Have you considered the benefits of developing an advisory board for your life? Advisory boards offer different perspectives on aspects of your business and daily life. They’re very useful. In this episode I’m talking about the different types of people who comprise an advisory board and how each can help guide you.
I identify six roles for a life advisory board. Individual people who bring visionary ideas, encouragement, practical solutions, integration of logical planning, mentorship, and full stop truth telling into play when you need it. One person can’t be everything to you but an advisory board can fill all the roles you need.
I’m going to explain who these people should be, how well they should know you, and how to find them. You’ll also be part of an advisory board to others in your life, so take time to figure out your own strengths and abilities. It works both ways!
1:22 What is an advisory board?
4:04 Breaking down all six of the roles you need
13:39 How to interview for those positions in your life
- Who do you turn to for encouragement?
- Who are the mentors who help you focus on priorities?
- Advisory boards shine a light on blind spots in the business world, that’s what they will do for you too
Resources discussed in this episode:
Contact Kari Lotzien | Be the Anchor:
Kari Lotzien: [00:00:01] Welcome to Be the Anchor, the podcast. I’m your host, business and leadership coach Kari Lotzien. When the seas of life get stormy, and they always will, it is not up to us to captain anyone else’s ship or to try to calm the waters of the ocean. It’s up to us to set our own destination for what we really want and to learn how to navigate those waves of life together while finding that place of security and stability with others. I call this being an anchor. If you are a dreamer, a visionary, an entrepreneur, whether you have an idea big or small, that you think might just make the world a little bit better, kinder, gentler place, you are in the right spot, my friend. We are going to talk about everything from big ideas to mindset and strategy and sometimes just how to get through the day. I don’t want you to miss an episode so be sure to follow and subscribe to the podcast so that we can stay connected and keep doing this journey of life together. Thanks so much.
Kari Lotzien: [00:01:10] Hello and welcome to Be the Anchor, the podcast. I’m your host, business and leadership coach, Kari Lotzien. So glad you’re here. Today, I want to talk to you about developing an advisory board for your life. Now, if you haven’t heard about what an advisory board is or you haven’t heard that term before, let me tell you, an advisory board is typically, within an organization or a large company, they are hand-selected and then targeted for the expertise that they can bring to a team to help fill in knowledge gaps so they can help you to break into new markets or industries. They’re just there for consultation, so they actually don’t have what we would call voting rights like a board of directors in a company.
Kari Lotzien: [00:01:56] Now, what does that have to do with life? I think that it is critical to develop your own advisory board for your life. These are a group of people just like an advisory board in a corporation that you get to hand select, that you get to build your own group that helps to be the advisors for your life. Now let’s back up because many of us have family and spouses and partners and kids, employees, friends, all kinds of people who truly care about us, who are connected to our lives and truly do want what’s best for us. But sometimes those relationships may have developed years ago and those people might not completely understand the goals that you have in your life right now, the things that you’re ready to just let go of. Have you ever experienced someone saying to you, Oh my gosh, well, I know that you’re such a this type of person, or I know that you’re really good at this and you kind of cringe and go, That is just not who I am anymore. Right? This might be, you know, sometimes we run into a friend from high school or university and they’ll say something and it’s like, Oh, that is just, that’s not who I am. Well, the same thing can happen with friendships and family members that they just don’t really know or aren’t aligned with where we want to be right now. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to cut those relationships or that you need to cut those people off. They can still hold a very important role in your life. This is about developing something different, like an advisory board. I feel that there are six roles in developing this team, and when you do it strategically, which I have done, it makes crazy impact on your life. Now, these are the roles.
