James Ashcroft, co-owner of US Export Direct and of LifeSafety Management, felt that he hit a plateau in his career. That’s when a friend invited him to attend an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) chapter meeting in his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“I found my tribe,” Ashcroft says. “It was the first time I was surrounded by like-minded business leaders who all had similar personal and business challenges and wanted to openly share their best practices and resources.”
Last year Ashcroft accepted a position as a mentor in the EO Accelerator program, which meets monthly and provides entrepreneurs with structured educational content to help first-stage businesses.
“I think of coaching as facilitation rather than a vertical teacher/student relationship,” Ashcroft says. “It can be hard to see ourselves objectively. A good coach will help you define your goals, identify your blind spots and ensure your actions are in alignment with what you ultimately want.”
Ashcroft shares five thoughts for others striving to improve their circumstances.
1. Self-awareness: Spend time thinking about your strengths and weaknesses. Once they have been defined, focus on your strengths and hire others to shore up your weaknesses.
2. Physical conditioning: Eating right and developing a training regimen should be on the top of your daily to-do lists. If you suffer from low physical energy and illness, it’s nearly impossible to have success at any level.
3. Emotional well-being: Surround yourself with love and support. We are each the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so we must choose those relationships carefully, both personally and professionally.
4. Mental growth: Find activities that inspire and challenge you. Schedule time to read and learn. Find a mentor. Sleep well. Allow your brain to be at its full performance potential so personal growth can blossom.
5. Spirituality: It may be going to church, meditating or writing in a journal. Whatever the case, train yourself to be aware of all the abundance in your life.
Ashcroft adds one more piece of advice: Re-evaluate your definition of success. “We are led to believe that getting a job or running a business makes us successful and defines who we are,” he says. “In reality, we need to nurture our health, relationships and personal development while building our businesses. If we have corporate achievements but end up stressed, overweight and divorced, is that success?”