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Chapter 3

Chapter 3

The social network

When we say “social”, we’re not talking about being the life of the party outside of work hours, or being a master of promoting your business on social media. We mean maintaining support networks and relationships that cultivate resilience. The ones that will help you keep going when times get tough. 28% say you find your best source of support from family and friends, but 21% of you say you have no support mechanism at all. Mentors matter, too, especially for men. 50% of males we spoke to believe that a mentor is a number one priority when developing the skills to be self-reliable, compared to 11% of women. Download full PDF

Ask yourself

Who do I call if things get tough?
Who is in my support network?
Do I have a mentor?
Are they helping me work better?
Do I have good relationships with my employees?
Does my work allow me to spend time with my partner?
Is work getting in the way of family life?
Do I know other people in my industry?

Create connections

Experiencing a roadblock or an unexpected blow to progress can be tough when you’re working for someone else, but it’s extra difficult when you’re going it alone. Developing a support network is important. Friends, family and partners are a perfect start, but it’s helpful to get to know other people who are doing similar things to you. They understand what being a self-starter is like.

Try: Finding a local group with similar small-business interests
Organisations like Meetup provide platforms for getting like-minded people in the same place, at the same time.

Find the right mentor

Having a mentor in business isn’t a new concept. Socrates mentored Plato, Ray Charles mentored Quincy Jones and Warren Buffett mentored Bill Gates, after all. But as more and more of us take big steps into small business, mentors are more important than ever. Take guidance and support from someone who’s been there before. Search for organisations and not-for-profits in your state who exist to help entrepreneurs meet people who can guide their self-starter journeys.

Try: Visiting the mentoring services for business website
The Australian Government has put together a list of groups based in each state and territory in Australia who are standing by to help you find your mentor.

Learn from the experts

You don’t always need to spend face-to-face time with a person to know how and why resilience has worked for them. There’s plenty of podcasts featuring business leaders, entrepreneurs and other self-starters speaking about how it has helped.

Try: Check out our reviews of small-business podcasts
There’s a regular series of articles on The XYZed designed to introduce you to a range of podcasts about things that matter to self-starters. Why not start with our look at an interesting episode of How I Built This with Guy Raz.

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