You can’t start a business by yourself. You need people who will congratulate you on the good days and encourage you when you don’t think that you will ever be successful. These people are your cheerleaders.
There is no better time than now to begin building that network. Start with the family and friends that are the most supportive of your dreams and will be there for the 2:00 a.m. phone call or chat about your latest idea or challenge. These people provide the backbone of support.
Next, find knowledgeable and willing people who can give solid advice. As a student, I have been blessed with professors that are tried-and-true entrepreneurs, who are completely committed to helping their students reach their goals. I have also been connected to lawyers, IP experts, web designers, and pitch experts. Regardless of a school connection, there are groups of people eagerly waiting to assist entrepreneurs. Find those subject-matter experts in your area. Perhaps consider forming a de facto board of experts willing to give you entrepreneurial advice.
Finally, look for like-minded entrepreneurs at all stages of business creation. Let’s face it, entrepreneurs are a unique breed, best understood and accepted by other entrepreneurs who can tell you when you need to push your ideas forward or when you need to let off the gas. If you’re a student, find your school’s entrepreneurship club. If you’re not a student, look up your community’s local entrepreneurial meet-up. If you can’t find one, start one yourself. It only takes a few people to get great ideas moving forward.