Entrepreneurs are hustlers by nature. They’re hard-working, willing to take risks, and think outside the box. Unfortunately, they can often get derailed by things that are never even on their radar. There are several common mistakes that entrepreneurs make in the early years of their careers such as not taking care of the business end of their business or co-mingling funds. One of the biggest mistakes they don’t see coming, though, is surrounding themselves with the wrong people. You know the saying “You are who you hang with”? Truer words have never been spoken. Many entrepreneurs think of what they do as a relatively solitary pursuit. They simply don’t understand how much those around them are affecting their attitudes, mindsets, and beliefs.
You’re building a lot of assets as a business owner. One of the biggest assets is your inner circle—but only if you build it correctly. If your inner circle is unsupportive or toxic, that asset turns into a liability. So how do you build an inner circle that’s not only an asset, but a rock that you can rely on throughout your entrepreneurial journey? I’ve found that building that group of people happens in three steps.
Step 1: Purge
To welcome supportive, encouraging people into your inner circle, you have to make room for them. That usually means you need to kick some of your current circle to the curb. Look around at the people you spend the most time with. This includes friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and business associates. Which of those make you feel energetic, motivated, and ready to take on new challenges? Which support you throughout your entrepreneurial journey? Which are you able to really talk to and hash out ideas with? Those are the people you should keep. The others need to go. That doesn’t mean you can never talk to them again, but it does mean they shouldn’t be taking up large quantities of your time and attention. In some cases, this could mean stepping away from friends (or family) you’ve been close to for years and yes, it’s difficult. But if you really want to be successful, you need to rip off the band-aid and make the change.
Step 2: Find Those You Relate to Locally
Now that you’ve freed up room in your inner circle, you can welcome the right people in. To start building, you need to first start locally. What groups can you get involved in that have like-minded people as members? Can you go to local conferences to meet other entrepreneurs you relate to? What hobbies fill you with purpose and can you find groups of others who enjoy those hobbies? When you put yourself in a position to meet those who match your interests, goals, and mindsets, you naturally find good fits for your inner circle. It’s not going to happen right away, but it will happen if you keep showing up.
Step 3: Reach Out and Find Mentors
If you’re ready to change your small business from a cash-eating monster to a money-making machine, you need a group of good mentors. Mentors don’t have to be local. You can find great mentors and coaches online or you can reach out to those you admire who live in different cities, states, or even countries. A mentor is someone who has already accomplished what you want to. Not only are they a great source of support, but they can help you avoid many of the pitfalls they’ve already experienced. Remember when you’re reaching out to mentors that you’re making a big ask of them. They’re likely busy and may not have the time or resources to mentor you. But if you’re lucky enough to get some yeses, remember to be respectful, to try to offer some value in return, and to be patient.
Ready to take your business to the next level? Building your inner circle is just one step in the process. To find out what other steps you need to take, join our class on True Money Mastery here.