The famous phrase is ‘It’s lonely at the top.’ Lonely at the top is something I think we all attribute to seeing some business person with 50 of 100 members of staff and they’ve got this big company are at the top of this pyramid and they are looking down in this managing director, CEO role. You don’t have to have a big business, you could be a one man band, you could be a start-up company, you could be a young entrepreneur. The whole ‘it’s lonely at the top’ is that you are at the head of your business where you are the person in control and you don’t really feel that you have anyone to turn to. It’s not that you can’t go to friends and family or other professionals around you to ask for their opinion or their feedback, it’s that sometimes you don’t want to.
There are a few different areas we discuss with clients. So everyone has partners, husbands, wives etc that they obviously share their problems with but if they are not involved in your business and they are only involved in your personal life, sharing something to do with the business with them that may be catastrophic or mean a huge change or be of financial concern, what you are going to end up doing is giving somebody that can’t influence the business or help you a reason to just basically lie awake at night next to you and that ultimately isn’t fair. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t share things with your partner but there is a time and a place and you shouldn’t put a weight on somebody without saying that ‘this is how we are going to get out of it.’ If you just say ‘the business has got massive problems and I don’t know how we’re going to get through it.’ that person is just going to sit there going ‘I don’t what to do with that information but I know I can’t help you.’
The other this is that if you have a concern about your skills, you may not want to tell your business partner, if you have a concern about your health, you may not want to tell your shareholders, investors and board members, if you have a concern about the direction your company is going in, you probably don’t want to talk to your staff. There are always people that are around you that can only really be given so much f the information.
What we can do when working with a client and this is actually been raised so many times in the past, is that our clients can share anything with us. There is no knock on, negative effect but them telling us because our job is to support them. When are not shareholders in the business, we’re never going to try and steal somebody to line our own personal pockets. We’re not their family, so we’re not going to be the person who’s lying next to them at night or be at home dealing with the issue with them and we don’t work for them in a way that we’re concerned about our role so we can be brutal in more honest with our feedback because we’re not an employee. Ultimately if that person says something that they just need to hear come out of their own mouth, which is where we get the phrase ‘sounding board’ from, sometimes saying it out loud is enough for that person to then have an epiphany. But if it’s not, they can say something to us and if they regret saying it, there is no long-term damage. It doesn’t matter that they said it to us. We are the one company the individual however it is that we’re working with them as a business in their world, that they can say anything to and there really is no risk. So basically you don’t have to be lonely and don’t think that just because you see someone on social media say that they got to where they were on their own that they’re telling the truth. If you really believe you’ve gone through life without anybody’s help, you are lying to yourself and everyone else. Even if you didn’t have a mentor, we’re all being influenced by people around us every single day, from parents or teachers, to our friends, to people you hear talking next door to you standing in the line at the bank. The way they talk with someone, the way they interact with people in offices, people on the bus. We are learning constantly about how we should or shouldn’t live our lives so to say you’ve done it all on your own is absolutely ridiculous and for those that don’t want to be alone, we’re always happy to sit down and talk to them about how we can be of help to them.