The 3 Essential Elements for a Successful Social Support System
The 3 Essential Elements for a Successful Social Support System
The world of online marketing, ecommerce and lifestyle entrepreneurship can be an isolating one. Yet, humans are social creatures and thrive from having a social support system. It leads to better and faster learning experiences, increased positive behavior and connections to additional opportunities. Business leaders today absolutely must put a system of support into place. Without it, one runs the risk of losing touch with customers, new technology and trends and overall falling behind.
Not only has implementing this social support system accelerated the launch of my online store, Get Unrobed, but it has done the same for many of my peers. I have seen members of my mastermind group soar to the top of iTunes in days, launch eLearning systems with success and increase their total audience in an amazingly short period of time. Peers in my online course have launched many successful ecommerce sites in a much shorter period of time than those struggling alone. So, today, I’ve given you a quick rundown of three essential parts to any business leader’s support system.
Find a Structured Learning Environment
From my experience working with college students, I know that many of them expect learning to cease once their diploma is in hand. Unfortunately, this mentality won’t get anyone very far. Learning might become less structured once formal schooling is completed, but that only means one must take more initiative to get ahead. This also means that only the most motivated will seek out ways to increase their knowledge outside of “the school of hard knocks.”
When I first decided to open an ecommerce site, I quickly sought out a course that could teach me everything I needed to know about getting started. Luckily for me, and for you, we live in an age that caters to information seekers. Information is available online, 24/7. However, this doesn’t mean that all information is quality information. Although I could have spent hours, days, weeks even months, searching the internet and finding a bread crumb trail of information to put all the pieces together, it was much quicker and easier to instead search for a quality course.
You have a few options here. First, you can enroll in a specialized course at a local college, you can arrange to attend an intense training program that might require traveling and lodging, or you can enroll in an online course.
Today, many business leaders are producing online courses. Personally, I think this is a great option. First, there are many to choose from. Second, they are cost effective and third, you have access to a professional in the field who is knowledgeable on the subject, right from your home or office.
If you do select the online route, be sure to have a system in place for staying organized and a timeline for moving through the course material. Not everyone will reap the benefits of a course. Only those dedicated to the work, the readings and who put the steps into action will come out successful.
In 5 Tips to Succeed in an Online Course by US News, they suggest following a consistent schedule with a dedicated work space, just like you would if your professor set up a course that you were required to attend in person. This structure will keep you accountable so you don’t fall behind and end up wasting time and money on the course.
Join a Mastermind Group
In addition to a formal learning environment, you’ll need a group of peers that you can connect with, share ideas with and collaborate with. A mastermind group is a great way to network with other like minded individuals who are on the same path that you are on. The now famous quote by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” actually has roots in social science. Humans have good reason to mimic one another. It is essential to our survival. So, if you surround yourself with individuals that exhibit particular behavior, you will likely begin to pick up on that behavior as well.
A mastermind group allows you to surround yourself with highly motivated and focused individuals that are exhibiting behavior worth picking up on. If you want to change your behavior for the better, surround yourself with peers that are smarter than you, more motivated than you and more experienced than you. Your actions will follow shortly.
Secure a Personal mentor
Although the above two options are magnificent places to start, having a one on one relationship with someone who is where you want to be in the future will give you inside access to knowledge and a personal “in” with a more successful network of peers that you would otherwise not have access to.
How do you go about finding a mentor if you are just starting out, or don’t have access to highly successful people? In Tim Ferris’ popular trilogy (The Four Hour Workweek, The Four Hour Body and The Four Hour Chef), he explains how to contact people who can help you learn at an accelerated pace. He suggests contacting someone who was at the top of their game about 5 years ago. This gives you a better opportunity of connecting because this person will be less busy and more willing to take on the responsibility of a mentee. Reach out to a few people and ask them a question related to their field of work. Don’t make the question too simple, it should be something you can’t discover with research, something only they can answer. After you make this initial contact, continue the dialogue and see if you can develop a relationship.
If you are interested in a more active relationship, you could ask the person directly if they will be your mentor. They might be willing to take you on as an apprentice in exchange for a fee or in exchange for work.
The bottom line: Don’t go it alone. Although the internet, smart phones and other technology has taken us further from direct human interaction and brought more information to our fingertips, it is still quicker and easier to learn from those who have done it before, and those doing it now. In addition, you will start to create a network of strong, motivated peers that can help you in the future. Set up your social support network and start accelerating your success.
Sandy is the owner of Get Unrobed – an online retail store where you can find a kimono robe or a set of bridesmaid robes. In addition, Sandy is a communication professor in Nevada and interpersonal communication researcher.