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I always look forward to Abigail Dougherty’s newsletters!  As you are networking, I encourage you to keep Abigail’s following article in mind.  (Abigail is the owner of Straigth Edge Solutions)I also recommend that you check out her website: www. straightedgesolutions.comOne of the most crucial lessons an entrepreneur can learn is that in order to succeed, you need to have the support, ideas, and work of other people. The second most crucial lesson to learn is to be careful about who you invite along on your success journey.Individuals MatterToo often as business owners we focus on the WHAT of our business and consider the WHO involved in the business to be secondary. Frequently we fail to see the person behind the role. If you were asked about your vendor’s weekend hobby, would you have an answer? Did the business down the street ever need to find new clients? How did they go about it?  Does your CPA understand what your business is? Can your next-door neighbor explain to his brother-in-law what you do?Wisdom and experience make working with people we know, like, and trust far more important than what someone puts on their resume. Trust your gut and do your research when you are inviting people on your success journey. It’s worth investing the time to really get to know the people you are interested in inviting along. A few months spent upfront can generate decades-long business relationships and lifetime friendships.Pool Your ResourcesBeing a business owner does not mean we have all the answers. As a client of mine put it – “We don’t even have all the questions.” Get input from other people, from books, seminars, tapes, and magazines. Keep a notebook with you to capture ideas from every source. Having lunch with a few friends might give you insights on a new meeting location for your next seminar. An article on recycling might spark an idea for saving money with your own office recycling practices, which could also be worth sharing with your success partners and your past, present, and potential clients. Mastermind or Never Mind“None of us is as smart as all of us.”Vince LombardiThe more minds focused on making a business successful, the higher the probability that will be the result. Masterminds can be a fabulous tool to help you move forward quickly. Napoleon Hill, in Think and Grow Rich, compared minds to batteries that alone could light a lamp, but collectively could light a city. The more successful the members of your Mastermind, the more successful you will become. I have clients who will only belong to a Mastermind with business owners who earn over $1M annually. A highly effective Mastermind usually requires an up-front investment to help weed out the “hobbyists” and will have a facilitator who keeps the agenda moving and everyone in the group moving forward. I’ve been involved with different Masterminds over the years. Some were more effective than others. Strong Mastermind groups are challenging to find and are difficult to gain acceptance. Again, it’s worth the investment in time and resources to locate the best ones you can find and petition for acceptance as a member.Share the JoyAs you succeed, remember to share the joy with all the people who helped make it possible. Two movie passes with a note saying, “Thank you for helping us be successful,” probably isn’t going to break the bank and will generate a huge wave of continued support.One business I’ve worked with for two decades takes their entire staff and their families someplace special for five days each spring break. They combine it with 20 hours of continuing education requirements for the employees, so it’s not a free-for-all. This getaway thanks the families for their sacrifices they make all year to accommodate the parent’s work schedule. For the last 25 years, this firm has less than 5% turnover annually, compared to 38% in their industry.In a future article I’ll talk more about how family, clients, employees, vendors, and support staff all can be instrumental in making your business a success. Their ability to help or hinder is often directly in relation to how we, as business owners, work with them. © 2010 Straight Edge News   All Rights Reserved.