Can your professional network balance your life?

Networking tips for entrepreneurs

Are you feeling overworked, stressed, and lack fun in your life? A recent survey by the New York Enterprise Report found that entrepreneurial small business owners work twice as much as their employees:

  • 33% said they work more than 50 hours per week
  • 25% said they work more than 60 hours per week
  • 47% said they feel like they are always working
  • 62% said the stress of ownership is worse than they thought it would be

The entrepreneurial life can be tough. Especially if your business is small and growing. But are you missing a trick? Could your network be the answer to balancing your life?

What is a professional network?

In the traditional world of work, professional networking is building relationships with a group of people in your profession. This becomes a group of contacts that you can call on for favors.

For employees, a professional network could provide:

  • A route to find a mentor
  • Access to the hidden jobs market
  • Insight to market information
  • Information about the latest best practices

For entrepreneurs, a professional network is all the above and more. It needs to be much more reflective of your needs. These are the people who you can not only ask for support, but who will become advocates of you and your business, grow your market reach, and perhaps even become clients or customers of your business themselves.

Most importantly, they can connect you with the people you really need to balance your life.

Developing a high-performing team

Eric recently spoke with Paul Higgins of Build Live Give on our Black Diamond Podcast. Among the topics they discussed was Paul’s system of developing businesses, which includes developing professional networks.

Coming from a background working for one of the world’s largest corporates, Paul had always collaborated with people who knew what they were doing. Experts in their areas. When building a high-performing team away from the big corporate, Paul found the world to be very different.

I don’t know about you, Eric,” says Paul, but I got burned so many times after I left corporate by just trusting people. They said, ‘I’m an expert in this, this is what I do,’ and, unfortunately, they didn’t deliver.

Paul’s response to these constant disappointments? To build a network of professionals around the world. People he has met and spoken to, and know exactly what their expertise is. “I’ve sort of nailed that down to 400 who are working in our community.

As a small business owner, it is hard to find qualified contractors and specialist help,” agrees Eric. “There’s a lot of people out there claiming to do different things. That’s why everything we do is referral-based. I don’t trust a lot of things anymore, because like you, I’ve probably been burned more than once.

Bang! Therein lies the real power of a professional network to the entrepreneur. People you trust will refer people they trust to you. And this is the key to developing a high-performing team.

What is a high-performing team for an entrepreneur?

So, let’s define what a high-performing team might mean to you as an entrepreneur and owner of a small business. Here’s the elevator pitch:

‘A person or persons who will improve your business and enable you to do more of what you do best, while reducing the time you spend doing tasks of lower value to you.’

To understand this clearly, consider what is holding you back. What is getting you stuck from moving forward? The three biggies, the most common roadblocks to growing your business, are:

  • Time
  • Ability
  • Cost

Hiring someone with the ability to do what takes you away from what will help you to grow your business, will pay dividends.

Those admin tasks you hate doing. They’ll get done on time, more effectively, and to a higher standard. Your time will be freed to work on sales, pitching to prospects, or delivering your services. Revenue-generating tasks that you enjoy and that help to grow your business. And this is only one example.

The difficulty you have with paying for these services to be done melts away when you set this cost against the extra revenue you could create.

Where do you find the professionals who can accomplish these types of tasks efficiently and confidentially? Either within your network, or from referral by your network.

Let us know what you are finding most difficult in your life as an entrepreneur. Is it building a professional network that can help you achieve the 5 Entrepreneurial Freedoms?

Contact Level 5 Mentors using the form below, and learn how we help entrepreneurs reach their full potential.

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