I was all 24 yrs. when I started my journey as an entrepreneur, and I felt so alone in facing the challenges in making my dreams become a reality. I felt I had nowhere to go to share my struggles of which there were plenty. No one to exchange ideas and to learn from those who had taken that path before I did and committed mistakes.
I had no support from family or friends as they thought I was crazy to leave a well-paying job and risking everything to pursue something of which there were no guarantees. Well, I guess, that’s the case with anything in life, isn’t it?
With every misstep, self-doubt started to creep in and ate away at my confidence, my dreams, vision and eventually taking a toll on my health.
Well, they say entrepreneurship is a lonely profession and it felt like that to me at that time!
It was during one of my travels that I met a fellow traveler who had like me taken the leap of faith about 10 years ago. He could relate to what I was going through and gave me a few tips on how he overcame the challenges which I was experiencing at the start. I must confess they were pearls of wisdom that put me right back on track. One suggestion he gave me was to be part of some peer group of like-minded entrepreneurs, which could be an effective antidote to my loneliness.
He quoted from the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.”
He told me, “Sree don’t try to be like Atlas, carrying the burden of the whole world on your shoulders”, why don’t you find people who could share some of it and also support you in the process? He referred me to a group he was part of, and that changed me completely. It helped me readjust to my struggles and took a lot of weight off my shoulders.
I quickly realized that on my own, I could only have a limited amount of experience, education, and training. Being part of a Peer Advisory Group, I could tap into the experience, training, skills, knowledge, and resources of like-minded peers and mentors which could fast track my learning curve and provide me with the much-needed energy to pursue my goals.
I realized quickly and in the very first meeting that one could not separate personal and professional life in silos and how one’s personal life had a deep impact on our business decisions and how our decisions at work impacted our personal lives.
It’s now 26 years since I started this journey, and I can say with absolute confidence that being part of a Peer Advisory Group was the best thing that happened to me. It helped me transcend the barriers of self-doubt, low confidence, anxiety, and poor health to being a more self-confident person.
Some benefits from a long list are worth a mention here;
- Helped improve mental wellness the peer group connect helped me to cope with the challenges of feeling isolated and lonely.
- Helped me leverage from the insights and experiences of people from diverse backgrounds.
- Learn critical skills of negotiating tough deals, having difficult conversations, managing finances and dealing with investors
- Broaden my knowledge to include aspects of entrepreneurship which you normally come to learn long after committing mistakes
- Diverse perspectives as I listened to the problems others shared and put my own challenges in context.
- Referral business as I always had someone who knew somebody else who could be my potential customer. I must say, referrals to this date have kept my business engine growing by leaps and bounds.
Peer Advisory Groups enable not just learning about ourselves but is a good reminder of how far we have reached, what we overcame, and of our accomplishments.
So whether you are dreaming of starting something on your own, a startup entrepreneur, an aspiring ‘C’ Suite executive, being part of a Peer Advisory Group can definitely fast track you towards achieving your goals. Not to forget contribute positively to your physical and mental wellness.
You don’t want to waste your precious time “Re-inventing the wheel” do you?
JOIN a Leadership Peer Advisory Group near you!