“No Man Is an Island”, but sometimes as small business owners we feel like we are deserted on an island – entrenched in our non-stop world of tasks, planning and decisions. Being a small business owner could possibly be one of the most difficult challenges one could ever take on. So why do we do it? Because if done right, the success we can find provides a payoff that matches no other. But no one can, or should, ever go it alone. As small business owners it’s important to get yourself off the island and find others who can help you find perspective.
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As a small business owner, you are continually tasked with making decisions that will affect your business growth. Many of these decisions might fall outside your realm of expertise. That’s why it’s so important to find others who you can turn to that will offer perspective, or different points of view, on areas of your business. The owners of 5411 Empanadas are lucky. They have each other to lean on and each partner brings a different background and expertise, therefore a different perspective to each problem that arises. This allows them to make more educated decisions. But what about those business owners who are flying solo. How do they find perspective? Here are a few options.
- Find a mentor or coach. A business mentor or coach is someone that you can turn to when you find yourself having to make decisions on an area of business that you don’t have experience in. A good mentor or coach would be someone who has a background and expertise that compliments yours.
- Join a Mastermind Group. A Mastermind Groups is a group of peers who come together to brainstorm, educate, support and hold accountable other members of the group. It’s a giving and receiving of advice and perspective. There are existing Mastermind Groups formed all across the country; some meet in person and some meet virtually. If you can’t find a Mastermind Group near you, then start one. Just look for others with common interests and a drive to grow their business.
- Take Advantage of Networking Events. Networking is not only a way to increase your reach and find potential customers and clients, it’s also a way to open discussions with other professionals like yourself. If you have a particular issue you are dealing with, ask others you are engaging with their opinion. You might just find that they, too, have run into the same dilemma and have some valuable advice and perspective to offer.
- Ask Friends and Family. While your friends and family might not have firsthand business experience, it doesn’t mean they can’t offer perspective. Even five year olds offer perspective. It’s just another way of looking at the problem and offering what they see. Beyond showing that you value their opinions and thoughts, turning to family and friends allows them a deeper insight into your life. It’s like letting them on the island, even if it’s just for a few moments.
The next time you are faced with having to make a decision about your business, remember how important it is to get perspective and take the time to turn to others to help. Before long you’ll find that your island isn’t so lonely.
This post was written in partnership with Progressive Insurance. I have been compensated, but the thoughts and ideas are my own. For additional small business tips, check out Progressive’s Small Business Big Dreams program.