How to Build a Personal Board of Directors

It's impossible to achieve success without creating meaningful connections along the way. When you think of the people who surround you in your life — what can you learn from them? What can they connect you to? And how can you leverage those relationships to help you in your journey?

Look at your social circle and start to build your own personal Board of Directors. Just as a business might have a board of directors to advise on various different situations, you can look to your friends and peers for advice on the things they're passionate about.

Maybe you have a friend that's well versed in travel. When you're planning your next vacay, look to them for the best spots to visit. Consult your biz-owner friends when you need some advice on your business ventures. Connect with your friends on deeper levels by looking to them for advice and allowing them to share their interests and passions with you.

Building your own personal board of directors? Ask yourself these 5 questions to get started:

5 Questions to Help You Build Your Personal Board of Directors

1. Who do you trust?

Your board of directors will be the group you go to for guidance, so they need to be people you trust. When deciding on your board, consider who you know and what their lives look like. Who lives a life you would want for yourself?

This isn't to say be judgmental of your friends and peers — they may lead perfectly wonderful lives, just not the life you'd want for yourself. You can still trust those people, but they may not give you the advice that gets you where you want to be. Assess who aligns with the things you're striving for so you know you can rely on their advice. If they can get there, they can help you get there too!

2. Who will be honest with you?

Look to people that will tell it like it is. When you're going after the life you want, sugarcoating answers won't get you very far. It's such a valuable thing to have friends that call you out and let you know when you can do better or when something's not right — as long as they're respectful of you in the process!

Don't let people boss you around, but select board members that you know will be honest with you about your life. In turn, you must be honest about your life with them, too. How can someone offer their best advice if they haven't been provided with the entire context or situation? Honesty is the best policy when it comes to your board of directors — prioritize it!

3. Who will support you?

Do you have friends that celebrate your success with you? Or when you present a win, do they shrug it off? Do they get jealous or spiteful? Do they make you feel like you've done something wrong?

If the people around you aren't supportive of your success. 1. Examine that relationship — it doesn't sound like connection that's serving your life. And 2. Eliminate them from the potential list of directors! Your board should be your #1 fans, your cheerleaders, not the people you have to hide your successes from. Confide in people that you trust with your wins so they never go uncelebrated.

4. Who can connect you to other people?

Do you know some savvy socialites? Leverage the connectors in your life so you can expand your network. If someone you know is in contact with other someone's you'd like to know, ask for an introduction. Ask for an email address. Ask, always. The worst they can do is say no!

The relationships you build through people you already know can set you up for success from the beginning. Usually, the person you're meeting already knows your friend, so you're starting off strong with something in common. Don't be shy or feel like you're stepping on toes. Put yourself out there any way you can!

5. What can you offer in return?

Relationships are a two way street. If you're only focused on what other people can offer you, you can't create real, lasting connections. And the people around you will start to catch on REAL quick if you're becoming a leech in the social circle.

When you're asking your friends for their advice, energy, and time, be mindful of the value you can provide in return. Support them in their ventures — if they own a business, shop/hire them and send new clients/customers their way. Show up for them in the way they show up for you so that connection can continue to grow.

QOTD: What do you value most in your board of directors?

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