The life of a Business Owner can be a lonely one. If you run a small business, you’re probably used to working alone.
Small Business Owners are the janitor, CEO, worker bee and everything in between for their companies. In this case, the Business Owner happily works in a silo, depending on no one else to take care of business.
Or maybe you have a team working for you. Even then, you assign employees grunt work while giving yourself the important jobs. You isolate yourself in a cocoon of executive functions, delegating tasks rather than collaborating on them.
The result? You spend hours alone, in front of a screen. With little real connection to other entrepreneurs and Business Owners, you fall into the dangerous Silo Mentality.
What is the Silo Mentality?
Transformation Business Owners often fall prey to what’s known as the Silo Mentality.
Think about a farm silo. This tall building stands straight and alone on the horizon. The Silo Mentality happens when you isolate your business from other people or other businesses.
You might avoid networking events, collaboration or co-branded products. Financially, the Silo Mentality limits your confidence to build your Freedom Generator.
The Silo Mentality is your safe space. You retreat to your comfort zone and continue to run your business and finances as you always have.
The real harm of Silo Mentality
We can’t continue to work by ourselves. Silo Mentality is not only damaging to your mental health, but to your business.
Let’s say you have the best product in the world. Even then, your business can’t succeed with a Silo Mentality. Business isn’t about your great product. Business revolves around social connections.
If you want to succeed, you have to meet with other businesses in your industry to foster these all-important connections. Even if these other businesses are your competitors, you still need to know them on a personal level.
Silo Mentality gets in the way of these genuine and often mutually beneficial relationships. In fact, Silo Mentality does real harm to your business.
Silo Mentality often results in:
- Reduced efficiency
- Decreased morale
- Diminished productivity
- Decreased revenue
Three big benefits of collaboration
The good news is you can rewire your brain. Once you learn to avoid Silo Mindset, you’ll be able to enjoy the three big benefits of collaboration.
1. Collective wisdom
Business Owners are incredibly knowledgeable. A collaborative mindset allows you to tap into other Business Owners’ experience.
Use this knowledge to your advantage. Make fewer mistakes and run a cleaner business with this wealth of information.
2. Lobbying power
Unfair and overly strict regulations limit your ability to earn a living.
One company might have a hard time challenging legislation, but when multiple businesses lobby together, they have the power to affect real change.
If regulations affect your business, stand strong with other Business Owners. Amplify your voices and protect your business interests.
Co-branding gives Business Owners a remarkable opportunity to increase revenue. Open your mind and partner with another business on complementary services.
Leverage another business’s audience and contacts to market a joint product. In the end, you both amplify your reach and earn a greater slice of the pie.
Challenging Silo Mentality for success
Business Owners clearly stand to gain when they escape the Silo Mentality. You can free yourself from this destructive line of thinking in three ways:
1. Define your vision
Words have the power to shape your reality. To escape the Silo Mentality, you have to envision your business operating without a silo.
Create your reality by writing down your silo-free future. Define how your business will work outside of a vacuum.
You might write, “My business collaborates with community stakeholders to empower other small businesses.” Your statement will differ depending on your type of Transformation Business.
The point of writing down your vision is to set a goal. You can adjust your mindset much more easily when you have a written, defined goal.
Use this written statement as a yardstick to test your mindset as you grow.
2. Give yourself an incentive
Silo Mindset happens on autopilot. As a result, we have to rewire our brains to avoid silos in the first place.
If you want to change your thinking, you have to reward your brain. This trains the mind to crave a new way of thinking, ensuring long-term success.
Use the power of positive reflection as an incentive. Talk to yourself in the mirror or journal about how you challenge Silo Mentality today.
You might write about going for a networking lunch, joining a collaborative phone call or mentoring another business owner.
Review how these collaborative activities made you feel. If you felt anxious or unsure, address those feelings.
Make a plan to address the source of anxiety if a similar situation happens again. This helps you feel more prepared and relaxed as you work out of a Silo Mentality.
Mindshifts don’t happen automatically. They must be done with care and regular practice.
3. Embrace collaboration
Business Owners are a rich source of information. You can’t access the information if you’re hiding behind a Silo Mentality.
You have a duty as a Business Owner to expand your knowledge. The best way to do this quickly while growing your business is to collaborate with other Business Owners.
Obviously, you don’t want to give away your business secrets. Determine what you will and won’t share during collaborations. This will help you feel more secure as you explore opportunities with fellow Business Owners.
Business Owners can easily fall into a harmful Silo Mentality. Challenge your patterns of thought to create the business you’ve always dreamed of. The result is increased profit, a stronger company and improved social connections.