Blog | Entrepreneurship

Sending Out an SOS

Gathering the proper support team will help set you up for success

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When you’re working toward achieving your financial dreams, it can feel like you’re living on a deserted island. Your friends (whether they have corporate jobs or are stay-at-home moms) probably don’t understand the path you’re embarking on, your spouse or significant other may not appreciate your new focus, and everyone else from your neighbor to your Pilates instructor may think you’ve lost your mind.

And while there is nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it, that doesn’t mean you can do it all alone. In fact, I firmly believe it’s impossible to do it all by yourself. So what’s the solution? You must have some sort of support structure in place — people you can rely on for moral, mental and emotional backing and encouragement.

Since this will be your group of go-to people, you need to select those you trust and respect, and who will be a combination of confidante, sounding board and feedback provider. Their role is to support you in times of distress or when you need to be talked off a ledge. They must be aligned with you to accomplish your goals, and you must be able to count on them to be honest and candid with you (even when you don’t want to hear it).

In order to accomplish this, you’re going to need two distinct tiers of support. Let’s explore them:

Tier #1: Your Core Support Team

Hopefully, your number-one supporter is your spouse or partner in life. However, if your partner is not on board with your journey, it will be a bit tougher to succeed (note: I did not say impossible). Eventually, some spouses come around (usually it takes a little cash flow for them to get on board). If you don’t have a spouse or partner, substitute this role for your best friend or another key family member who will be a positive influence.

Aside from a spouse, you’ll also want the support of a few women who are also following their dreams for a better life. There is something wonderfully powerful that happens when women get together for the purpose of encouraging one another. You can provide emotional and moral support to one another, but also be sure to share your experiences and lessons learned (even if they were hard ones) — what a priceless educational resource!

Tier #2: Coaches and Mentors

Having a coach or mentor — someone who is more experienced than you, who can guide you, teach you, and on whom you can call when things go south — can be a vital member of your support structure.

First, let’s explore the terminology to help illustrate the differences between those two roles. A mentor typically guides you based on his or her own successful experience doing what you’re doing, while a coach works with you to reach a specific outcome.

Mentors and coaches can be the difference between mediocrity and excellence. Think about it: Professional athletes have coaches to keep them at the top of their game; it’s the amateurs and hackers who think they can accomplish greatness on their own.

There are also spiritual coaches who can help you identify the thoughts, decisions and emotions that are preventing you from reaching the next level and break down those barriers. I find these coaches extremely valuable because I work with them when I’m not achieving my goals, when I procrastinate, when I lose my motivation, or when I’m upset about something. They can help course correct me in a direction that serves me and gets me closer to where I want to be.

Creating Your Support Team

My advice is to create the support structure that best suits you at this very moment. It may start with just a few people and will likely grow over time. The people and strategies you call upon may change as you become more experienced and more successful. This is a natural part of the process. Even if you are fiercely independent and don’t think you need one, now is the time to put this group of cheerleaders and gurus in place. Not having a solid support structure is probably the number-one reason why so many women quit their journey to financial independence. Trust me: Set yourself up to win now and nothing will stop you!

Original publish date: August 23, 2018

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