Build Your Network

Good morning! Just a quick post this morning – the group of women entrepreneurs I pulled together had our first meeting yesterday afternoon, and it was FABULOUS. Four of us were able to make it (out of the FB group of eight-ish). I can already tell these women are going to be instrumental in my growing businesses. And with the group’s support, they’re going to take more chances and make more progress than they would otherwise.

If you want to join or start a group like this, DO IT. It will be instrumental to your business’ growth. There are so many growth-oriented, encouraging people in the world, and all it takes is YOU to pull them together.

How? Well, I used a dating app 🙂

No, seriously – Bumble has a ‘friend’ function. It’s pretty heteronormative, so if you’re a woman it’ll assume you’re looking for female friends and male friends if you’re a man. I was looking to create a group of women, specifically because women face different challenges in small business (here’s one example, if you’re unaware). But you do whatever you want. I certainly have no problem interacting with and leading groups of men; I simply needed female energy this time around.

Bumble (and Vina as well, an app specifically for women to find female friends) garnered me 2 fabulous ladies.

I also put out a call on Facebook to all of my friends, because I wouldn’t assume to know which ones might be interested in starting a small business. Enter 2 more.

The Don’t Keep Your Day Job FB group got me a few more (3, I think?), though they weren’t able to make it. Also, one of my new friends via the apps invited a woman she’d recently met, too!

Then I created a private FB group and we planned a date. Our first meeting was about getting to know each other, our business ideas, and brainstorming (and HOT DAMN was this fun!). We also set goals for the coming month.

Afterward, I threw together a doc on the FB group covering a bit of what we’d talked about (mostly just a description of each person’s business idea and their goals, so we have a record). The point of that is to make this accessible to all of us – we’re not all going to be able to line up our schedules every time, so we need a way to communicate with folks who miss it so they don’t feel totally out of the loop. My main goal is to make this a reasonable commitment and extremely valuable to all involved, and neither of those works if attendance is mandatory.

So that’s it! I would DEFINITELY encourage you to pursue this in your city. Get creative! Maybe your favorite coffee shop has a meeting room – post a sign by the register to gather people who already patronize this spot! Use Meetup and other apps to spread the word. This is completely do-able (I mean, I gathered this group while I was going half insane over the summer – it took almost zero work).

Remember, you’re the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you want to be an entrepreneur, are you getting the social support you need?

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