3 Places entrepreneurs can find much-needed support
Whether you're an entrepreneur with employees, a Mom-preneur, or a stay-at-home Dad-preneur like me, being an entrepreneur has its own unique challenges that our non-entrepreneur friends and family just don't understand.
Having a place to go for support is critical to staying positive, which helps us be more effective, assists us with problems and provides a forum to "vent," which is important.
Here are three places I find support.
1. Meet regularly with like-minded friends
Getting together every two weeks for coffee with other friends who are entrepreneurs or tech-minded has been helpful for me. My networking group calls itself the "Friday Disruptors" and we talk about what we are working on, our successes and the things we are struggling with in our businesses.
Friday Disruptors is a group of people who are "doers" not just talkers, which is important. Be sure to surround yourself with people who get stuff done, not just talk a lot and make excuses.
If you live in a small town, like me, you have to hustle a little harder than someone who lives in NYC to find like-minded people. Try meetup.com to find interesting groups, make friends and take the conversations to other places, like a coffee shop.
You will find this type of networking invaluable.
2. Have a supportive spouse/relationship partner
If you're an entrepreneur and chasing your dreams, the most important thing you can do is make sure you have a supportive spouse or partner, if you're in a relationship.
Spousal support is the difference between having the strength and courage to push through the hard times, or quitting right before you find success. I love this Chinese proverb:
"The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed."
I'm blessed to have a wife who is supportive in ways that are too many to list in this article. A supportive spouse/partner is the most important thing for entrepreneurs.
3. Join a national online community
I recently joined an online community, which helps people turn their passion into their life's work; it's called the Never Settle Club (NSC) and it was created by TODAY Show Digital Lifestyle Expert and Emmy Award winner Mario Armstrong.
Members of the NSC inspire me; it's a place I share my business challenges without the risk of being judged, which is huge, and get support from other members. When I say support, I don't just mean emotional support.
Members of the NSC support each other's businesses and projects. I've personally bought a member's children's book as a gift for my niece, and contributed to three crowdfunding campaigns. The key to getting support for your business in a group like the NSC is to not be spammy and overly self-promotional.
Be authentic, share valuable content and give support for other members of the group. A few members of the NSC have even supported my business with purchases!
Here's Mario Armstrong explaining the NSC when he recently launched it on the TODAY Show:
Being an entrepreneur is incredibly rewarding, but we need help. Having a proper support network in place has helped me get through extremely difficult times with my business, and I believe it can help you too.
Where do you find support and how has your network helped you be a better entrepreneur?
Image: Cory Doctorow