In the last year, I’ve begun using the concept of an inner circle for my business. It’s been a huge contributor to the success I’ve had this year so I wanted to share the idea with you.
As solopreneurs, we tend to work mostly alone. This is true even if you have outsourced help, partner with others sometimes or attend live events. Couple that with working from home (also mostly alone), and you’ve got a recipe for isolation in your business.
What’s the problem with working alone? Well, nothing if you do it right. I happen to love the solopreneur model and think it can be a good fit for a lot of people. The problem is when you try to work without ever having anyone to run things by before you do them. You might spend way too much time on an unworkable idea that one other pair of eyes could have spotted. The opposite can also happen – you might dismiss a great idea. It’s not necessary to discuss every move you make, but having a sounding board for the big ideas is a big help.
There are lots of ways to make sure you don’t overdo it on working alone, and one of those ways is to create an inner circle for yourself. If you ever had a regular job, you had coworkers. In a startup or non-profit, you might have a board of directors. Your inner circle a close group of advisers you create for yourself to fill the role your coworkers or board might play.
You inner circle should push, challenge, uplift and question you. They help you get unstuck. They are your sounding board. This is the first line of defense a new idea has to get past before too much work goes into it. They know you and your hot buttons and will call you out when you aren’t working up to your potential.
Your inner circle doesn’t take the place of learning and getting help in your business. Your inner circle might be more like your coworkers whereas your coach or teacher might be more like a boss or outside consultant. Both are important to success, but they fill different roles.
I created my inner circle by getting into a peer mastermind. After trying a few different formats, we got settled into a routine and now I plan many of my projects around this group. I get their feedback on big projects at each step of the way and commit to meet my deadlines during our meetings. You better believe I meet those deadlines too!