Good Idea!

Finally, no one can do everything alone – and you don’t have to. The solution?  Surround yourself with mentors. Assemble a team of informal advisors to add strength to the areas where you may not have expertise. Many entrepreneurs, for example, lack marketing skills, IT skills or social media savvy. Brainstorming with such a mentor group, which can include peers, colleagues and business associates, is invaluable. This is the case whether your business is a single-person consultancy (you!) or you have many employees. You can swap ideas and useful information with others. My firm met for dinner every other month to exchange ideas and experiences with the partners of four other small accounting firms. We all benefited from sharing ideas to solve common problems.

Your peer mentors do not have to be in the same industry for ideas and business issues to have value. Indeed, sometimes the fact one or more person in your advisory group is not in your industry ensures fresh “takes” on old problems. This is true whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or have a business with employees.

Finally, don’t forget to use a source online, such as LinkedIn. That’s a good place to exchange ideas and find solutions with professionals who have already been through the very situation that’s exasperating you at the moment.

The value of these kinds of mentoring and advisory groups is incalculable. Meeting and speaking with others who have already been successful, as well as others just beginning that long journey, is priceless. Most business people who have "made it" love to share stories of their successes and mistakes along the way. In addition, you will discover resources in these people that you can tap as your firm grows, and as you encounter different problems along the way.

This article is not written tax advice directed at the particular facts and circumstances of any person. If you are interested in the subject of this document, we encourage you to contact the author or an independent tax advisor to discuss the potential application to your particular situation. Nothing herein shall be construed as imposing a limitation on any person from disclosing the tax treatment or tax structure of any matter addressed herein. To the extent this article may be considered to contain written tax advice, any written advice contained in, forwarded with, or attached to this article is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.

 

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About the author

Sandra Napoleon-Hudson

Sandra Napoleon-Hudson is the managing member of Sandra Napoleon-Hudson CPA LLC, based in Atlanta. Her expertise includes multi-state taxation for corporations, partnerships and individuals, business consulting, sports and entertainment taxation and IRS representation. As a former partner of a New York firm, she appeared frequently on television and in print media.

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