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Don’t Go It Alone

It’s relaxing to get away from it all and commune with nature. Just you, the trees, the sounds of birds and insects. It’s refreshing and rejuvenating. And August, the end of summer here in the northern hemisphere, is known for its dog days of summer with heat and humidity that encourage you do do—NOTHING. In many ways it is wonderful for all of us to take a break. For parents, school children, and college bound freshman, it’s an exciting time as the sales for back-to-school items blare on the TV and pop up everywhere on the internet as you browse through things. Parents reluctantly say goodbye to their kids off to college, while the college kids can’t wait to get out of sight and be ON THE OWN.

It’s no wonder that people at the head of a company, theirs or someone else’s, think they need to take full responsibility for everything and do it all on their own. It can get lonely at the top with few people you can talk with who understand the issues and can give unbiased advice. Often family members want to tell you all about their issues and challenges, but can’t see to listen for more than five minutes to what you are going through and feeling. Yet, talking about things is what brings everyone together to work together. It helps people understand each other and why someone might mope around for a day or two while they struggle with something.

Don’t go it alone. Don’t try to grow it alone. You can’t and shouldn’t.

Everyone of us completely relied on adults when we were first born and could not do anything on our own. Even at five years old, a young child cannot find shelter, make food, or dozens of other things without lots of help. Grade schoolers need teachers, coaches, and friends to help them grow and become mature adults. Let’s say you are resourceful as a teenager and start your first business. Did you do it all by yourself? Not a chance. Someone had to take a chance on you and buy your products, employ your services, talk with you. 

Now, with a business to run, retirement to plan for, expenses to cover, employees to care for, you need people to talk with more than ever. Some are professionals in specific fields such as lawyers and accountants. Others are wealth planners and human resource specialists. Others are tax gurus to help you pay the right taxes, on time, with the right forms. 

There’s another group you should consider talking with. That’s a group of peers that own businesses, don’t compete with you, will keep everything confidential, are willing to learn from you and give you their best thoughts. That’s a Peer Advisory Council or PaC. It’s a pack of like minds that work with you to help all succeed.

A large public corporation, such as those I’ve worked at (General Electric, Eaton, Daimler Trucks) have paid boards of directors. They pay them something like $250,000 per year to understand their business, provide advice, make connections. Let’s say they have a board of 8, that’s comes to something like $2 million per year excluding incentive stock and cash incentives.

Larger private companies may also have boards. Some board members can be investors and others can be family members. The best run companies have one or two independent board members to provide an outside view. Pay for these board members is typically less than $50,000 per year. Let’s say they were really into independent board members and had 4 family board members and 4 independent board members. That’s a cost of something like $200,000 per year. That’s one tenth the cost of the public company independent board. Still sounds pretty expensive for a company with less than $10-$1000 million in revenue.

That’s where a PaC, Peer Advisory Council, comes in. You can have 10 independent members of your Council at a cost to you of less than $20,000. That’s one tenth the cost of the larger private companies with more than twice the number of independent minds. And, a Peer Advisory Council has less bureaucracy than a formal board, providing excellent return on time and money invested. Often, you also develop life-long friends in the process.

Give it a try. You can test drive the concept on August 23rd. Reach out to me at paul@BusinessAccelerants.com or to AdminSupport@LXCouncil.com

Business Accelerants ignites profitable growth and serves as a board member, board advisor, or Peer Advisory Council moderator. A Certified License Partner of LXCouncil, they are focusing on virtual councils for manufacturing, technology, and transportation companies taking advantage of the decades of experience that Paul Menig has in leading the industry.

Gary Perman of PermanTech has joined with Business Accelerants as a Strategic Partner. PermanTech is expert in headhunting critical talent since 1996. His team specializes in recruiting business development/sales, engineering, and operations professionals within commercial/vocational vehicles, ITS, equipment, and emerging vehicle technology OEM’s. EV, H2 and alt. fuel vehicles, Charging and infrastructure equipment

Here’s a link to a short video to consider: https://vimeo.com/739495892