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Build Your Personal Advisory Board and Build Your Career

Updated: Mar 29

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Have you ever wondered how some people seem to be successful in every area of their lives? Or why some businesses are able to scale so quickly and become so influential in their industries? Successful people and organizations all have one thing in common - the right people to guide them.

“There is really no secret (to success) and there surely are no shortcuts,” Deloitte Global CEO, Punit Renjen, said. “In my case, it was a pretty simple equation: hard work + some lucky breaks + great mentors” (Source). Having a mentor is an important element of any road map to success, but as Renejn noted, it’s essential to have mentors – a personal advisory board of multiple mentors.

In this article, you’ll learn everything about personal advisory boards including:

What is a personal advisory board?

Who needs a personal advisory board? 

Who should you include on your personal advisory board?

How to build your personal advisory board with Upnotch

colleagues working around a desk

What is a personal advisory board?

A personal advisory board is a team of mentors to help you solve problems, discover opportunities, and achieve your goals. Having a personal advisory board empowers you to be your best by drawing upon the skills, experiences, and networks of multiple mentors, rather than just one.

We all rely on others to help us grow and learn in different areas of our life, and may even include a mentor as a part of that informal list of our trusted confidants. But, the reason we tend to look to different people for different kinds of advice, guidance, or inspiration is because everyone excels in different areas. The person you turn to for advice about your career may or may not be the same person you turn to discuss personal goals.

A personal advisory board, as a collection of mentors, can help you excel in all areas of life. Research has shown that perceived similarity is a key factor in determining the success of a mentor–mentee relationship (Source). Personal connection and shared values have also been shown to be important characteristics of a productive mentorship (Source). However, even within close, impactful mentorships with strong personal connections, it’s unlikely that a mentor will be able to assist a mentee in all areas they need to reach their full potential.

Developing a personal advisory board maximizes your individual potential by combining the mentorship, advice, perspectives, and counsel of many specialized experts. Every member of your personal advisory board serves a different purpose, but they all work together to help you achieve overall personal growth. Speaking to a collection of experts can supercharge your progress and help you make the right decisions - especially in areas that you might not have a lot of experience in yourself.

In theory, anyone who has helped advise throughout our lives has become part of our personal advisory board, in a way. However, the ideal number of mentors to include in your personal advisory board is six people to help provide the most diverse, well-rounded advice and perspective possible. A personal advisory board that’s too small may not provide you with enough resources or out-of-the-box solutions you need to excel. Yet, a board that’s too large may provide you trying to process too much guidance, including conflicting advice. 

business meeting

Who needs a personal advisory board?

We all grow throughout life to achieve our goals, and we can’t do that without mentorship and guidance from others. Everyone can benefit from a personal advisory board, no matter your age or stage of personal or professional development.

Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

Running a business involves navigating various aspects such as finance, marketing, operations, and human resources. Having a diverse group of mentors with expertise in different areas can provide comprehensive guidance and support. A personal board of advisors can help maximize the chances that your businesses will not just survive, but thrive.

Leaders and Leadership Teams

In organizations, executives and entire leadership teams could benefit from a group of mentors who collectively provide insights and advice on different aspects of leadership, management, and organizational strategy. Though often a board of directors provides guidance for organizational governance, a personal advisory board composed of a global network of mentors multiplies the knowledgebase and perspectives available to help solve tough problems.

Anyone with Diverse Interests or Goals

Some people may be interested in exploring mentorship in order to help achieve a short-term goal, or in one mentor that counsels them in several different but related areas. However, most of us have multifaceted interests or goals that cannot be adequately addressed by a single mentor. Relying on a curated group of trusted mentors that form a personal advisory board, rather than one individual, is more likely to help you catapult your career, make an impact, and feel fulfilled.

Professionals Changing Careers

Navigating a career change can be difficult, no matter the stage of your career. Because changing careers requires so many different aspects of growth and change, the process can seem overwhelming. A personal board of advisors can help anyone navigate a career transition much more easily than just one trusted advisor. By surrounding yourself with a group of experts who are invested in your transition, you can gain even more industry insights, learn new skills quickly, and expand your network in your new field.

business meeting

Who should you include on your personal advisory board?

Just like our own goals and paths to achieve them are highly personal, so is how we build our personal board of advisors and who we include. A personal advisory board can theoretically contain any number of advisors, though, should contain around six mentors who can contribute both skill-specific and holistic mentorship.

Mentors on your personal advisory board who you turn to for skill-specific mentorship might share expert advice or resources to help you improve in their area of speciality. For example, a small business owner or executive looking to increase profitability might include a mentor who can offer expert financial advice. Every personal advisory board should contain individuals who can help you level-up your skills, especially in disciplines you’re not too familiar with.

Personal advisory boards should also contain mentors who can provide more holistic guidance. These mentors might also possess expertise you tap into for specific learning and development goals. But, they also provide you with inspiration during pivotal moments in your work and personal life on a wide range of topics.

These kinds of mentors could assist in a range of areas from career growth and development, to navigating personal issues that help you and your family live your best lives. In some cases, you may even consider mentors who provide more general, long-term guidance to be role models. Mentors who offer broader, more inspirational support often are part of a mentee’s life for longer than mentors whose input is primarily skill-specific.

Frequency of interaction doesn’t need to be the same with every member of your board, either. Some mentor-mentee relationships benefit from infrequent, as-needed meetings whenever a mentee has targeted questions. Other relationships might serve the mentee best when meetings are more regular, allowing ample time to check-in, assess goals, and strategize new opportunities.

two business women in a meeting

How to Build Your Personal Advisory Board with Upnotch

The easiest way to build your personal advisory board is with Upnotch. Not only is Upnotch free for individuals, the mentorship platform gives you access to a global network of leaders across every industry and discipline who are all eager to help you achieve your full potential.

Getting started on Upnotch is easy. Within minutes, you can create a profile and begin building your personal advisory board as a member of the Upnotch community.

Steps to build your board include:

  1. Clarify your goals (personal/professional) and identify your strengths and weaknesses.

  2. List the skills you want to develop or knowledge gaps you need to fill to reach goals.

  3. Self-select mentors you are interested in meeting, or let AI pair you with the perfect mentor, and reach out!

  4. After building relationships, invite mentors who are most compatible with you and your goals to be a part of your personal advisory board.

  5. Refresh your board as you grow. Your needs, interests, and network will change over time and you shouldn’t be afraid of temporarily shifting your focus onto the mentors who are best placed to guide you at that moment. Allow your network to evolve and change!

Building a personal advisory board of mentors is a strategic move for anyone aiming to move through life with clarity, confidence, and success. As highlighted throughout this article, the collective wisdom, diverse perspectives, and specialized expertise of multiple mentors can supercharge your personal and professional growth in ways that a single mentor cannot.

Why settle for one mentor when you can have a team of trusted advisors guiding you every step of the way? Embrace the power of mentorship, assemble your personal advisory board, and unlock the full potential of your personal and career journey. With the right mentors by your side, there's no limit to what you can achieve.

Join the global community at Upnotch and start building your personal advisory board today.

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Sign up for Upnotch today - it's free with no costs or membership fees.


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