Do you need a guide to help you through the entrepreneurial maze?
It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by some aspects of being an entrepreneur – particularly when you are starting out or going through a phase of growth that brings new challenges and obstacles.
Perhaps you’ve come up with (what you think is) a great idea to make money and now you feel like it’s ALL down to you to learn every single aspect of business. So you spend hours and hours searching for information and answers to questions like:-
- how do I market test my idea?
- how do I bring my idea to life?
- how do I price my product or service?
- how do I get customers?
- what is the difference between marketing and advertising?
- what does “breakeven” mean?
- what is “profit projection”?
- what are the rules regarding tax?
- what is the difference between cashflow and making a profit?
- and a whole lot more ……..
While most of the above answers can be found on the Internet, very often they don’t actually help you to get where you are going and then the overwhelm sets in.
This is when you might want to consider getting a guide to help you navigate the maze – the most successful entrepreneurs are those that recognise when they need help and advice – the earlier the better!
In business terms, a guide comes in the form of a mentor or advisor and in bigger / more established companies, this role is taken on by the “Non-Executive Directors” (NEDs).
Depending on the size and stage of your business, some mentors or advisors might be willing to help you (within reason) at no cost. Look for local business forums or niche groups on social media where entrepreneurs share their advice. You might even find not-for-profit or charity organisations where mentors donate their time in a “pay it forward” manner (like an in-person version of what we are trying to do on this site).
Others might be willing to trade their time for a share of your business and others might request payment or payment AND a share of your business.
It’s up to you to figure out how much their advice is worth to you
A word of caution when considering getting a guide for your business – pay attention to the relevance of the experience, of the person offering the advice!
Not all “free advice” is worth what you pay for it ………….
I’m a member of many different entrepreneurial and sidehustle forums on social media and I regularly see many people offering “free” advice in response to questions being asked. Very often, I end up screaming “noooooooooooo!!!!!!” at my screen when I see people offering really, really DUMB advice! I’ll then look at the profile of the person who offered the advice and I’ll find they are an “armchair advisor” – these are people that have NEVER done the thing they they are giving advice on, but for some reason they feel qualified to confidently respond to a question because they read a blog somewhere or watched a video on YouTube 🤦🏼♂️
This would be like me confidently giving advice to a first time Skydiver – when I’ve never skydived in my life – but I’ve watched lots of skydiving videos …………..
BUT – I could confidently give advice to a first time scuba diver – because I’ve “been there, done that” and am a qualified scuba diver with an advanced qualification.
HOWEVER ……… I still wouldn’t be the BEST person to give a first time scuba diver advice – a scuba diving instructor that regularly coaches first time scuba divers would be far better positioned to give advice than I would ever be!
The FIRST rule of getting a guide for your business is to ONLY pay attention to those people that have already “been there, done that”.
By this I don’t just mean that they have started their own business or sidehustle (although they would possibly still have some valid advice for you) but I mean you should try to find someone that has done something as close as possible to what you are trying to do.
For example, someone that has started their own mobile hairdressing business offering haircuts in your own home, might have some useful tips for you to start your own home based business making bread and pastries to sell in your neighbourhood.
But they wouldn’t be able to help you navigate the complex maze of getting your home kitchen up to the relevant health code and they probably couldn’t help you develop your pricing strategy. The owner of a successful bakery might however be willing to help you get started, providing they didn’t consider you a threat to their own business of course!
A good business advisor or mentor will NOT “do things for you”, but based on their (relevant) experience, they can “show you how” to approach the barriers and obstacles you face. They can be your “sounding board” when you are unsure of what to do next. They can help you with your business strategy and perhaps even make relevant introductions to key people and suppliers. They can be your “early warning system”, advising you of potential problems before you are even aware of them – all with the aim of helping you succeed in achieving your goals.
Even the CEO’s of the biggest companies in the world surround themselves with mentors, advisors and NEDS – any business of any size can benefit from getting a guide.
There is no reason for you to get lost on your entrepreneurial journey – consider getting a guide and most importantly if you do, LISTEN to their advice and take ACTION accordingly.
I’ve encountered many entrepreneurs (and CEOs) that have engaged advisors only to ignore their advice and suffer the consequences ………… don’t be like them!