You’ve heard that it takes a village to raise a child. If you have children, you know this is true. Parenting is full of complexities that no two people could possibly navigate alone. As a parent myself, I’ve received invaluable help from my family members, friends, and neighbors, who generously shared their expertise and experience. My children also benefited from others in the community, like teachers and coaches, who had their best interests in mind and were invested in helping them succeed. This massive network has done far more for my children than my wife and I could ever hope to achieve alone.
It truly takes a village. And the same is true for building a business. Think about it: How many people have benefitted or influenced your business with their knowledge, wisdom, or example? These could be partners, mentors, clients, vendors, investors, team members, or even savvy competitors—anyone who has intentionally or inadvertently taught you something that has improved some aspect of your business.
If you set out to make a list of such people, I know you would not be able to complete it—just like you couldn’t list everyone who has positively impacted the lives of your children.
Even though we can’t be exhaustive in listing the village of people that have helped build our businesses, it’s still worth thinking about. Because, as with our kids, we want the best kind of village to help build our business. And the wiser the group of people you can surround yourself with to advise and guide you in your business, the more successful that business will be.
Who do you want in your village? If you could pick, who would be on your dream team? Would you want people who have experienced and overcome the challenges you currently face or people who mean well but don’t have the chops to speak with authority? Would you want people who are concerned about your best interests or who are mostly interested in themselves? Would you want experts or amateurs?
As our businesses and lives grow more complex, we have to be more careful and intentional about who we approach for wisdom, otherwise, we risk not reaching our full potential. Over the years, I’ve met plenty of agents who have filled their villages with unhelpful or downright harmful voices, and every time their businesses pay the cost. By that same token, I’ve had the privilege to meet hundreds of agents who have successfully assembled support networks that benefit their businesses every day.
In my experience, I’ve found that negative voices far outweigh the positive ones. So I have to be intentional about my own boundaries. If someone in my village is not having a positive impact on my life, I can still love that person, but I can also decide to reevaluate the role they play in my life.
I hope that as we move through life and business, we take the time to carefully populate our villages with people who are going to elevate us. Because to be successful at anything—from parenting to real estate—it truly does take a village.
Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, a real estate consulting company that specializes in performance coaching and building highly effective teams. Talk to a WSS business analyst to learn more about how real estate coaching can help you.