Stop Running Your Business Alone

Bill Faeth
Posted on October 18, 2017

(Creative Commons photo by Tumisu via Pixabay)
(Creative Commons photo by Tumisu via Pixabay)
Owning a business can be a lonely existence. You are the only person responsible for making every decision, fulfilling payroll, hiring and training employees, firing underperforming employees, paying taxes, maintaining compliance, and much more.

But who do you lean on during times of difficulty? Who do you bounce your ideas off of and who helps you find solutions to issues that arise daily?

If your answer is “no one,” then something needs to change. Every great business owner gives credit to a mentor who helped them build their empire — from Richard Branson to Warren Buffett to Steve Jobs.

The fact is we can’t do anything alone. While it may not take a village to create a business you can be proud of, it does take more than one person. We all need a mentor who has experience making tough decisions. With a mentor on our side, we are able to gain a clear perspective, learn from their struggles, speak freely about ours, take advantage of their thought leadership, and most importantly, vent our frustrations and ask questions.

Without this support, we are chained to our own perceptions and beliefs; our own ideas of success or failure; and our own capacity for problem solving. We miss out on the treasure trove of value another person can bring into not only our businesses, but our lives.

When was the last time you told your spouse you might miss payroll at the end of the week? Most of us don’t because we don’t want to burden them and we feel they will lose confidence in our ability to provide.

This is totally normal and you're not alone.

I started my first business 26 years ago when I was 18 years old, and I was fortunate I had my mother to help and mentor me along the way. She had run her own business, while also serving as an educator in a school system. Naturally, she was able to share her mistakes and how she overcame the obstacles they created for her. As problems of my own occurred, she provided wisdom I wouldn’t have received otherwise.  

After working with more than 400 companies in our industry, it has become very clear to me limousine and ground transportation business owners do not actively seek out mentorship. I am a firm believer we all need a mentor who can help us with our struggles.

LCT has done a great job of hosting mentor programs at the shows,  and they have been very successful in benefiting participants. But what happens in between the shows when you encounter issues? It is in these times you need to get the help and guidance of a qualified mentor.

Seeking Mentors Out
There are many types of mentorship that can benefit you in a variety of ways. Here are some of your options:

Mastermind Groups: There are two types of groups I see in our industry. The first ones focus on affiliate networking, while others help you dive into leadership, business optimization, and becoming a better business owner. If you plan to invest in a group, be sure to list out what you want to get out of it and that group goals align with your personal ones.

Online Influencer: You can learn a lot from successful business owners by following them online, subscribing to their blogs, and consuming their videos. The only drawback here is you don't get one-on-one access to them to ask questions.

Paid Mentor/Coach: This is big business today, with many great options to hire a business or life coach who will provide guidance, processes, and experiences you can benefit from online or in person.

Successful Friend:  Most of us have friends who have been or are successful business owners. Get in touch with one you trust and ask him or her if he or she  would be willing to talk about a few of your struggles. Because we share similar issues regardless of industry, there will be a common bond. Plus, in most cases, your friends will genuinely want to help you.

Affiliate: This is a great place to start especially if none of the above work for you, as the affiliate will share common issues you are dealing with. I would recommend you choose this route and seek out a larger affiliate than you so they can help you with issues specific to your size and revenue growth.

As most of you know, I have owned 23 businesses in many different market verticals since 1989. What most of you don’t know is I have enlisted the help of a mentor when tackling every one of these business ventures. When I opened my first restaurant, I had a mentor. When I launched my ecommerce business selling swimwear online, I had a mentor. When I got into the limo business, I sought out a mentor in George Jacobs.

The key element each mentor provided was experience. They predicted the issues I may run into, helped me navigate through the mistakes I made, and showed me how to handle the successes I achieved along the way. Above all else, my mentors saved me money, time, and loads of stress from decision making.

If you don’t have a mentor, get one now. Seriously, start today.

Related LCT Blog post: Why LCT East Will Take Your Business To Higher Levels

Bill Faeth Debut: Why This Column Is All About You

Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University (www.LimoGrowth.com), Inbound Marketing Agents (www.inboundmarketingagents.com), and 23 additional startups, including Silver Oak Transportation of Nashville, Tenn. As a successful former operator and active advocate for the industry, Bill continues to invest in educating and training operators on how to grow, manage, and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at [email protected]

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, business growth, business management, industry education, LCT Blog, LCT-NLA Show East, mentorship, operation growth

Comments ( 1 )
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     | about 4 months ago

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