When you work for yourself, it’s a good idea to have a coach or mentor. This is someone with more experience than you, and with no vested interest in your results. They help you by sharing their valuable experience and reminding you to keep the big picture in sight. Your coach or mentor can tell you what your choices are and keep you on track. It takes a bit of time and searching to find a good mentor, but it’s well worth it – especially if you can find someone local to you, or who specializes in your specific industry.

The 12-month Starting A Business 1-2-3 course will give you all of the “book learning” required in order to progress through the start-up phase and all the way to the end of your first year in business. However, new entrepreneurs often need a little more personal assistance with the actual application and implementation of what they’ve learned. You will almost certainly make some mistakes as you struggle to assimilate new information and ingrain new habits, and no book or educational course can address every possible scenario every student may find themselves faced with, especially as we work across vast geographical boundaries and various different industries, all with their own unique challenges. The right business coach or mentor can help your business (and you) blossom and grow in ways you may never have dreamed of.

Alternatives to live/in-person coaching

If you can’t afford – or can’t find – a one-on-one coach or mentor to work with live and in-person, consider the following options when building your support network. Even if you do have a coach or mentor, these other resources will only add to your arsenal and provide valuable backup when you need it.

Mastermind Groups

Mastermind groups usually consist of a handful of like-minded entrepreneurs who share their experiences and resources to help each other out. The concept originally came from Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. The idea is that a group of individual minds, when brought together, create a “mastermind”; i.e. the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Group members offer each other different perspectives, valuable feedback and inspiration when it’s needed. Look for industry-specific mastermind groups in your own community, or online. If you don’t find one, you can form your own.

Accountability Partners

Accountability partners keep you on track through a buddy system. They help you stay focused and make you stick to your word. Your accountability partner can give you advice, but usually they just listen. They provide a sounding board for your ideas, and moral support in case you find that you’re slipping. Accountability partners meet on a regular basis to discuss their plans, and then follow up with each other at regular intervals to keep tabs on how things are going. Usually, this is a reciprocal relationship, meaning that your accountability partner will also look to you to provide the same support and encouragement to them.

…to be continued…

Excerpted from:

Starting A Business 1-2-3
The premier step-by-step interactive training system
for starting your business with confidence and clarity

Module 1: Research and Development