When it comes to relationships, it’s said that we’re the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This illustrates the importance of who we choose to spend our time with. However, when it comes to business, we tend to forget this important point – especially as a sole or small business owner.

Often, we think that we need to do things alone, especially if we work for ourselves. Working for yourself can be a lonely business, especially if you work from home. It can be tiring having no one (or just the dog) to talk to during the day, and you can go stir crazy, if the only company you have is your own.

As a solution to this feeling, it’s easy to take yourself off the local café, just for a bit of company and background noise. But it isn’t enough to just surround yourself with people. You need to make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the RIGHT people.

As a business owner, the right people consists of two different groups – peers and mentors.

Why you need peers

We all want to feel understood. Often, we’re running our businesses from home, so we tend to find ourselves waiting for friends and family to come over, so we can chat about our day and our achievements. Unfortunately, they often don’t understand what we do, why we do it or how we can get excited about it in the first place!

You need to have likeminded people in your life – and this is why peers are so important. They’re likeminded business owners who know what it’s like to run a business, who understand what you’re going through and help you feel less alone.

Whether you have an offline or online group of peers you interact with, peers are people you can share experiences with, glean information from and celebrate your wins with.

Why you need mentors

Mentors often have similar backgrounds as you, so may, on the surface, seem like peers. However, mentors have other important roles to play.

A mentor is someone you can confide in, someone who can guide you and offer a helping hand when needed. They’re often ahead of you, on the path you’re treading and specialise in areas you need to hone. This can include finance, social media, PR or business generally.

When it comes to uncovering your blocks, you need a mentor that knows how best to uncover them, as well as coming up with a solution that suits you and your needs. A peer can give advice and see things from their viewpoint, but a mentor will have the skills and tools to look at it from your viewpoint.

When it comes to being successful, you need a combination of both peers and mentors in your life. The number of each isn’t as important as having the RIGHT ones – so take your time to find the best fit for you.

Do you have both peers and mentors in your life? Maybe you’ve been holding back from getting a mentor or from having a group of peers – if so, what are your reasons? What can you do today, to take steps to make sure you have both in your life? Why not share your thoughts and experiences, in the comments box below!