Picture this: you have a full-time job, but you’ve got an idea brewing—an idea for a business that interests you. And you can’t stop thinking about it.
Poking around online, you find a few articles about how you might begin your own thing. You start chugging away on nights and weekends and maybe even sneak in a little bit of grind time during work hours (we won’t tell your boss).
As the idea gets going, you realize that other people think your idea is “cute” or “interesting” or “cool.” But one-word people never use is “serious.”
Nevertheless, you keep moving forward making things happen. You read more articles and find some videos about entrepreneurship. You’re hungry for information, and the internet doesn’t disappoint.
Based on your online viewing habits, you start getting ads on Facebook and Instagram about “building a passion project” or “earning six figures” or “marketing your new business.” Lots of thought leaders begin to show up offering information.
But one thing is missing…
… actual, real humans who are dealing with the same struggle you are.
You realize that at your full-time job, you had peers and coworkers. People you could talk to about work. But now you have “new” work. And while these people might be fans, supporters, and encouragers—they are not peers.
You feel a twinge of loneliness.
Not the kind of loneliness where you have no one to talk to—but the kind where you have nobody to talk to about the thing that you care about the most.
Family and friends say things like “How will you get insurance?” or “How much money can you make?” or “I have a cousin who has their own business.”
We’ve been there. And we’ve watched hundreds of our clients deal with this exact problem.
The symptoms can present themselves in a number of different ways:
Maybe you try to incorporate a friend into the business. Maybe you try to find a partner. Maybe you fantasize about hiring another person just so you have someone to share with.
As a new, small business, you’re building an audience—a customer base. But you also need to build an advisory board.
This works well for two reasons:
1. The human animal builds strong connections around struggle.
SURE, you might be seeing a lot of people who are “CRUSHING IT” and you might want to BE LIKE THEM, but you won’t feel very close to them. You can learn from them, listen to them, and follow their advice. But buddies and relationships built around shared struggle are STRONG! Talk to anyone who has been a part of a recovery program or Alcoholics Anonymous. Those connections are CRITICAL in sticking with it.
2. Others who are on a similar trajectory with you are learning things that you’re learning.
Your insight will help them, their insights will help you. And when you’re progressing together, the feeling of “I CAN DO THIS” will turn into the persistence needed to be successful in doing your thing.
Look for a diverse group of voices. Look for people who are great at finances. Look for people who are wizards of marketing. Look for people who are dang good at their craft. Surround yourself with them, ask them questions, share your struggles, and listen to their thoughts.
Corporate environments, educational institutions, and teams have this structure built in, but if you’re doing your own thing, then you’re going to have to build your own.
But you’re building your own business, so you’ve got the chops to do the hard work and build your own tribe.