So you’ve decided to break the status quo and forge your own path. Congratulations! You’re an entrepreneur. With this new found identity though, comes sleeplessness nights, disappointment, triumph, and anxiety. Sounds like marriage. While you won’t be buy a ring for your dream you are making a commitment to success. The good news is, you won’t do it alone. Actually, you can’t do it alone. Success is a group effort.
Yes, you are the driving force behind your dream but you need a strong support system to keep you focused and balanced. I’m sure you've heard the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” Well, the same is true here. No one truly goes it alone. Even if you’re a solopreneur, you still need someone (customers). Every successful individual has a well crafted team of advisors and supporters to enhance their impact. You’ve already taken the leap to commit to your dream. Now, you need to find the right people to help build your success.
Here are the 7 Types of People You Need In Your Success Village
1. The Ever Observing Friend (LOOK OUT)
This is a major member of your team. The “look out” is a person that keeps watch for negative and positive elements within your personal space. As an entrepreneur you can be more susceptible to negative vibes because your all of your energy is given to important tasks. A look out’s job is to warn you of any toxic people or potentially harmful situations before it reaches you. In 1912 the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank killing hundreds. Apparently the accident occurred because the lookout sucked (he forgot his binoculars). They say hindsight is 20-20. Wouldn't it be better to have that vision for the future? Of course, there's no way to predict the future, but you should settle for the next best thing. I know the crew on the Titanic would have. Don’t let bad energy sink your success ship.
2. Collaborator (Contemporary)
This is the person who is not only on a similar journey as you, but is near your level of success. A collaborator is good for peer mentorship and camaraderie. Because you are close in accomplishment, you can easily relate your recent lessons and success strategies to each other. You can push and measure your achievement on each other. It’s like having a rival that you don't compete with.
3. Mentor (Advisor)
You hear it everywhere. “Having a mentor cuts your journey to success in half. While this may or not be true, there is no doubt that having a seasoned veteran who is where you want to be in your corner is a major asset. They can direct you to great opportunities within their network of influence. They can also steer you away from the mistakes they made. If you don’t have a mentor yet, don’t feel unsuited for greatness. The truth is, you can be mentored by brilliant people without ever meeting them. In fact, many of my early influences mentored me through their books and work. So, if you feel like your resources are limited, just read a book written by your inspiration. There is also a wealth of knowledge in interviews. Remember a mentor doesn't have to be physical.
4. Optimist (Medic)
This individual will prove to be completely necessary. Whether they be a significant other, parent, or close friend, we can all use motivation from someone. Aside from being excited for your endeavors, your medic will boost your morale with their positive outlook. Had a bad day? The optimist would encourage you. Feel like a failure? An optimist would remind you of your past success and potential for future accomplishment. Amazingly, your friendly neighborhood optimist isn't restricted to pep talks. They can also shed light on your areas of weakness. Nothing beats getting advice from someone who can pinpoint where your hustle may be lacking. This genuine concern makes them vital to your success.
Your sponsor is similar to a mentor in that, they can propel your career. The difference is a sponsor has a stake in your success. This could be an investment in your dream (cash, resources, etc). Or, a reputation to maintain. The sponsor will want you to succeed because it boosts their career in the process. A sponsor will present you with a great opportunity or even position you to excel. Their primary focus is to cultivate you as a professional because your success furthers theirs.
6. Student (Apprentice)
Yes, you read that right. The last member in your village should be a student. Wait, before you go on, I know what you’re thinking. “Chris, are you crazy!?". “How can I mentor someone when I’m still learning?” Believe it or not, you have a message to spread. Even if you're not where you want to be professionally, there will always be someone who is aspiring to get where you are presently. This gives you license to “teach while you learn”. You will be surprised by how much you can impact someone's life with the information you already have.
Having these 6 people in your village will help you to hit the ground running on your success journey. Remember, you may not get your team members all at once. It takes time. In the meantime, keep striving for success. Your life is waiting.