When Peggy Isaacson left the corporate world seven years ago to launch Peggy Isaacson & Associates, a homebased human resources consulting firm in Orlando, Florida, she faced the unexpected challenge of dealing with the isolation that came with being on her own in business.
"I didn't have anyone to bounce ideas off of or to ask questions or brainstorm with," Isaacson says. Her solution was to create an advisory board--a team of colleagues she could turn to for guidance, support and sometimes just a friendly ear. "I chose the members of my board because I respected their abilities and expertise in their particular areas. I have an accountant, a marketing person, a client and an expert in my field. Except for the client, we're all homebased, so not only do they help me, but everyone has a lot to offer each other."
The board serves without compensation. "Most of our interaction is casual. We talk on the phone and [meet for] an occasional lunch," Isaacson says. "A couple of times a year, we'll have a dinner where the entire group gets together."
Isaacson credits her board with preventing her from making some serious mistakes and keeping her motivated and on track during difficult times. "Sometimes you just need someone who can look at your situation from an outside perspective to help you see what you really should do," she says, "and then maybe give you a little nudge in the right direction."
Jacquelyn Lynn is a freelance business writer in Winter Park, Florida.