As I have written about in the past, the concept that “it takes a village to raise a child” is so true within the business world as well. Especially in the realm of the small business arena, the owner must build around themselves a team of people that they can rely on – regularly! This can be in the form of specific responsibilities that are delegated to other employees, consulting services and insight received from industry organizations, and or direct business services that might be engaged through outside vendors.
In addition, almost all successful business owners will also admit to having a group of confidants – individuals who they have known over time and that they can rely on for advice and support. It is these individuals that often times become the true sounding board for the business. In larger organizations they might actually have a Board of Directors to provide this support, and there are even several groups that are available for small business owners to join for this service as well.
In all cases though, it is this additional set of eyes and ears that can help keep us focused. Especially in the rapidly changing business climate that we are in now, it can be easy to get off track of what is truly important, or to get wrapped up in the latest and greatest new fad. We must lean on our support team for this.
There are also the ups and downs of almost every business day that we need to deal with – often times we find ourselves celebrating the news of a brand new prospect that just signed on as a customer after 6 months of effort, only to then find out that there is a big problem on a project in-house with one of your top clients! This part of business was never really shared with us too much in school – rather we have all experienced it and learned from others – including “our own village,” on how to deal with it.
Over time (34 years now), I have leaned on others to be my support group – and yet, I also know that I can always use more! We always need to be open to those who know more than us – who have differing experiences or insight. This may well come from employees, friends, neighbors, membership organizations, vendors, social media, industry consultants and even your own family. I know that for sure, my greatest source of support is my wife! Julie is someone who I can share everything with and rely on to get a second opinion. She is my rock, and for that I am thankful!
By the way, did I happen to mention that we just celebrated our wedding anniversary this weekend? Perhaps that is what inspired me to write this today!
Who is part of your village?