Five Reasons Why Building Your Tribe is a Key to Solopreneur Success
“I am so ready for a break,” sighed my eldest, as we cleared the breakfast dishes together on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning in June. She was getting herself psyched up for a day of study as she prepared for her Grade 12 final exams.
I totally feel for her. She had just come off a week of celebration and excitement with High School Graduation ceremonies and celebrations with much build-up to the big day.
And then these poor kids have to put their excitement aside and get back to work, as their conditional post-secondary acceptances and possible entrance scholarships all hinge on how they perform during these last few weeks of June.
Quite frankly, it’s a real downer.
Plus, the countless distractions that have now emerged make it triply hard to stay the course: beautiful weather, the freedom of youth, end of school year sports competitions, gearing up for summer jobs, knowing university and a potential move are lying ahead, longing for summer holidays and the ever-beckoning invitations from friends who want to “party” all the time.
My job as parent at this point, I figure, is to help my almost adult child keep her eye on the “prize” of finishing the academic year strong and with pride – so she can complete her last year of high school knowing she did her best and stayed focused on what was most important.
But often, what’s “most important” can be difficult to discern.
So I pulled her aside to sit down together to examine what she had on her plate so she could make some of these decisions with more clarity. I was very intentional about this as I know she will continue to make increasing numbers of these decisions on her own going forward.
My key message for her? You don’t have to do this alone! We are here – use us, rely on us, bounce ideas off of us – we’ve got your back.Just because you’re a solopreneur doesn’t mean you have to do everything solo.Click To Tweet
The same goes for the small business owner.
How many of the day-to-day decisions, big and small, do you find yourself making alone in your business?
You don’t have to.As a small business owner, how do you decide what’s most important?Click To Tweet
Building a tribe can be key to your success and to your ability to really make a ‘go’ of this business of yours. It can be the difference between a side-hustle and a full hustle.
Who’s got your back when the going gets tough?
Who do you have in your corner to champion you, support you and help raise you up?
This got me to thinking about what – or who – you need in your back pocket when the going gets tough.
Five Reasons Why Every Solopreneur Should Have a Tribe:
1. A group to rely on – a.k.a. The (girl)friend effect
When you think back on your life to this point, you can probably think of a time when you had a group of people around you who you considered to be your core friend group – a group who had your back, who supported you when the going got tough and joined in your successes when things were going well.
Perhaps you broke up with a boyfriend and needed a shoulder to cry on; perhaps you aced a test or landed a great new summer job and you wanted to celebrate; perhaps you needed advice or to talk things through. Who did you turn to? Your friend group. That’s what a tribe does for you in your business.
2. Working alone doesn’t have to be lonely
There is many a “side hustle” and small business start-up that didn’t last or take off, simply because the solopreneur got lonely. Working alone is the single biggest reason why my solopreneur clients think about throwing in the towel. “I miss going to work every day,” says one solopreneur. “I miss the dynamic of a team,” says another. “I miss working with others,” says yet another.
And while those are all valid reasons to accept a more traditional position of employment, it doesn’t have to be the reason. There are many ways to build team, community and camaraderie that don’t involve a traditional job – think co-working spaces, think professional associations, think partnerships, think TRIBE.
3. Build on skill sets you don’t have
You are one person – not 10 – and so many of us try to do the work of 10 different people when we work for ourselves. Think of the many things that you do in the daily running of your business that you may not actually be that good at.
Here are a few ideas: bookkeeping, talent acquisition, IT support, report preparation, presentation development, client attraction and retention, marketing, website development, social media strategy and account management, product development, and advertising.
No wonder working on your own can be overwhelming. You’re now expected to do a whole lot of things you may actually know very little about.
Having a tribe of business partnerships and talented individuals to rely on can make all the difference in the success of your business.
4. Maintain your motivation
Think Monday morning. Think the entire month of January. Think the day after you lost a deal. When you are discouraged, frustrated or low energy, how do you pick yourself up again? What do you do to stay motivated on the greyest and darkest of days?
For some of us, these grey days happen more often than we’d like to admit – having a tribe who you meet with regularly will bring structure, reliability and different energy into your ordinarily quiet existence.
5. Accelerate your success
It’s said that only 8% of people reach their goals. Coupled with the fact that – according to Harvard Business Review – people in community are 95% more likely to reach their goals, the impetus to build your business in community seems pretty clear.
What makes you think you have all the answers? All the ideas? All the knowledge? That’s a lot of pressure to put on one person. What if you had multiple minds put on your one issue or topic for a focused period every time you meet? That’s called a “master”mind .
I love this definition of mastermind from the Cambridge Dictionary: “To plan a difficult activity, often a crime, in detail and make certain that it happens successfully.” Oxford defines a mastermind as “a person with outstanding intellect” – no nefarious deeds need occur in the Oxford Dictionary definition.
The context of mastermind that I’m referring to occurs when a group of people with various skills and backgrounds, come together to focus on an issue you bring to the group. What do you need support on, ideas for, trouble-shooting with? Where can you benefit from a group of people focused on creating a solution for your issue at hand? That, my friend, is a real Master Mind – putting a group of heads together as one.
I have been a member of various masterminds for a number of years. I find them invaluable in building my business for all the reasons I mentioned above – having a consistent group of amazing people who have my back, hold me up and champion my success has done wonders for my business over the years and keeps me moving forward.
I lead a group for the solopreneur and we will have room for a couple of more people come September 2019. Could this person be you? If you’d like to join a dynamic group of positive women who can’t wait to believe in you and support your professional and personal success, you will want to check it out. You can find details here.
Calling all solopreneurs! What’s been your experience of building a solopreneur business? What has worked for you? What hasn’t? I’d love to hear. Please drop a note in the comments below or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your words of wisdom or tips to share. And if you’re one of those solo business owners who is looking for a group to connect with in a regular, coached, group environment – I invite you to visit www.susanelford.com/accelerate-mastermind, for more information about this dynamic program.
To your success, in business and in life,