There are many highly valued and unusual or unexpected benefits to running your own business. They rarely get mentioned, but they are always there.
Many entrepreneurs will tell you that sometimes these hidden benefits are worth more than the business itself.
One of the most valuable, but also most unexpected benefits are the deep, lifelong friendships that can be forged and experienced with people of a like mind that you get to meet through your business, sometimes in the most unexpected circumstances.
If you use the internet, you’re likely to initiate several deep, meaningful relationships with some incredible people, many of which might well be half a world away. In fact, many of these kinds of relationships will be created, nurtured, and sustained without ever meeting that person face-to-face. I have clients and work associates that I’ve known online for ten years now and we’ve become great friends. We message one another to check-in and have online meetings to flesh out new business ideas.
Strange as it may seem to the uninitiated, deep purposeful relationships can be forged with just email, text, telephone, and video conferencing technology. These are not just relationships held together with common business interests. It goes much deeper than that.
Ask anyone who has been in any kind of business for any length of time if they’ve ever met anyone of substance, of character, who has subsequently become a lifelong friend, and then listen. You’ll be surprised how common it is, and how valuable those friendships are to the people concerned.
The Mastermind Group
One of the coolest things you can create together with these kinds of people is a Mastermind Group.
This is where a small group of like-minded individuals meet on a regular basis and discuss their own issues of the day. They use the collective wisdom of the group to resolve issues, create philosophies, and discuss strategies.
Everyone in the group benefits in one way or another and the camaraderie created has a phenomenal power to it. You can learn so much, so quickly, with your own Mastermind Group. Everyone in any kind of business can benefit by being in one.
Studies have shown that frequent engagement, discussions, and participation with fellow entrepreneurs can accelerate your progress dramatically.
That’s why Mastermind Groups are so popular. You can tap directly into the collective wisdom of the group to resolve any issue or create new ideas.
A Mastermind Group will also bring you all kinds of new perspectives and philosophies, some of which you may choose to adopt as your own. These alone can change every aspect of your life completely.
A mastermind group brings you new ideas for clear and effective decision making, idea exploration and development, marketing initiatives, and business strategies. These kinds of exercises and activities will cause you to think differently, work differently, and BE different.
Then, there are the more tangible types of personal growth that will undoubtedly change your life for the better. Your ability to start conversations with people you meet in absolutely any circumstance and from any walk of life grows when you have your own business.
You might even, one day, surprise yourself by enjoying talking to groups of people as a Speaker. Because most people cannot imagine this being an enjoyable activity, they’re often shocked to find out how much they do enjoy it, given the right topic, the right people, and the right circumstances. And all without any formal training at all.
The common denominator in all these things is CONFIDENCE. Having an abundance of confidence is probably the greatest asset you can have if you want to live a prosperous, joyful, stress-free life.
Confidence is another one of those things that money just cannot buy. You can only acquire it from doing. So, in order to build your confidence, you simply have to practice whatever it is you would like to get good at.
For example, the only way to get good at swimming is to swim. But there is a world of difference between swimming the 22-mile English Channel and swimming in a pool. There’s also a world of difference between swimming in a modest pool in your backyard and a full-sized pool in the Olympics!
But the strategy is always the same. Start from where you are and practice.
Everything is doable given the right perspective and support.
So, if you want to get really good at business, you first have to have a business. No amount of video or classroom training can substitute for the real thing. When I started my business 10 years ago, I was only experienced in helping other startups grow. It wasn’t until I had to get into every aspect of being a business owner that I actually started to grow and thrive.
You must fully engage yourself in that business daily until you fully understand all the principles and elements of it. THEN your confidence will begin to grow until you are not phased, distracted, side-tracked, or knocked off course by anything that happens in that business.
The same is true for decision-making, organizing, planning, setting goals, and so on. You just have to DO IT! If you do it often, you learn to do it well.
In due course, you will master every aspect of owning and running a business, and at that point, business strategy will cease to become something you do. It will become an integral part of who you are and any sense of ‘work’ will then leave you permanently.
You will instinctively know what to do, what to say, and how to get things done. YOU will become your businesses’ most powerful asset.
You will then be able to show up anywhere in the world and get things going simply from what you have learned and who you are.
It has been said many times that we become the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. If you’re thinking of starting a business, this might be a good time to ponder what that means to you in your life.