Why Belonging to a Tribe is Essential as a Small Business Owner
You know the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”? Well, I wholeheartedly believe that “it takes a tribe to grow a successful business”, and that’s what I want to talk about today.
I firmly believe that belonging to a community is essential as a female entrepreneur.
It can be lonely and difficult being a business owner. Unlike working for someone else, there’s no one to turn to when you run into a difficult situation, have to handle a tricky customer or simply need to vent your frustrations now and again.
But belonging to a community of like-minded people who are all trying to achieve the same goal – a successful business, can be a very powerful tool to have at your disposal and use as necessary.
While it can be all too easy to isolate yourself as a business owner and believe you have to be a “one man band” to succeed, the truth is there are far too many benefits to you and your business that belonging to a tribe can bring for you to ignore. Let’s take a look at what they are.
A tribe can hold you accountable
I’ve started delivering presentations and workshops to some of the networking groups I belong to. To be honest, I’ve found it somewhat terrifying, and I’ve been anxious that I might not have the skills and knowledge to teach other women how to do these things (that annoying Imposter Syndrome strikes again!) even though I know, deep down, that I do.
But, I found that by agreeing to do these talks and having them publicised meant that I had to do them, I was going to be held accountable for my actions and women were going to turn up expecting me to deliver the goods. While that was a scary thought, it also meant that I had to bite the bullet and give the presentations and I am so glad that I did! They’ve been a fantastic experience, improved my confidence and benefited my business too.
Networking is critical when you’re a business owner
I know, the thought of introducing yourself to a room full of strangers really can fill you with dread, but it’s so much easier when you belong to a tribe. It’s true.
When you have a supportive network behind you, there’s a much higher chance of someone you know being at the same networking event as you, making it easier to make those all-important introductions and not look so lost.
I actually found my tribe by attending two local networking groups – Aspiring Business Women, and Love Ladies Business Group; as well as becoming a VIP VA Member to give me support from other VAs. These groups network both in person and online and I have found some incredible inspiration, support and advice from the ladies in these groups that I couldn’t have found anywhere else.
Your tribe is an essential support system
When you work for yourself, you don’t have a line manager, HR or anyone else around to offer you support when you need it. Unless you belong to a tribe, of course. Belonging to a community of like-minded women who share the same issues, like balancing work with family life, can really give you a much-needed boost when you need it.
Knowing someone else that’s been in a similar position and made their business a success is not only inspiring, but they can share some of the tips that worked for them too.
It’s so much easier to figure out what went well and what really didn’t work when you look back and having someone that is one step ahead of you with that knowledge and hindsight in their possession is a powerful ally indeed.
Social events to let your hair down
When you’re self-employed, there’s no after-work drinks or Christmas parties to attend. Although that might be a blessing, it can also make working for yourself very lonely and isolating. Belonging to a tribe means you can meet up once in a while, put business talk on the back burner and let your hair down.
Belonging to a tribe is, in my view, essential to both your success and your wellbeing as a business owner. Take the time to venture out and find a group of like-minds to share your trials and tribulations with, you won’t regret it!