Hopefully, we all have a board of advisors in our life. We each need people upon whom we can rely to get through difficult times and to share our important life events. These “advisors”, who may be friends, family members, or other life or business partners, play an invaluable role in our personal and professional development. Professionally, the benefits of an independent board of advisors, whether formal or informal, cannot be overstated and will include some or all of the following:

1. Fresh Ideas

Regardless of whether your business is doing well today, change is constant. Surround yourself with smart business minds that will share new ideas with you, and with whom you may discuss what has or has not worked in the past. This input will help, for example, when considering new marketing ideas, whether to hire a new employee, or whether to open a new office.

2. Candid Feedback

Your employees who depend on you for a paycheck are not going to consistently challenge you or provide honest feedback. An independent board of advisors may give you a different perspective and will be more likely to provide objective and candid feedback.

3. Increase your Network

Your network can never be too vast, especially if it contains other smart business minds like yourself, all of whom have relevant experiences to share. Having a broader network will allow you to have more expansive intelligent discourse on important topics, will provide broader access to people, ideas, industries, and locations, and may just generally lead to a more interesting and rewarding experience.

4. Mentoring

We all need help from time to time. A board gives you someone to talk to, someone to bounce ideas off of, and people with whom you may discuss a variety of professional and/or personal challenges. Being at the top can be lonely, and may breed insecurity; therefore, it is invaluable to have access to other professionals that may have experienced a similar roller-coaster ride.