This is a continuation of my Part 1 posting on cultivating growth and development from an entrepreneurial perspective. An entrepreneur does not have all the answers, so to improve and progress he/she must enlist the support of others. One way to accelerate and maximize your success is to establish an incubator (aka personal advisory) board to enhance your performance, efficiency and effectiveness in key areas. The incubator board asks the tough questions that will help you: define strategic vision; develop a value proposition; sharpen marketing, networking, presentation and negotiation skills; determine the feasibility of new concepts and ideas; and build strategic alliances. Here are a few guidelines to help you launch such an initiative:
Establish a clear mission and framework. Know your purpose and what you want to achieve. This will help determine the types of assistance that you will need from the group and how you will work together.
Recruit strategic partners. Your incubator board can be as formal or informal as you wish. The group can consist of as many as seven or as few as three individuals who are proactive, forward thinking, and willing and able to provide constructive feedback to help effectively navigate your unique circumstances. The number of members is not as important as their commitment, enthusiasm and synergy.
Schedule regular meetings. Meetings can be either face-to-face or by phone and should be held on a regular and mutually agreed upon basis. Between meetings you might consider brief, periodic e-mail updates to keep everyone apprised of your efforts.
Demonstrate flexibility. At times you may need to change board members. A relationship may falter or a change in your circumstances may precipitate the need for new resources and areas of expertise. Either way, if an individual is no longer providing value to meet your specific needs, politely thank him or her for their time and guidance and move on.
Maintain an attitude of gratitude. Success is not all about you. To receive assistance from others requires that you convey a deep sense of appreciation and a willingness to facilitate the success of others. Find tangible ways to give back to the people who have helped you to succeed.
To create opportunities is to exercise your freedom to make conscious choices and focus on the things that you can change. This line of reasoning expands your energy, enlarges your perspective, increases your value, and strengthens your impact.
Until Next Time,