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Oh, I'll share my french fries, and my lemonade. I'll even share my chocolate ice cream and bacon.
But I won't share ownership of my company. I'm married to a great guy, and I WILL share it with him, after all, we are supposed to "be one". But I won't share it with other people, and I have very good reasons why I will not.
When I choose to launch a business, it is unique. I have a vision for that business that departs from the typical business. We did not have a web development company that was like other web development companies - we made ours special. Our farm is different than other farms, and we operate it with rules we have developed around our individual convictions. Our marketing consulting methods are different than others, and they center on particular principles that are fairly rare in the marketing world.
This is MY vision... One that my husband usually "gets". But it is one that other people usually do NOT get. Our customers and clients respond to it specifically because it is different. But other individuals in the business world rarely truly grasp the thing that sets us apart. They THINK they do. But they don't. They take the words that we use to describe what we do, and the run it through their "filter of familiarity" and what comes out is pretty much the same thing every other business of this type is doing.
Consequently, if I partner with someone, I invariably find that they do not really understand what I am going for. When you partner with someone, they have a good deal of influence over what your business becomes.
If you get a business loan, or receive funds from an investor, or even if you form a corporation with several other individuals, or go public with shares, you find that your business is now not only FUNDED by these people, it is also, to a large degree, CONTROLLED by these people. They are invariably people who only understand the common. They rarely grasp a truly individual idea. Sad, but true.
This means that as soon as your wonderful and unique business concept gets in the hands of other people who have the right to approve or disapprove of your methods, they will systematically strip it of everything unique! You will end up having a company just like all the rest, without a grain of genius left. It isn't that they MEAN to do this... they actually LIKE the idea of doing it differently. But when presented with the REALITY of doing it differently, it feels too risky to think outside themselves, so they withdraw to what they associate with being "safe". And they unconsciously torpedo any chance your shiny new idea has of succeeding, because the world does NOT need another business like all the rest. It needs something new and fresh.
I've provided services to a number of non-profit organizations, and participated in various committees to attempt to affect change. In every instance, a problem is presented, ideas are tossed around, including some VERY good and original ideas. By the time the committee finally reaches an agreement on a course of action, they are agreeing to do the same thing to solve the problem that they tried last time that didn't work, because it was the only solution that contained enough common elements for everyone to agree upon. They name it something new, but it is the same thing anyway.
More people being involved in a concept almost always dilutes true brilliance. It DOES work to consult with many individuals, and to take the best ideas from each, and to fashion them into TRULY new processes. But when ONE individual who ALREADY has a truly new process puts that process up for review before the committee, it invariably works in reverse. The new thing is stripped of originality and watered down to mediocrity.
I don't share ownership. I don't seek business loans, I don't have advisory boards, and I don't form business entities that place my daily operational choices in the hands of other people who may have so much experience with their idea of my business that they can't ever really see MY vision of what it needs to be, nor understand how this might actually work BETTER than their "low risk" recommendations.
We have found that when we stuck to our guns, the unique idea that we formulated DID in fact work better. While our ideas were NOT suitable for EVERY customer, they were superior for OUR target market. Because for every handful of people looking for "the usual" solution, there is one that wants the very difference we can provide - and THEY are our target market. A market that is typically large enough to provide us with all the business we can handle.
Why would I want to sacrifice that, and give up the wonder and delight of really helping people who would not be helped otherwise?
Small business is amazing specifically for the capacity to reach vast numbers of people who fall through the cracks of the corporate service and product world. Big business operates on the "lowest common denominator" principle, and does not sell one of anything unless they can sell millions. Small business, on the other hand, can do a whopping good annual turnover serving a tiny fraction, and can do it better, and more personally, specifically to those customers whom big business thinks are beneath their notice.
If you involve a committee of big business advisors though, you will end up with a clone of a mega corporation, in miniature, which is doomed to failure because it CANNOT compete with big business.
What is unique is what is ESSENTIAL to the success of small business, and it takes looking at things from a different angle to bring that from concept to success. When I have "those" kinds of ideas, I want to KEEP them fresh and original.
Ownership of my business, and my ideas are things I do NOT share.