Starting my first business was overwhelming. Like many of us out there, I was plagued with imposter syndrome and the fear of how on earth I was ever going to run a company, let alone one that would even make a profit.
As we see more and more people start to take the leap and embark upon the creation of their own businesses, it’s more important than ever to find a way to get the support and encouragement needed to stay on an upward trajectory to success.
Business can be a lonely place, especially if you’re the one sitting at the top, and it’s important to know that you don’t have to face things alone. There are a number of ways to connect with like-minded men and women who really understand what you may be going through, and those who can give you that high-five you deserve when your career or business is going gangbusters.
Here are five easy things you can do this month to build your community around you.
The first time I was invited to a networking event I felt myself immediately shy away at the thought of standing in the middle of a room talking to a group of strangers. Why on earth would they be interested in anything I had to say? Thanks to a good friend dragging me along, I spent an hour meeting incredible women from a range of different industries and left feeling exhilarated with a handful of new connections, and women I would go on to call friends.
Do your research and find a program that resonates with you and what you are hoping to achieve. Having a confidential platform to share experiences and business updates gives you the opportunity to talk to people outside of your circle; people who may have been through the same struggles previously that can help, or simply understand on a deep level what you are going through.
These can be a valuable resource for connecting with men and women in groups specifically talking about topics relevant to whatever area of business or life you are interested in. Some facebook groups have in excess of 60,000 participants all posting questions or information about a variety of topics that you can participate in and share perspectives on. Some even have regular meetups too, offering another platform to go out and meet others in your local town or city.
On any given week, there is generally a conference or event running somewhere in your nearest city, tackling a range of business topics relevant to you and your career. They offer you an opportunity to connect with colleagues in your industry, and a way to develop new professional relationships to assist you in the progression of your career or business.
When you meet someone that you admire and look up to, someone who has wisdom and advice that you know could really help you on your journey, go ahead and ask them if they would mind catching up with you for a coffee every once in a while. The worst they can say is no. Over the years I have been lucky enough to meet some wonderfully strong women who have had incredible careers in a variety of industries and their generosity in sharing their learning’s has been invaluable.
Don’t delay! Pick one or all of these ideas and add them to your to-do list today. We get so busy in our working lives that at times, we forget to put ourselves first. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Laura Hall, Sales Strategy Consultant, Laura Hall Consulting