Best-selling author, speaker, executive coach; peer advisory boards #ChampagneMoment www.ExactlyWhereYouWanttoBe.com
There are many wonderful things that come with being a business owner, but the role also includes a few caveats, such as feeling like you can’t properly share the challenges you encounter as an entrepreneur with your friends, family or team members who work for you. However, it doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. In fact, joining a peer advisory board might be the perfect remedy for this unique challenge.
When I first got into business in 1999, a business owner friend recommended I join a peer board. I did, and it allowed me to navigate many opportunities and challenges before I sold that company in 2009. Then, in 2012, I started running peer boards and now run three separate boards a month.
If you’ve ever thought about joining a peer board, also called a business owner advisory board, here are 10 reasons to consider making the leap:
1. You’re unique, your business is unique and you deserve unique insight and support.
Having a well-established group of your peers to discuss problems with during a business owner advisory board meeting can be a game-changer. If you’re looking for people who truly understand the unique challenges and pressures you face as a business owner, look no further than a diverse group of other business owners. Peer advisory boards give you the opportunity to open up fully with a trusted group of your peers — and trust is an important element for business owners. We often have to play our cards close to our chest because of competition. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place that is safe, a place where you can get unbiased advice from others that only want the best for you?
2. The non-financial values are huge.
Many members join peer advisory groups because they believe it can help them bring more value to their company. But the non-financial values are just as important. You are more than chasing the first or next million dollars. If there is more to your life than your business — if you value your family, friends and a better work-life balance — seek out like-minded owners to see a huge return.
3. You get the opportunity to give back.
It’s all about give and take when you become part of a peer board. Where you might have some members who help challenge you in certain areas, you also have the opportunity to help peers in areas where you excel.
4. It can help you to broaden your leadership skills.
Growing your leadership skills is vital for business owners. Your peer advisory board leader/facilitator and your peers will push you to hone your leadership skills through training, mentorship and peer-to-peer coaching.
5. It can help you to avoid missteps.
It’s often said that one of the best ways to learn is by making mistakes. However, the second-best way, and perhaps the most cost-effective way, is to learn from other people’s mistakes. In a peer board, you’ll be able to learn from each other’s mistakes and, in turn, be able to avoid some costly missteps that you might not have been able to avoid had you gone at it alone.
6. It can guide you in learning and mastering the basics.
You’ll be encouraged to step back and identify the basics. These are the basic skills that every business owner has to master in order to find great success. If you don’t know what these basic skills are, perhaps joining a peer board is a smart start.
7. It helps you be proactive, not reactive.
There’s never been a more pertinent time in recent history where we need to focus on being proactive and not reactive. When you have a board made up of other business owners and leaders, you have an existing structure in place and tools to help you keep moving forward.
8. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and avoid tunnel vision.
As business owners, we love to hear from people who agree with us. That happens a lot. Our teams maybe agree, or seem to show agreement. But that’s not always productive. Sometimes we need to hear alternative views. We need to embrace different perspectives and think outside our own box to consider ideas that we previously would think could never work. A peer advisory group can help with that.
9. It provides accountability.
In this case, the power of peer pressure is used for good. Accountability is one of the main reasons I hear that business owners want to have a coach or join a peer group. Your peer group will positively peer pressure you into moving forward with your goals.
10. It’s a gateway to new opportunities and perhaps even some lifelong friendships.
I’m still close friends with nearly every single peer who was in the first peer advisory board I joined. There’s something about the safe space, the vulnerability and helping each other grow as business owners and entrepreneurs that bonds you for life. It also allows you to grow your network professionally.
Yes, you push each other outside of your comfort zones quite often, but that’s where all of the best stuff happens. If you’re looking to grow your business, to hit that next level or if you simply need to feel like you’re not alone in the many challenges that can weigh us business owners down, then a peer advisory board could be a smart move for you.
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