There's no question that entrepreneurs are wired a bit differently than the rest of the world.

Not only can we envision ways to fill the world's unmet needs, but we have the guts to take risks and aren't pinned in by societal norms. That bold attitude can lead to great advances, as well as great wealth and plenty of disappointments.

But there's one big drawback: Entrepreneurship is lonelier than you think it is. Sometimes, nobody seems to understand what you want to accomplish.

That's why entrepreneurs should think about joining a support group. There are several. I recently joined a Vistage group. Designed for CEOs, business owners and executives in small- and mid-sized business, Vistage membership offers a lot of benefits. Once a month I meet with my coach, and once a month a group of fellow entrepreneurs gets together for a day of learning and sharing.

Entrepreneurs may be confident (and even cocky), but we don't have the answers to everything--and while we may not lack confidence, we may lack experience.
The answer to that is working with a mentor--and a Vistage group is exactly the kind of place to find an appropriate one.

A mentor/coach can serve as a one-on-one therapist (while the entire organization can take the role of a group therapy). Keep in mind that someone who works as a mentor is likely to have sympathy for your situation, not to mention similar past experiences to draw upon in offering advice.

Also, remember that learning never ends. Even the smartest, most prescient entrepreneur doesn't have all the answers, but someone else in Vistage (or your group) might have some that you don't. By listening to fellow Vistage members, you're sure to learn something through simple osmosis.

Another part of the appeal is that fellow entrepreneurs are likely to be honest with you--and maybe even blunt. That's refreshing because even the best idea or business plan can benefit from an impartial critique. Fellow Vistage members are less likely to pull punches than the sycophants you're probably going to run across in the business world, not to mention on social media.

In summary, entrepreneurship shouldn't be a synonym for independence.
The Vistage community can be a diverse, wonderful place where plenty of successful business owners and executives will be happy--and even eager--to help you attain your goals. I am excited to be a part of it.

Published on: Feb 20, 2016
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