Each and every one of us likes to hear about an entrepreneurial success story: Jeff Bezos, Arianna Huffington, Jesse Morris, Dave Lindsey, Josh Turner, and Spencer Gerrol, to name a few. Each one would be the first to tell you that they didn’t reach success without certain types of people in their lives. I recently sat down with John Eades, a Charlotte based entrepreneur, author, and podcaster to discuss our networks and some types of people that have helped him along the way.

After interviewing many successful entrepreneurs through his podcast, John identified six types of people that every entrepreneur must have in his or her life to have a chance of achieving success:

  1. Booster — The booster’s main purpose is to encourage you when your journey takes an unexpected detour. Boosters tend to be spouses, significant others, close relatives, or an older friend. With the difficulty in building a business, it is important to have as many boosters as you can get in your life.
  2. Juror — A juror in a courtroom passes judgment on a particular case in question after they have all the details. Another scenario. The juror provides you candid feedback about how you are doing, not only in business, but also in life, identifying them as a “personal board of directors”.
  3. Adviser — The adviser is the person whom you can call or text in moments of need, when you are making a big organizational or hiring decision. Often their advice may not be the information you want to hear because it counters what you are thinking and that is exactly why they are so important.
  4. Partner — The partner is the yin to your yang. They have complementary skills to fill in your weaknesses. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t have to be a 50–50 co-founder. The partner is usually an internal person who has a total or complete understanding of you and the company.
  5. Collaborator — Every single entrepreneur must have someone who can listen to ideas and quickly pass some kind of judgment. That is the collaborator by definition: someone who will help you explore new business ideas, products, campaigns, or anything in between.
  6. Incentivizer — The incentivizer is someone who has doubted you, told you you couldn’t do it, or mentioned you weren’t good enough. This person’s words or actions have been burned into your mind and keep you motivated and moving forward to prove him or her wrong.

If you can’t quickly identify all six of these people in your life, then you have built a network to help you succeed. If you see gaps, the best part is: You can take action today.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

I asked John for a few tips on networking and how to reach out to people to fill these unique roles:

  1. It is a journey, not a destination. You are not day trading your professional relationships. This is about the long game and this is about having people and creating relationships in your life
  2. You cannot be in a self-serving mindset. You must look at who you’re reaching out to and say, “I want this person to be in my network because I think he or she will help me in the long run, but I know more importantly, I can provide value as well.”
  3. Use the medium in which that person likes to communicate. Many successful CEO’s might use social media but the best place to contact them is via their email or an old-fashioned telephone call. I have acquired many of my best relationships because the caller picked up the phone and called me.

At my 747 Club Dinner table, I often ask each person to give voice to one person in their life that has had a positive impact on him/her but don’t talk about enough, and I asked John the same question:

John said, “I would give voice to a woman that walked into my life and has been a constant encourager of my professional journey, her name is Connie Hawkins. It’s been the most unique relationship I’ve ever had in my life. Connie is there for me nearly every week, and the best thing she does for me is encourage. I am more convinced than ever that every single professional needs boosters in their life to continue to encourage them because business is hard.”

As we’ve learned, cultivating a good network is essential for business and personal success. It requires a keen eye, future planning, and diligent work.

Take a look around you at your relationships, and ask what more you can do to help them fulfill their goals.

With Love and Pasta Sauce,

Chris Schembra

Chief Question Asker, 747 Club

Originally published at medium.com