In short, no. Let’s start with this quote as an example:
“No such thing as being self-made” – Cornel West.
Cornel West is right. There is no such thing as doing it alone or being self-made. Those who succeed have only succeeded because someone supported and cared for them. Of course, there is self-motivation and drive, but those things are preserved in the person only through consistent reassurance by family members, colleagues, bosses and beyond. In other words, it is much harder to stay motivated as a person if you have no positive reinforcement and support. Supporters are what drive us to success, and that’s purely human.
Think about it, successful businesses require interaction and consistent communication with clients and colleagues to be successful. This communication must come from a source of care. If we don’t care about the work we do, how can the work be effective and completed in the right way?
What Cornel West is reminding us is that no one can succeed on their own, and thus, if you plan to succeed, you must also plan to incorporate care into your everyday leadership style and with maintaining relationships with people. Building a business family is one place to start. Remember to treat your workplace like a second home. Offer to help where you know you can, because only by helping others succeed will you also help yourself succeed. And when you get to the position you have been striving for, you will know you have a business family to fall back on because they know you care for them, and so they will care for you.
So, no, it’s not possible to work alone and succeed on anything you do. And yes, there is no such thing as being self-made in any context, especially when the focus is building your business family.