In an earlier post, I wrote about the “innate confidence” to do bigger things in our business.
You know, the kind of confidence you see in successful business owners whose books you read or podcasts you listen to.
I’ve had the fascinating experience of getting to know many of those folks. And I am here to tell you a secret:
Most of them aren’t actually that confident.
Rather than some innate gift for confidence, they have something more valuable:
They have support structures they can rely on, to keep them walking tall on the days when things just aren’t going well.
I’m going to talk about two of those structures today:
The first support structure: A solid coach
I firmly believe that every business owner needs a coach or a mentor.
Because Luke without Obi-Wan is just a whiny teenager who drives too fast.
It’s your coach’s role to give you an experienced, external view of the business path you’re on.
I can always tell when a business owner is going without a coach, because I watch them dive down rabbit hole after rabbit hole without getting much to show for it.
(I can also always tell when I try to go without coaching myself. Squirrels with ADHD are amateurs compared with my ability to get business-distracted.)
Good coaches have seen a lot of techniques and strategies, and can suggest avenues you hadn’t considered.
But even more important: a coach can listen to what you’re up to and say,
“Have you thought about… not doing that?”
But watch out for: Some coaches have a lot of rigid ideas about how you should do things.
And overly pushy coaches can lead to expensive (even heartbreaking) mistakes.
A good coach doesn’t say, “You should never do that.” (Unless it’s something like lying to your customers. There are a few absolutes.)
A great coach explores and illuminates your business path with you, without forgetting that it is your path.
The second support structure: Your squad
If I can tell someone is going without a coach because they’re bouncing all over the place, I can tell they’re going without a squad because they’re just not having any fun.
Your squad are your business pals who understands the highs and lows.
They pop the champagne when you hit a business milestone — and hand out hugs and kleenex for the disappointments.
I really caution you against using your family as your business squad — especially your life partner.
Even if you’re running the business with your spouse, you need some close business friends who are separate from your home life.
Having a squad lets you look at business challenges from different perspectives. The most important being,
“This week might be hard, but you’re damned good at what you do and you’ve absolutely got this.”
But watch out for: Your squad should think you’re a good, smart, capable person.
But that doesn’t mean they need to think everything you’re doing makes sense. Good friends sometimes ask tough questions.
Also, your squad needs to match your personality.
I’ve been in groups that were “good vibes only, all the time.” For me, that can turn into toxic positivity pretty quickly.
Introverts get the most benefit from smaller, more thoughtful groups. Extroverts tend to get energized by larger groups, and they may crave a “work hard, play hard” style.
Nothing great gets built alone
Business is complicated, and sometimes it’s difficult.
And when we’re doing complicated, difficult things, we need other people.
Not to rescue us or take away out autonomy. But to support and encourage us, and help us see our challenges from a variety of angles.
If you’ve gotten into the habit of pushing through everything by yourself, try adding some other humans to your business mix.
You may be amazed at how much easier it makes your journey.
Are you looking for direction in your business?
If you’re finding yourself procrastinating on your big business projects, or just running in too many directions, it might be time to start working with an experienced coach.
I love working with digital business owners to help them find their most rewarding path — and stick to it.
I bring you decades of experience in digital business, content, and marketing.
I spent ten years as a founding partner of Copyblogger Media — one of the web’s biggest and most influential content marketing blogs and businesses.
And there’s nothing I enjoy more than sharing that experience and perspective with my clients.
If you’d like to explore working together, why not fill out a simple connection form and let me know what’s on your mind?
I’d love to know what you’re working on. And if I’m not the right person to help, I may be able to point you in the right direction.
Missed the earlier posts in the series?
You can find them here!
- The First Business Breakthrough: Mindset
- The Second Business Breakthrough: Process
- The Third Business Breakthrough: Positioning
This is the fourth and final post in the Four Breakthroughs series.