Kari Lotzien: [00:04:04] Number one. The cheerleader. This is the person that just believes in you. They adore you. They are willing to be that person that when you are starting to doubt yourself or you’re having kind of that schlumpy hard day, will be the person that goes, You’ve got this. I know you can do it. You’ve done it before. I’ve seen you fricking rock this. Push in. You can do it. And they are there on the sidelines just believing in you. We know that being around those people just feels good. Having cheerleaders is a critical piece. And I think a lot of us have these people in our lives. I can tell you I have a couple of them. So I have people that are just there. They just believe in me. But they’re not the ones who I rely on when I need to have hard conversations or really difficult feedback or they’re not the ones that I rely on when I want to really dig into an idea because that’s not their strong suit. The other thing with an advisory board is we need to be really cautious that we don’t look to one person to serve all of our positions. Many of us want this in our partners, in our best friends, in our spouses. We need to be really cautious of this because when we put too many roles on one person, it starts to feel like too much pressure for them. So when we divide it out, it can often work so much more easily. So the first one is cheerleader.
Kari Lotzien: [00:05:34] The second one is someone who is a visionary. This is the person who just loves to dream with you. They might be in the same industry as you. They might have similar interests to you or not, but they have a natural mindset where they can think big. What meetings or coffee or lunch with this person sounds like is you say, Oh, you know, I’ve been kind of thinking about starting a new business. I’ve been kind of thinking, maybe I want to take this new course and learn how to do pottery. I maybe want to learn how to paint watercolors. I want to take a course because I think I’d like to try climbing a mountain next summer. And this person goes, Oh yeah, that’s amazing. And you know what else you could do with that? I was thinking about this, and they just build on your idea. This is the person who is so good at planting a seed and then just seeing what it could become as a full garden of possibility. This person tends to be a little bit higher energy. They are still very positive, but they’re not the person that you’re going to rely on to analyze how viable those things are. They’re not the one that is going to go into all of the steps involved. Where is there a course? How can we do this? What do we need to do to set up all the individual pieces? They’re just the person that allows your mind to explode with possibility.
Kari Lotzien: [00:07:01] INSERT TAKE 2 Which leads me to the third person on your advisory board, which is what I would call the integrator. This is the person who is really good at strategy and logic. They’re the ones that can take that big idea, once you’ve decided I really want to take my chance on this, and they say, Okay let’s break it down. Where do we go? What do we need? What are the steps involved? How are we going to get there? And they put it into a step by step format. That person has, again, a very different role. If you rely on someone who is more of that strategy, logic, integrator personality, and what you’re hoping from them is that they are your cheerleader, this is the person that sometimes if we’re needing reassurance or if we’re wanting to just explore a big idea and we are looking for them to be our cheerleader or the partner visionary, when we ask this person, it can sound almost like they don’t believe in us. That they just make things hard and they ask us the hard questions and, well, how are you going to do that? And where do you find? And it’s almost like they put the brakes on the plan before the plan gets started. But this person is still very necessary in integrating one step to another. I can tell you, naturally I’m a great visionary. I love thinking of 42 ideas of what we could do in a business. My natural tendency, I’m not as strong, especially in my own business, on the strategy, logic and integration side. I don’t really like to break things down into really small steps to think about, okay, I need to do this and then this and then this. Often when I go into that, I get kind of deflated and it starts to feel hard and it starts to feel like too much. Someone who’s really good in this role will be able to show you the step by step progress that you can make towards your goal without it feeling like they’re kind of putting the water on your fire.(INSERT TAKE They’re helping you to align it, but you want to utilize that person in the way that that’s their kryptonite, that’s their strength, is breaking those things down.
Kari Lotzien: [00:09:17] The next person you want on your advisory board. Number four is the expert or the mentor. This is someone who has gone before you, someone who has climbed that mountain, who has taken that course, who’s developed that business. This person is going to be kind of your guide. They’re not going to tell you what to do exactly. They’re not going to be, you know, the person who says they’re a boss and you must do it exactly the way I did. This is a person who helps you to really lean in to what’s important. They help you to focus on your priorities, on that 20% of your attention or your energy that is going to contribute to 80% of your success. This person, I believe, helps to show you the possibility. They’ve gone ahead, you can see easily that this is what it looks like. This is what’s possible in human form. This is the person that you can start to pair with your strategy, logic, integrator advisory person. When these two pieces come together, it helps to just give you the map or the framework to say, Here’s how you get from where you are now to where you want to be.
