When starting a business, utilizing all of your resources (books, the internet, people, etc) helps in the early stages of that start-up. The connections you make and the strong relationships that you build are instrumental in not only building your business but can also open up opportunities that may not have been available or apparent otherwise. Seeking out other business owners, more specifically those individuals in your particular industry can also provide you with insight to that business that you may not know, simply because you just may not have experienced it yet. You know the saying learn from the mistakes of others… You don’t necessarily have to follow an exact path, but it helps to be aware of the roadblocks that may come up so that you can either plan for it or avoid it completely. Taking the chance on a whim, following your dream of owning your own business can be frightening and liberating all at the same time. Why not give your self the best chance possible by doing your research and connecting with others who have and are doing what you’ve dreamed of. The preparation that you put into starting up and building a positive support team can mean a lot, since we are in the business of providing a service or product to people. Reading books, such as Melinda Emerson’s ‘Become your own boss in 12 months,’ can be a great guide or starting point. Use the internet, Social Media is really your friend. Connect online via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Go to events (trade shows, conferences, different networking events and parties). Connect, you maybe walking a dog and meet someone along the way who could do major things for your business or you may read a book that inspires you. My goal as a business owner is to be successful enough where I can provide a comfortable lifestyle for myself and my family, where I can leave my job in Corporate America as employee number 123456 (and wouldn’t you know it, at Foxwoods Resort & Casino all of the employees have a number largely printed on their name tags above their barely there name, I’m just saying I am not merely a number). Success to me, is on any given day saying to my family let’s go to dinner and not worry about what is ordered and if I will be able to pay a bill because we went out to eat or not- isn’t that the American Dream?) Obviously the world is a great huge place in which we may not begin to be able to explore it in it’s entirety, physically at least… But through Social Media and other true connections we are able to experience more- So have an open mind when you step out of your door today and be open to what the world has to offer you (sometimes it is up to you to do the dirty work). What is your idea of success as a small business owner and how do you plan to achieve your goals?