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With Counsel

With Counsel

This week I had the pleasure of meeting dozens of accountants and bookkeepers looking to improve their businesses.  We discussed trends in technology, value pricing and marketing strategies.  In all these topics a couple common steps were discussed throughout:

  1. Have a plan.
  2. Include input from others.
  3. Review and iterate.

The planning step seems obvious to most (and yet is often skipped) and evaluating, modifying and repeating strategies are very important, but will be tooics for another day.  Today, let’s tackle the step that raised the most eyebrows- getting input from others.

As solo-preneurs and as trusted advisors ourselves, we often don’t want or feel the need to ask others for help. But we do.  (I wrote something similar before here.)

We need input from others because first, we have to articulate what our plans actually are. Perhaps this requires us to (gulp) actually write it down or talk it through.  Second, we need their perspective. Whether it’s a customer or a colleague in a different industry, they will likely see things from a very different vantage point and be able to provide valuable insight.  And finally, we need input from others for the encouragement and warnings they could provide.  If we are heading down the right path, they will cheer us on, and if we’re not, their warning might save us from a mistake.  Either way, we win.

So where do you get this input?  Hopefully you have a spouse or close friend that can be a sounding board, and a great customer is helpful as they have been with you on other journeys or changes.  It is good to have people in and out of your industry as well. Those in your industry will understand some unique pain points, and those outside your industry may have insight that is applicable to yours. Some give their advisors a name (like a Board, Committee or Mastermind group), but with or without a special name, you need one.  They don’t have to be in the same city, but they do need to have the same values you hold dear, and be successful in their own right.  (Why would you take advice from a broke person on how to manage finances, for example.). The important thing is that you will trust them and listen to their input.  It doesn’t negate your vision or leadership- in many ways it will validate and strengthen it – but it means you are teachable and collaborative, which are both invaluable qualities in any leader and business owner.

I’d love to hear from you- where do you go for advice or counsel?

(CCT happens to be an All Access member of Entreleadership, and would definitely recommend it for any small business owner.)

“Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” – Proverbs 15:2

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