Everyone knows that you need a personal board of directors, a career squad, to turn to for advice about your career and your professional growth. These are the people you consult when considering leaving your job, going for the promotion, or negotiating an offer. As an entrepreneur, the needs are a little bit different. Going solo, doesn’t mean you are going it alone. Far from it.
You need to constantly make waves, make things happen, and push yourself far out of your comfort zone
Every successful business person knows that you need a network of allies in your squad to propel you forward, and sometimes to propel you into the work required to get there. As an employee, you spend a lot of time thinking about how to fit in and how to not make waves so that you can rise unnoticed. For a small business owner, the goals are reversed. You need to constantly make waves, make things happen, and push yourself far out of your comfort zone so that you can get the kinds of results you have never seen before. Here are the 5 must-have people every entrepreneur needs in their squad. More than an advisory board. These people are your new bffs.
1. THE MARKETING GURU
This is number one. Most businesses perish very early on, for lack of capital or adequate financial planning, but a lot of that can be relieved if you have a solid marketing plan. If you didn’t go to school for marketing or business, this is probably foreign territory for you. And yes, there are a lot of free options by way of social media.
someone giving you constant feedback about your brand and how you come across.
But, if you don’t know how to take advantage of those social platforms so that you are getting seen by your target market, you are just a bright shiny toy sitting in a toy chest no one knows about. Your marketing bestie could be a consultant, a medium-sized marketing firm, an SEO or social media genius, a private Facebook group or Group Coaching program. But the key here is that it is somewhere you can go to stay up to date on Instagram’s newest algorithm, how to write a client avatar, and everything in between. This is you staying on top of your industry, by having someone giving you constant feedback about your brand and how you come across. Their position on your board is invaluable and that’s why they get the #1 bestie spot.
2. THE MONEY PEEPS
If and when you decide to incorporate there are a lot options to consider, and the one that is going to be best for you depends on how you want to handle taxes. A good tax professional is there to make sure you are using the entity that minimizes your taxes, and your liabilities. They are also someone who is going to answer the phone every time you call. I have had some great accountant’s in the past who were easy to work with – online access, email friendly. But if I ever had a question about bookkeeping or got a letter from the IRS they were MIA – they are no longer in my squad.
Don’t pick someone to do your taxes who only hustles for you during tax season. A good accountant is open 24/7 (or close to it) and likely has a team of folks who can help you answer questions about record keeping, 1099s, tax exemptions, quarterly filings and the rest of the tax code that you don’t want/nor have the time to stay current on. They hold you accountable so that the IRS doesn’t have to call you. And, they are always there no matter how big or small the question to keep your business running in the right direction (north of a crazy tax bill).
Just because you want to live your dreams, doesn’t mean you want to work for free or end up broke!
If your accountant doesn’t do record keeping and the whole 9, make sure to invest in some solid book keeping software, or Excel templates to handle this as it quickly gets out of control and you will save yourself a huge headache come tax time. Also, if you don’t already have a financial advisor that you are importing from your personal life, having someone who knows your personal financial situation and is in your ear about not tanking your 401K to keep your business afloat, is also going to be worth their weight in gold. Remember, you want your business to grow fast and exist far into the future. The key to going farther is some sound money counsel.
The money peeps are a big deal. Just because you want to live your dreams, doesn’t mean you want to work for free or end up broke! Some CPAs also double as CFPs, so make sure you ask.
3. THE LEGAL GAL
Along with taxes comes a lot of legal questions. For service oriented businesses, you want to make sure you are protecting you and your business from getting sued. This means you need someone on your team who is on call to review documents and contracts, can consult on new business arrangements, and is also going to weigh in on that entity classification process with your tax pro. If your tax guy and legal gal are on speaking terms, even better because that’s a powerful team that can make a world of difference in protecting your assets as you grow your empire.
4. YOUR SPIRIT GUIDE
This is the person who is pushing you to listen to your inner compass, your soul, your intuition, your third eye. Sometimes this is a religious leader but oftentimes they show up as your business coach, career coach, life coach, yoga teacher, reiki master, acupuncturist, or therapist person. This is someone you have a close personal relationship with, who is going to remind you that you are awesome, and push you to constantly keep showing up for yourself, and your goals.
Every good spirit guide also has a spirit guide so make sure when vetting these folks that you ask who is pushing them on a regular basis. If your coach doesn’t have a coach, or your therapist doesn’t have a therapist, they aren’t ready to help you yet. Someone should be actively pushing your guide further they same way they push you.
5. SOMEONE WHO LOVES YOU
If you are in a committed relationship, the final bestie you add to the list is going to be your life partner or spouse. If not married/committed, this could be your ” ’round the way” best friend, or a sibling that you are extremely close to. It’s important to have someone in your life who knows you extremely well, and can tell when you are feeling off or unsure. They also know if you are straight up lying to yourself. This is someone who you feel comfortable with, especially when they are calling you on your shit. Like a coach, they remind you of who you are, and where you came from, but with the added benefit of knowing you intimately. They often can see you when you have let your hair down and are truly being yourself.
You want to go fast, go alone. You want to go far, go together.
My list looks like this:
- Marketing team: Love Sujeiry and Blurbpoint SEO
- Money peeps: 1800 Accountants, Primerica Advisors, Wallet Win FB group
- Legal team: Feldman, Kramer and Monaco
- Spirit guides: My therapist, a Womens Leadership coaching group
- Loved one: hubby
Marketing, money, legal advice, spiritual compass, and love. If you are consistently tapping into these five resources, and listening to what they have to say you will already be ahead of most folks. They say if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far go together. These are the five bffs you need in your squad for the long haul.
Who are your five?