• Stephen Olmon

Personal Ecosystems

Credit: Me, using a web-based whiteboard before coffee and an art degree

You are a company. You are an entity. You have an ecosystem. That sounds a little weird.

Maybe, but that's how I want you to think. You may be a W2 employee, you may have a small agency, or you may be on your own as a full-time entrepreneur on an island called "Godhelpme". Regardless, you need to think this way.

Why? Because it will help you.

I want to introduce 2 concepts using words you already know - layers & attachments.

Let's say you own a digital marketing agency. You are doing well, gaining momentum, and building a strong network within the industry. What services do you and your contemporaries not offer? What common weaknesses exist within your industry? What pain can you solve for yourself and turn around to sell to everyone else? Maybe you have a friend that runs a software development company. Can you partner to build something that fits this description? You are not threatening the livelihood of your friends who also own agencies - you are merely layering something on top to drive more income for yourself. That's an example of a layer in the context of personal ecosystems.

Just as you leveraged trust within an industry to successfully layer, you can also use that same trust to grow via attachments. Attachments, simply put, are monetized referrals that you can build a system around. Since theoretical you owns a digital agency, you and your counterparts trend creative and may have some weakness and/or disinterest managing company finances. If you can bring a trustworthy back office solution to the table that understands agencies then you are on your way to winning using attachments in your personal ecosystem.

Adopting a personal ecosystem mentality may feel like tangled webs, overlaps, and spaghetti messes. Although your life may be more complex, I believe it will lead to you working smarter, not harder.