I have mentioned elsewhere that as a young entrepreneur you have to build a personal tribe as well as a business tribe. I also discussed elsewhere that you should have a mentor. The tribes are groups that, if made use of wisely, will add value to you and your business. A mentor is an experienced person that has a semi-formal relationship with and serves as a benevolent guide to you. Building and maintaining those relationships help you achieve sustainable and long run success.
Specifically, amongst all the members of the tribes you build, a personal confidante is particularly important. A personal confidante is different from a mentor as the latter is usually a more senior and more experienced person while the former is usually of you own generation and a personal friend with whom you have, typically, come a long way together. The individuals that best serve as personal confidantes are usually wise and, equally importantly, interested in your overall well being. They serve as sounding boards, moral checks and will always tell you the truth on any situation as they see it. Personal confidantes are always there for you but they also give you the space you need to be yourself.
Whilst your mentor may be privy to some of your personal issues, they may not necessarily have all details. Your meetings and visits with a mentor whilst possibly unstructured will however be few and only as may be required or pre-arranged. On the other hand, a personal confidante is a person who really has your key details. They have deep insight into your mindset, behavior, strengths and weaknesses. A personal confidante can predict what you will likely do in any given situation unless you are swayed one way or another. Differently from a mentor as well, a personal confidante is one that you are regularly in touch with. Phone calls and visits in respect of major and even trivial matters are frequent. Personal confidantes will help keep you professionally and socially focused and within moral bounds. They give us different perspectives to issues that we may not necessarily see as we get caught in the web of daily grinds. Equally importantly, confidantes are always there for us in our low moments even more than when we are on our hills.
Our confidantes can, sometimes, even be our business partners or outside our business circle. It doesn’t matter. What is important they have earned our trust; we trust their judgment; they give us alternative views; they are there when we need them; and they keep our discussions confidential.
Identify and keep and the right confidante. They will help you.