Alone in the wilderness?

Business Dispatches

Alone in the wilderness?

I’m quite sure that I was aware of the potential, academically speaking, of the emotional roller coaster ride that being an entrepreneur can be. However, knowing it in my head and experiencing it emotionally are two different things. I must say, it’s been a wild ride. Fun, exhilarating, challenging, occasionally exhausting. And the opportunities to learn about myself and others have been unparalleled. In my discussions with entrepreneurs, I have talked with many who have felt similar challenges.

Fortunately, there are several supportive opportunities that can help entrepreneurs through the rough patches. Family and friends are very important in this ride and as you are running your business, you’ll want to draw support from them to help keep you on track. As important, and perhaps even more important, is assembling a group of advisors who can focus on your business, along with you, as a support structure for you as an entrepreneur.

Lots has been written and researched on the challenges of entrepreneurship due to isolation. And that isolation can come in many different forms. Entrepreneurs often feel like they need to maintain a brave face to their family, their investors, potential customers, and existing customers. How about employees, and spouses? Are you comfortable talking about a low patch you are going through in your business with a potential client or your banker?

But, clearly, many entrepreneurs have navigated these types of obstacles and built successful companies. Isolation is not a necessary condition for building a successful enterprise. And there are scores of videos and articles written providing tips on how to combat isolation.

The other day, I was talking with a small business owner about this very thing. We were talking about the challenging business environment he faced with his company and how he had little opportunity to talk with someone about his ideas. He couldn’t talk with his competitors, he’d give away a potential competitive advantage. He couldn’t talk with his spouse as they didn’t really have knowledge in his sector.

Here’s another opportunity where a professional business coach can help a small business. Along with helping in four key areas of business improvement; financial performance, leadership and time effectiveness, sales success and exit strategies, your small business coach can be there for you as a second pair of eyes to help you succeed with your business. They should be as interested in your business success as you are.

Your business coach can ask you those tough questions to help you test your ideas before you launch them into the world. You know those questions…. Is there really a need for this product? How much are people willing to pay for that service? Is someone (your competitor) already out there with that idea? What have they got right? What could be improved upon? Can you make money with the product? How fast and at what cost can you bring this to market? It’s the opportunity of having a steady advisor with you that wants you to succeed, and isn’t yet consumed with the excitement of the new idea.

Here’s what the experts say about when you might need to hire a coach and what to look for in that coach. Simply put, if you don’t know what to do next with your business, or some aspect within, business coaching might the answer you are looking for.


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