When I first started Single-Sourcing Solutions in 2005, I didn’t know anything. I thought I did, of course. When I look back from where I am today, I can honestly say I didn’t.
I was lucky, though. I got connected to a group of local entrepreneurs who would get together monthly to solve problems together. Each of us had our own business. Each of us were solving the same problems in different order. The group was led by an experienced Silicon Valley advisor who specialized in working with early stage startups. People who were at the top of their technical game and needed to learn things like how to fill a sales pipeline or how to find a good match in a co-founder. The critical skills necessary to launch, build, and sustain a new business.
Shortly after that, I found a partner who was also great coach. Over the years she had coached and hired executives, run human resources departments, and done inside sales (recruiting). She was with me when we hired our first high-powered sales professional. She’s been there as I proposed and launched new programs like the Arbortext Monster Garage, TC Dojo, and TC Camp. (And the one that I’ll be launching towards the end of this month. Stay tuned!)
I’ve grown skills I never knew I needed and, what’s more, didn’t realize the value of having! I’ve learned how to balance work with customer acquisition, staff management with administrative overhead. It wasn’t until last April, when I realized I’ve been coaching other people about how decide whether to go out on their own or to take the next step up the ladder. I realized how much I’d learned over the last twelve years of running Single-Sourcing Solutions.
When I really think about it, I have always had people that I have gone to with questions. In fact, I’m on several long-running, exclusive mailing lists with people who I’ve come to deeply depend on. One list has been running for over twenty years and each of us has a different specialty. And yet, over the years not a week’s gone by that someone hasn’t asked the others for advice. We work together because the members of the group are known to each other, deeply trusted, and highly respected.
If you’d asked me at any point in my journey, did I get a coach. I’d have told you no because I always looked at my partner, my mailing lists, my fellow entrepreneurs as advisors, friends, and experts I could call on. Isn’t that what a coach is, though?
Now I wonder.. Do you have a coach? Where do you go to when you want to learn those skills that exist outside the realm of technical prowess that is your expertise?
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