Why You Need An Advisory Board

 

We all need help in life. We need people to motivate us, guide us and challenge us. No one can really succeed without the backing of some very trusted advisors. This goes for life and business life.

My advisory board is made up of a team of people, each with a specific area of expertise that helps to guide me in a particular area of life or business. I have chosen them deliberately and carefully and their place on my board is no accident.

My advice when you sit down to think about your advisory board is to consider your own skillset and the gaps you need others to fill. How big is that role and where you’re at in your business or personal life. What is that person’s role? What do you want to get from them?

The mistake many entrepreneurs make is including family and friends on their advisory board. Now, this is not to say you can’t seek advice from family and friends, but you should keep in mind two things.

1. What are their qualifications to advise you on this topic?

If Mum’s an accountant and we’re asking her about tax, then go for it. But if Mum is a surgeon, well she’s clearly very clever, but may not know heaps about your business finances, so maybe try someone else.

2. Can they be impartial?

Family and friends want what’s best for you and often in business, they may not want to hurt you or challenge your ideas and so they may not give unbridled honesty. Or, they’ll be afraid to see you fail and so will counsel you against making a big business move or trying a new idea.

VIRTUAL ADVISORY BOARD

I have a special subgroup of my Advisory Board that is my Virtual Advisory Board (VAB). None of these people know they’re in my team and in fact, I’ve only met two of them.

I have chosen each of the people on my VAB just as carefully as I have those on my main advisory board. I picked those on my VAB because each of them have a special style, skill, business acumen or have done something which has resonated with me this year. Each of them has walked a path which I am interested in either personally or professionally.

These women (because they’re all badass ladies) are on my board to help with questions or decisions that usually only I could answer, in life or in business. When these considerations come along, I’ll ask myself:

What Oprah would do?

Yep, Oprah is on my board and why not! She’s an incredible strategic businesswoman. So when an Oprah-like issue comes along, I put myself in her shoes and make my choice based on what I think she would do.

MY VIRTUAL ADVISORY BOARD

Mel Robbins

An incredible speaker. The best female speaker in the world in my opinion. Mel has an unbelievable phoenix from the ashes story. Unemployed and broke at 41 to a world-renowned entrepreneur, one of the highest-paid female speakers in the world, TV show host and bestselling author and all before she turned 50.

sparkle_&_achieveJillian Michaels

Not that I want abs like Jill, but she worships her body and that’s what she’s on my VAB to inspire me of.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella is a goddess in the kitchen and who wouldn’t want that! A journalist who pivoted and changed cookbooks from technical manuals to a more relaxed style which celebrating home-cooking.

Oprah

Do I need to say why Oprah is on here? Smart from the get-go, strategic and built an empire from the ground up. Every move she made led to an undeniably successful career, which has lasted decades.

Sara Blakely

The creator of Spanx is on my VAB for creating a business from her dining room table with only $5000. Her business is not only successful, but became a world-wide phenomenon.

Dita von Teese

I once met Dita in a New York bathroom and it was like seeing someone photo-shopped in real life. Dita is not just here for her looks though. She created an incredible business, based on a niche style of entertainment. She elevated burlesque from an old-fashioned strip-show, with all of its judgmental connotations, to an elegant and fashionable art form.

Marie Forleo

Marie is an entrepreneur who puts a lot of goodness out into the world. She built her business based on what she wanted to do and is a very smart operator in the world of motivation.

Bette Midler

The divine Ms. Midler of course. She’s on my VAB for her attitude and her staying power in an industry that eats people alive fairly regularly. She’s my go-to when it comes to any show business conundrums. What would Bette do?

Beyoncé

Queen B. If you only needed one source of inspiration, this woman could be it. Sexy, talented, super smart. Her business acumen and negotiation skills alone make her worthy of my list. Consider the deal she did with Netflix for Homecoming. She may not have been paid as much as other artists for Coachella, but she negotiated this back-end deal with Netflix and that shows how clever she is.

