It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Summer reminds me of the neighborhood I grew up in. Everyone knew everyone. I held just as much parental regard for Mrs. Conroy & Mr. Knapp as I did for my own parents. My Dad’s whistle was known throughout the neighborhood and, without cell phones, he could call us home at any time with that whistle. It truly does take a village to raise a child and I’m grateful to have had the community I did growing up.
I believe those same principles hold true for our businesses. Are you trying to “go it alone”? Business ownership is great right up until it consumes your life in ways you never thought possible. Don’t lose your perspective. Here are 5 tips on building your own community:
- Get clear on your values, mission, & purpose. In order to attract the right people into your community, you need to be clear on who you are, what you stand for, and where you are going. This becomes your barometer for all you do.
- Do an honest assessment of your skill set and, equally important, your skill gaps. Be clear on where you need support.
- Ask for help. I know, I know – you’re supposed to be the self-sufficient business leader. Trust me, strong leaders know how (and who) to ask for help. The reality is, you cannot do it all. Your help may come in the form of strategic alliances, vendors, mentors, coaches, consultants, mastermind groups, advisory boards, and so on.
- Get uncomfortable (as if # 3 wasn’t uncomfortable enough). In my opinion, good advice often feels a bit uncomfortable because it pushes us outside our comfort zone. Do not Not NOT surround yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear. Make it safe for people to give you honest feedback. Very often my greatest growth has come just after an incredibly uncomfortable phase :-/
- Have faith — if you build, it they will come. I believe once you get clear on what you want and start to share that with the universe, the universe will send you exactly what you need. Just last week I was having a strategic session with a colleague. We came up with a few ideas on collaborative target markets (yes, I surround myself with people who share my collaborative values). We finished our meeting and about an hour later we had a walk-in tour who represented that exact target market. Then two days later, a trusted colleage was appointed the president of that very same professional association. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. That’s how my community works for me.
It is my vision to help small businesses succeed via community by providing fertile ground for connections and collaboration. No one needs to go it alone. It simply makes no sense and it’s exhausting. That’s why I’m very proud of our new business lounge membership. It gives you a physical place to begin to build your community, as part of our community, at an insanely affordable price.
Trust me, there are endless ways to create win-win scenarios. Hang out with us for a while and it will become second nature to you too … and isn’t that just so much better than going it alone?
We look forward to welcoming you to the neighborhood …
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