Role models can be a great source of inspiration for you as an entrepreneur. It’s often lonely in your leadership role. Bringing in support of all kinds is so valuable.

What can you learn from a role model? Accountability, crisis management, innovation, and how they focus on others are just a few ways you can call on a role model to help you through situations in your business.

Have more than one role model. You are uniquely you. You’ll not find another like you anywhere. Develop your own strengths by drawing on a variety of role models who each have one or more strengths that align with yours.

When you’re looking at possible role models, do a little research. Consider how they have chosen to show up in their business and in the larger world. Consider the energy they bring to their situation. Does it align with your own values, with the things you believe are important?

Certainly, negative role models can be informative, but ultimately you’ll get the most benefit by learning from people in a positive way.

Having a role model doesn’t mean you become a follower. In fact, avoid doing so. You’re a leader! You’re a leader in your business. You’re a leader in your community by virtue of the fact that you have a business. Don’t diminish your own personal power by following a guru-like figure.

Be a student instead. Learn from role models, and be selective about what you put into action in your own life and work.

Your role models don’t have to be mega-entrepreneurs. In fact, it’s sometimes intimidating to watch superstars. You can learn a great deal from owners of small businesses too.

Find someone who is at the success level you want to be, however you define success. That could be financial income, the ability to harmoniously balance work and family, or someone with the customer base you want to have.

That’s a place to begin. But don’t limit yourself!

You don’t have to limit your role models to people in your industry or even in business. They can be in different lines of work entirely. They can be leaders or influential figures in non-profits. They may be people you want to learn from because of what they did in their personal lives or their community.

Having diverse perspectives is ultimately better, even if you have to work a little to make the transition to apply their ideas to your situation.

Expand your impact by finding role models to support you. Use the Work Alchemy podcast to find role models for contemporary entrepreneurs who are having an impact in the world that resonates with you and your desired impact.

You don’t have to have personal access to be inspired by a role model. Look for role models in the authors of books. Role models even abound in history. They can be civil rights leaders, or people who had an extraordinary response to their experiences. Learn as much as you can about them. With the internet, so much is possible for you to know.

Don’t just limit your role models to men. The stories of male entrepreneurs abound. And yet, women are approaching their businesses differently. Women have different drivers, challenges, and relationships with risk. You can learn a lot from women entrepreneurs, whether you’re a man or a woman.

Still, if you’re a woman, having a woman as a role model is a powerful affirmation that can’t be underestimated. There’s a subtle empowerment that goes with learning from another woman. You see yourself in her. And that makes your own success feel a little more possible. It can be that little bit of extra encouragement that makes a big difference.

You yourself can be a role model. Whether you always recognize it or not, you affect other people. You are likely already a role model for someone in your sphere. Does that make you think more deeply about how you’re showing up in the world yourself?

Having role models can be a great support and source of inspiration for you and your business. Choose people you are proud to learn from, and then make your own choices of what you decide to emulate.

Author's Bio: 

Ursula Jorch, MSc, MEd, mentors entrepreneurs starting their businesses and seasoned entrepreneurs in transition to create the business of their dreams. Her coaching programs provide knowledge, support, clarity, inspiration, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to empower you to reach your goals. Start with a free guide and other valuable info at This article was originally published at and has been syndicated with permission.