I have received comments over the years from family and friends who say to me that I’m independent to a fault. Is there such a thing as being too independent?
After a 20 year career in corporate America, I left about six years ago to start my coaching business and I’ve never looked back. Sure, there have been challenges; plenty of challenges. I would be dishonest if I said running my own business is a piece of cake. It’s not. It can be stressful and even scary at times. Why? Because YOU are the business and though you can occasionally take time off (as difficult as that is for me personally), at the end of the day, it’s YOU who makes all the decisions and charts the course for the direction of your business.
In the beginning, I would stress over every decision. It seemed to me at the time that every decision was a monumental one. What should I name my company? What should my website look like and say? What is my niche? I have to say now I make my decisions quickly and they are often based on my intuition. Sometimes I make good decisions; some aren’t so great, but I’ve come to realize that this is all part of the evolutionary process of becoming an entrepreneur. I celebrate the fact that I have the ability to make these decisions and chart my own course; to make some mistakes and hopefully learn from them and move forward. That’s what is means to be independent after all.
That being said, I think it is possible to be independent to a fault as an entrepreneur. You can’t build and run a successful business in a vacuum. It’s important to surround yourself with a network of supporters and mentors that you can tap into for advice.
I read recently that every business owner should have an advisory board for their business; a group of like-minded business people who can act as a sounding board when you need it. This advisory board can be a formal group or an informal relationship with colleagues who have the experience and expertise to help guide you.
Who should be on your advisory board? For my coaching business, I look for advice and support in finance, marketing, technology and design and often use a coach myself to keep me on track and move my business forward.
So, it is Independence Day and I am celebrating my independence! Being an entrepreneur is an amazing experience to me. Because I am following my passion to help other professional women be successful, it never feels like work. I love it and every day is a celebration of my independence. That being said, I think as an entrepreneur, it is possible to be too independent and we need to seek out the advice and expertise of others to help us grow. In the end, this gives us the ability to maintain our independence and flourish.
Happy Independence Day!