Unfiltered #5 – The Myth of Solo Success

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Unfiltered #5 – The Myth of Solo Success

Last week was Thanksgiving in the US.  This is a time to reflect and to give thanks for what we have.  Traditionally, it has also been a time to travel, see family and friends, relax, and eat – a lot.  This year, some of those traditions were paused to limit travel and communion out of fears of spreading the coronavirus.  The Governor of Vermont issued an executive order prohibiting gatherings between multiple households.  For many, this Thanksgiving was quite a bit different, and probably quite a bit quieter than those past.

While the traditions of gathering and consuming entire cornucopias of food may have taken a pause, the tradition of reflecting on what we are thankful for did not.  In my house, we went around the table just before our meal and we all mentioned the things for which we are most thankful.  Of course, with two young men at the table (8 and 11), we had a wide range of things for which we were thankful.

There are many things for which I am thankful.  Many.  But one thing that is never far from my mind, and this Thanksgiving was no exception, is the staff at Greensea.  I am incredibly grateful for the people I work with.

The greatest myth of entrepreneurship is that it is a solo endeavor.  To be fair, failure is probably a solo endeavor, but success is certainly not.  We love to fantasize about the solo entrepreneur going at it alone and just creating a successful company out of thin air based on hard work, brilliance, moxi, and all that.  It makes for a fun story, but I have a secret after doing this for 15 years:  It doesn’t.  F#%king.  Work like that.

An entrepreneur has no more a chance of building a successful company solo than a seed has of growing into a plant if it is never planted.  An entrepreneur may have an idea, the gumption, the drive, and the arrogance but without fertile soil, nourishment, and support, there is no hope.  The people with which we surround ourselves make the difference between success and failure.

Last Thursday as I sat at our dining room table thinking about what I am most thankful for, I thought of the huge successful delivery our production staff just made.  I thought of the long nights, lost weekends, and missed family time our engineering staff logged over the past year.  I thought of the stresses carried by our management staff, the dedication of our admin folks, the talent of our program managers, the creativity of our marketing group, the dogged determination of our sales staff, and the attention to detail of our quality team.  I thought of everyone in the Greensea family working in Vermont, Massachusetts, and California that go to work everyday moving the f#%king ball, believing in our team, believing in me, and believing in this thing we are building.  I thought of the fertile soil they have created for this entrepreneur to grow an idea in.

Dawn, Chris, Shay, Shannon, Chris, Dillon, Chelsea, Matt, Greg, Heather, Maggie, Jeremy, Elliott, Sam, Andrew, Southern, Greg, Marybeth, Niels, Matt, James, Brian, Mike, Heath, Dani, Naomi, Pete, Karnveer, Will, Nate, Regina, Karl, Cameron, Andy, and Alden – thank you.  I am really thankful for what you do.  I’m glad you are on my team and I am glad you joined the Greensea family.

4 thoughts on “Unfiltered #5 – The Myth of Solo Success

  1. Well said, and I couldn’t agree more. Great leaders attribute success to everyone else but themselves, and shoulder the burden of failures (lessons learned) by themself.

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Greensea Systems, Inc.

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