There is so much about entrepreneurship that can be a challenge, but feeling like you are doing it alone is definitely at the top of my list. That being said, I have found a few ways to overcome this obstacle.
While masterminds are the hottest thing to be part of right now, and I absolutely believe in their power IF you find the right one, the truth is, most have an incredibly high cost of entry, so until I find my perfect fit, I’ve used the below strategies to begin creating my own community of kick-ass individuals I’m now incredibly lucky to also call friends:
Collaboration Hubs like The Wing and Luminary create gorgeous co-working spaces for women who are passionate about professional development and expanding their networks. Members can come together to work, connect, create community, and thrive. Memberships are affordable and in addition to a long list of perks, they give you access to a host of educational and social events and a seat at the table. Jump online and book a site tour at your local co-working space to force yourself out of your apartment and into an environment that fosters positive engagement and meaningful relationships.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site, designed to help people make business connections. With a quick search of a job title, industry, or company, we literally have access to almost any professional we could ever want to connect with. If you’re not already taking advantage of this platform, block time in your calendar to do so. Once you’ve found someone you’d like to connect with, reach out to introduce yourself, briefly explain that you’re new to the city - or that you’re looking to connect with like-minded people and ask if they’d like to grab a coffee. You’ll be surprised how many people take you up on your offer.
The same applies to other social media platforms as well like Facebook and Instagram. However, I would recommend interacting and engaging with their posts and stories for a couple of weeks before reaching out so you're not such a stranger when you slide into their DMs.
Industry Memberships are a great way to meet and enhance connections with like-minded people. Most host regular events where for the cost of an entry ticket, you gain access to a room full of peers, potential mentors, and possibly even a future partner or preferred supplier. Next time you see an industry event advertised, purchase a ticket, and even if every ounce of your being would prefer to be on your couch watching The Bold Type, force yourself to attend. They aren’t anywhere near as scary or intimidating once you’re there.
Conferences are one of the best ways you can stay educated, motivated and inspired throughout the year. Whether it’s industry-specific, business or personal development, if it’s focussed on an area of interest, it’s very likely you’ll make great new connections and have a whole heap of fun along the way.
Community Groups whether it be via Meetup, a Facebook Group or an independent operator are a wonderful way to meet people in general. While they are not as targeted as the professional options listed above if you’re new to a city, they are a great way to get out of your comfort zone, experience new things, have some fun, and make new friends.
I challenge every single person reading this to reach out and connect with 5 new people this week. I cannot wait to hear your success rate.
What's been the most challenging thing about our entrepreneurial journey? Pop it in the comments section below so we can connect.