You’ve probably heard this advice before: You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
We are influenced in a powerful way by those we choose to spend our time and energy with. This applies not only to your personal life and growth, but also to your business. Creating a supportive environment for your business to thrive is critical to create a successful business.
Are you taking proactive steps to apply this idea to your business?
Are you spending time with, and learning from, those who are already successful? Working to surround yourself with people who will help you seek to grow and strive to do better?
Often I see home based business women trying to learn from others who are still at the same level they are or who are less successful.
*Support* is fantastic from people who are going through what you’re going through, but when you’re ready to *grow and learn* you need to learn from the people who are successful.
How can you do this? Let’s start with two options: coaching and mastermind groups.
What is coaching? There are many types of coaches out there — personal, business, marriage, you name it and there seems to be a coach for it. Why? I think it’s because coaching works (and I’m not a coach)! About a year ago I finally took a step to hire a business coach (Jenn Givler, www.createathrivingbusiness.com) and I can say it was one of the best things I’ve done for my business. The perspective, encouragement, and accountability made a difference in my productivity level and focus. You do need to find a coach who’s a good fit for your business and personality. Look around, do a few introductory sessions before you commit to any long term coaching packages. When you find the right coach you’ll know it.
Another option to consider is a mastermind group. A mastermind group is usually setup with a monthly fee that gives you access to one or more experts through teleseminars, online forums, or other methods. It can be less expensive than coaching from some of the top experts.
You can also sign up for workshops, membership groups and other varieties of these ideas.
And if you’re not ready yet? There are free/inexpensive options! If you’re not yet at the point where you’re ready to add a business coach or join a mastermind group there are other ways you can apply this idea of being surrounded by the right people, without breaking your budget.
Reading what the experts share is a great way to immerse yourself in good influences. My goal is one really great business book or ebook per month. I set my goal so that I don’t rush through the book, but take time to read and apply what I’m learning.
Some of my recent favorites are:
– Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port
– Rules for Renegades by Christine Comaford-Lynch
– Principled Profit by Shel Horowitz
– The Four-Hour Work-Week by Timothy Ferriss
And coming up on my list:
– Beyond Booked Solid by Michael Port
– Purple Cow & The Big Moo by Seth Godin
– The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey
I separate my “business-building” reading from my continuing education reading simply because both are important and I could easily allow programming/coding and design books to take over all my reading time. So when you build your reading list be sure you consider which books are for working “on” your business (marketing, management, customer service, inspiration) as opposed to working “in” your business (improving whatever your skill focus is — writing, design, crafting, coaching, sewing, etc).
Connect with your chosen Masterminds through their blogs. It’s free advice! I regularly read a half dozen or so blogs that encourage and inspire me. I’ve signed up for the RSS feeds or email alerts when new posts are added so it’s easy to keep up. I am ruthless though in what I choose to read. If the title doesn’t grab my attention, and if it’s not about something I need to learn or consider at the moment, I skip it. Be choosy with your time.
Many great teleseminars are offered free by experts! This is a wonderful source of ideas and a great way to surround yourself with the people who can guide you to success.
A great place to start is http://www.solo-e.com/classes/live-teleclasses.shtml I personally recommend the Think Big Revolution and Marketing Qi teleseminars.
So there you go — three free/inexpensive ways to surround yourself with the right voices to grow your business!