The DON’TS of an Advisory Board

I can’t stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with positive energy, positive people, and positive ideas.

So if I feel so strongly about the positives, why is this article all about the “don’ts?”

Sometimes all we hear are negative words.

  • Don’t forget your computer.
  • Don’t hit your brother.
  • Don’t expect a raise this year, times are tough, be happy you have a job.

We tend to miss the positives or dismiss them. The weight of the don’ts in our lives can be suffocating, yet we seem more comfortable with them.  So let’s use that negative energy to create a positive team that will support your entrepreneurial efforts.

Whether you are starting a business, already in business or considering leading a fundraising program in your community; it is important to surround yourself with people who can bring knowledge, expertise and support to the table.

Great leaders don’t know it all – they surround themselves with others who do.

So when developing an advisory board or a circle of influencers or a panel of people who will help take your career to the next level, consider these don’ts:

  • Don’t leave the selection of your advisory board to chance
  • Don’t only select people you currently know
  • Don’t get caught up with titles
  • Don’t limit yourself to assembling just one group
  • Don’t build it and forget it
  • Don’t expect it to stay the same

Any surprises? Don’t expect it to stay the same. That is surprising and yet so true. You will need different people in your professional life at different times. When you are first starting out, you will need people who have experience with a business, knowledge about legal requirements, marketing, product development, and website design.

As time goes on, your business needs and your personal needs will change and so should the advisory board that encourages, challenges and advises you.

Who is on your advisory board? Have you developed one? Think of five people who you’d like on the board of your career path. Think outside the box. Remember the six degrees of Kevin Bacon; just because you don’t know the people you’d like on your board today – the power of networking, connections and social media can change all that in a matter of hours.

Once you have determined your advisory board members, employee these DO’S:

  • DO keep in communication with your board members
  • DO ask for help
  • DO ask for constructive criticism about your business plan and direction
  • DO listen and consider their suggestions
  • DO follow your own path