolution over the last ten years. I realize that I hardly do anything on my own anymore. In fact, there hasn’t been one instance in which I succeeded at something while doing it completely on my own. Not one. Everything I’ve tried to do on my own has either failed or never materialized into anything exciting.

There used to be a time when that would really bother me. I loved (and to some extent still do love) the idea of rebelling against the system, going out of my own, and sticking my middle finger up to the man who wants to me go to college and fall in line.

But that’s not the case anymore. What I know now is that good entrepreneurs are two things…

  1. Good leaders

  2. Good decision makers

I have no desire to be a lone wolf entrepreneur. I would much rather find people who are smarter then me, better than me and more capable than me, and formulate the incentives so everyone has a reason to work hard and make a company succeed.

Everything I do now is based on those two skill sets.

I am pleased to discover that it’s much more fun this way.