My guilty pleasure is the occasional episode of Shark Tank and Marcus Lemonis on The Profit. It is hard as a business owner to get good advice. Employees and customers often give you very valuable short term advice but can’t really help you on the question of should you do that acquisition?
It's lonely running a company and even Marcus Lemonis could use some advice on his struggling RV empire. As a business owner how do you get consistently good advice?
- Join Vistage. I have been a member for several years and it has been a valuable resource for getting executive coaching and candid feedback from my peers. As my team can testify: I was not a great CEO out of the gate in 2013. You get better through peer feedback, coaching, and working at your blind spots.
- Read more from other business owners. You get to see your challenges are not unique. I just finished David Nasaw’s book on Andrew Carnegie. Other useful books: Ray Dailo’s Principles, High Output Management, Danny Meyer’s Setting the Table, and Scaling Up.
- Build a peer Network. The fun part of speaking at events, teaching classes, and being active in my local communities is that I get to meet a ton of amazing fellow business owners. It takes effort to keep in touch but it's worth it when you need a second set of eyes on the new serverless architecture your team is recommending.
- Test the Advice. There is a never ending chorus of what you should be doing. I live in a world where Google made 3,200 changes to their algorithm last year. My knowledge gets dated quickly. All I can do is test more than my competition. Make this a habit. Some may find it exhausting but I find it to be a reason to jump out of bed each day and help clients grow.