Top of list when planning my biz (10 steps) was the following point:
No way I can do everything on my own, nor do I want to.
So I`ve been careful to seek out several different types of groups.
Some are ones where I can demonstrate my technical expertise, to help establish a good reputation among my local business community.
Others are groups I lead.
But the ones where I learn the most are those where I can talk & ask questions of folks who know much much more about being successful in business. In fact, the best sources are folks who have built successful businesses that are not in my field at all. It`s too easy to get a hermeticized view of your business if all you ever do is talk to other folks who do what you do. Without a fresh perspective now & then, you`ll stop asking questions like:
My wife`s actually much much more than that, but her not having any technical aptitude has actually been a fantastic strength for us to leverage.
Without her, it would take me much longer to hone our customer-facing messaging, which I truly believe needs to be right on target much sooner than later when starting or growing any business.
I think that I would be very lonely if it weren`t for the internet. Having forums like this one, and chatting with my online acquaintances are necessary for me to feel connected.
I agree, Entreprenerd. I don`t feel lonely in the traditional sense, and I don`t mind making decisions myself without sounding boards (because I also feel that most people don`t really understand what I do in any real detail). But one thing I noticed this year, after what will soon be 20 years in a home-based company, is that I didn`t have any work-related holiday parties to go to! :) Both my daughter and son-in-law had dinners and gatherings related to their work (and I got to watch my baby granddaughter, which was great for me!) but I noticed for the first time that there wasn`t anybody to celebrate with face to face. Most of my clients, and the people I work with daily, are on the coasts, and I operate out of the Midwest, so offline get-togethers are extremely rare. Of course, if I had to go to something like that I`d probably dread it, but this year I missed having the option...just a bit. :)
I agree, you must take responsibility as a business owner or entrepeneur. But support, whether personal or monetary, is extremely important. I do not have either on my entrepeneurial project. I have started a website for helping victims of Cancer Debt, both personally & financially. I am a (survivor) Cancer victim as well as a victim of Cancer Debt and this is where I realized that there isn`t anyone out there to help those the debt they incur from cancer. Then I researched the matter and found I wasn`t alone. I never realized how many people lose their homes & sometimes everything they`ve ever worked for, because of the debt they`ve incurred due to Cancer. How tragic it is, that we allow this to happen in this day and age. What about all those Cancer Walks you say? Well, none of the money is allocated to help people with their Cancer Debt! There are companies that will help if you don`t have insurance, but what if you have insurance, but you can`t work for a year or two? What if you`re on disability and it just doesn`t pay the bills? There is no one there to help! I am one of those people and I wan`t to help others who have found themselves in the same position.......before it`s too late, before they lose their homes, their dignity, their everything. Baileysays let`s help those who need help when & where they really need it.
Good point CraigL ........ I am not alone in my area of expertise or experience, however, I am alone in the effort of my cause. I am trying to get my website out there to those in the big world who may be able to help me with my cause. Please see my bio & website for further info & let me know your thoughts and/or opinions, or suggestions.