How to Proactively Network

While an MBA may help your credibility or investors may help your financial viability, there's no substitute for learning from those who are in the postition you're vying for.

Successful entrepreneurs, people in that ultimate position your goal is to achieve, people who have the life you want - these are the people to learn from, and more often that not, they're willing to fall all over themselves to teach you, if you're willing to learn and put their teachings into practice.

Look at your business - who is your target market? who are your competitors? now, who is the ultimate competitor? who in your industry, do you consider a success story? who would you love to get in a room for an hour and pick their brain?

Make a list of all the people who come to mind from whom you could learn, drawing from a place of knowledge, experience and above all, success.

Once you have the list, write a list of questions that are specific to each of those people. You can't fly by the seat of your pants on this one, if they're giving up their time to help you, you can't be umming and ahhing, you need to be prepared and focused.

Your focus here is to gauge how viable your idea or plans are, to talk to them about their experiences, to learn what worked and what didn't, what they'd do differently given the chance.

While you're there, add to the list, people who can help you in other ways. A Virtual Assistant like Rosie Remotely Virtual Assistants could test your website and see where improvements can be made, they can do online research into your competitors or assess your business processes to identify inefficiencies and help you work smarter, not harder.

Talk to an accountant about your cashflow, they can identify areas where you can be making tax claims and credits that you may not have been aware of.

Talk to potential suppliers and work out who you might want to deal with on a regular basis, get the insider scoop on who in the industry is worth their salt and who is just a fly-by-night operation that won't contribute to your bottom line.

It's not an exact science, what works for some successful people will not work for others, there are so many depending and variable factors that affect success. It's all about trial and error and about education.

Learn as much as you can, find experience and knowledge wherever you can, become an authority on your business and your industry. You are the best person to market and support your business so it's all up to you to go out there and find the people who can help you to leverage your business from a place of experience. They've been where you are, they know your struggle and they can provide you with valuable insight into how they achieved the goal you're so desperately vying to ahieve.

Make an honest effort to absorb as much information as you can and it will dramatically benefit your likelihood of success. There are so many people out there with similar goals, you need to set yourself apart from the rest and through the association with those who have achieved what you're working towards, by learning from them and their experiences, you're better positioned for success than those who try to go it alone.