I’m reading Brad Feld’s Startup Communities, a book I sought out to nurture my enthusiasm for and commitment to collaboration and cooperation.
Brad effectively demonstrates how entrepreneurial-led startup communities and incubators lead to invigorating economics, job creation, drive innovation and forward small business strategy.
A question burns inside me: what would and could happen if owners of existing companies viewed their businesses as startups, and themselves as entrepreneurs and leaders, and not owners and managers?
Ideally, entrepreneurs are filled with change-the-world optimism, in a hurry to tell the world about their great idea. Their wild enthusiasm and camaraderie shapes the culture of the business, pushed forward with a one-mindedness – a purpose shared with employees and stakeholders.
Add in the commitment to community building that Feld’s book promotes: to “increase the breadth and depth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem by multiplying connections among entrepreneurs and mentors, improving access to entrepreneurial education, and much more”, and it’s easy to imagine how the dynamics of these collaborations, where people feed off each other’s talent, creativity and support would benefit the owners of established companies as well.
Just as Rich Roll reinvented himself, you can reinvent your company. Rich calls himself a recovering attorney, in the process has become a wellness advocate. He contributes to and benefits from a whole new community.
When you StartOVER and reinvent yourself and your company, the opportunities of community and collaboration will present themselves to you.
Become a recovering “owner” and see yourself as a leader. Find others like you, read Brad’s and Rich’s books, get inspired together, and start some process of formal collaboration.