There has been a lot of thought in my professional life lately about growth and focus. I have gotten to where I am by an enormous amount of hard work, risk and ‘ahead of the curve’ talent (yes, I finally blew my own horn a bit). In the past, the road I wanted to take has always been designed in my mind and acted as my own internal Google Map to get there. This time the road is blurry and I am looking for someone with Google Map Street View to help me along the way. No kumbaya pep talks, no warm and fuzzy planning sessions – solid, actionable business guidance and support.
Growth and success can be difficult to survive. Asking for help feels like weakness to me. Negative situations are easy examples to give when talking about asking for help, but asking for help when you are on an upswing just feels like failure. I am hard-wired to do everything myself, bust my own ass, make my own way. Now when I say *I* what I really mean is *we* – my husband is my business partner and has been for the past 13 years (we’ve been married for 10.5 years). He and I have very different roles but equally contribute to the success and direction of the 24/7 that is our business.
The issue I’m having is that there are very few friends I have in real life or in my online social circles that I can get this guidance from. How do you reach outside your comfort zone of your trusted friends or casual online connections that somehow imply a level of trust? How do you immerse yourself into a world you know nothing about and still maintain a sense of control? I’ve been doing some heavy research into options for our company for growth. In particular, venture capital and business development. It’s not my world, so how do I know I’m learning the right things, connecting to the right people, or not getting taken to the cleaners? How do you know if you are getting a good deal or good advice? I have to take a leap of faith, something I am comfortable with doing in my own world and body of expertise, but not in a world based around founders stock and IPO. I think about this sort of stuff with medical issues too. Picking a doctor or treatment for the flu is one thing, but reaching out and having to deal with cancer or lupus or some other life-altering situation puts a lot more on the line. How do people do it? How do you make decisions and get informed with something that is so alien to your life and has such a big impact? Maybe you need to be actually standing on that cliff to know how you would react. Seems I’m on that cliff with my business right now.
Do or do not. There is no try. — Yoda.
We have been in business a long time. We have had multiple businesses. Some have failed and others have thrived. Maybe my push back is due to always feeling the sting of a failure and trying to do and learn everything humanly possible to avoid it again. I don’t live my life or run my business based on fear of failure, but I’m a smart woman. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer – keep your successes close but your failures closer. It’s the only way to learn and grow, but this time, growth and success feels like a fish too bit big for my hook alone.