I’ve blogged a few times about losing $3 million as a result of bad investments and stupid decisions. One of the many huge mistakes I made prior to my colossal losses was never building an inner circle of advisors.
Management and self-help books always talked about this necessity but I never took it seriously until it was way too late. Now I do, and life and business are not only easier, but fun.
My inner circle provides invaluable perspective (seeing things I often miss), a calming presence (so I don’t overreact), frank feedback (keeping my ego in check), and excellent suggestions (making decisions easy).
My “circle” consists of my wife and four young women at my office. I used to focus on relationships outside my business for this purpose but those relationships often proved counter-productive b/c they didn’t know me or my specific business well enough.
The women who advise me now know both my business and me extremely well b/c they have been with me for years. This is a key requirement I think.
An interesting aside with respect to the young women who advise me is that they come from extraordinary families, so their advice is always surprisingly sound, thoughtful and objective; I realize that I am not just getting them as advisors, I am effectively getting their parents too.
Those management and self-help books also often remind us to give credit to the people around you who have helped you achieve success. I don’t give credit, however, just b/c the books remind me. I give credit b/c those people deserve all the credit.
Anyway – if you want to grow – you need a skilled, honest and reliable inner circle. I meet with mine every week, and it’s one of my favorite things to do.
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