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Three Ways a Peer-Based Network Can Energize Entrepreneurs

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As a startup entrepreneur, you wear all the hats — sales, marketing, fulfillment, invoicing, accounting, and business strategy, to name just a few. It can be exhausting, but entrepreneurs thrive on bootstrapping and solving impossible challenges. However, the time may come, several years into your business, when you are unsure how to achieve that next growth milestone.

Carrie Santos

CEO, Entrepreneurs’ Organization

Many entrepreneurs silently struggle and feel tremendous pressure to either push forward or shutter their businesses at this stage. Many founders, in fact, opt for the latter. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 45% of new businesses fail during their first five years; 65% will not make it to 10.

Anyone who has taken on the risk of entrepreneurship and endured its frequent failures knows it can be a lonely path. Your spouse and friends likely do not understand the depth of the issues you face; the pressures to compete, innovate, get funding, or simply meet payroll. Add a global pandemic and supply chain crisis and you have the makings for many a make-or-break moment. This is precisely when entrepreneurs can most benefit from the connection, understanding, and wisdom of joining a network of fellow founders; the moment when an entrepreneur’s mindset should shift from “me” to “we.” Here are three ways a peer-to-peer network can help entrepreneurs push past the roadblocks:

Identify and implement growth tools

Joining a network of fellow entrepreneurs can help you find the needle in the haystack that will help your business reach its full potential. Whether it’s a specific contact, software, or strategy that you otherwise would not have discovered, the key to growth is leaning into these peer relationships.

“Through Entrepreneurs’ Organization, I’ve been exposed to business tools I wouldn’t have otherwise heard about. I implemented the Entrepreneurial Operating System and hired an integrator,” says Chris Warburton, a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) in Detroit and founder of Balanced Home Care. “It changed my life. I had the passion but not the operational knowledge.”

Overcome hurdles in your business

While your individual company is unique, the challenges a growing organization faces are not. Imagine tapping into the combined knowledge and experience of a brain trust of successful entrepreneurs when facing an obstacle or crisis. They can share practical wisdom that will help you get over the hump.

“When I connected with other early-stage entrepreneurs, I realized I wasn’t alone. Everyone was experiencing similar struggles, and together we are learning the tools and strategies to resolve them,” says Emma Allen, a participant in EO’s early-stage Accelerator program and founder of Emma Allen State Farm.

Create positive impact as an entrepreneur

Whether you are just starting out or well established, a network can help you connect your passions to a greater community — to feel part of some cause, movement, or opportunity that is larger than yourself or your business. Entrepreneurs’ Organization CEO Dr. Carrie Santos witnessed the power of community coupled with the agile spirit of entrepreneurs in action during a recent trip to Poland and Romania, where a team of EO-member business owners were leveraging their natural tendencies to leap first, then figure out the way — delivering essential aid to thousands of displaced children and families from Ukraine.

“Entrepreneurs see solutions where other people get overwhelmed by the problems,” explains Santos. “A part of their brain gets excited by the challenge. They have a unique fortitude and skill set, a tenacity to see problems through to solution and to not give up.”

Entrepreneurs possess superpowers. You have extraordinary problem-solving abilities and are uniquely positioned to foster positive change. Joining a network of like-minded peers can help you realize your full potential as an entrepreneur and move the world forward in your business and life.

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