An important key to success!
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in business - is that although you may be a sole proprietor and wear many, many hats, you do not have to be alone. In fact you are not alone - and if you are feeling alone it is likely because you have isolated yourself. There are other business owners out there who are just waiting for you to connect with them.
There are of course many reasons to connect with other business owners - to form alliances, share experiences, share wins (and losses), share information about new trends or special events, warn each other of scams or potential dangers, and finally just to connect and support one another.
Having your own business can be a very lonely occupation and when we isolate ourselves by not connecting, we also put our businesses in jeopardy as well. Let me explain.
Earlier this year we were experiencing a downturn in attendance at our meetings. It concerned not only me but our leadership team as well. As the ‘head honcho' I was accustomed to cheering the others on - but rarely connected with other leaders in my industry or related industries. As a result, I became very discouraged - ready in fact to throw in the towel.
I do not give up easily - so I can honestly say that it was a bad place to be in terms of my thinking. But then, a funny thing happened.
I signed up for a business event - which was later cancelled. Then I heard of several other events that were cancelled, including an annual event hosted by a city of over a million people that had been held for 10 years. Cancelled!
I began to wonder if this was a growing trend and not something only I had been experiencing. It took me awhile, but I began to reach out to other business owners. What I learned was very interesting.
It seemed that because I had not shared my experiences with others, I perceived that people just were no longer interested in the events I was running. The truth was - people everywhere were not attending events like they had been two years previously. One by one, business owners everywhere who I knew ran seminars and events, agreed they had canceled and postponed events and had been doing so for over six months.
I had been ready to close my business simply as a result of not being informed of what was happening with other businesses. I had isolated myself from other leaders who were experiencing similar circumstances.
There is much value in supporting each other. But we cannot support each other if we remain isolated. Studies have shown that when we support another person - not only do we feel better, but we release the ‘feel good' endorphins and neurotransmitters that give us a great high - and help us to remain optimistic.
The interesting thing is that the recipient of the support also experiences the same physiological things as the supporter! This is what can build a very strong resilient business community. (One that you can belong to!)
So go on - make it a point to reach out this week to someone in your industry or association. If you do not belong to one, JOIN here at Roaring women.