Meet The Sounding Board You & Your Business Have Been Looking For
Feb 11, by Tanya Alvarez
You’re an entrepreneur. Flying solo. Trying to build a real business.
I see it all the time.
What happens when you’re stuck? You start listening to podcasts. You start wondering about the direction you’re heading. You start bouncing ideas off of your dog…
You do all these things, but you’re STILL STUCK! Alone. Trying to figure it out yourself.
So what do you do? You start acknowledging you could use outside help. You decide you need a sounding board. Someone close to you. Someone who will give it to you straight… but who won’t steal your ideas.
You turn to your inner circle.
The problem: You’re too close to your business and your inner circle is too.
Consider this: Your business might actually be failing because of your connections, not in spite of them.
It’s time to escape your echo-chamber, once and for all.
Your Inner Circle Says A Lot About You
I came from (email) marketing. When companies would approach me asking to review their email marketing efforts, I’d laugh. I often knew the issues they were having even before taking a look under the hood.
One thing I always checked was email deliverability. That’s 101 for me.
Their lists would have 100,000 people on them, sure, but their messages weren’t reaching them all. They were getting caught in filters. Getting flagged as spam. Not even reaching their INBOXES, let alone their eyes.
I thought everybody knew this. My friends (also email marketers) had it as common knowledge. As did I.
And that’s my point.
I caught it from the client end, too. The businesses I dealt with had lists in the hundreds of thousands. Even millions. It made my list of a few thousand look bad. So bad I didn’t even want to build a list anymore.
In both cases, I was stuck in a bubble. Why? Because when you turn to your inner circle for advice, you get two things:
- Same people.
- Same ideas.
That’s when you know you’re in an echo-chamber of your own making.
Break Out of Your Echo-Chamber & Stay Out
Here’s what your echo-chamber looks like:
- People who all have backgrounds similar to yours
- People who bolster your strengths, not complement your weaknesses
- People who generally think very highly of you
- People who answer every question with an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’
Look at how everyone close to you talks about your business. The feedback they give. The feedback they don’t give. It all matters.
Once you pinpoint the problem, you can fix it for good.
At Owners^UP, we group people. We create a peer group for each entrepreneur, complementing weaknesses, not reinforcing strengths.
It’s the first thing we do. It’s that important.
One member came to us wanting to build and sell software. He was a talented full stack developer. He wanted to build software of his own (not for clients) but didn’t know what to build…
I asked him to put together a list of everything he built and show it to me. When I reviewed the list I saw patterns and opportunities he didn’t see before. Now he is building inventory projection software for Amazon sellers.
Another member needed help marketing his services. He was familiar with traditional routes like Facebook and Google Adwords because that’s what he and his inner circle knew best.
In Owners^UP, his group quickly caught him up to speed on things like cold-emailing and LinkedIn strategy. It opened up a whole new world for him to have predictable leads; a world he wouldn’t have known until he was out of his echo-chamber.
Surround yourself with people who see the opportunity. People who push you to leave your comfort zone.
That’s how you break out of your echo-chamber.
My Challenge to You
In an effort to help get you on the right path, I want to leave you with a 3-step personal challenge:
- Reach out to individuals on LinkedIn who can help bring new perspectives into your business.
- Set up 1 call each and every week. Use each call to pick that person’s brain about that which they know best, as it pertains to your business.
- Form a peer group with business owners from different industries and help each other on a continual basis. Or, if this is something you’d prefer to outsource, you can simply apply to Owners^UP.
Invest the time. Surround yourself with the right people. Listen with a critical ear. Focus on your strengths. Outsource your weaknesses.
Learn from the above and you’ll never find yourself stuck inside your business ever again.