It has been said that it takes a village to grow a child. The same can be said for us. No man (and no business owner) is an island. It takes a community to build a successful entrepreneur.
Operating our own business can be very isolating–particularly if it is a homebased one. But even those of us who are introverts and enjoy our own company need others in order to be successful.
All of us–and there is no exception–need help from other people. People who are on your side and want you to succeed. People who will challenge you and give you a helping hand when needed. People who will help increase your own knowledge and expand your horizons. And the wonderful thing is that this thing we call the Internet makes it easier than ever before to find that community.
For some, an offline community such as churches, networking groups, business organizations and classes, can serve the same purpose. Just because someone isn’t in the same “industry” as you doesn’t mean that they can’t provide positive support and valuable feedback.
Community helps us fill in those areas that we can’t fill ourselves.
Working with Sandee Overstreet and Pam Monroe on our magazine GiftRetailersConnenction enables me to fill the cracks that I’m missing. They help keep me on track and we provide support, feedback, and knowledge to each other.
Community gives us a chance to give back.
There’s nothing better than being on both the receiving and giving end. We need to realize that one is as important as the other. If you don’t ask for help, you fail to provide someone the opportunity to be on the giving end. When I first started my gift basket business, there were many skills that I knew little about. Discovering the communities on AOL and Prodigy made all the difference. That was way back when people were so much more willing to give without fear of someone stealing and using their secrets.
I dare you to find someone who is successful and who did it “all on their own”! Each and everyone of us–including Bill Gates and Barack Obama–has had people in our lives who bring out the best in us, both as professionals and as people.
If you’re looking for a community that you can become a part of — one that encourages both giving and receiving–check out ours at www.giftretailersconnection.ning.com. Take a step off your island of isolation and join a group dedicated to helping you grow your business.