If you are in business for yourself, you will most likely identify with the above title. As an entrepreneur, you no doubt often feel isolated with no one to really hold you accountable to achieve the goals and objectives that you have set for yourself. Generally speaking, the reasons people decide to go into business for themself include having more free time, having no boss to tell them what to do, and making more money.
However, when someone finally completes their business plan and then launches their new enterprise, they soon realize they are working far more hours than they did in the past. Granted they are doing it for themselves, but their image of more free time soon vanishes.
The next reason to be in the business of having no boss is soon replaced with a new feeling of loneliness and isolation. Granted you don’t have someone telling you what to do but this new responsibility of you alone and making sure you are doing the right things is more daunting than you would have thought.
No doubt with this new world of working more hours than you thought and the added feeling of isolation, there will be the result of at least making more money. Unfortunately, most often there is less money being made than you had planned. You are regularly reminded of the idea of delayed gratification.
All of this often results in an entrepreneur that is quite lonely and often frustrated.
As an entrepreneur, you might wonder how you could maintain your independence while finding some resources to enable you to feel less isolated and become more accountable for achieving your goals for your business and your life.
One resource worth considering is SCORE.
SCORE is a non-profit organization funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE has existed for over 50 years and is devoted to helping individuals start their own businesses or grow existing businesses. Most SCORE services are provided at no charge.
The services provided by SCORE include a website offering extensive resources on a wide range of business topics, workshop and webinar programs, and mentoring services. The service of mentoring is the one that an entrepreneur will realize to be a resource to remove their sense of isolation and lack of accountability. Of importance too is the fact that these valuable mentoring services are free.
If you are wondering who is available to provide the mentoring, it is a very diverse group of dedicated professionals that want to leverage their business experience to be of assistance to others. This group includes men and women of different ages and ethnic backgrounds. While the goal is to partner clients with a mentor that best fits their needs on a long-term basis, there is also the use of co-mentoring when specific areas of expertise are helpful. SCORE is a nationwide organization and all of these resources are available to our clients.
When the lonely entrepreneur is partnered with a SCORE mentor, they will receive mentoring services from a person that will listen to their goals, help them make plans to achieve them, and hold them accountable. The SCORE mentor is different from a consultant in that they will not do the work for the client. They guide the client to get the work done in a timely and efficient manner. All the information shared with the SCORE mentor is considered confidential to be shared with no one else.
Now when entrepreneur is faced with a tough decision, they have a trusted and objective professional to help them through their decision-making process. Think how much different this would be than going it alone.
In addition to the SCORE one-on-one mentoring services, there is also the possibility of joining a group of other entrepreneurs, facilitated by a SCORE mentor, to create in effect your own outside board of directors. This gives you the advantage of having several other entrepreneurs working together to help each other achieve the success of their businesses.
Most often we believe the value received for a service is directly related to what you pay to receive it. With SCORE I think you will find the ultimate exception to this rule. Keep in mind all of the SCORE mentoring services are provided at no charge. You may come to believe they are priceless.
If you are a Lonely Entrepreneur Looking for Connections, consider visiting www.score.org and setting a date with a SCORE mentor.
About the author
Ralph NeSmith - SCORE Mentor
With a degree in Industrial Psychology from the Univ. of Georgia, Mr. NeSmith has experience is in the field of Computer software with Bluebird Business Systems where he managed Training and Support, Finance and Administration, Sales and became the Regional Vice President. Later with Compusource Corporation, he was the Eastern Regional Sales Manager as well as National Sales and Marketing for the Service/Software Division. At the time of retirement, he was the Senior VP for the Corporation. From 1991 – 2000 he was the owner and president of Bluebird