Insights

How Important Is Personal Support For An Entrepreneur?

Tuesday 23 March 2021

The world of the entrepreneur can be a very lonely place. Unless you have the right structure of support around you, this loneliness can end up affecting your wellbeing which, in turn, may have an impact on your business.

This is why you need to have the right structure of support around you, not only from the business side but also personally.

This blog will explain why personal support is fundamental to the entrepreneur and how it can benefit your business. I’ll also be sharing some of the key lessons I’ve learnt around this critical topic. 

Different forms of support

Personal support for the entrepreneur can come in several different ways.

Sometimes it can be a non-executive who’s been there, done it and got the T-shirt. These people are great to bounce your ideas off because they’ve probably experienced a lot of the same things you are currently going through.

You can also have some kind of coach or mentor who isn’t directly involved in the business and is just there to help you on a personal level. These people can be incredibly valuable to the entrepreneur’s growth, as we will find throughout this blog. 

A great example of the benefits of a mentor is the entrepreneurial coaching program, Strategic Coach® that Guy and I have been on for years now. Pre-COVID we met in person every three months in Toronto. As well as the tools and strategic thinking the program provides, you also meet like-minded entrepreneurs who can relate to everything you are dealing with at any point in time. We speak to some of the attendees outside the program for any number of reasons including support and advice. During lockdown, meets have moved on-line but the in-person events will return as lockdown ends.

Finally, support can come by surrounding yourself with people who do the stuff you don’t like doing.

Not only will that make the business more efficient, but it also helps to make the work you do far more enjoyable! Let’s start with this as it’s one of the quickest ways you can help yourself personally.

 

The jack-of-all-trades

When you first start off as an entrepreneur, you’re this jack-of-all-trades type figure. This means there will be a lot of jobs you hate doing but, unfortunately, have to be done.

A great example for me would be doing detailed accounting and working with numbers and spreadsheets – it’s not my thing at all!

That’s why bringing in a financial director or someone who can do that job is key, even if it’s part-time to start with. 

These people can take a lot of the work you don’t like doing away from you, which means you can focus on what you enjoy doing. When you are enjoying your work, that helps your wellbeing, which then really helps the business.

It’s like Gary always says: “I always believed that if I had a finance director and a PA, I could take on the world!”

One time, he was so busy he even used his PA to find his mother a husband! Feel free to check out episode six of “Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Together” for the full story on that…

The main point here is that, as an entrepreneur, you need to find people who can help you with the things you aren’t that good at. Often, you spend time on these tasks, which can end up draining your entrepreneurial energy.

So, make sure where you can, you are bringing people on board who can support you with the day-to-day tasks – you’ll be better for it!

 

Make an effort to seek out support

It’s not natural for an entrepreneur to ask for the support they need, but you must make an effort to seek it out because it is critical to your long-term success. 

A good non-executive, for instance, is someone you get on well with who’s going to give a lot of value to you, and vice versa. A great example of this type of person is my previous non-executive, Ian Brookes. We had a great working relationship (we’re both football-loving northerners), and that relationship has continued into other business ventures like thestartupfactory.tech and our podcast “From the Factory Floor”.

Someone like this is a key asset to the personal support of the entrepreneur and acts as a sounding board to check some of the mad ideas you might have. A lot of business owners are very gut-feel people but it’s also vital that someone is there to question you. 

Another great person you need to seek out is a good financial adviser. We know how crucial it is to know your business numbers, but it’s almost equally important to have your personal finances in order too. When you are in control of your own money, it takes a lot of pressure off from the personal side, and a good adviser can really look after you.

 

Don’t be afraid to approach the best

But finding the right people to help you on your journey can be challenging, especially if you are looking for a non-executive or outside mentor. For business owners who are just getting started, approaching a highly successful mentor, accountant or non-executive can be quite intimidating.

However, as the old adage goes: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Don’t be shy about approaching the best in the business and asking for their help, because they might see real potential in you and want to see you succeed. 

That’s how Gary and I started working with some hugely successful business mentors!

Some people will do things for other reasons than just money. A lot of mentors out there will just enjoy seeing you grow. In some cases, that can point towards a very healthy, long-term and mutually beneficial relationship.

So, knock on a few doors and see what happens – you may be surprised who agrees to work with you!

 

Put yourself first once in a while

To get the personal support you need, don’t be afraid to put yourself first every once in a while. So many entrepreneurs tend to put themselves in last place behind their teams and their business, and in most cases, that’s the way it should be. 

But you still need to consider yourself when making decisions for the business. That’s why you need someone like a non-executive, financial adviser or mentor to help you take a step back and realise the business will benefit when you are supported. 

 

Family support

Clearly, another huge factor in the personal support of the entrepreneur is family, so it’s important that their role gets recognised here too. If you are lucky enough to have a supportive family like I do, it’s vital to draw on that support. People like your spouse, friends, family and parents can be a huge help. 

I honestly don’t know where I would be without mine!

For a more in-depth discussion on EHE Capital and supporting the entrepreneur, check out episode six of our podcast “Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Together”. Alternatively, you can email us with your questions here.

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