Why no entrepreneur should ‘go it alone’

Why no entrepreneur should go it alone

A decade ago, as a young entrepreneur, I would often look at successful businesspeople and marvel at their resourcefulness, tenacity and vision. I wished I had the same internal mechanics that enabled them to overcome self-limiting beliefs, dream big, and find the right path.

I thought I needed to put in more hours to get the results they were getting, but when I was maxing myself out, my results got worse!

I now think the big difference was that they had a mentor / coach.

As Richard Branson said:

“Whenever I am asked what is the missing link between a promising businessperson and a successful one, mentoring comes to mind. […] If you ask any successful businessperson, they will always have had a great mentor at some point along the road.”

It’s actually pretty startling – identify any successful entrepreneur and you’ll find a coach or mentor that helped them to stretch their goals, identify the right path, and make progress along it. Here’s some I found:

  • Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Steve Jobs and Donald Graham
  • Steve Jobs by Andy Grove
  • Robert Kiyosaki by Keith Cunningham
  • Richard Branson by Sir Freddie Laker
  • Bill Gates by Dr Ed Roberts and Warren Buffet
  • Jack Dorsey by Ray Chambers
  • Marissa Mayer by Larry Page & other Google Execs
  • (Any many more!)

As entrepreneurs I think we often think we have to be the trailblazer, setting the world alight with our crazy ideas, persistence, and massive action.

Instead, we’d be better getting help.

For example, for my teenage years and the first 10 years of my adult life I struggled with my weight. It slowly went up and up, until I hit 15 stone (95.25kg), making me technically ‘Obese’ according to my BMI’. I had tried to lose weight, but ‘nothing worked’.

In 2015, I finally got serious about getting fitter, and hired a Personal Trainer.

Wow. What a difference! Not only was I able to lose weight (losing 2 stone in 6 months), but I’m now in the best shape of my life. (And I’m confident that by April 2016 I will be in the ‘Normal’ range – something I had previously resigned to never being able to achieve!)

I now have coaches and/or mentors for all the areas of my life where I am serious about improvement and achieving great things – and the impact has been huge.

Now, this is an important point… I didn’t need the personal trainer to tell me how to lose weight. (I know that eating less and exercising more will achieve that result!). Instead I needed help to:

  • Set goals that had the right balance between being stretching and realistic
  • Identify the path that would help me achieve my goals most quickly and enjoyably
  • Keep me accountable for keeping to the path / plan
  • Maintain momentum and keep things interesting over the long haul
  • Get up and get going again when I fell off track

For entrepreneurs, having a coach can help us do the above with our start-ups, and work smarter (not longer!) as a result.

This is particularly important for parentpreneurs, where more hours spent working is likely to damage your relationships, and as a result your motivation, support and ability to think clearly.

I ran an online training session about the approach I use to build start-ups without sacrificing my health or time with my family. Click here to find out more (and watch the video).

Right, I better go – I’m booked for a session with my personal trainer!

About The Author

Alexis Kingsbury

Alexis is founder of the Parentpreneur Accelerator and Making Greatness Ltd. He is a serial entrepreneur, with experience creating start-ups in a variety of areas, particularly in SaaS and EdTech. He is also a lucky husband and proud dad, and now helps other 'parentpreneurs' like him to achieve their dreams of having successful businesses, making a difference in the world, and spending time with the people they love.

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