Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Tony Tjan says great entrepreneurs need three things: Smarts, Guts and Luck. He says describtes his trilogy this way:

  • “Smarts” is the best foundation for any entrepreneur.
  • Guts. Great entrepreneurs have the guts to go after big ideas. They are willing to put themselves out there when most worry about, “What will others think?”
  • Luck. Even with all the smarts and guts, you don’t get the glory without some luck.

While I think each of these elmeents are important, I think Tjan missed the most important element for a small business owner’s success.  Friends.

Everyone likes the image of the solo entrepreneur working diligentlty in his basedment in to the wee hours of the moring to get his business running. But the truth is the leaders of most great companies surrounded themselves with ” friends” on their way up. And you should too!  Your friends will serve as your sounding board, to bounce ideas with and brainstorm, without judgement, help you think through tough issues, and recharge your batteries when they are low.

As a small business owner, who are your friends?