We run a lean operation. People are often surprised to learn that we employ only 12 full-time team members. We try not to over-hire, and when we lose a staff member, we don’t immediately replace that position. I do realize that this can be counter-intuitive if our goal is to grow the economy. But let’s be honest, that’s not our goal. Our primary corporate goal is to make a profit. If we are profitable, all other goals, including growing the economy, will eventually be met.
But in order to profitably grow our business, we occasionally have to take on tasks for which we are understaffed. Or under-talented. Don’t get me wrong, I never accept work that is not a good fit for our core competencies. To do so would be a disservice not only to our clients, but to us as well. But as we adapt to this “new economy,” we have to adapt our offerings as well. Sometimes, we realize that we can do more, and do it quite well, with the assistance of the right people.
It’s no secret that an effective leader surrounds himself with individuals that are smarter than him. No secret to me, anyway. Sure, the quick retort is to say, “Paul, aren’t most people smarter than you, anyway?” Well, yes, but I believe that my one of my greatest strengths is seeking and utilizing this wealth of talent, both internal and external.
Twitter has greatly accelerated my access to this talent. Over the past 18 months, I have befriended a variety of individuals who continue to contribute to our success. And I do sincerely consider them friends. Having met them via Twitter, they were avatars, then individuals, and finally friends….before I ever considered them as talented assets. And so outsource opportunities continue to make us a larger entity than we are…but that’s okay. We are considerably stronger because of it.
All of these talented individuals listed below have contributed on more than one occasion to my operations. (And I am listing only those individuals whom I’ve compensated. The wealth of free information that I’ve received from the Twitterati would be too voluminous to list.)
First, an infrequent tweep and longtime (pre-Twitter) friend is Steve Davison (@sdavison52). For many years, he has assisted me in my sales and marketing efforts. If you open a sales opportunity for him, I have no doubt he will close the sale. He is that good.
The remaining list (and it is probably not complete) are those friends whose talents I’ve have used on at least two occasions. I would highly recommend all of them to you as well:
Karl Hills — @karlhills (web site development)
Rob McBryde — @ROBmcbryde (web site development/application installation)
Arlton Lowry — @arlton (web site development/micro-site implementation)
Brant Collins — @brantc (video streaming projects)
Greg Henderson — @jgreghenderson (social media and other marketing projects)
Amy Bradley-Hole — @amybhole (social media, promotional and other marketing projects)
But all work and no play makes one hungry. And for that need, I have outsourced my sweet-tooth desires to Kelli Marks (@kellimarks), cake-baker extraordinaire.
My point is this: No one person — or even a good team — can do everything. Sometimes it really does take a village. I’m thankful to have found a great networking platform (Twitter) that has helped me meet some really talented, cool people. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask others for help. It’s what successful people do.