Better Together: From in the weeds to a birds eye view, and back again

A bi-weekly column exploring the intersection of entrepreneurship and community by Sam Davidson

I’ve seen downtown countless times, not just from my daily commute to and from the EC. Our city and its skyline is a vibrant and ever changing one, with nearly as many cranes as skyscrapers these days. But it wasn’t until I was ten thousand feet above that I got a sense for all that’s happening.

If I’m headed west out of BNA I like to look and see if I can see my house. I quickly orient myself to downtown (yes, I’m a window seat guy), find the interstates, the Radnor Lake and I know I’m close. (Is that a frisbee stuck on my roof?)

Getting a fresh look at our business can be equally helpful and fascinating. Many entrepreneurs, especially early on, are working in the business, constantly, tweaking, measuring, and growing nearly every facet. Product design, sales, HR, financial, strategy – the early entrepreneur touches it all and at the end of each day is usually proud of what they’ve made.

But getting that bird’s eye view is critical for continued growth and taking advantage of opportunities.

One of the main ways we help founders do that at the EC is by challenging entrepreneurs to bring in an outsider, someone who can fly in, with deep experience, and offer a different take on things. An advisor is someone who helps the entrepreneur rise up and get on a different level.

Maybe you’ll marvel at how far you’ve come, and rightfully so. Maybe you’ll be embarrassed that while you were focused on the pretty buildings (your brand), you neglected the traffic problems (how customers will find you). Don’t worry – there’s still time to fix that.

Our advisor network offers 200+ volunteer experts, ready and willing to assist you at any stage of your business. Booking time with them is effortless and easy and can be done in person or via a video call.

We’re emphasizing this key feature of what we do at the EC in our new membership options (more on that later this month). Research shows that one clear marker of success for entrepreneurs, time and again, is connection and access to an advisor. So we’re making that available to all members moving forward.

Likewise, we’ll be working to make sure the advisor network is full of the best and brightest experts around. We’ll cover every industry, every skill, every business stage, and we’ll have a commitment to representation. So if you’re looking for a way to help someone who reminds you of you a while back, apply to volunteer as an EC advisor.

We moved on from high above downtown pretty quick (we had a landing window in Dallas we had to make) so we didn’t dwell too long on our lofty perch. And you’re not meant to hang around admiring or critiquing your business for too long, either. Take a look, listen, make notes, then get back to work. Your towers aren’t going to build themselves.

Better business building only happens one way: together.

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