Take a look around you. Who is surrounding you?
Okay, maybe don’t take this so literally, instead, take a moment to consider the people that surround you throughout your life.
People have a huge impact on your life, and those people matter.
There’s a quote by Jim Rohn that I absolutely love…
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
So, when you think of that, knowing who you’re spending your time with is important for the success of your business. There are people who lift you up and then there are those that rob you of your positivity and energy.
When you look at it that way, you realize how important it is to keep your “kitchen cabinet” full of the RIGHT people. It isn’t the number of friends and mentors that you have, it’s the quality.
When I first started FITzee Foods, I was working hard to raise money. I was meeting with investors frequently and many of them would ask me how my food business was going to be any different than any other food company in the space.
Very few of the investors supported me from the get-go. They always had loads of questions, on whether I was good enough to do the job and whether I had a sound business plan that would make money.
I was surrounding myself with investors who very clearly didn’t believe in me or my vision. But, since I was just starting out, I took investment money from people I probably should have turned down.
On top of that, I didn’t take the time to connect with my kitchen cabinet of trusted advisors, my attorney, accountants, and trusted friends. I wanted FITzee Foods to be successful, so when I was offered investment money, I would take it.
My lesson learned is to NO longer skip talking to my advisors and doing my due diligence. I’ve built my group of advisors for a reason, and I know utilize them consistently.
It’s time to start feeling more confident in the business decisions that you need to make. Creating your kitchen cabinet of advisors will help support you with that.
Having People Who are Invested in Your Success
We all have SO much going on between our ears. As entrepreneurs, our mindset is constantly in jeopardy because of the ups and downs of business. Obviously, we need people in our lives who will tell us the truth, but what you don’t need are those people who beat us down any time we talk to them.
Melinda Emerson, my guest on Success Unfiltered believes that we need people who are going to lift us up, or as she prefers to call it, we need a “kitchen cabinet” of advisors.
Melinda says that we need five people in our lives who are fully invested in our success and who are going to be a confidential sounding board for when things get tough, and we need advice.
Melinda’s advice for the five people you should have in your kitchen cabinet are:
1. An Existing Successful Entrepreneur in your niche – Someone who has been there, done the work and succeeded at it. You want someone who has bigger issues and a bigger company who can help you size up some of the problems that are awaiting you.
2. An Existing or Potential Customer – You want someone who can be an internal advocate for you and who can give you a blow by blow on what the budget really is for your proposal.
3. A Mentor – This doesn’t necessarily have to be a business mentor, just someone you can call when you need to be talked off the ledge. When things get really difficult in business and you need to vent or have someone lift you up.
4. and 5. An Accountant and A Lawyer – You will need those two professional individuals in your cabinet so that you have people who can help you through problems that involve finances or contracts.
If you’ve created this group of people for yourself, you are now like Teflon against anything that comes up. It’s also okay if you haven’t created your kitchen cabinet yet because you can take the time now to do it.
If you have four or five people that you can call on when you need encouragement, advice, a partner to brainstorm with, or if need someone to kick your butt into action… one of these five people should be able to help you with that.
These five individuals will help set the compass that will point you in the right direction because there is NO looking back if you’re not headed in the forward direction.
A Vision Turned Into Reality
In 2005, Melinda had built a successful business as a small biz lady. She was giving out small business advice, and in the beginning, she was doing extremely well. She was one of the top 50 women in business in Pennsylvania. She was killing it in a male-dominated field.
Melinda had been so successful that she was able to retire her husband from his full-time job and join her business. Everything was going so well, but at the age of 32, Melinda became pregnant with a high-risk pregnancy and was put on bed rest at home. This was before the time of wifi in all homes, so she was not able to do much work.
She had created a business that couldn’t run without her. So, when she couldn’t be there, her business crumbled.
After her son was safely born, Melinda had to reinvent her business for herself. She had no idea what direction she would head but knew that she had to do something different.
On three occasions a vision came to her letting her know she was to become America’s number one small business expert. Once she figured everything out, she went to her husband, a trusted advisor at the time, to let him know her vision. Her husband’s response was the fuel Melinda needed to take her business to the next level.
Her husband said, “Why would anyone listen to you?”
Melinda said that was the most devastating NO she ever experienced, and led to the eventual demise of her relationship to her husband.
She poured everything into her business from there on out and by 2010 Melinda had become America’s number one small business expert.
I share Melinda’s story with you because it is a testament to how important having your kitchen cabinet full of the right people is.
After FITzee Foods closed I had many people question what I was going to do next. But, I never let any naysayers into my circle.
I knew who I was and I knew what I wanted to do.
Within two weeks I launched Success Unfiltered podcast. You can experience this same success!
If you’re not able to fill your kitchen cabinet with all 5 people, feel free to use Success Unfiltered as a trusted advisor. My podcast is full of so many golden nuggets.
I’ve had some of the most successful entrepreneurs on Success Unfiltered share their failures. Let’s use their stories to help you avoid making the same mistakes.
Do you have a kitchen cabinet full of trusted advisors? If so, tell me who’s in it, in the comments.