Even The Sharpest Knife Can’t Carve Its Own Handle

I’m stubborn.

And I’m a capable, independent, self-starter.

Just for good measure, let’s throw in a straight ‘A’ student all throughout my years in academia.

Not to mention how proud I am when I can replace the mechanism inside the toilet tank all by myself!

I don’t have just one little measly toolbox, I’ve got two big ones and an entire array of power tools (I love my B & D drill and my Makita palm sander).

But guess what?

All my capabilities, independent nature, smarts, and stubbornness combined aren’t enough to transform me into a successful entrepreneur.

Why?

No one can build a business alone.

I certainly can’t. It took me three years of struggling on my own to reach that conclusion.  And if you believe YOU can do it flying solo, you’re in for a long haul and some big disappointments.

Build community and camaraderie and don’t be too proud to reach out for some help.

Remember …

Even the sharpest knife can’t carve its own handle.

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  • Hi Melanie,

    You’re right, of course, and the sooner we get this truth, the better. Until then, we struggle unnecessarily.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    • Flora, I always love seeing your beautiful smile. 🙂

      You know people, I’m sure, who are just too darn proud to admit they can’t handle everything on their own. I get that. I was one of those people. But the reality? Going it alone … whether it be life or business … will only impede your success.

      Thanks for dropping in!
      xoxo

  • @Carrie — I’m a BIG proponent of masterminds! It’s nice to meet someone else who sees the value, the benefits, and embraces the sheer joy of experiencing the wonders of masterminding.

  • @Lynn — You and Jeannette make a fabulous team! And I bet it’s a great feeling knowing you have each other to brainstorm with and count on for support. And I’m praying your toilet can finally leave your bedroom. LOL 🙂

  • But here’s the positive side to all that work we have to DO, Veronica …

    We don’t have to do it alone. 🙂

  • It is true that we really DO have to work for everything we do.

  • Hey Kenneth … happy to oblige! 🙂

  • No one can do GREAT thing alone…… Thanks for helping me to grow!

  • Paula! I hear ya knockin’ and ya can come in! 🙂

    Here’s the problem for me and maybe it’s the same for you: I would honestly prefer to do everything myself. It’s just my nature. But, intellectually, I know that’s a foolish way to think. I certainly don’t have all the technical know-how many others have and the darn clock on the wall is a constant reminder of my limitations.

    So what’s the logical answer? Connect and collaborate with onliners who I resonate with and entrepreneurs who complement my skills, talents, and knowledge base.

    You nailed it! “When 2 onliners find similar interests and styles and enjoy one another—good things just happen!” REALLY good things. 🙂

    Can’t wait to read your post — have a feeling I’m going to be a good fit for “then there’s the rest of us”. LOL

  • What a perfect post for me right about now! I’m at a point where the only way I’m going to improve and grow my blogs is with the help of others. Yes, I could sit in front of my computer and slog and blog on and on…but in reality, it’s when I meet someone new, we talk and get to know one another, and ultimately end up being big promoters of one another, that I see that boost in traffic that really gets a blog off the ground.

    And it’s not because “promo for promo” is so effective…It’s because when 2 onliners find similar interests and styles and enjoy one another—good things just happen!

    Kind of like with YOU, Miss Melanie. So glad our paths crossed. See you in the stream, friend. 🙂

  • Melanie this is certainly true. My business wasn’t prospering until I linked up with my wonderful partner, Jeannette Koczela.

    I do admire you for working on your own toilet. My next project is to get the toilet installed so it won’t be sitting in the bedroom any longer.

  • Always striving for “fun” here at Solo Mompreneur, Becky! 🙂

    Glad this one hit home for you. I spent enough years banging my head against the wall and my computer monitor till I realized what was missing … a community of supporters. It’s hard for independent thinkers to reach out. But once you do, lookout! Your whole world changes.

  • Melanie,

    I love your analogy. Fun to read and it hit home.

    I think us independent, self-starters don’t even see much less acknowledge that we are trying to go at it all alone :-).

    Thank you for the reminder that community is so important…and necessary.

  • Hajra — happy you found some value in this post!

  • You’ve made a key point, Yvonne! It’s totally acceptable (and respectable) to let someone know you don’t know how to do something they need help with BUT you’re willing to find someone who CAN help. Love that! That’s the sign of a confident, true professional.

  • I know what you mean, Janette — being a “one-man band” can zap your energy reserves in a heartbeat! It’s absolutely draining — physically and emotionally.

    So glad you’re finding value in networking with fellow bloggers!

  • Traci! What a joy to see you here. Thanks for knocking on my door today.

    The title of your current post contains the word “Stubbornness” — sounds like a ‘must read’ for me! 🙂

  • Aloha Melanie,
    I’m sure glad I learned this offline before I started my online journey. My entire life is a series of Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures! Masterminding is my very favorite way to help and be helped. You get your mastermind team members as well as the 3rd Mind Energy.

    “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.” -Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich”

    Many blessings,
    Carrie

  • I had so much when reading this post! It reflects so much honesty and truth …

  • Women have for so long been told that they need to show that they can be independent and they can do everything a man can do. The thing is that men don’t have a problem asking their buddy to lend a helping hand and calling each other to resolve a problem.

    We all need other people and for many of us who work at home our online community may be the only resource available. We therefore want and need support and must also be prepared to give support to others.