Kari Lotzien: [00:10:34] The last person. And I can tell you this is a very important but very difficult role to fill. It’s the tell it like it is person. And I can tell you that this is a person that they have to have some serious hutzpah. This is a person that loves you and you know it. You know deep down that they’re willing to share the hard stuff. They’re willing to tell you what they truly see. But they know your soul, they know you at your core, and you love them at their core, because this is the person who, a) has the potential to really help you to set a course to help you overcome some of the big obstacles, the blind spots that you might not even see. But they also can have the potential to really hurt you because they know you so well that they can hit that really tender place in you that can make everything else start to crumble. I can tell you my person who is my tell it like it is person is my brother-in-law, Devon. I was terrified of the boy when I first met him. I’m not going to lie for probably the first 10-15 years that I knew him, I was a little intimidated because he’s the person that lives his life in full stop truth. He says it like it is. And when I was young, when I was just, I didn’t have my feet on the ground, I didn’t have a lot of confidence. I didn’t have that sense of I knew what I was doing in the world. And I felt like when he looked at me, he knew it. He saw all of my insecurities. He absolutely knew that it was all a show. I was trying to appear as someone who knew what they were doing, and I really wasn’t. But over time, as we’ve gotten to know each other, I can now see his heart. And he sees mine. He cares in the biggest way, but he holds this space that when I ask him a question and when I say to him, This is what I need to know, I am going to get the full stop truth. It often stings a little when it first comes sometimes, other times, absolutely he’s like, No, no, you’re on the right track. You’ve got it. This is what I see. He will also sometimes bounce into my cheerleader position where he’s the one that knows how hard I’ve been working or how difficult a situation is, and he’ll be the one that’ll just pop into my inbox and be like, You got this, You’re incredible. So he can hold those two roles for me. I would say it is a long position to gain a ton of trust with someone to be able to do this. This role can break friendships, but it can also make them as strong as superglue.
Kari Lotzien: [00:13:39] Now, when you’re interviewing for these types of positions, I remember years ago when someone said to me, You know, you might have to get on a plane to go and see your best friend to help get these people in your life that are going to help you to get to that next step. And I remembered thinking, well, that’s crazy. Like, I have so many great people in my life. I have people who believe in me and who support me. And I know where I need to go. I know intelligent people. As I’ve gotten older and as my goals and my life is kind of being massaged into something a little bit different. In first episode, I talked about revisiting your why, if you have developed your advisory team when you were in your 20s and they loved and cared about you and they knew you really well back then and they gave you advice. So at that time it might have been, you know, your parents, your spouse, your partner, it might have been your very best friend at the time. But if you’re now 20, 25, 30 years from that time in your life and you have the exact same people sitting on your advisory board, I will challenge you. Are those people keeping you stuck in the person that you were 20, 25, 30 years ago? Have they evolved with you? Have they made the investment in knowing who you are now and they support that growth. They support those changes in how you’re working towards maybe letting go of things that weren’t working for you anymore, but they’re not holding you in those roles. Again, you can love and have relationships with those people. You don’t have to cut them out, but you can not have them hold a position on your advisory board in your life as it is right now.
Kari Lotzien: [00:15:29] You want to make sure that the people who are on your advisory board now in your life are people who know your current goals. Your current dreams. They know your fears. And that they are truly qualified to hold the role that they’re holding. Ask yourself if you’re really wanting your partner to be the cheerleader in your life but naturally, they’re more of an integrator, they’re more of the questioner. Put things in order. They’re the ones who likes to poke holes in your theory. That’s their natural strength. Don’t try to convert your partner or your best friend who has that natural strength and talent into being your cheerleader. Don’t get upset about it. Don’t get resentful and say, You know, I just wish you believed in me and this is what that would look like. Because what you’re doing is you’re trying to make them something they’re not. Go and look for someone who is a natural cheerleader in your life who’s aligned with your current goals and dreams. It might be someone who’s really close to you and it might not be. It might be someone online as a friendship. It might be someone in a group coaching program that you’re in. You may have to pay to get time with some of these people, and that’s okay. What you’re doing is you’re developing that sense of team because naturally you are going to be one of these roles more easily with yourself.
