Recently, I talked about the importance of starting your own advisory board. I realize that it may seem like an overwhelming task. Don’t overthink it, though. Remember that, often, …
…all you need to do to get help is to ask for it.
Start by just looking around you:
- Who’s in your existing network?
- Who do you know in a business that is complementary to yours?
- Who are your “professional” friends?
- Who did you go to school with?
There are opportunities everywhere; you just have to look around for them.
- Whose opinions do you value?
- Who’s perceptive about things you might miss?
- Who knows more than you about specific subject areas?
- Who’s had a failed run at your kind of business? (They’re not competition anymore…and you can learn from their mistakes.)
Once you’ve thought about who might be a good fit:
- Keep it small and intimate—no more than 5 people.
- Limit it to those whose opinions you truly value.
- Make sure you stick with people whose advice you are willing to act on—whether they’re in your practice area or not.
Finally, after you’ve identified a small group, schedule a lunch (that you pay for), and make sure that:
- There’s confidentiality (an NDA of some kind).
- That you have prepared a list of specific questions and concerns.
- There’s some sort of follow-up scheduled.
I just scheduled a lunch with three of my favorite professionals: a lawyer, a video producer, and an editor. I’m sure I’ll come out of it more energized and focused than I am now.
So, who’s your next lunch going to be with?