When I first started out as a creative freelancer, I thought my laptop, phone, and a good wifi connection were only essentials I needed to run my business. I soon realized that entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster. And, just like any rollercoaster, the experience of running a business is extremely fast-paced, full of ups and downs, and a lot less fun to go on alone.
In between client meetings, I spent a lot of time by myself, working on my business. I was doing what I loved, but I was lonely and often found myself questioning my work and my decisions to the point where I wasn’t being productive. I decided to volunteer at my local co-working space and started to work there a few days a week. This allowed me to become more involved with my community and connect with other like-minded, entrepreneurial people. These relationships soon blossomed into friendships, and I noticed that the more I surrounded myself with people who supported and inspired me, the more motivated I was to reach my goals and become the go-getter in business that I wanted to be.
Every entrepreneur needs support. Starting and running a business is not an easy thing to do, but being connected to other people who understand what you are going through makes the hard times easier and the exciting times more exciting. You can be there for each other when you are feeling down, celebrate with each other when you hit milestones, share resources with each other, learn from each other, and motivate each other to reach your goals.
There are so many awesome people doing awesome things out there, ready to connect with you.
Here are five ways that you can find your business besties, locally and online:
A co-working space is a work environment that is shared by a bunch of different entrepreneurs. These spaces are all the rage these days for a few reasons. One, they are often decorated in a super cool, hipster way that sparks innovation, and two, they bring together people from different backgrounds with similar goals and give them a space to work together and share ideas. There’s a good chance your local city has a handful of co-working spaces, so mix it up and pick one to work out of for the day, and don’t forget to check out their community networking events.
If you don’t live near a co-working space, don’t worry. There are plenty of other options to meet entrepreneurs in your area. Meetup.com makes it easy to find the people nearby who have similar interests. Once you sign up, you’ll be able to see meetups already happening in your area that you can go to. You can find meetups about any topic, which was really helpful to me when I first started using the website. I was able to find meetups about a range of business topics that I wanted to learn about and connect with other individuals dealing with the same types of challenges. Overall, meetup.com makes it easy to learn about the meetings related to your interests that are happening close to you.
Because I recently relocated and could no longer work out of my co-working space anymore, I needed to find other ways to find a community again. I did this by joining Facebook groups for creative entrepreneurs. By joining these Facebook groups, I was instantly connected to thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world sharing their current projects, their business wins and losses, answering each other’s questions, and supporting each other across the internet.
Some groups have a lot of people in them (Rising Tide Society, a community for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners, has close to 50,000 members in their Facebook group). Others are smaller and more niche like the Gram Gang, a group focused on Instagram strategy, with almost 2,000 members. When you start to join these types of Facebook groups, you will notice some have more engagement and community than others. To this day, Yes Supply Co remains one of my favorite Facebook groups because of the way all of the members support each other. We are all saying “yes” in our lives in some way, and this common thread contributes to why this group is full of authentic, talented individuals, ready to help each other achieve their goals. The Yes Supply community genuinely wants each other to succeed, and if you are reading this and haven’t joined it yet, you can join here.
Instagram pods were started as a way for people to ensure engagement on their Instagram posts. You share your new post in the Instagram message and the other members of the group like your post and comment on it. I joined an Instagram pod with some bloggers/Instagrammers I met, and this group message has become so much more than a way to share photos with each other. We follow each other’s lives on Instagram and talk about everything from social media strategy to our upcoming travel plans. Whenever I have social media or blogging questions, I feel like I have friends who I can go to at any time to ask their advice. I love being able to support them with any questions they have and their business milestones as well. Start your own Instagram pod and invite others to join by using the Facebook groups I mentioned above or by reaching out to similar entrepreneurs on Instagram.
Online Pen Pals
The internet gives you the possibility to connect with friends from all over the world. I have been able to keep up with a few special people that I really relate too when it comes to business. By staying in touch through Facebook and Instagram, we have been able to hold each other accountable and support each other as we work towards our goals. Even though we have yet to meet in real life, I consider them good friends. Facebook message, Instagram DM, SnapChat, or email that blogger you admire, the girl on Instagram you love to follow, or that company that produces similar products to yours that you have questions for. People want to make connections with each other, and social media is a great place to start.
There’s nothing like being a part of a community of like-minded people and finding those “business besties.” I have been able to learn so much about myself, business, and life because of my entrepreneurial community. When people come together to support each other and help each other grow, amazing things can happen. Get out there/get online and connect with new friends. You never know who you will meet and be inspired by. <3