Rugged individualism was a term coined by Herbert Hoover an American president during the great depression. According to Hoover it characterised that spirit within the American people that they would find their own way out of hardship by dint of their ingenuity and hard work. Some less charitable commentators suggested it was just a way for Hoover to avoid doing anything to help. This has by now almost become the legend of the entrepreneur worldwide. Almost by definition the individual following their own personal struggle to bring their ideas and products to a wider audience. Completely at odds with the corporate world the privations and setbacks suffered by the founder becomes part of the organisations story and folklore.
On closer examination very few successful entrepreneurs achieved everything on their own; Steve Jobs founded Apple with Steve Wozniack, Bill Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen, and Mark Zuckerberg is one of the five founders of Facebook. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey S. Firestone (of the tyre company) frequently met up in isolated settings to discuss each other’s business and their future plans.
All the above would be characterised as entrepreneurs with the rugged individualism beloved by Hoover but what is very clear is that they appreciated the need for partnerships and utilised the expertise of others when needed. This is not to take away anything from their achievement but maybe shows an important skill required for entrepreneurs. The ability to identify when an input from others is what will move your business forward.
Who could help you today? What kinds of partnership would benefit your business?