Owning a business comes with its fair share of challenges, but there’s one for me that consistently lands at the top of the list: You don’t know what you don’t know. As a business owner you're consistently trying to learn from successes and failures, taking advice from friends and colleagues, and mixing in steady amounts of networking and education. Through it all you pick up tidbits, suggestions and best practices, but gaining knowledge proactively and not reactively is an ever-present and ongoing quest. You're racing a car and creating the roadmap while you're driving, which can be both invigorating and daunting.
When I decided to participate in Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the major commitment (and thought of once again having homework!) was offset by the idea of conquering the unknown. GS10kSB is a comprehensive program that helps business owners grow their comanies by providing them with greater access to education, business support services and financial capital. Or more succinctly, it’s a business school-style crash course for entrepreneurs. Over the course of five months you engage with a series of professors, guest lecturers and advisors, exploring all facets of your business and identifying and vetting growth opportunities. Best of all you’re in the company of 30 like-minded business owners, all running different types of businesses but encountering many of the same opportunities and challenges. For small business owners looking to learn and grow you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more conducive environment.
Throughout the program there were a great number of takeaways, but the one that resonated most for me was the importance of not letting the day-to-day business consume you. Small business owners can never fully step away from the now, but it's critical that you give equal attention to the future. Where you want your business to go, why, and how you’re going to get there. You're never going to be working with a complete roadmap, but proactively planning for where you want your business to be is the greatest remedy for the unknown.
To learn more about Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business, click here.