I am sure that many of you have heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I have been thinking about this recently, as it relates to my family and grandchildren, and even how it relates to my business and yours. What I have come to realize is that we need the support of our ‘villages’ in many aspects of our life; especially when building a business.
I think of my grandkids villages. Their parents are from families of divorce, which means that they have several grandparents on each side. Fortunately, we all get along famously, which means that the village is very strong for the kids.
As business owners, we need that same type of strong village to help us through the many phases of building and growth. The members of your village can come from many places. Have you ever stopped to think about who is in (or who is missing) from your village?
Here are some suggestions of people that you want to have in your village.
While intuitively we may think competitors are the last people we want in our village, it is quite the opposite. If you have a strong business and a strong reputation, it is a good thing to develop relationships with others in your same space because it can often lead to the sharing of leads and business. There is typically enough business to go around, so connect with those competitors whom you believe compliment your business and style and whom you can build a professional relationship.
Coaches and Mentors
Ask almost anyone who has ever invested in working with a business coach or mentor and they more than likely tell you it was the best investment they have ever made. Having someone with extreme unbiased knowledge to help guide you is essential for your village.
Being a business owner can often be like riding the largest roller coaster at the amusement part. There are a lot of ups and downs, and at times you will need to turn to the cheerleaders in your life for the boost you need to keep going. Maybe it is your mother or father, a good friend, a colleague – whoever it is, find them and get them in your village.
How many brilliant ideas have you had as a business owner only to go through the process of developing them and discovering they are….well…. not so good? This is where the truth tellers come into play. They will tell you straight up if your ideas are bad and if you are making mistakes or wasting time. While what the truth tellers say isn’t always what you want to hear, their value is immeasurable in saving you wasted time and money. Your coach or mentor may also take on this role for you.
We have talked about numbers a few times recently – why you continually need to run the numbers in your business and what numbers you need to know without question. Find someone for your business – a bookkeeper, marketing assistant, etc. – who can help you run the important numbers you need to know and present them to you with strategic suggestions for improvement.
Clients Turned Friends
Many of us will build relationships in our business with clients that extend beyond the 9-5 and into our personal lives. These individuals are great to add to the village because they can provide a unique perspective you can use to possibly better your products and services and how you deliver them to your clients.
Whether you are just starting out or you have been going at it for years, you need to have reliable worker bees in your village. These should be reliable people with excellent skills whom you can easily hand many of the day-to-day tasks that take you away from working on your business to.
Your village will, and should, grow and change as your business grows and changes. The people who surround you on day one may still be there in year five, but they may be joined by several others who support your continual growth. The important thing is that you realize that you need your village and don’t try to go it alone.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!