(By Jayson DeMers)
“Whether you’re forming a partnership to run the business together or you’re simply finding other businesses to join forces with, finding partners you respect is critical to increasing your chances for entrepreneurial success. With a foundation of mutual respect, business partnerships are less likely to succumb to the usual weaknesses such as bickering, manipulation or general selfishness.“
Entrepreneurship is, in many ways, about achieving independence. You won’t have a boss anymore. You won’t have a network of supervisors and coworkers to set your schedule or monitor your success. Instead, you’ll become a master of your own destiny, and you’ll become accountable only to yourself for your ongoing actions.
That independence can also be a curse, however. The fact of the matter is that even though entrepreneurship is an independent act, the most successful entrepreneurs in the world only got to where they are because of the help they received from the people around them. You’ll be making your own decisions and carving your own path, but if you want to be as effective and as impactful as possible, you’ll have to rely on a few types of people to help get you there.
1. Mentors you admire
Mentors are indispensable resources for entrepreneurs, especially if you’re starting a business for the first time. Most business entrepreneurs have owned multiple businesses in the past, and have made more mistakes and learned more lessons than you can imagine. They’ll help you by providing advice, perspective and guidance whenever you need it — often for nothing. They also typically have an extended network of resources and contacts you can take advantage of when building up the infrastructure of your business.
Be sure to find a mentor you admire and trust. If you do, he or she can guide you down the right path for years. If you struggle with finding a mentor for your business, look on social media for older entrepreneurs in your industry and in your area. You can also start attending local networking events and talking with everyone you come across — you never know who you might meet.
2. Partners you respect
Whether you’re forming a partnership to run the business together or you’re simply finding other businesses to join forces with, finding partners you respect is critical to increasing your chances for entrepreneurial success. With a foundation of mutual respect, business partnerships are less likely to succumb to the usual weaknesses such as bickering, manipulation or general selfishness.
Finding great partners isn’t easy, but it is important if you want to maximize your potential, so don’t rush to find one, take your time and wait for a perfect fit.
3. Employees you can trust
A business can’t succeed with leadership alone. You’ll need to have a dedicated, reliable network of employees to help you execute the day-to-day operational responsibilities of your venture. They’re going to serve as a vehicle for your directives, so you need to trust that they can accomplish the tasks you set out or at least communicate when they find themselves unable.
To help create an environment that naturally attracts the trustworthy type of employees you need, establish clear guidelines for your company culture, and be especially critical during the interview process. Look for candidates with great personalities and genuine sincerity over candidates with a long history of accomplishment or those with an exceptional educational background.
4. Friends you make time for
Your friends will help you through your entrepreneurial journey more than you realize, but only if you allow them to. Once you get in the thick of things as an entrepreneur, it’s too easy to sacrifice your personal relationships — working long hours and on weekends is a necessary evil at times, but it’s also important to draw a line and take some time for yourself.
By maintaining a healthier work-life balance, you’ll enjoy your time as an entrepreneur much more, and you’ll make better decisions if you’re well rested. Your friends will help ground you and make sure you don’t burn yourself out.
5. A family that supports you
Finally, never neglect the power and importance of your family. They were there for you before you started the business, they’re there for you now, and they’ll be there for you regardless of whether your company becomes a breakout success or a total failure.
Don’t be afraid to share your problems, fears, worries and challenges. Holding these issues in can make you even more stressed and could alienate you from your family even further. Take regular time off to be with your family, and keep them an active part of your entrepreneurial journey.
With these people by your side, helping you make the right decisions and standing by you when things don’t pan out, you’ll be far more likely to succeed as an entrepreneur. Surround yourself with people you trust, love and respect, and even if you fail, you’ll be able to enjoy the journey.
Jayson DeMers is founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based SEO agency. He also started Crackerize.com, a lyrics-humor website. He’s the author of the ebook, “The Definitive Guide to Marketing Your Business Online.”