Why Every Successful Business Owner Needs a Personal Support System

by | Sep 11, 2020

If there is one definitive word that describes a business owner’s path “to the top”, it would probably be “lonely”.

Of course, you know this better than anyone. Because over the last few years, you’ve taken nothing and transformed it into an incredible, profitable company. A company that provides unbeatable support to your target market.

But along the way…

  • You laid awake through the night, worrying about making payroll
  • You bargained and maybe begged and pleaded for the financial and physical support you needed to keep going
  • You’ve been sick to your stomach as you let employees go
  • You’ve missed your children’s biggest events and sometimes, involuntarily, neglected your significant other

Mostly, you’ve charged forward. Telling yourself that one day, things were going to be different.

But I’ve got some news for you: too many years of fighting and working yourself to the bone don’t magically disappear. They don’t disappear because now you have enough people to keep things running. They don’t disappear because you’re finally able to set aside monetary reserves. They don’t disappear because you hit your goal of making 8 figures in a single year.

All the suffering you did, to make it to this point, will still be there. Unless…

#1 You learn to manage a new stage of growth (w/new challenges) &
#2 You find an adequate support system

Our guess, based on the fact that you’re reading this, is that you would honestly like to change your current lifestyle. So that everything you did to get here will have been worth it.

We’d like to see that, too. Let’s dig in.

With New Growth Comes New Challenges

We’ll cover this section briefly. Because most of our other blog posts, our podcasts, and other content dig into these challenges. It’s the entire reason Elite Entrepreneurs exists – to give you the skills and tools you need to overcome new obstacles and continue to grow.

For example, when you first started your business, you needed help. Hiring your first employee was a relief. Because they could tackle the workload you were dealing with on your own. But as you added more people, you experienced:

  • Personality conflicts (amongst employees, between you and an employee, etc.)
  • A need for more training
  • Inconsistency in how things were done
  • Etc.
Or, as you acquired more customers (hurray, right?) you found:
  • You spent 80% of your time keeping a handful of customers happy
  • You needed to bring on others to complete the workload
  • You had additional worries concerning payment collection and closing new sales
  • Etc.

As you’ve already figured out, growing your business from here on out is going to require new skills from you. (Skills we’re happy to help you learn when you’re ready.)

But the other piece – the piece most business owners ignore – is the need for a strong personal support system.

The Rationale for Support

Unless you’re an anomaly, building your business has been nothing less than traumatic.

I know…you hear the word “trauma” and you think army veteran, or natural disaster survivor. Surely trauma doesn’t apply to you. Right? Only think about what you’ve made it through. The uncertainty. The fear. The emotional fluctuation of good days and bad days. Not knowing from one minute to the next whether you’ll still be in business next month.

An article by Inc.com highlighted several successful business owners. But their focus was on the emotional turmoil these entrepreneurs went through.

The article said:

“Entrepreneurs often juggle many roles and face countless setbacks–lost customers, disputes with partners, increased competition, staffing problems–all while struggling to make payroll. “There are traumatic events all the way along the line,” says psychiatrist and former entrepreneur Michael A. Freeman, who is researching mental health and entrepreneurship.”

Statistically speaking, well, things aren’t great for business owners.

A study done in Canada (and shared on Small Business Trends) said:

  • 62% of small business owners felt depressed at least once a week
  • 46% experienced low mood or feeling fatigued
  • 46% said mental health issues interfered with their ability to work
All good reasons to build a strong support system. But for you, it might be even more critical. Because you’ve been doing this for a long time. And there’s a good chance you’ve developed negative habits that will be difficult to break. Even if you promised yourself (and likely your family) that you were done with late nights and high levels of stress.

Now, more than ever, you need to surround yourself with people who:

  1. Understand what you’ve been through and what you’re going through now
  2. Are committed to help you – even when it means showing tough love
But where do you find such people?

The Best Support System Criteria

Hopefully, you’ve had a built in support system from birth – parents, siblings, cousins. Then, as you grew, you developed additional support in the form of good friends, work associates, and even your employees.

All great people to have in your life!

But as a business owner, who is ready to take their business to a new stage of growth, you’re going to need something more. A support system that makes sense for what you’re trying to accomplish.

Which, in most cases, will include the following criteria:

People Who Truly Understand What You’re Going Through

Here’s the thing…your mom is always going to think what you do is brilliant and the best. Your significant other? Well, if they weren’t supportive, you wouldn’t be together. Right? And that best friend you’ve had since high school is always going to be there.

But unless they have businesses of their own, they can never understand how you feel. They don’t understand the weight you’ve carried on your shoulders. Or the decisions you’ve made.

The very best they can offer is love. Which is an incredible amount of support. But since you feel the same way about them – in that you love them – you’re going to do your best to protect them from your own trouble.

You need someone you can hash through the good, the bad, and the ugly with. Without holding anything back.

People Committed to Your Success

If you look around, there are dozens of “support” and “networking” groups in your area. While such groups can be beneficial, that’s not, specifically, what you’re looking for. Because, by nature, networking groups are made up of people looking after their own self interests. While they might be great at leading to potential sales and opportunities, they aren’t designed to focus on you.

Your support group needs to be committed to your success. Not focused on what you can do for each other.

People That Hold You Accountable and Challenge You

I was watching a T.V. show where the main character says, “Not something I want to hear from a friend.” And his friend responds with, “Maybe you shouldn’t have such good friends.”

Fits perfectly with this criteria.

Whoever is in your support system needs to be a “good enough friend” to keep you on track. To tell you you’re screwing up when you let yourself get roped into putting out fires. To encourage you to step out of your business to work on your business. To help you break free of the bad habits you’ve developed.

Choose to Support Your Mental Health

In preparing this blog post, I read several articles about entrepreneurs and their mental health. Nearly every single one of them mentioned that entrepreneurs are (for the most part) stronger mentally than most people. But it doesn’t mean they are robots.

You and I need help. We need the camaraderie and reassurance of knowing someone, who understands us, is there.

You’ve made it this far. But the next stage can be all the things you hoped when you got here…if you’re willing to develop the skills and support you need.

When you’re ready for some personal support, let’s talk. We might be the very support system you’re looking for.



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