One reason many people go into business for themselves is that they have a strong independent streak and want to do things their way (or, is that just me?). However, that drive for independence can also be a detriment. One of the downfalls of being a solo entrepreneur can be not having other people to bounce your ideas off. If you are like me, you have a strong sense of independence but you also thrive in an environment where you have other people to share your ideas with. Collaborating with your peers can help take your business to a new level. It opens you up to new ideas that you might not think of on your own.

So, how does the independent entrepreneur find the balance between independence and collaboration? Here are a few ideas:

Get involved in a joint venture. A joint venture is a collaborative effort for business owners to grow their lists by joining efforts to promote an event. These events can be virtual, like a telesummit, or live, like a small expo. Virtual events cost nothing for the participants. Everyone usually has a free gift to offer to get opt-ins, usually something digital like an eBook or an audio. The events can range from an interview to a video training on the topics. You can also host an event which is a big undertaking but has its benefits.

Go to networking events regularly. Networking is for more than just finding new clients. You might meet future referral partners or someone you click with and enjoy sharing business ideas over coffee with. The key to building these relationships is to be consistent and to be open to sharing. You might surprised at how many of your ‘competitors’ turn into great collaboration partners. I have a couple of peers who I do this with. We meet up for coffee or over the phone and share ideas and what we are working on.

Join a mastermind group. Mastermind groups are groups of like-minded people who get to together to share ideas in an environment built on trust and support where they will be accountable. Mastermind groups can consist of business owners in the same industry or across a variety of industries. The important part is that the participants are on a level playing field so that everyone gets the most out of the group. You can join a group that has a facilitator or you can make up your own. It’s usually best to have an outside facilitator who is skilled at running a group so that everyone gets a fair amount of time.

The bottom line is that you can enjoy the benefits of being an independent business owner and enjoy the benefits from collaborating with your peers without compromising either. My encouragement for you is that you will investigate opportunities to get involved with others where there is a mutual exchange of information that benefits everyone. Remember, you can achieve whatever you believe as long as you are willing to work for it! Visit The Coach & Mentor Group to learn more.

Author's Bio: 

Liz Uram helps entrepreneurs and solo professionals attract more qualified leads, get more clients, and make more money through strategic action planning. She is a certified professional coach, has a B.A. in Organizational Leadership, is the author of ‘How to Organize & Manage Your Time – A One Year Planning and Action Guide’, and is an award-winning speaker. Request your free eBook 5 Steps to Boost Your Business Now