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SIE’s Hauntrepreneurs – #6 Heather Donahue

“It was my fault, because it was my project. Everything had to be my way. And this is where we’ve ended up, and it’s all because of me that we’re here now.”

Entrepreneurship can be a scary, exhausting, stressful journey, especially when you’re striking out without a map. It’s a vicious cycle – the more you take on, the more you tire yourself out, and the more daunting potential hazards begin to look. If you’re a natural leader and director type, like The Blair Witch Project‘s Heather Donahue, your instinct may be to shoulder responsibility and keep pushing ahead, making your project the number one priority at any cost. We can certainly applaud her vision and drive…but is there a better way to handle things when your enterprise feels lost in the woods?

The fact is, a strong leader is nothing without a solid team, and that dynamic works both ways. To fully support a project lead, the team needs to trust their vision…and it’s hard to do that if your leader won’t accept your input. On the other hand, it’s hard to blame Heather for failing to delegate when one of her key team members kicked their only map into a creek. This is why it’s vital to hire carefully – you can’t predict every child-stealing witch that might threaten to derail your project, so you need people around you that you can rely on when the going gets tough.

Of course, there is a much bigger lesson to be learned from Heather’s doomed documentary. While the woods of Burkittsville were hostile and confusing to her team, plenty of locals had tales to tell about navigating the trees and coming out alive. Whatever new trail you might be blazing, there are almost always people who have made comparable journeys before. Listen to them carefully, and design your project to learn from their experiences. It might just save you!

If you’re creating something groundbreaking on a shoestring budget, you might want to enter SIE’s Fresh Ideas Competition. Besides monthly cash prizes to keep your team going in the early-stage wilderness, you could win a full package of support tailored to the needs of your business. And if the solitude out there is getting to you, remember you can always contact our business advisors for guidance!

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