Recently, when I was pondering the entire support structure of family, friends and care-takers we have around our son, Vivek, it hit me that I had a similar support structure as a marketer and business professional.
Sir Isaac Newton once attributed his success to "standing on the shoulder of giants"! Similarly, today, marketers and business owners need to stand on the shoulders of these giants in their community (besides their own two legs) in order to be successful.
1) Friends & Family: This group really needs no explanation but from a personal point of view my family and friends are my sounding board! They believe in you no matter what you do and will do anything to help you be successful. It's OK for Mom to be the first commenter on your new blog!
2) Peers and Mentors - Your relationship with your colleagues, your boss and your mentors is a very important one in professional development. You can learn from each other and help each other grow. Industry experts or "Gurus" also fall in this category. If you are passionate about something, the guru in that field is your ideal, your inspiration and should be your guide. Go find them!
3) Professional Network - Your customers and partners are your best friends of your business and your competitors will challenge you to be better. Talk to them regularly. Get to know them. They will help you solve business problems more creatively.
4) Community - Communication online and particularly in social media has made it easy to connect with birds of a feather. Today more than ever community can impact your success in important ways like helping you find a job, sharing your work to get you more attention, providing constructive criticism and so many more ways. Get to know your community and give back to them as well!
How has your village helped you become more successful in marketing or your business? Please share your thoughts in the comments!