I read a post over at CNN.com today (redirected from Oprah.com, apparently) entitled Five friends every woman should have. It got me to thinking—is there a business equivalent for you entrepreneurs out there? Too many entrepreneurs try to exist in a vacuum instead of seeking out the help and support that can bring them to success. So here it is, the five people you should have on your “team” when you are an entrepreneur:
When the going gets tough, this is the person to say “You’re doing great!” and “You’re almost there!” Starting a business is long and hard work where it is easy to get down on yourself, so it’s important to have someone to help you see the good in yourself and your efforts.
Starting a business is like a crash course in everything—the amount of information you learn in the first year is just astounding. This is why you need an experienced business mentor who can talk you through the rough parts and offer advice that worked for him/her in that situation.
When you start thinking that fleece sweaters for cats are a great addition to your summer lineup in your Scottsdale, AZ clothing store, you need someone to give you an honest opinion of just how badly you’re screwing up. Entrepreneurship should not happen in a bubble—consider that “tell it like it is” friend to be your first stop in market research for ideas that belong on the cutting room for. Business isn’t supposed to be nice!
Who do you know that seems to know everyone? That’s the person who will find you help when you need it and introduce you to all the key people you need to know.
Even a geek like me can use a bigger geek on her side. The geek is someone to call when you have a technical question or you’re learning something that is a little over your head—someone to explain complicated technology in terms you can understand or to give you the lowdown on what’s the next big thing that can help your business.