1. The fellow business owner bestie: This is the person I turn to when I need a pep talk, a boost, business advice and a reminder of why we are doing this. We speak weekly and have done for the last 20 years as we have navigated our way through being employees and now employer. We have walked over hot coals at Tony Robbins together, share podcasts, articles and general ‘you’ve got this’.
2. Husband/Partner: Not only from a family and personal support but if I am losing sleep and need some big picture, rational analysis of a problem or business issue, he will take me through my options and we talk through what is possible. I may not always follow his advice but it’s great knowing it’s there.
3. Fellow solopreneur We started our startup journey at the same time at Fishburners and have shared the highs and lows from tech stacks, funding, our first paying customers and our losses. It’s like sharing Mothers’/Coffee group for new Mums – whilst lots of women have had had kids and can provide advice, there is nothing like having someone that is going through it at the same time as you to truly understand where you are at right now.
4. Mentor and business advisor– we meet for a weekly coffee and talk through the week’s business issues – operations, sales, management, HR and slowly she is helping me move away from being a technician working in the business to an entrepreneur working on the business. Letting go is sometimes the biggest hurdle and self sabotage actions that startup founders do but without letting go your business will never scale. She has also helped free my mind to think bigger and get comfortable with scale. $800k in leads a month – are you crazy! Now that number is looking less formidable.
5. Business/personal development author It’s a tie between the great Michael Gerber and Robin Sharma. No other books have stayed with me and provided the motivation to get up early, make the most of each day, seek a bigger purpose and remain focused on what’s possible.
I’m excited about the next 3 years. I now have my support crew in place, which as a solo founder is one of the keys to success. Business is hard and growing a startup is even harder, which is why 95% fail. Get your network in place early, set time aside to meet with them regularly. Seek out their advice, ask for help, listen, take action and this will ensure you are part of the 5% that succeed!