I owe much of my development as an entrepreneur and business professional to the power of a peer advisory group.Entrepreneurship is a lonely profession. Due to recent news headlines, we’ve learned how that sense of isolation can lead to depression and anxiety, chipping away at one’s health and wellness. As a young entrepreneur, I felt that I was alone in facing the challenges in making a dream become a reality. I had nowhere to go to share my struggles, to exchange ideas, to learn from the mistakes of those who had gone before me. Self-doubt crept in and started to eat away at my confidence, my entrepreneurial vision, and eventually my health.
Being part of a peer advisory group changed all that. Instead of feeling like Atlas holding up the weight of the world all by myself, I found peers and mentors who helped me relieve the pressure.The concept of a peer advisory group (a.k.a. mastermind) emerged from Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich,” published in 1937. According to Hill, “No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.” On our own, we can only draw from a limited amount of experience, education, and training. Within a mastermind group, we can tap into the experience, training, skills, knowledge, and resources of like-minded peers and mentors. I’ll never forget one of my first experiences in a peer advisory group. One of the participants shared a very personal story about how the strain of building his company affected his marriage, leading to serious conversations about getting a divorce. Another person shared how he engineered a successful exit strategy through acquisition. The reality is we bring our personal lives into business and vice-versa. The peer advisory group recognizes the holistic nature of our lives-- that we don’t operate in personal/professional silos -- and so personal issues affect professional decisions. Business decisions impact our personal lives.
Sharing experiences is cathartic and helps us to understand more about our own limitations while also reminding us of what we’ve accomplished, learned, overcome, and achieved. Whether you’re moonlighting as an entrepreneur or pursuing your series C, a peer advisory group can help you reach your goals and improve your well-being. Your company, your community, and your family will benefit.Ready to get started? In my next post, I’ll share ideas on how you can develop your own peer advisory group.Follow Nick Jordan on Twitter @nick_sb
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