The pandemic did funny things to us all in terms of how we meet up and gather together. In some ways we crave it now and know at a new level, the importance of being together. But in other ways, we've settled into new habits of staying online and not always making enough space to be with others in the real world.
This isn't better illustrated than in the world of micro and single person businesses where the need to work hard 'in' the business has sometimes taken over the other 'need' to gather together to connect, network and simply be with others who might be sharing your journey.
There are so many reasons why bringing small business owners together is vital which are, perhaps, sometimes overlooked or brushed over in an ever busy and overwhelming world where folks are peddling very hard to stand still or inching forward.
If you're a micro business owner, a side hustler or indie retailer and anything in between, what priority are you placing on hanging out with others in the little business world?
Here are some reasons why taking time to stay connected might unlock the future you dream of.
However well we're looking after ourselves as business owners, we're often only ever swimming in our own energy soup. The new and unexpected energy of others in a room has a unique way of prompting something new in us. It may be excitement, hope, curiosity, inspiration or perhaps something less uplifting like frustration, boredom or a learning moment. But the simple existence of being in a room with others shifts energy which creates a knock on effect that will in turn shift something in us. Whether it's a confirmation of something you already knew or a completely new way of thinking....something will happen.
All businesses require creativity and a generous flow of it at that. Creativity is the fuel that welcomes in ideas, allows us to be agile and brave. Creativity requires and investment of time and attention to flourish and too often, our day to day micro business lives leave little room for that. The simple act of stepping away from the normal daily routine and into another space for a little time, ring fences head space for you to allow some creative thinking, let the ideas in or ponder on something in more depth.
The word 'networking' has a bit of a marmite effect for some but there is no doubt that it is in great relationships that great businesses are born. Whether it's future partners you meet, people who can help you or the opening door of a new customer, we must invest in the building of relationships wherever we go. Gathering together will undoubtedly give you the best chance to encounter other people who may become key players in your business in the future. We may meet people online and that has huge value of course, but cementing something really valuable may be best achieved when we're in the same room as others.
The beauty of a gathering of business owners is that there's almost a guarantee that you'll learn something new. It's all too easy to think that Google and Zoom calls provide all the answers but us humans are masters of storytelling and chat and when in the real world & over a coffee, our capacity to share information and inspire others with new information is limitless. Of course, we don't know what we don't know, so we can never truly prejudge if an event or meeting is worth going to, but we will surely learn something.
Small business ownership needs lots of support to thrive. Sometimes that's financial or technical support, but other times it's more about being championed by others or simply listened to. If you're the only person in your business or at the top of a little team, there's a lot to manage for one individual. Use gathering together as a way of accessing that comradeship, supportive environment or sounding space to make you better at what you do.
Ever feel like you're swimming round and round you little fish bowl over and over again, doing similar tasks and at an unrelenting pace? What would it feel like to be able to be in a new space, even for a few hours, to simply swim somewhere new? We all need the power of conversation, laughter and eye contact to take us further than the end of our own nose. This release of pressure can unlock new thinking or provide the balance you need to stay resilient.