    I’m thankful for the people I’ve met online, especially over the past year and if I can ever be of assistance, please let me know. If I can’t help you directly, I’ll find someone who can.

  • I am slowly learning the power of networking with fellow bloggers. I operated as a one-man show for quite a while. I have gained so much since I started participating in challenges and connecting with other bloggers. Thank you for the TLC Club!

  • What a great saying — and one I hadn’t heard before. Thanks, Melanie for the reminder that we all need others in order to stay sharp!

  • Gwen, you’ve touched on an exceptionally vital point — “There is only so much a book can teach you.”

    Beyond the instructions, the tutorials, the directions, is a helping hand just waiting for you around the corner. All you have to do is not be afraid to ask.

    I want everyone here to know how much of a tremendous help you’ve been to me since our paths crossed last year. I envy your technical genius, I appreciate your patience, and I cherish your friendship. 🙂

  • Excellent point, Maureen! It took me what seems like forever to outsource for the first time last year. It wasn’t a huge project but, nonetheless, one I could not do myself and, stubbornly, tried till I finally caved in. We ‘independent’ types have a strong grip on pride, don’t we? 🙂

  • “More hands make a difficult load possible!” It may have taken a personal crisis for you to learn this lesson, Bonnie, but …

    Oh, so worth it!!

    Thanks for sharing your story. There’s nothing ‘weak’ about seeking assistance when you need it.

  • So delighted you mentioned the “people department”, Martha. That’s the core focus of this post! You’ve raised some very poignant questions all of us would benefit from answering for ourselves, our sanity, and our businesses. Thank you.

  • Thanks for the compliment, Patricia, and I want you to feel exceedingly proud you are now at a point where you can “give back”. Ahh … sweet success. 🙂

  • I wish it weren’t so, Lynn, but you’re right. It takes a lot more to see it through than some folks would lead you to believe. Revel in the fact that you “get” it. “Staying on the path” is just as critical as where the path may lead you. 🙂

  • Sheila, your words are Golden! You already know how I feel about you and this little community would not be the same without your presence here. 🙂

  • How right you are Melanie. Nothing happens overnight! I don’t care what those ‘guru’s’ say…. it takes lots of hard work and dedication to create your path, stay on that path and see it all the way through.

    I must say though, that it does get easier as time goes by. Learning is knowing and knowing builds confidence.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reminding me “Even the sharpest knife can’t carve its own handle”!

  • Hi Melanie

    I love it. You write great headlines 🙂 One of the biggest and most important lessons I have learnt since I began blogging is to ask for help. And collaboration has definitely taken my blog to a new level.

    I love networking with other bloggers/marketers so I am definitely enjoying connecting with others, Been really surprised that I have now learnt enough to give back to the amazing community I am part of.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  • Where do you come up with these ideas. You have quite an imagination and way of putting things.

    It is so true, we can not make it on our own. Besides who would want to. I would miss out! I would miss out on new ideas, processes and all the fun.

    I have to tell you how much I have enjoyed being apart of your community.

  • I can’t imagine trying to run my biz by myself. For one thing, I don’t have all the skills needed. Does anyone? LOL For another, who in the world would have enough TIME? If you are clever, you can find awesome resources all around you. Especially in the people department! I also have to give a shout-out for coaches. I’ve used three and they were invaluable!

  • This is so true in business and in life. I had to learn this lesson the hard way when a couple of years ago I was in a car accident, broke my foot and fractured my ankle coupled with a concussion. Talk about forced learning of a life lesson! Once I relaxed and realized that my asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but in fact the opposite it became easier.

    More hands make a difficult load possible!

    Thanks for the reminder Melanie

  • Hey Melanie – you really put it into perspective. We’re all very capable of doing a lot of things, but you can’t run a business alone! You will eventually need help or guidance that only a community of supportive people can give. There is only so much a book can teach you.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Gwen

  • Melanie that is so true. I’m very independent and have found that one of the hardest things, to reach out and find help when I could sorely do with it and foster a team of supporters around me. Outsourcing to someone more skilled than I has begun for me, allowing me to focus on what I do best and grow my business .

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  • “There’s so much more power when we work together” — love that, Leanne! And so true.

    Helping is a “two-way” street, for sure, Melissa — thanks for pointing that out!

    No need to concern yourself with ‘cost’ when it comes to asking for help, Roberta — I believe in bartering! I bet you know some things others don’t know or understand how to tackle. “Trade” your trade secrets. 🙂

    Michelle — with all the experience and knowledge you have under your belt (not to mention sensational savvy!), thanks for swinging by to reinforce the philosophy that we need to lean on one another. It’s the only way to succeed!

  • Melanie, This is something that I have recently learned and am now working on surrounding myself with people and building a community and reaching out to others and in turn helping them as well.

  • Melanie, I’ve also learned that we absolutely need others. I did it for too long on my own as well. Why is it that we think it’s a badge of honor to do everything ourselves?? There’s so much more power when we work together . . . and there’s success for more people that way too.

  • This is a great reminder. We do need each other in so many ways — from coaching to support.

  • It is often hard when a person starts in business to ask for the help they need. And then there is the cost and then there is….when we stop thinking we should do something and know that maybe we need help to do it, then we are better off and can move forward