Learning From Each Other

Owning a business can be as thrilling as a great roller coaster ride!  We learn so much from all the ups and the downs in business and it just makes sense that those experiences would fuel our forward progress and, if we let them, the forward progress of others! 
Dean and I had the opportunity to visit a successful franchise in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.  We spent an entire day, discussing best business practices, how to overcome obstacles and what actions yield business success.  In short, we shared stories, swapped experiences and at the end of the visit- everyone walked away  learning from each other.  Here are our main takeaways from our East Coast excursion: 
Every Business Has The Same Basic Elements:
No matter how different businesses are, they all have the same basic elements.  Sales, Cost of Goods Sold, Employees, Vendors etc.  No matter what challenges you face it is a safe bet that others have gone through the same challenges.  Knowing that all businesses are connected can give us a sense of not being alone- no matter how arduous things may seem. The beauty in realizing this truth frees us to look around for tips and advice from a variety of entities when we want to address any area of our business.
You Can Learn From Vastly Different Businesses: 
Since every business has potential clues that can help, we are not limited to seeking answers from within our own industry.  In fact, there are some serious advantages to looking at any business situation from an outside perspective.  New solutions, better methods and creative options can more easily be seen by someone who has a different perspective.  Another HUGE benefit to surrounding yourself with various industries is that you might even be able to refer business back and forth- a true Win/Win situation.
Being Open to Both Giving & Receiving Feedback is POWERFUL: 
Once you have surrounded yourself with a variety of different business relationships you get to take a leap of faith.  Sharing challenges or offering advice puts you in a bit of a vulnerable situation and that can be uncomfortable.  But the amazing thing is that all growth happens outside of our comfort zone.  When you peel back the bold ownership persona, let people get inside your business and dig around, it can be a little scary.  Many businesses are lost because business owners make the mistake of never opening up.  It can be equally daunting to offer advise for another person’s business.  I mean- what if  your advice is no good or what if they don’t like what you have to say?  It’s that comfort zone thing again- growth happens outside of it!  You would be surprised how much value you can bring to another person and how much you can get out of a good quality conversation when you are working to help another person. 
Business ownership is a ride alright; filled with ups and downs.  Consider the POWER you can generate by linking arms with those who own and operate other businesses.  When we work together and combine our resources we can lighten the load of our fellow business owners and achieve even greater success. 

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