It’s a dog eat dog world. It’s high risk and everyone is working against you in hopes that you fail. There’s no room for your business or success.
If you’re like most people looking to pursue a life of entrepreneurship, those statements above can feel true. But is it really true or is it self defense for not trying? I’m not saying that there isn’t any risk and that businesses don’t fail, but it’s unlikely that absolutely everyone is against you. I have had to redirect companies that I have started. Sometimes that plan going in isn’t going to work exactly as designed. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s important to be flexible to the fact that there could possibly be a need to change or start from scratch with new plan.
I am extremely grateful for the relationships that I have been able to develop through my businesses. These fellow business owners and community leaders that I consider as friends and mentors. They freely impart the knowledge that they have obtained throughout the course of their lives and genuinely want to help me be successful. It gives me chills to think about how much I appreciate their selfless contribution to me. I didn’t understand it at first. Why would someone that has the means and knowledge to do what I am doing not just be doing it for themselves? There must be some kind of catch. What do they want from me?
If they wanted something, I hadn’t figured out what it is was. So I decided to ask just to make sure they weren’t somehow going to steamroll over me in the future. The answer was that they had received guidance when they were first starting out, and they want to be able to pay it forward to help others also be successful.
Wow! I was shocked and slightly relieved at the same time. It made sense, but I was still cautious. There have now been countless times that this particular entrepreneur has helped me out of a bind, and he is 100 percent genuine. This was my first experience with a fellow entrepreneur desiring to help with no expectations. There are now several people that I consider to be vital resources. I just hope that I can one day provide value for them as they have for me.
A funny thing has been happening for me lately. People have either reached out to me for guidance or I have seen an opportunity where I can help. Like my entrepreneur mentors, I do not have any expectations. I simply find pride in myself for being considered a resource to help others find their success. It is a great feeling. Perhaps it is validation that I am doing something notable that others want to be a part of or it’s that human desire to help other people being fulfilled. Regardless of the reason, that’s a feeling that I want to continue to experience. I genuinely have a strong desire to help people, it’s one of my core values. This is how I know that I am on the right path with my business strategy of building and redeveloping businesses and communities. It brings me excitement and joy!
In summary for those upcoming entrepreneurs. There are plenty of people that can be invaluable resources to help you succeed. Proceed with these relationships with cautious optimism because there are people out there that can significantly cut down your learning curve. There are people that will invest their time and money in you for absolutely nothing in return. Just make sure that you are prepared to take action and that you’re not wasting someone’s time. Otherwise, you may lose that connection and it will take a while to regain their trust that you are serious about what you’re doing.
Do you have your own business? What is your experience with mentors? Have you found that people are willing to help you on your journey?