As a business owner, it's easy to get stuck in a rut. You have employees and customers that are relying on you to know the answers and do the right thing, and sometimes those answers don't come easy. You don't know everything and at times you may be stressed and anxious thinking about what the future may hold for your business. And you are not alone in your thinking. Hundreds of thousands of small to medium business owners feel the same way. But a growing percentage of business owners see the value in reaching out to a peer group and mentor.
Here are my three tips to help grow your business and change the way you think about things.
1. Build your own business owner mastermind group.
A mastermind group is a group of two or more individuals who work together to help each of the members reach their respective top goals in a spirit of harmony and cooperation. I've been in mastermind group for a decade now where I meet with my mastermind partners bi-weekly via phone and once or twice a year in person. They have been an incredible sounding board of experienced business owners who know me, my company, and my goals, and yet have the emotional distance to challenge my thinking.
2. Participate in a structured business coaching program.
You'll both be able to use your coaches outside perspective to help you sharpen your thinking, and to leverage the structured strategic process of a business coaching program itself. For example, we meet with each of our business coaching clients quarterly to guide them through a proven strategic planning retreat.To be successful in a coaching program you will need both the one-to-one interchange and dialogue with your coach and a pre-set structured strategic process to make sure you intentionally and intelligently make your decisions about where to focus your company time, talent, attention, and money.
3. Build a management team that sees the world differently from you.
While it is a tough thing to find people who are willing to challenge the person who signs their paycheck, it is an essential ingredient if you truly want to scale your company. You need leaders who give fresh perspective and are willing to push you to rethink your underlying models and assumptions. As you build your management team, make this one of your key criteria of senior level hires--people who will speak their mind, ask the tough questions, and face the hard facts, but who are willing to fully get behind the decisions your company later makes on these tough calls.
Imagine what this would mean for your own business. To have not one, not two...but an entire network of people to turn to when you have questions about a particular business decision or problem. Suddenly problems that seemed unsurmountable are now manageable and easy to navigate. And your barriers to growth? Non-existent. So, the next time you find yourself in a rut, reach out to a mastermind group, a coach or your own executive team for a fresh perspective on the situation.