Do you ever wish you could have an honest conversation with a fellow business owner without judgement? I’m talking a completely candid; no holes barred, these are my deepest and darkest fears kind of conversations. I’ve been doing this entrepreneur thing for 30 years, and over the duration, I’ve experienced many emotions: joy, frustration, pride, anxiety, depression, optimism, sadness, fear. There are days when I want to throw in the towel. There are days where I love what I do, and there are days that I despise what I do. There are days when I want to pack it in and work for a company. These are all my myriad of emotions that I have to deal with the day-to-day agony of running a business. Not many days pass when I think, why does the entrepreneur’s journey to greatness need to be so damn lonely? Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be like this anymore.
How Do You Make Tough Decisions?
In my last business, my partner and I had employees. After we lost our business in 2010, I vowed never to employ that many employees again. Making that conscious decision puts a lot of pressure on yourself to perform at every level. When you are the primary decision-maker for all elements of your business, it doesn’t afford you the flexibility to be wrong very often. More like never! You need to make quick and sound decisions with limited information and experience. I have friends who run businesses and have diverse experience, but they’re busy running their gigs. I’m too small to have an informal board of directors. I wish I had access to other business owners who hold my best interests at heart and face the same challenges in their own business.
I’ve been a part of some outstanding peer advisory groups that can fulfil this same function; they are expensive, and quite frankly, I’ve got about a thousand places that I can spend $10,000 to $15,000+ per year. They offer invaluable insights, but I need emotional support as well.
The problem with running a small business is that I’m constantly making decisions on the fly, and making the wrong decisions can be time consuming and expensive. Alternatively, not making decisions can be crippling and equally damaging to my business.
Is Your Business Running Your Life?
Also, there’s dealing with the threat of work-life balance, the constant and never-ending financial pressures, managing my mental health, which quite often is a complete shit show! Entrepreneurs rarely have an off-button or feel they can’t take their foot off the accelerator. Who do they talk to for emotional support? Who allows them a proverbial shoulder to cry upon? Who offers a voice of encouragement or an occasional “Atta Boy” at the end of a hard day or week? Do you have access to credible individuals with who you can bounce ideas off, get a sober second opinion on a decision within your business, or ask someone, “what would you do under these circumstances?”
Wanted: A Few Good Men
I find being part of a group of ten other business owners who aren’t afraid to check their egos at the door, be emotionally vulnerable, and willing to share war stories and experiences are invaluable. Also, it creates accountability to your peer advisors for subsequent meetings and ensures the problem gets resolved, and there’s a genuine interest to see if the group’s advice paid off. We don’t make decisions in isolation, and the foundation of those decisions come from others’ past experiences.
What’s Keeping You Up at Night?
No business subject is left off the table:
- strategies on selling your business,
- financing strategies,
- growing your business,
- challenges within partnerships,
- sales and marketing,
- tax planning strategies,
- protecting your business,
- human resource challenges.
Personal topics, as it relates to our companies, are all fair game as well:
- Going through a divorce
- Dealing with the solitude of being a business owner
- Managing work-life balance
- Personal health and finances
- managing personal expectations
- feelings of anxiety and depression
To solely focus on business doesn’t truly represent the needs of the entrepreneur.
Put Yourself in the Hot Seat
Every month we designate two members to sit in the “hot seat”. They identify a challenge(s) that is occurring within their business at the moment. The individual does a summary of the issue for the group. The members ask a series of questions surrounding the problem, and the “hot seat” occupant answers as honestly and accurately as possible. After significant discussion, the group offers potential suggestions and solutions to the problem. Sometimes the solution is straightforward, and sometimes it’s a hybrid of different ideas. The previous month’s “hot seat” members report back to the group at the next meeting. The member is accountable to the group, and the issue generally gets resolved and usually have four or five different perspectives than before he came into the meeting. It’s like having your very own Management Consultants on retainer without the hefty accompanying invoice.
Having Expert Advice on Speed Dial
Feeling isolated, perplexed or overwhelmed at times while running your business? Do you wish you had all the answers to those questions that keep you up at night? Do you fantasize you could have all those business consultants on ‘speed dial’ when you needed them? Perhaps “Mastermind: It’s Your Lead” is the right solution, at the right price, at the right time, that can benefit your business immediately. The value you’ll receive will be priceless. The fellowship you will gain will be unparalleled. The happiness you will feel will be unprecedented.
See if you’re an appropriate candidate to join this group of business leaders, and feel what it’s like to start to love running your business again!
Visit www.itsyourlead.com, fill out the form to see if you qualify and find out what you’ve been missing in your business and life. If you’d prefer, please direct message Dave Loney and see if this is right for you and your business.