5 Types of People You Need In Your Business
This post is about the people you will need to have with you along your entrepreneurial journey. This is not about the SERVICES you will need to make that journey prosperous. There may be a post about that later. Maybe. And if there is one be sure I will most likely include a shameless plug of my services in it.
So, this is going to be a pretty straightforward post. It's about the people you will need in your life if you've decided to go into business for yourself.
Honestly, it doesn't matter if your business takes place online or offline. You will need these folks to keep you sane and happy.
You will need to have a community of like-minded (or like- interested) people to go to. You cannot build a business alone. You need people. Communities are hubs where you can learn, gather, or hunt for information. Whether it's a forum or a Facebook group. Find your tribe.
What to look for:
- Is there clear leadership? Is the owner or moderating team around? I've been in super groups where it turned toxic and spammy because there was no one around to enforce the rules or protect the boundaries.
- Is it a true community? Or is it just a leader with a bunch of followers? Nothing wrong with either setup. Just make sure you know which is which so you don't inadvertently pay for something (if it's a paid membership) and it's NOT what you expected.
- Can you promote? Part of joining a community is the networking connection. (I know did you just gag when I said "networking"?). Some communities have a strict NO PROMOTIONS. Others have designated days or specific forums where you can post services or wares. Again, be clear on their promotion policy. I'd hate to see your ass get banned just because you didn't know.
You will need to have friendly collaborators that you can count on to ask for help from or just to do cool shit with. Collaborators can come in the forms of accountability partners, actual friends, or just professional colleagues. Collaborators are different from communities because of the more personal or closer space they occupy in your universe. Having people you can bounce ideas off of or work with just to do cool side projects with will go a long way to temper the insanity that is biz life.
What to look out for:
- Make sure the collaborator is someone you trust. If you have any weird feelings about them ("is she going to steal my idea?" or "God, he's an asshole") you probably should rethink your connection. You want to know that anyone you collaborate with has integrity and will show up when you need them to.
- Make sure there's mutual benefit to parties involved. The Golden Rule applies here folks. Don't give without getting. Don't ask without giving. Why? Because someone will get resentful and think you're a jerk for taking advantage of their kind nature. Just make sure everything is spelled out on what to expect.
I know. Pretty obvious right? Well, I've come to find that it's not so obvious with some businesses. They toil perfecting their websites, messing with products or stressing over their service packages - that they forget they need to be marketing to get clients to that website to buy those products or book those services. Client attraction or acquisition is too big a topic to discuss here. But know that if you have a business that you want to sustain your lifestyle - you will need these people.
What to know:
- Nowhere is it written that just because you are product seller or service provider that you need to eat shit and die just because your client is paying you, right? Put in place contracts, boundaries, systems and guard dogs to make sure respect flows both ways. You are a professional providing a solution to a customer's problem. Not a professional shit eater.
- Borrow my "rules" when it comes to clients if you're still iffy on this whole boundaries thing: 1) I have to like you. 2) You have to like me, too. 3) I have to like what you do. 4) You have to be easy to shop for gifts. 5) You have to be able to pay me. BOOM. There you have it - A Freaking Great Company's criteria for clients.
Counsel is valuable when it can shorten the distance between problem to implementable or actionable solution. Your business will not grow unless you make wise and strategic decisions. But what do you do if you're all out of wisdom and strategy?
Ask someone who knows their shit for their insight and advice.
These folks come in the form of business coaches, mentors, fellow business owners or your mom.
Observe proper Counsel Etiquette:
- Don't be an askhole. You may have to financially compensate someone for their knowledge and experience. Pay them if you can afford it.
- Shut up. If you ask for someone's advice shut up about you and your brilliance for 5 minutes and listen. If you knew all the answers you wouldn't be asking for insight right? Give them the run down and then let them do their thing.
- Vett'em. Make sure the person who's offering advice *ACTUALLY* has experience or knowledge in the area they are giving advice on. Do they have a successful business? What's their reputation? Do they even have a business? And if you find yourself being offered UNSOLICITED advice - question the motives of the person giving it. Are they worried this "online business thing" will leave you poor, destitute and living on their couch? Or do they actually see something you're not aware of?
- Understand that you are not under any obligation to take any or all of their advice. Remember, you're seeking counsel. Just because the advice came from your business hero doesn't mean you *have* to do it. Ultimately, all decisions regarding your business fall on you. So, listen, reflect then make a decision.
I know, I know, I know. This ruined the "c-word" alliteration I had going on. Maybe it's a metaphor for how life + business works? Listen, everyone in business needs a butt-kicker. Within your communities, collaborators, clients, and even with counsel, you will find folks cheering you on to greatness. But you do need at times someone to tell you "no, that's a bad idea" or "no, you can't buy ANOTHER e-course". Basically, they're your reality check.
What to know:
- Butt-kickers can come in the form of business managers, virtual assistants, accountants, friends or even spouses. They will be the ones asking you tough questions on why or how shit will get done in your business if you do (x).
- They tend to be more involved in the day to day operations of your business then you realize. They could be someone you just message throughout the day letting them know that *gasp* that one client totally turned out to be cray-cray. Or that OMG you just landed a dream project.
- Butt-kickers make you see the difference between spending and investing. Or help you clearly define how an activity will help your business grow or meet a goal. Don't get mad if they call YOU on your shit.
- Butt-kickers also can be both confidant and skeptic. Usually, they are.
So, in closing look at all the folks, you have around you and see where they fit in your universe and how they help you along in your journey.
Oh, and if DO happen to find out that you have someone (be it a client or community) that is nothing but negativity then do your best to quickly cut ties ASAP. You don't have time for any of that bullshit.
Questions or comments? Let me know about'em below.