Assemble Your Dream Team
Last week, I spent several days at a corporate retreat at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The event was designed to strengthen existing business relationships and build new ones. This photo shows all of us after a pit crew competition. The team in the red shirts won. My team wore orange. We came in last, but we had a lot of fun doing it.
That's me in the orange shirt, right, front row.
During my time with these great people from around the country, I celebrated the connections between our lives and our businesses. Even though we wore different shirt colors and came from different backgrounds, we were one big team for 3 days. Our goal was to have fun, honor our host (Stratus Insurance Services, the broker for IBN's groundbreaking products liability insurance program) and strengthen the ties that bind us.
The experience made me think about how, as Indies, we must surround ourselves with a good pit crew — a collection of team members who support and encourage all aspects of our lives. Teammates come in all shapes, types and sizes. I have found that the best way to incorporate them into an Indie lifestyle is to categorize them as follows.
1. Spiritual Teammates. Spiritual teammates are at the heart of your business and your life. They don't need to come from any type of organized religion, but they can. Whatever your faith, if you connect with like-minded people, you will naturally find spiritual teammates.
Spiritual teammates pray with you, share their wisdom with you and counsel you. This keeps you strong and vision-focused.
They also serve to remind you that your life and your business serve purposes far beyond what you can actually see and experience in the physical realm. This is important because, ultimately, our physical lives will come to an end, and we need constant reminders of the purposes our lives and businesses serve in a broader, spiritual sense.
2. Financial Teammates
Financial teammates help us stay fiscally responsible. They come in many forms: professional financial consultants, fund managers, bank savings accounts representatives, personal accountants and people's whose books on money management help us stay on track.
3. Legacy Teammates
These people help us make sure our businesses translate into a healthy legacy for those coming after us, particularly where our children and younger family members are concerned.
Legacy teammates come in two forms: people we mentor and people who mentor us.
One of my legacy teammates is Lindsey, the woman who helped me with my children when they were infants. Lindsey spent almost as much time with my babies as I did, and because she spent so much time with me, she learned to turn her gift for watching young children into a thriving business.
Because of the inspiration, confidence and encouragement I gave her, she now nannies for families who can pay her far more than I could at the time. She works with them in their homes, at their businesses and even travels the country with a them, helping them care for their children on family vacations.
Legacy teammates are also the people who mentor you. These are the people you watch and learn from. You mimic their successful business activities and learn not to repeat their mistakes. Whether they are formal teachers or people you follow on Twitter, these are people whose lead you follow. Through their example, you learn what works and what doesn't work.
4. Physical Teammates
These are the people who work with you physically in your business: employees, contractors, children, spouse, neighbors, baby sitters, etc. Whether paid or not, the people who physically support your efforts are your physical teammates.
Share your vision with these people. Ask for their opinions. Make sure they know they are a part of your team. Not only will that translate into loyal partners for life, but it will also empower them to create their own team so they can be successful in pursing their endeavors.
5. Emotional Teammates
These people are your inner sanctum of friends and confidants. While they support your business and root for you, they often have little to do with the everyday workings of your enterprise.
One of my best emotional teammates is my college friend, Terri Bynoe. Terri knows a little about IBN and she's gracious enough to subscribe to my blog and newsletter as a way of supporting me. But she knows very little about how the business works. That's not what interests her. What interests her is me, and that would be the case whether or not I had a business.
Here's an example of how Terri fits in as my emotional teammate. When my father passed away last year, Terri was the first friend I called with the news. Without hesitation, her first words after I told her were, "I'm coming." She was at my family home, 8 driving hours away from her house, the next morning.
That's what I call an emotional teammate. Someone who will be there for you through thick and thin. And while they know little about your business, and it's nice that they don't, their emotional support is critical to your success.
Without emotional teammates, you would have no safe place to deal with the emotions you can't share with your business colleagues. And that would not be good for your business.
Emotional Teammates pick you up when you're down. They listen to your problems and sympathize with you to a large extent. They almost always take your side.
Mastermind Teammates show no mercy.
These people push you to the limit. When you complain, they have no patience. When you say you can't, they say you can. Whey run out of money, they make you find some. When your business mind has been exhausted, they tell you that you must do more.
When you tell a Mastermind Teammate why you can't do this and can't do that, they may let you talk, but they don't listen to you. If you want a pity party, a true Mastermind Teammate will reject the invitation to attend, hands down.
I have had many Mastermind Teammates through the years. I pay some of them as business coaches. Others I work with as a group on a formal basis, but money does not change hands. And still others are periodic phone calls or business meetings where masterminding is not planned, but it happens anyway.
Some people fit into more than one of these categories. In my case, the one person who straddles all of the categories is my husband. We work together, raise our children together, strategize together, learn together, screw up together and cry together.
In any business, there will be people who fall into more than one category, and that's fine. In fact, there's no real need to put people in a box.
The point is that you need people in each category or you risk lacking the kind of support you need to strengthen all aspects of your business.
What do you think?
Who helps you be successful and stay on track? Do you have a Dream Team? Do you have more categories than I do? Share how you use teamwork to make your dream work in the comments section below.
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