1. Make friends with more than just your cat.

Find quality events where you can connect to like-minded entrepreneurs.

The key word here is quality.

The caliber of the event will determine the caliber of people you’re able to connect with. You want to find switched-on, big thinkers and an engaged community who are eager to connect and support one another.

Here are a few...

The Workshop Auckland
Creative Mornings

Grab a coffee with humans who are smarter than you.

LinkedIn stalking is an easy way to find these beauties. You have a full bio and achievement list right at your fingertips. You’re looking for people who share your values and have more industry experience than you.

Stay connected online.

Social media allows us to connect with millions of people from anywhere, at any time.

While sifting through the rubbish is more time consuming as these networks grow larger, they remain unparalleled in their efficiency when it comes to sourcing the right people.

The following Facebook community groups offer valuable discussion and engaged support for entrepreneurs in NZ.

Women’s Entrepreneur Network

Support Your Local Girl Gang

NZ Tech Startup Ecosystem

2. Get comfortable spending money.

There are only two ways to get more in your pocket at the end of the day:

Make more or spend less.

When we’re early stage and budgets are tight, we tend to focus heavily on spending less rather than making more money.

The trouble with this strategy is that there’s a limit to how much you can save. You can only pinch so many pennies before you run out of pennies to pinch.

While avoiding frivolous spending is a healthy strategy, there are times when spending freely will payoff in spades.

Take note. 

Buying tickets to events.

Who might you connect with at a top notch event?

These can be efficient gatherings of some of the brightest minds in business. The more it costs you to get in, the more successful the other attendees will be.

Tim Ferriss used an expensive South by Southwest ticket to launch him onto the New York Times best sellers list when he published his first book, The Four Hour Work Week.

Hiring a personal assistant to do your admin.

You must place a value on your own time.

That value must be greater than $0.

Think about this in terms of opportunity cost. If you were to free up 10-20 hours per week of your own time, what could you be doing with that time?

What are you best at?

Could you be bringing in more business if you had a few extra hours per week?

What are high value activities you need to be spending more time on? (Hint: Sales!)

Try Upwork for a Virtual Assistant in the $5-10/hour range.

Paying for a coach.

From Jeff Bezos to Serena Williams, every elite performer has a coach of some kind.

This is a universal truth.

No exceptions.

The world’s most successful people recognise that the only way to get to the top of their game is to train under someone better.

An outside party will not only impart domain specific knowledge and expertise with 100x greater efficiency than your haphazard trial and error, but they’re able to see your blind spots. They see the things you're missing or lying to yourself about.

A great coach will hold you accountable and call you on your bullshit.

Another important (and often overlooked) benefit to spending money freely is that it helps to foster a mindset of abundance.

If you’re able to think, believe and feel that more money will come into your life, it will.

3. Inject fresh ideas.

If you’re working solo from your home office the scariest place you can be (besides thinking that your discussion with your cat is intellectual) is stuck in your own head.  

Without a team you run the risk of ideas that all look the same-same.

Find a way to bounce ideas around, introduce new perspectives and challenge your thinking.

Join a mastermind.

These are regular (weekly or monthly) 3-5 person group discussions with one person in the ‘hot seat’ each session. Remaining members offer their insights and experience to help the ‘hot seater’ push past their biggest business challenge.

A community of entrepreneurs at a co-working space is another great sounding board.

Here you have the added benefit of experience across industries and backgrounds.

I’ve personally benefited from running a pitch by some residents for exceptional feedback. And during the launch of a new marketing campaign, I was able to tap into another member’s 10 years in advertising to help nail our customer niche and messaging.

4. Have an exit strategy.

The garage home office is the hallmark of the beginning of every great startup story from Steve Jobs to Disney.

But their stories wouldn’t be worth telling 30 years later if they ended with a couple of guys who never left the garage.

You need to have a plan and a space to grow into.

When you’re ready to take the next step, co-working is a great way to launch into your next chapter with momentum.

It’s risk-free. It’s affordable. It helps you more easily tick off the checklist above.

And the best part, you get to connect to a tribe of other humans doing epic shit.

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