The Asheville area has a number of great resources to help start and grow businesses. From time to time, I’ll share my experience with a particular resource that has been key to either my personal development or the growth of JB Media Group. I’ve recently written about my experience with Leadership Asheville. Today I’d like to share about a business-focused resource that has had a very strong impact on the growth of JB Media and on my decision making as a business owner.
Running a small business can be isolating at times. That is one of the little-known downsides to being a business owner. I found myself facing this very issue in 2012. As I was digging out of the trenches of working entirely in my business and moving toward the goal of spending more time working on my business, I often found myself looking for more consistent feedback on decisions and strategies. I would often call my mentors when I had a difficult question or decision, but mentors who are also friends can often be more of a sounding board than a true adviser.
Enter The Alternative Board (TAB) of WNC, a peer group business coaching program that also provides one-on-one business coaching from the group facilitator. In the nearly two years I’ve participated in TAB, I’ve gained valuable networking as well as:
- Perspectives from a group of business owners with different views and backgrounds
- Accountability to my business and personal goals
- Private business coaching
With TAB, I found a place to get the answers I need. At each meeting, I have the opportunity to ask my most pressing business questions. I get very different answers from the members, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. There is a young lawyer with a family who has very progressive views. On the other end of the spectrum, there are seasoned serial entrepreneurs at the end of their active careers with more conservative ideas. After hearing them debate, question, and brainstorm the decisions or challenges I am facing, I have a broad spectrum of options and ideas to consider. I can then evaluate them against my own goals, priorities, and personal philosophy. As a result, I make better decisions.
My fellow TAB of WNC members were instrumental in the launch of our online marketing Institute and the decision to purchase our new office. They listened, questioned, gave ideas, and followed up with me over the course of several meetings to help me think through the possibilities as well as the considerations involved in starting an educational program and acquiring real estate. These are two of the best and biggest business decisions I have made in the last two years and just the kinds of issues TAB meetings address as well as human resource challenges, growth plans, succession plans, and strategic planning.
Issues and opportunities raised at TAB meetings then become part of the discussion at my one-on-one coaching sessions. They also come up at the check-in at the following meeting. This level of accountability helps reduce any desire I have to procrastinate my difficult projects or decisions so my progress on all of my projects has been accelerated by my participation in TAB WNC.
The contact for TAB WNC is David Reeves who is both a skilled group facilitator and a strong individual coach. Find out more about TAB at tabwnc.com or drop me a note and I’d be happy to tell you more.