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Who Do You Lean On?

I spent 3 days in Boulder, Colorado last week with about 17 fellow Duct Tape Marketing Coaches. It was the annual gathering of coaches and it was my first. It wasn’t unlike most conferences; we learned a lot from leader John Jantsch about all the latest and greatest trends in marketing and new Duct Tape Marketing products, from Duct Tape Marketing gurus Cidnee Stephen and Joe Costantino about speaking for leads and from the many Duct Tape Marketing supplier partners who attended.  

We heard from Lesa King from istock photo about how to make our presentations more powerful with images, from Steve McCandlish about how to use ACT 2010 in our practices, Aaron Weiss from HP about their new awesome Marketsplash solution, Jenna Jantsch from Vertical Response about how to use email and the VR Lounge to promote our businesses and Jake Weatherly of Palo Alto Software about their amazing software tools for small business.

But the real learning came from the camaraderie and friendship of my fellow coaches – an amazing group of people; one of the most experienced and intelligent group of professionals and entrepreneurs I have ever met. What I find so striking about this group is their willingness to share their experience, expertise and advice. You would think that when you get a group of experts/coaches/consultants/sales people all in one place there would be some level of competition – but not with this group. And I think part of that reason is that we all know we have something special and to paraphrase John Jantsch, we have an abundance of it.

There is no other system out there like Duct Tape Marketing and there are thousands, if not millions of small businesses who need it. Each and every one of us is absolutely vehement about helping small business grow and thrive. During that entire 3 days, I didn’t once hear talk about profits or margins or “territories”, but what I did hear and see was the enthusiasm and the glow in each coach’s eyes as they explained how they help the small businesses they work with become more successful .

So all of this warm and fuzzy got me thinking:  as small business owners and marketers we know the importance of networking for leads. We hear it all the time- get out there, meet people, ask for referrals, etc. But where does the average small business owner go for support? Where do they go to ask for help dealing with a particular issue or customer? Where do they go to get advice directly related to their particular business or industry?  I don’t know, maybe most business owners have a bigger professional network than I do to draw upon for advice. But somehow, I doubt it.  I know many of us tend to be extremely independent – and therefore have the “I can do it myself” mentality – that is after all, what makes us entrepreneurs, right? But I know I have to be careful, asking for help is something new to me.  I have learned over the past couple of years that I don’t have all the answers and a support system is crucial to my success. I doubt there are many successful entrepreneurs who did it all in a vacuum and never leaned on anyone for support.

So I’d like to hear from you. Where do you go for support? Who is your support system? Where do you get advice about your business or industry? Who do you turn to when you have a problem or a challenge you don’t know how to solve on your own? I’m really curious about this, because I can’t help but think I’ve stumbled across something really special with Duct Tape Marketing.

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