Guest post by: Sue Tellier, JetCo Solutions
Seriously. We fail all the time, and our job is to learn from the failures and find smart people to guide us along the way. Also, we have to get over our own “I-can-do-anything-myself” egos and pick up the pieces when expectations exceed reality.
This is about finding smart people and learning from them.
Most small business owners I know associate with other small business owners. Quite frankly, many of my closest friends are like-minded small business owners. It’s like a unique club of risk-taking, innovative, clever badasses who face similar challenges. A glass (or more) of wine with them is a cathartic, therapeutic, mutual-learning experience.
We also tend to surround ourselves with informal mentors – larger companies, more experienced CEOs, business leaders who provide guidance based on experience, not just scrappiness.
Recently, the Small Business Administration (SBA) expanded the mentor-protégé program to include all small businesses. (Formerly, it was only available to certified 8(a) companies.) According to the SBA website: “The purpose of the new program is to develop strong protégé firms through mentor-provided business development assistance, and to help protégés successfully compete for government contracts.”
So what does this mean?
The federal government realizes small firms bring mad skills, which are highly useful to federal agencies. In order to speed their path to becoming federal contractors, they have created this program to help the smalls learn from the bigs.