Sunday, March 23, 2008

Beating the Lonely Entrepreneur Syndrome

Laurel Touby, who I've written about before (Mediabistro: Timeline to Success) built a multi-million dollar empire to counter the loneliness she felt as a freelance writer. She organized parties for journalists - other lonely people like her - and made a huge business out of it (Laurel's featured in this month's Inc. Magazine: "How I Did It").

Marci Alboher recently wrote a blog post about how it's so much better to have someone teach you things than to learn them by yourself (see My Technology Training Program). Business tasks (or anything, really) are definitely more fun if you're sharing them with someone else.

In addition to learning or companionship, I also need "peeps" for guidance and support. As a new entrepreneur I have to make decisions every day, and am faced with the prospect of taking actions that seem incredibly scary in my distorted mind. So aside from my weekly meetings with action partners (which I wrote about last week), I also check in every other day with my friend Andrew Deutsch (right).

Andrew has worked in sales for over twenty years (he also plays a mean jazz guitar and can shoot out jokes like it's open mike night at the Comedy Strip), and is now creating a training program for salespeople that he wants to "take on the road".

We help each other with the more general tasks of running our businesses, aka our "to do" lists. I've asked him for feedback on handling clients, and on venues for a workshop I'm giving next month. He patiently listens when I keep bringing up tasks (over and over again) that were supposed to have been completed (I'm happy to say I finally hired an accountant!).

In turn he's asked me to edit pitches, pick photos for his website and comment on his target market profile (I've also handled his occasional non-business-related dating dilemmas). My thinking can sometimes get faulty and I've been ready to toss out perfectly good ideas until he points out some benefit that I overlooked. And it's great to share my successes with someone I don't have to explain the whole story to.

Don Corleone had his consigliere, I have Andrew. Which is fortunate because I have a lot on my plate for this week, so I'm glad I don't have to do it alone!


Goddess Findings said...

Just catching up on your blog, I always feel so encouraged when I stop by and I really related to the "lonely entrepeneur syndrome"!! It's so valuable to have people who you can partner with who can be balanced and secure in's to hoping for lots of those types of people!!!! Keep up the great work!

Kaizen Consulting Blog said...

I agree with your article that it is valuable to have contacts that you can get ideas and feedback from.

Carmina Pérez said...

Thanks for your comments ladies. Just this past Friday Andrew pointed out some glaring omissions from a workshop I'm putting together that I had totally overlooked. It's great to have a second opinion!

Reggie Waller: Business and Personal Coaching said...

Carmina, I agree that it's always nice to have great people to share information with and not feel like your making decisions on your own. I find myself doing the same within my network and it has been rewarding in so many ways.

"No one person can know and/or do everything themselves."