On the field or in business, sports have played an important role in my life.   Whether participating as a team player in high school sports or watching sports from the bleachers, the lessons learned carried over to my life, my career, and in launching my business as a solopreneur.  And, while the equipment in sports has changed over the years, the importance of teamwork, commitment, discipline, excellence and passion has remained.

One of the first key lessons I learned in sports was during a particularly tough day on the hockey field in high school.   My team position was goalie–highly visible when a score was made. We were winding down to the last minutes of a rough game, the score was tied.  Both teams had  played focused and played hard.

The opponents were marching toward the striking circle.  The clock continued to tick down.  There was a flurry of action in front of the goal cage and the ball went sailing from an opponent’s stick over my right shoulder and into the cage for a score.  We had lost by one.

As our team walked off the field that day, I was dragging my feet, our hockey coach came over and put her arm around me.  She was a crusty gal, not long on words, she said one sentence to me “before you get down on yourself, remember, the ball went through 10 other players before it got to you.”  Years later, I remember that one sentence and one of the first important lessons I learned that day from our coach and from sports, the concept of team and teamwork.

Teamwork is not “I” it is “We” in sports and in business.

If you are in business and particularly a solopreneur, stay tuned and join me.  Over the next few weeks we’ll take a peek at key lessons learned playing on the field of sports that have helped me, and I hope will help you, as you play on the field of business.  Part I in the series is the The Importance of Teamwork as a Solopreneur.

The Importance of Teamwork As A Solopreneur – Teamwork is the new business buzz word.  Working solo means to get things done effectively you must think like a team.  For a team of one, a solopreneur, the concept of teamwork is no different.  You are managing the most difficult team ever, yourself.  Who is your team?  Your team is the relationships you have with clients, vendors, collaborators, mentors and advocates.  It is working with, listening to, guiding and engaging with suppliers, other businesses, and customers.   Demonstrating leadership, enthusiasm, and dedication in your relationships with others is just as important for a team of one as in a team of many.  You must view the people around you, your network, as part of your team—it is vital to the success of your business.  Although you are the one in charge of your solopreneurial ventures, other business professionals and clients are valuable members of your team. Think in terms of “We” and not “I” for continued success.

When the ball goes sailing over your right shoulder, what keeps you on track and playing with team spirit? Please share your experiences from the field of business,  How do you incorporate the word Team into your business Mind Set?