Why Fly Solo? Things Go Better With a Co-Pilot.

A friend of mine is a private pilot and flight instructor and has been for many years. I recently queried Mike about flying solo versus with a co-pilot. While he loves flying solo, Mike was quick to share that flying with a co-pilot is great and has many benefits: it’s always easier and safer. It’s more fun to have someone along for the ride. Having a co-pilot ensures resources are properly utilized. When necessary, the co-pilot can provide assistance, feedback, another set of eyes and another set of ears.

Mike went on to say “Flying with a co-pilot can be beneficial in normal operations, but it becomes more of a factor in fatiguing situations or when there are problems. On long cross- country flights where there is an objective (mission) to the flight and/or challenging weather situations are present, almost any pilot would ask the pilot passenger to assist.”

Just like my pilot friend Mike, the most successful – and happy – individuals I know prefer to have a “co-pilot” in their personal and business lives. In fact, they may have several co-pilots. The successful people I know regularly seek out the support, feedback and advice of others. They ask for help.

If there’s something you need to achieve your goals, and someone else can help you, why not ask for help? Imagine you’re driving around town and your car starts to make crazy noises. You don’t know how to solve the problem.  What do you do?  You ask someone – who knows more about cars than you – for help, right?

If the thought of asking for help gives you a lump in your throat, think of it this way: in general, most people love to be asked to help. (Don’t you like to help others succeed?) Seeking support is not an admission of failure or something about which you should feel embarrassed. Quite the contrary. Asking for help can be a sign of strength, plus… it’s a clever tactic to help you achieve your goals.

In our personal or business lives, co-pilots may come in various forms. Occasionally a friend, family member or colleague can serve as your co-pilot, though it’s not always the wisest choice. It can be difficult for someone who knows you well – and has a vested interest in you – to be objective.

So what are your options? Whether you’re looking for support in your business or personal life, one suggestion is to consider joining a mastermind or peer group. You can even form a group of your own. A mastermind group is a gathering of like-minded individuals, who brainstorm, assist, and support each other. Masterminding has existed throughout history. Napoleon Hill wrote about the concept of the mastermind group in his best sellerThink and Grow Rich, which was first published in 1937. In the book, he wrote that belonging to a mastermind group is one of the 13 steps to riches.

Belonging to such a group provides encouragement and support. Whether a business or personal mastermind / peer group, here are just a few of the benefits you can derive by joining one:

  • Get a new perspective.
  • Find novel solutions.
  • Get practical advice.
  • Set goals and be held accountable for reaching them.
  • Have a support system.

I believe wholeheartedly in belonging to a mastermind or peer group. Some of my best ideas and biggest successes have been the result of masterminding. If the idea of joining a mastermind group appeals to you, take it to the next step and do some homework:

  1. Learn about the different types of mastermind or peer groups
  2. Assess potential groups
  3. Find a group that meets your needs

The bottom line is you really can’t lose when you participate in a mastermind or peer group that’s a fit for you. Decide what your goals are, find a group that will help you reach them, and join.

Another option for having a co-pilot is to hire a professional coach. By now, most of us have heard of business coaches and life coaches.  People in all walks of life have been hiring professional coaches since “coaching” became a recognized profession in the mid 1990’s. The International Coach Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.  I also recommend that you find out about hiring a Best Year Yet Coach.

Strong coaches are trained to ask you just the right questions to get you to come up with your own answers. Coaches are both great listeners and great observers. The way in which each coach works is influenced by his or her professional background, training as a coach and his or her life story. Many coaches offer a complimentary initial consultation so you can determine if the coach is a fit for you.

Remember what my friend Mike said about having a co-pilot? (It’s easier and more fun. It’s beneficial in normal situations, but much more of a factor in challenging situations.) The same applies to you in your life and/or business.

One more thing… even with all their experience, airline captains are required to have two co-pilots: the first officer in the adjacent seat and the dispatcher on the ground in radio contact. Whether you decide on a peer group or engaging a coach, the bottom line is one of the smartest steps you can take on your path to success is to get and use support.

Why not grab yourself a co-pilot or two today?

Valerie Taloni has been a Best Year Yet Coach for more than 10 years.  Known as the Goal Diva, she helps you set and achieve your biggest goals. Through clarity of vision, goal setting, action planning and implementation, business leaders and entrepreneurs produce results. Valerie is the author of “Burn Your Wish List! How to Stop Hoping for the Best and Start Planning for Success.” Get your free audio, “The Goal Diva’s 3 Most Powerful Goal Setting Strategies” at  The Goal Diva.com.  Contact Valerie directly at Valerie@TheGoalDiva.com.