Kari Lotzien: [00:17:03] For me, I’m naturally more of a visionary. I love to have big ideas, but then I can get a little bit tripped up because I’m not necessarily a strong cheerleader for myself. I tend to be kind of a little bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to my own ideas. I can go from visionary to absolutely quashing that idea very quickly. So it’s important for me that I have someone who can hold that role of cheerleader in my life, who can keep me going when those times are hard and they recognize kind of when they need to step in. I always have someone in my life who is holding that expert mentor or coach role, and sometimes I will have 3 or 4 of them in different areas of my life. So right now I have an expert and a mentor in my business portion. I actually have three of them in my business portion for different areas. So I have someone in the area who’s doing more of like an online presence, developing digital programs, that piece. I have someone who is helping me with my copywriting and my brand voice and building that part. And then I have someone who is more of that strategic logic person who’s developing my business plan and my long term vision. So I actually have three people on my advisory board currently who are holding that role just in my business. And then I also have someone who’s helping me with some of my health issues and building more movement that aligns with kind of what my body needs right now, what I need to move into this next stage, you know, in my late 40s so that I’m aging well. I have someone who’s the cheerleader in all of those different roles.
Kari Lotzien: [00:18:52] As you move into this? I guarantee doing life by yourself, it’s not the way anymore. It’s not about getting into our own heads and kind of just absorbing ourselves into our own minds. When you develop a strong advisory board with people who are wanting to move their life forward too, know that you also hold this role in other people’s lives, you hold that role for other people’s advisory board. In my daughter’s life, I am absolutely her cheerleader. That is my favorite role to hold with her because I just can continue to love on her, let her know that I believe in her and just keep pushing how amazing I think she is. I believe I do that really well. In the business world with clients with close friends who are also business owners, I can hold that visionary role with them and get really excited and light them up. And then I can also sometimes flip into that strategy logic, let’s put things in order, where do we go from here? In certain industries I can absolutely hold that expert mentor coach position, especially when it comes to business. But I would never hold the expert mentor or coach role maybe when it comes to fitness or when it comes to a completely different area that I’m not comfortable with it. So do you see how we can absorb this? We can hold different roles for different people, but as you start to build your own advisory board, this moves your life forward exponentially. The reason that corporations and big companies have advisory boards is because it shines a light on the blind spots in the business that they may have not even considered. If they have a really close group that is working in the business and they all kind of have similar strengths and patterns to how they work, they might bring someone into their advisory board who’s more of a creative mind or who thinks very differently than they do because it allows them to see things that they could not see from within. It allows that kind of bird’s eye view, being able to see the whole picture that is priceless. The value that they get in that role is huge. There are several people in it. So I’m so curious. Please reach out. Go and comment on posts that you see on my social media. Send me an email. I want to hear the people that are lighting up your advisory board or if you’re struggling and you feel like you really have a gap in your advisory board and you’re looking for that support and kind of building that next phase of your life, let’s chat. Let’s see if we can start to create more community around these next steps. I am your host, Kari Lotzien, with Be the Anchor, business and leadership coach. Thanks for being here. We’ll chat soon.
Kari Lotzien: [00:22:02] Hey, my friends, are you a business owner that has survived that startup phase of business? You know how to hustle. You know how to work hard. You’ve got paying customers and from the outside looking in, you feel you’ve achieved a certain level of success in your business. You really care about the service and the quality that you provide to your clients or customers, but deep down you know that to go to that next level, you can’t keep going at this pace. You’re busy and you want to still have a life outside of your business. I am launching the Anchored Leadership group coaching program. Doors open October of 2023. This program is designed for business owners like you who need to develop their teams, who want to make more money and establish their business without just squeezing more into their day and stretching their limits even further. We are going to talk about everything from strategy to really digging into the nitty gritty. It’s a combination of training, workbooks and live coaching. If you want to learn more, click on the link in the show notes, we’ll book a discovery call and you can find out if this is a great fit for you. Thanks so much. We’ll chat soon.