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A Band of Networks: The Value of Collaboration

By John Hall | Forbes

As an entrepreneur, you have a ton of questions as your business grows. When should I hire my first employee? Where should I be putting my marketing dollars? How do I scale? Many of us are too scared to ask these questions, because you should know the answer, right? You’re the CEO, after all.

At a recent conference I attended, one of the speakers talked about this problem. He said entrepreneurs are sometimes scared to reach out for advice or to talk through some of their problems – they think it would look weird if the CEO has questions he might not be able to answer. It feels like you’re on an island all by yourself — but in reality, you’re not. There are many others who are in the same boat as you with the same questions.

It’s important to find a mentor or organization that supports a collaborative ecosystem. You need a place with the right resources and the right advice. Plus, it’s a great feeling helping out others with your own expertise.  They say “it’s lonely at the top,” but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Being a part of an organization that supports entrepreneurs and the like will allow you share ideas, connect, and meet people who wouldn’t have heard of your company otherwise — and it can really take your business to the next level.

This week we’re speaking at Taan worldwide — one of the largest independent advertising networks in the world. They’re hosting one of their yearly meetings bringing agency leaders together to meet, have an honest conversation with other agency leaders, share different ideas, failures, pain points, successes and their ambitions— and they’re able to grow, collaboratively, as a whole.

They’re getting access to resources and individuals that they might not be able to get in touch with outside of the network. By inviting our team to speak there, we’re able to bring a specific skill set to the group and talk to them about why it’s valuable and where the industry is going to help them understand this trend and how they can implement it within their businesses to help them grow and succeed.

They hold several events over the course of the year to bring together these agencies to do just that — support, learn and grow. And they’re bringing experts that might not be within the network to help educate this specific audience. And they provide lists of potential resources to the agencies to make their lives easier. They’re able to foster a raw, transparent and willingness for leaders to come together and share their personal experiences and issues that they may be facing and they can come together to find a solution.

The typical entrepreneur isn’t a “business pro” by nature, so being part of a collaborative community can do amazing things for your businesses growth. These networks are the best way to get access to resources, relationships and expert insight specifically for entrepreneurs.

The bottom line is that it’s totally okay to ask questions and gain insight from your fellow peers. If you’re part of a network or organization that provides that environment, take full advantage of it. Ask questions, seek advice, and share resources. Don’t miss out on an opportunity just because you’re afraid of it, because you never know who you could meet and how that could help jump start your business.

Leave a comment and let me know your favorite organization or network that you’re involved with.

John Hall is the CEO of Digital Talent Agents, an agency that specializes in helping companies, entrepreneurs and business leaders build their brands by getting quality content published from them in reputable online publications that reach their target markets. Connect with him on Twitter or Google+.