You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!

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A Few Good Men - "You can't handle the truth!"

Can you Picture the Scene?

There you are. Sitting in front of a client. Only sort of listening to most of what they’re saying. Because you’re preparing yourself. This is your time. You’re getting ready to pitch them on why you’re the “perfect” person to help them.

They pause or breathe, and you start in on your pitch. You explain how your advanced degree has prepared you to create the perfect strategic plan for them. Or you tell them why you didn’t waste time on a degree and you’ve been coding for a decade.

However you shape your story, there’s one thing I’m sure of – you’re a one-stop shop, right?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a single freelancer, small entrepreneurial team, startup, or small business – you’ve spent years developing your skills so that you could be that single engine delivering the perfect solution for your clients.

One-stop shops.

It sounds so good doesn’t it. It sounds like it’s a strategy for saving your client time and money. Why go with two vendors when with one you eliminate finger-pointing, higher costs, miscommunication, and so much more. Right?

You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!

Have you seen A Few Good Men? Have you seen Colonel William Jessup drop that line?

It’s a favorite of mine. Mostly because it’s so true. I hate the truth when it pierces. When it challenges me. When it pushes me to reflect and face what I don’t want to face. But the truth will set you free, won’t it.

So today I want to share with you a truth I hope you’re ready to hear.

You can’t do it all.
You aren’t “great” at everything.
You’re not a perfect one-stop shop.
You need to learn to collaborate well.

Make 2013 the year of Collaboration

Big projects, which are often the ones I work on, require a lot of people. That’s because big projects are complex. Big projects are the ones you want. They pay the best. They teach you the most. They develop the most trust. And they have the most on the line – and because of that, there’s no reason for you to try to do it yourself.

Find some quality folks and start working together. Develop the relationships that will help you tackle bigger projects. Know what you know. Know what you are truly fantastic at, and then find others who are equally fantastic.

Want a head start?

Here are a few friends I trust. They’re the high quality folks I was talking about. I’ve either worked with them, hired them, asked for their advice, or currently bring them into projects I’m working on. I trust them. I value them. I’m not saying you need to contact them. I’m saying you need to have your own list of folks you can work with.

Do you notice something from the list? If you know I do WordPress stuff, maybe you’re wondering why so many people on this list do what I do. If I do entrepreneurial coaching or small business help, why are Cory and Sé on the list? If I do mobile and WordPress app development, why is Steve there? If I know WooCommerce, why is Brian on my list?

That’s my point. Start Collaborating!

I don’t know everything. I can always learn. And the more and faster I learn to trust others, the better I become, and the more I’m able to help others – even if I help them by sending them to someone else (or build a team of folks to deliver value).

About Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

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