CHARACTERISTICS TO INSPIRE

Now you know the specific reason I chose each of the women on my VAB, I’ll tell you what they all have in common. These are part of the reason I chose them; traits I wish to be able to embody in my business or personal life.

Confidence

They all know within themselves that they are doing exactly what they were put on this earth to do and they do it in a manner which is absolutely unwaivering.

The ability to fail

These women have all failed. Look at Mel Robbins, who was in crippling debt from a failed business venture before becoming them woman we know today. Each of them has built their mountain of success of lots of small failures and they all keep going.

Charisma

Charisma is about how you make other people feel and these women have it in boatloads. You are drawn to them at the back of a concert hall full of thousands of other people, through a computer screen or via their written words. They make you feel something, create a connection and it’s all about that charisma.

Courage

It takes courage to succeed, to run a business or be in the public eye. It takes courage to follow a dream and smash it out of the park. You have to chase it daily and work hard once you’re there.

Commitment

Think about Beyoncé dancing and still singing perfectly. How much she must train, practice and rehearse. How many recipes did Nigella make that tasted terrible? Each of them was persistent and committed to their vision and that’s how they got where they are.

YOUR VAB

Now it’s your turn. I encourage you to sit down and decide who would be on your Virtual Advisory Board? What traits and characteristics inspire you? Is it hard work? Is it being clever financially? Whatever it is, find your advisors and the next time you need a bit of advice, ask yourself:

What would Oprah do?

Productive and Free Courses

Being Brave

brave

[ breyv ]

adjective, brav·er, brav·est.

noun

verb (used with object), braved, brav·ing.

I’m writing “I am brave” every-single-day in my journal at the moment.  Am I brave?  Well, in somethings yes I am.  In others I am absolute chicken shit. I can face the fear and do it anyway, with an assortment of things, yet when it comes to some of those massive life changing or defining moment, I’m like that scared child unwilling to let go of their mothers hand as they walk into the school grounds.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been faced with some of those sliding door moments, and yes, I’ve been brave.  I didn’t even realise till someone said it to me this morning “that was really brave” they said.  Slap. Hit me with a tonne of force. Yes, I was bloody brave!

Maybe this journalling thing actually works.

Maybe I was simply ready to let go,  forge ahead and step into being who I was meant to be.

Maybe it’s a part of growing up.

Maybe I don’t need to question it.

The truth is, nobody is coming to rescue us.  Nobody is our hero.  We need to be our own Superhero, take chances, risk things and be brave.

I spend lots of time working with my coaching clients and speaking on the topic of Confidence.  Is there a link between Confidence and Being Brave?

Hell to the yes!!!

I could write a whole book on Confidence and I promise I will do, but I’ll boil it down simply here.

Confidence is how you feel about yourself inside and out. 

Confidence includes your belief about your talents, personality traits, skills, looks and so much more. So yes, when you’re feeling confident that impacts your ability to be brave.

There’s a direct relationship between your confidence and how you show up in the world.

It’s a skill.

You can learn it.

It’s a muscle you can exercise.

It’s a foundation you can build on.

It’s a circle (cue Elton John singing Circle of Life) when you do something that helps to grow your confidence muscle, you then gain the confidence to do more, be more – that then continues to grow your confidence.

Even the smallest of things have an impact that you may not fully understand at the time.

Being brave enough to sit at a cafe alone and work on a blog post – for example, might help your confidence get to a level where you can walk into a networking event alone.

But what if I do something brave and I fail?

Unless it’s something like skydiving (which for the record I don’t think is brave I think it’s bloody madness) chances are your act of bravery won’t kill or harm you or anyone else.

Say you use Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule, get brave and cold call your dream client.  Shite.  They picked up.  They didn’t have time to hear your pitch. Don’t sob into the phone. Ask permission to call on them again at a more convenient time, or send them something.

The world didn’t end because you made the call and didn’t get the result you wanted.  You still got a result.  You still exercised your confidence muscle.  You were brave.

What can you do today to make yourself feel brave?