How to Enlist the Best Support for The Outcomes You’re Envisioning
Many of us, as business owners and as professionals, believe on some level that if we ask for help we’re showing signs of weakness, that we’re somehow unable to manage things on our own.
Yet the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders I know, work with, and respect all have a team: from financial advisors and business consultants to success coaches and respected mentors.
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Asking for help actually takes courage and awareness. And intentionally cultivating a support network is one of the best things you can do:
- for your business expansion
- for your continued professional success and
- to experience more meaningful relationships in all areas
We all reach points in our business, our careers and in our lives where the smartest, most effective step we can take is to get support in new ways.
I see this with organizational and with private clients most often when they’re in the midst of change or change is on the horizon… perhaps a business owner is making a pivot in her company, perhaps an entrepreneur is scaling his business in a new way, perhaps a successful professional is re-focusing on some important personal priorities outside of the work environment.
Most of us cannot take on as much as we think we can, at least not over the long term or in a way that leads to the truly satisfying and successful outcomes we seek. So in order to take things to the next level or in order to make lasting change, we must know when to seek assistance, when to delegate to our colleagues or team, even when to take something off our plate entirely.
Your support system is the network of people you trust and look to for guidance. Our immediate support networks often include our family and close friends, but as professionals and business owners, we also look to our financial advisors, our coaches and mentors, respected peers and consultants for additional perspective and guidance.
Summer is the perfect time to develop meaningful relationships with new advisors and guides — and to strengthen the relationships you already have.
We all face challenges both big and small throughout our professional and personal lives and it’s important to have people to go to – and to lean on – in times of change, in times of new opportunity, and yes, in times of need.
Why a Support Network is Key To Sustainable Success
Here are just a few ways studies show your support system can help you:
1. Handle difficult situations. When obstacles inevitably arise, we sometimes need some help keeping our goals in perspective or determining how to go about having a difficult conversation.
The people in your support network will be there for you when you need to talk after a long day or week, when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work or with other obligations. Supportive friends, family, coaches and team members will celebrate your successes, help you see the learning in failures, and give you encouragement to meet new challenges and opportunities with determination and a positive mindset.
2. Get and stay motivated. You want to take inspired action to create sustainable changes in your business and your life. Forming relationships with other business owners, with your professional peers and with trusted advisors will help you stay engaged in your endeavors, accountable and motivate you to keep going in order to succeed in your business.
If you feel overwhelmed or are going through a time of struggle, your support network is there for help, for guidance, insight and strategies for success.
3. Find guidance & a new perspective. You’re trying to move forward with a major goal, maybe to build a new business, re-energize your career or make time for some important personal priorities, and you want sound guidance. Your support network will not only offer a different perspective but can also be a valuable sounding board. Supportive colleagues, coaches and mentors can provide a safe space for you to explore your own ideas while providing their unique perspective about a situation. This often enables you to connect with and hear your own inner guidance in new and even clearer ways.
How to Cultivate Your Own Support Network
You may already have a network of friends, family or colleagues that you rely on. But if you’re looking to grow that, here are a few steps you can take to develop your personal and professional support system:
1. Join a professional group or organization. These are great ways to meet people who have similar goals and interests as you. Becoming more involved will also help you establish a variety of different social support networks. You’ll benefit from working closely with others in a group program and can even forge long-lasting friendships.
2. Hire a coach. A good coach helps you get clear on what you want and then works with you to take intentional action which is a critical tool for positive change.
Coaching is also powerful in helping you move past blocks and self-sabotage that may have tripped you up (we all have our blind spots) before. And while coaching is generally focused on where you want to go, it also involves taking an honest look at where you are and what you can shift or change in order to move forward more quickly and easily.
3. Refer a friend. In addition to getting support from a solid network yourself, you can support your peers, colleagues and friends by referring them to a trusted advisor, coach or professional organization that can help them as they navigate changes in their business or identify and move toward new professional and personal goals and priorities. Not only can it help those you care about, but your efforts to support and serve others have been shown in multiple studies to improve your own sense of well-being and happiness.
Cultivating and maintaining a social and professional support system will benefit you through each of your life’s endeavors. Your support networks do more than offer you a sense of community and belonging – they also help you achieve your goals in very real and critical ways – on your path to greater professional success and personal meaning.
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