During this early process of starting a business, I have been pleasantly surprised by the support from my friends. More often than not, they don't waste time judging the business idea itself; they know what I'm doing and accept it. But they encourage my efforts, and have shown an incredible capacity to hone in on my challenge of the moment, and offer great ideas.
I mentioned focus groups to my book club, and I got lots of suggestions on how to tap into different circles of women who might be happy to participate. One member in particular has extensive background in running focus groups and offered her expertise.
I mentioned some financing questions on the phone to another friend who gave me two excellent resources to check out right off the top of her head. From another friend, a brother-in-law who might be a great resource for me.
I mentioned my manufacturing questions to someone who thought of a helpful contact for me who is retired, with experience in this area.
These are just a few examples out of many contacts, resources and ideas my friends have come up with for me. Not all of their ideas and contacts pan out, but they are all worthwhile. When my friends and family ask, I offer up my business challenges to them, and I invariably get showered with their help. Like any good brainstorming session, being open to all those ideas has been rich source of new avenues to pursue, new ways to move forward.
I'm well aware that the day may come when I don't want any more advice, but for now, it keeps me nimble. It keeps me alert to the various ways people react to my business idea, and the directions THEY imagine, not me.
Not for one second do I fool myself into thinking I have all the answers about starting a business. I seem to find enough answers as I go along to take the next step forward, and my friends and family have helped along the way. So I've learned now that when the subject of my business comes up, a part of me steps back, and watches with profound gratitude as the contributions flow. The other part of me grabs pencil and paper and takes note!