Advice is critical for starting a business – there is so much that you will have inevitably have learnt from others along your journey. At some point, you will have developed experiences that are useful for others. This article explores not only the value that you can bring to others but the benefits that you can gain from helping other entrepreneurs.
Recognizing the value of your experiences
Before considering the benefits that you may derive from helping others, it is important to recognize the value that your help can bring to others. Starting to learn your own business forces you to explore and develop skills in so many different areas – marketing, finance, accounting, operations – there are so many skills that you will have learned, potentially without even realizing it, throughout your journey.
These experiences can be invaluable to others – helping them avoid missteps while providing a sounding board for their thoughts and decisions. Sometimes a five or ten-minute conversation can help others save days or months of missteps. Don’t underestimate all that you have learned and the benefit it can bring others!
Reasons to help out other entrepreneurs
Beyond the ‘feel-good’ factor associated with helping out others, there are more tangible benefits that may derive from building up a reputation for providing others with assistance.
1) Learn from others in the process
One of the big motivators for helping others as they navigate their startup journey is learning from them through your discussions. The more you become exposed to problems and the opportunities that others are facing, the better placed you will be in similar situations.
2) Build up a source you can turn to for advice
Another reason for sharing your advice and experiences with others is to build up a network of fellow entrepreneurs that you can turn to for help in the future. It is a lot easier to bounce ideas off others if you have already established yourself as a help-giver. Just ten minutes of your time can be of huge value to others, gaining the trust of others can be invaluable to you. It is a lot easier to learn from the mistakes that others have made, than to have to go through the painful learning process yourself.
3) Build up your reputation for helping others - opens up new opportunities and referrals
Another key benefit that can come of building up a reputation for providing help to others is that it opens up new opportunities and referrals. As others start to value your help, and your reputation as an experienced source of knowledge increases, you may find new opportunities opening. Individuals who can be relied upon as a consistent source of help are much more likely to be referred to others – potentially opening the doors to new business opportunities, getting other entrepreneurs to vouch for you when seeking external finance, or further increasing your network of contacts that you can turn to for help.
But – don’t lose sight of your business either
While it is important to share advice, it is also important to remain focused on your own business and activities, and not to get overly invested in the decisions of others. Ultimately, you don’t control the decisions of others, who may have different desires, experiences, and other sources of advice – it is not your role to convince them to follow your advice!
Ultimately, sharing advice and experiences is a great way of helping everyone out – they can learn from you, and you can gain through the process.
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