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What can Wall Street Teach Us About Running a Home Business?


Small Business Ideas Forum

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In my never-ending quest to grow, grow, grow, I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to expand my business knowledge and add to my efforts to build my business. You all know I am a huge believer in the power of Mastermind Groups - which is basically tapping the minds of a group of people who are willing to help and coach each other to success. And the reason I am offering Productivity from the Inside Out as my first group ‘product’ is because I know from experience that it offers a huge opportunity for impact and change for business owners, entrepreneurs, or anyone who wants to take their career to the next level.

Evan Carmichael has a whole site dedicated to mastermind resources and entrepreneurial success, and a recent post on his blog points out the following traits of highly successful people:

1) Love Themselves
2) Don’t Procrastinate!
3) Have Focus
4) Have Money
5) Are Leaders and Thinkers
6) Have a Unique Ability to Adapt
7) Have a Support Group

Not all Mastermind Groups are created equally. Yet what works for us smaller entrepreneurs also works for the biggest companies on Wall Street: we have our personal networks and our Mastermind Groups. Wall Street has Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards.

Same recipe. Different scale.

Since a Board of Directors is usually found in the realm of publicly traded companies, I’d like to spend a little time talking more about Advisory Boards, which are utilized by any and all sizes of companies around the globe.

What is an Advisory Board?

A Board of Advisors is a group of former coworkers, respected community members, fellow entrepreneurs, and anyone else who can help you develop and grow your business. The group advises and mentors you, acts as a sounding board for new ideas, and is a source of referrals and customers. (Thanks Beehive for the definition!)

For a fantastic overview of Advisory Boards straight from someone with some great experience in this area, check out Scott Burkett’s post on Creating a Winning Advisory Board.

Who would I want on my Advisory Board?

According to a great article at, start with the basics, a lawyer, an accountant, and banker or insurance professional if appropriate. You also want to recruit people who have strengths and expertise you might be lacking: marketing, sales, entrepreneurs, technology experts, HR professionals, etc.

When would I want to put together an Advisory Board?

According to Susan Ward from, no business is too small to benefit from having an advisory board. Personally, for now I simply call up my knowledgable contacts in various industries and ask for advice when I need it. But putting together a formal Advisory Board is something I am planning on having in place by the middle of ‘07.

Personally, I want to ensure that I am in a position to be able to follow up on any recommendations my board will make - which means I need to have the time and $$ in place and at the ready. So I wouldn’t recommend putting together a formal advisory board that meets quarterly until you are able to devote serious resources to putting their advice into action (you wouldn’t want to waste their time until you are ready, anyway!).


I was coaching a fellow entrepreneur recently and we got onto the subject of business growth. She expressed concern about growing her business to the point where she couldn’t handle it anymore. I reminded her that that is the point of growing a business. The point is to get your company to a place where you can focus on working with your strengths - and hiring other employees, professionals or consultants to manage the areas of your business that play to their strengths.

THAT is the power of Wall Street companies we can use in our own small businesses - sharing the strengths and knowledge of others to compliment our talents :: enabling us all to succeed.

Productivity from the Inside Out

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    On December 15th, 2006 at 4:56 am, Syed said:

    Some more traits of successfull people:
    1. Have determination
    2)Intelligent enough to know there is such a thing as luck, but smart enough to realize there isn’t much they can do about it so don’t factor it in.
    4)Not afraid to challange established wisdom.
    5)Know when and how to compromise.
    6)Are often eccentric.

    These are just my observations. They don’t come from any guru who sells million copies of his books merely because he is considered an authority by a docile population.

    On December 15th, 2006 at 10:10 am, eMom said:

    Syed - I would have to agree with you on all 6 of those wonderful traits! :)

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