I don’t believe there’s ever been a time when so many could find so much success. Businesses are popping up all over the world, and for every available need. It’s an amazing time in our lives, filled with amazing opportunities to make a living.
I want to caution you, though, to not get caught up in chasing success for the wrong reasons. It can be easy sometimes, when we see the ball in our court, to want to smash the competition. To rise so high above the rest, we couldn’t see them if we wanted to. To blow the competition out of the water.
The fact is, the reason we’re living in such a success-driven time, is because we’re working in such a community-driven atmosphere.
Jeff Goins (and if you don’t know him, you should) recently made the point, “every story of success is really a story of community.” Especially working in the virtual business world, I couldn’t agree more.
If you take a look at the virtual entrepreneurs (like Jeff), you’ll find they all know one another. They have similar connections, methods, and strategies. They hang out at the same events. They participate in one another’s launches. You see a pattern in the way they do business. The reason is: they’re all supporting one another.
No one’s out for blood. No one’s out to crush the little guy. No one’s out to leave anybody in the dust.
They’re constantly collaborating, communicating, encouraging, and challenging one another to be better, do better, and live better.
It’s a world I’m honored to be a part of.
If you’re on the drive to succeed (and I have a hunch you are!), here are some pointers to help keep you grounded and to garner the support you’ll need from your fellow entrepreneurs.
Study Best Practices
Who’s leading the path of your business market? Observe their methods. Watch what they do and how they’re doing it. Take note of what works and what they abandon.
What advice are they giving in their blogs? What podcasts are they on? What are they marketing? How are they doing it?
If you want to succeed, do what the succeeders are doing. Eventually, as you get the hang of what’s working and what’s good for your business, you’ll be able to use your innovation to take it to the next level. Pace yourself.
Find A Mentor
You’ll need people who can speak truth and wisdom into your life. Find at least one mentor you can talk shop with, and one mentor you can work through the daily grind of life with. You’ll need different perspectives from your own.
Find people you respect, admire, and want to emulate, but not people who think exactly like you do. You’re going to want to see different angles of the same picture.
Whether it’s a mentor leading a mastermind group or a close friend or colleague with good business sense, be open to new ideas and perspectives. Often times, you need someone who can show you the blind spots in your business.
It’s important to build a network of people you can count on to back you up. The best – and most productive – way to do this, is to make an investment in people first. The return on your investment in them will be their investment in you. Find people you can build community with in your market. I’ve done this be simply encouraging and coaching others in their business. Free advice goes a long way!
That said, take advantage of technology. They don’t all have to be local (though it would be helpful if at least a few of them were!). Do you have Twitter? Use it. Tweet the people you admire. Reach out to them. Tell them you love their stuff. Open the doors for conversation, and build bridges to people you can not only learn from, but offer support to.
Don’t be pushy, but work your way into the circles you want to be a part of.
There are so many people who are willing to get their hands dirty in order to help you get to where you aspire to be. So many generous, and genuine business leaders have given of themselves to help other people find their footing in the entrepreneurial world. Remember that.
Wherever your road to success takes you, always remember to give back. Be a mentor to someone. Share in the success of others. Celebrate with them. Give your time, share your resources, and remember this isn’t a competition. It’s a community.
I love this quote I found a while back, and it sums up my thoughts on community over competition. Let’s make this our goal…. to root each other on and watch them grow!