Community is a big deal to me. I love networking with others, figuring them out, helping them and growing together. This goes for the other coaches on my team and just about anyone I meet.
A few months ago, a coach on my team started coming by my house so we could chat about business and so our dogs could play. It’s always a casual meeting, catching up on personal things, sharing work ideas and laughing over the ridiculous things our dogs do.
A few weeks ago, another coach asked to join us–along with her friend (also a coach) who was visiting. The four of us were able to share ideas fluidly because we were all sitting in the same room. I found out about a new-to-me app for Instagram Stories, we talked about our successes and our challenges and we all had notes of takeaways that we could implement in our own businesses.
I’m a firm believer that it takes a village–both to raise a family and to grow a business. And while I love the freedom of being able to work online, I crave that personal, in-person connection that you can only get from meeting face to face.
No matter what kind of business you’re growing, it’s time to find a community of business besties to help support your personal and professional growth.
Connect With Others
With social media, it’s easy to connect with others in your industry–both locally and across the globe. Don’t think of others in your industry as competition; think of them as resources who can help you grow your business (and vice versa). It’s your personality and style that “sells” customers on your product or service, not what you’re selling. When you work with others in your industry, you can learn and grow from them so you can do what you do…better.
Good places to reach out to others who you might want to connect with include Facebook groups for your organization, your company’s conferences and gatherings, LinkedIn, community groups and forums or even a local community center event. There are also plenty of in-person networking groups available, no matter where you live.
Set a Meeting Time and Agenda
Whether getting together is something you do once in a while or regularly, be sure to have a set meeting time and agenda each time you connect. This ensures that people show up on time (either in-person or virtually) and that your meeting time is productive.
Your agenda should include time for celebrations and to talk about frustrations so everyone meeting feels seen and heard. This is also an opportunity for each person present to share their own expertise. Everyone has different gifts in business and it’s important to share them with others. Each time you share your knowledge, you’re learning more; each time your business friends share, they’re lifting up others.
Make sure every person participating in your get-together knows what to expect and what’s expected of them. If you’re creating a regular meet-up, does each person need to be present at a certain number of meetings? Do they need to have something prepared in advance? What will each meeting look like?
As mom-owned businesses, there’s also the question about children. Are young children invited to the meetings (whether in-person or virtually)? What can and will be done about distractions that surround us when we’re working from home? The more clarity you have, the more you’ll set the expectations for every member of your group, which limits frustration later on.
Looking for more advice on how to start building your own community to help you grow a thriving business? Email me and let’s chat!