Yesterday I read a headline, “Starting a business? You can’t go it alone.” I thought, “yes, you can but it sure is tougher.” When I started my first business in the 70s, I had no entrepreneurial friends but I was lucky because my dad had created a business from an idea and didn’t try to dissuade me. True, my dream looked very different from my father’s but at least I had someone to bounce concepts off of and who believed I could do it.
In my next business, home furnishings, I had a partner, a great controller and a team of professionals so there was always someone ready to talk shop.
I went solo in the body work business. My fellow therapists were approaching it from an employee mindset or asking me for advice on how to build a practice. It wasn’t until I met another massage therapist who had her own business with subcontractors that I finally had a friend who understood what I was doing.
In my late 40s, I moved to a new town where I knew no one but my husband and nine weeks later, I opened a brick and mortar business. My husband didn’t understand what I was doing at all. My dad visited shortly after opening and while he didn’t discourage me, he said, “I sure hope you didn’t invest a lot of money (I didn’t) and that you know what you’re doing (I did) because I can’t figure out how it’s going to work. (It did.) I felt isolated and unsupported until I began connecting with neighboring small business owners and found my tribe of artists, retailers and other entrepreneurs.
Do your friends, family and colleagues look at you like you’re crazy when you talk about your dreams of being self-employed? Do they suggest you just get a different job? It’s not impossible to go it alone but it sure is easier with the support of people who “get you”.
The last couple of years, I’ve had the great honor of witnessing just how powerful that support can be. In January 2012 , Barbara Winter, bestselling author of “Making a Living without a Job” and I invited six aspiring and fledgling entrepreneurs to join us in an intimate setting to address the roadblocks that were holding them back from finally launching or growing their dream businesses. We spent the weekend listening to each person’s ideas and together we all came up with work-arounds to the challenges and plans to make those dreams happen.
Since then, we’ve guided several groups through monthly connection and accountability calls. In the time between those calls, lots of emails fly back and forth amongst the group asking for and receiving advice and feedback, helping one another get un-stuck, overcome obstacles, share resources and of course, and celebrate triumphs.
Barbara and I are so inspired by the forward momentum and victories enjoyed by the attendees of our past Masterminds that we have opened registration for Grow Tribe in a historic hotel overlooking the Pacific. You’ll have access to both of us and a group of new friends who understand and support your dreams. It’s your last chance this year to spend facet face time with us both and focus on your business growth.