In online entrepreneurship, it’s common to work from home, frequently working solo, in silence. (It can get lonely and for me, it sometimes feels weird to go outside into the real world, like coming out of a trance of the vortex of work. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do. Sometimes, I get my head stuck in what I’m doing and it feels like I’m getting yanked out of it…)
I know you. You have lots of goals, lots of dreams for your life and for your business. And you’re thinking, “how the heck am I going to achieve ALL of these things?” Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes a time to execute plans. If you’re busy with client work, it might take extra time and effort to clear space to be able to work on your own business. Things like creating content (blogging, or writing a course), education (watch the replay of the latest webinar), updating your website, thinking of or working on collaborations.
If (and you do,) you have dreams, there are lots of steps you need to take to get there. And I’d argue that you can’t do it by yourself in that solo vortex. You need people in your corner to cheer you on, help you troubleshoot challenges, and to be motivators in your world. I’m sharing a few types of relationships you could look for in your online entrepreneur life to push you to the next level!
What is this?
An accountability partner or buddy is somebody you’re in a similar stage of business as. They’ve got similar goals, and a personality that’s complementary to yours. You’d get together every week or every other week to set goals, talk about wins/challenges, what you want to be held accountable. This person is your business sounding board.
Why should I have an accountability partner?
When you’re working by yourself, it’s great to have somebody who “gets it” right? Your accountability partner is somebody who will challenge you, help you feel encouraged, and keep you accountable to the BIG goals you set for yourself.
How can I find an accountability partner?
If you’re in the online entrepreneur space, you’re probably in a few Facebook groups (you can come join us in the Fueled with Heart community!). You can definitely look for one there. But I’d encourage you to do some soul-searching on what it is that you want/need in an accountability buddy. I have a tool for you to be able to figure out how to find the right accountability partner and to start that relationship on the right foot!
What is this?
Business besties are people who get you, support you and can motivate you. They understand the challenges of the work you do. These people are only as far away as a text message or a facetime call.
Why should I have a Business Bestie?
Like a real life bestie, they’re supportive, understanding and people who will stop what they’re doing (like watching Netflix) to help you. You might talk about a tech problem you’re having that you can’t seem to solve, you might talk about the challenging client that’s got you worried, or you can chat about how AWESOME your week was and you need to have a dance party together!
How can I find a Business Bestie?
How do you find any kind of friend? By getting to know them. If there’s somebody you jive with in a Facebook group, jump on the phone or Skype and get to know them. Use your social skills and manners to see if they’d be a good fit for your personality!
Mentors + Coaches
What is this?
Ok so I feel weird putting mentors and coaches together but that’s okay! Mentors are people who are ahead of you in business, people who know what you’re going through, and they can see how you should proceed to get to the results you want. Coaches are people who might not have the same background as you and might not have specific industry knowledge but they’re able to help you figure out what it is you want and get you to the big goals you have.
Quick note: Mentors don’t have to be paid relationships. They might be people who you admire who are a few steps ahead of you and wants to take you on as a mentee because they’re intrinsic value for them to help somebody else.
Why should I have one?
It’s so insightful to have somebody who is experienced, looking at what you’re going through and to be able to help you to articulate what it is that you want. They’ll be able to tell you what to do, how to get there, and what the results might look like. They’re a great sounding board for knowing what to expect.
How do I find one?
You could google your tail off (as is with anything), but I think the most effective way to find somebody who is effective and somebody you end up trusting is finding a mentor or coach with good reviews or has a great reputation with people you already trust. People often find me because they ask for a business coach in a Facebook group, a number of my enthusiastic clients/past clients jump in to suggest me (If that’s you, I love you!).
What is this?
A mastermind is a group of people in similar levels in their businesses. They can, but don’t have to be in the same industry. They might be a group you pay to be a member of and there are also masterminds that are free to join. The best masterminds are smaller, about 5-10 people, so that individuals can get to know one another well.
Why should I join a mastermind?
The group helps to troubleshoot, be a sounding board for, give you a different perspective, or tells you more about their experiences. It helps to normalize what you’re going through as “I’ve been through that,” or “I totally understand” and have a solution.
How can I find a mastermind?
There are paid masterminds and there are free self-organized masterminds. The paid groups are typically structured that way because there is a mentor/coach/leader who does a lot of work to bring extra value to the group. You might hear from guest experts, have access to teaching calls, or have access to the leader in some way. Free masterminds are organized by the people in the group and they’re self-led.
You can find a paid mastermind by asking around, seeing if your favorite mentor/coach/leader hosts their own, or by doing a search in a Facebook group. You can either start a mastermind or you can join one that is already formed. The most successful masterminds have a lot of structure created into them (i.e., how many can you miss before you are no longer a member; what are the expectations for those who participate.) The groups that fizzle are the ones that don’t have a distinct “exit plan” for people. If you grow out of a mastermind, it’s okay to move on!
Wherever you are in your business, it’s helpful to have people who will support you, guide you, encourage you and motivate you. I hope you find the right combination of people to be in your corner! With the help of your team, you’ll have the support necessary to achieve your big dreams!
Remember, with all the people in your life who aren’t being paid, you have to be as part of the relationship as they are. You have to be supportive and enthusiastic about the work you’re doing together!