Shirley Valentine

Some of you keen followers will notice we are saving you from my wallpaper this week – no need for shades and the WALL is back.

Do you remember Shirley Valentine? Where Shirley had no one to talk to but the wall. Do you fee like that sometime in your business? That there is no one to listen. Your family thinks you work to hard, your friends in PAYE jobs think you are mad, and you really don’t have a lot of people to talk to? It can be a lonely place running your own business.

You may or not know I am a member of the Entrepreneurs Circle – its and organisation to support SME’s in the UK – and I am well aware its pretty Marmite – you love it or hate it. I enjoy it.

One of the best things this team does in provides us with platform, a network of like-minded individuals – a community, no less, with which to speak to, to bounce ideas off of, and to empathize with. And it’s important.

There are days when what we are trying to do can see impossible hard, where your team are driving you nuts, your clients unreasonable, your marketing not working, your bank balance looking treacherously low. Allow this to go round and round and round your head and you can find yourself making bad decisions. Find yourself talking to WALL and you need a little help! You need to find yourself a group of trusted advisors, not a Wall.

There are a few caveats/top tips/whatever you might call them for this;

  • Make sure they know what they are talking about – lots of the very general audience are as ill informed as your Aunt Nellie so stick to listening to those with relevant experience.
  • Aim high – hook up with people running bigger, better, more successful businesses – you perform up to your peer level so keep your peers aspirational.
  • Diversity is good – different sectors, different target markets – input from different industries can be really good for business.

And then there are a few things to remember:

  • Don’t just accept other advice – you MUST apply your own filters and values and select what is best for you and your business
  • Act within your own moral code – if it doesn’t feel right don’t do it – regardless of how legal or productive your advisors advice may be – if it doesn’t fit with your company ethics it’s a no
  • Beware of the consensus effect – i.e. trip advisor and Facebook for example attract a certain review/feedback – and it aint necessarily the facts – it s a proactive audience liable to respond to excellence or hideousness – not the median in between so you are in danger of getting a warped perspective.