“No man is an island.” said John Donne (or Hugh Grant in About A Boy, if that’s more your cup of tea!).
It’s Day One of working for yourself and you’re sitting in your new home office, studio or workspace and you’re mid-way through some work when all of a sudden, you have to stop. Perhaps something breaks; or you can’t work something out; or plain and simple, you just don’t know the answer!
Who do you turn to? Who might be able to help?
Humans are, by nature, social creatures, and in many ways, it’s not natural for people to be squirrelled away by themselves all day long, and so everyone misses having someone to turn to and even someone to go for a coffee with, after a while.
The answer is simple. You need a Tribe.
When I first set out on my freelance path, I was lucky enough to discover The Business Girls Network, a networking group for business women whose flagship group is, very fortunately for me, right where I live in Maidenhead.
I’m not the type to sit on my own in silence all day, and so first of all I decided to join their Facebook group. I immediately discovered a wonderful network of women who were working hard, supporting each other, and achieving amazing things with their businesses – definitely something for me to aspire to, and learn from, especially as a newbie to life as an entrepreneur.
I really enjoyed the group, and so decided to join as a ‘full’ member, which meant that I could advertise my business through the directory, and before long I had signed up for my first ‘meetup’, where women get together once a month to hear from speakers, to exchange ideas, and to network.
I entered the room somewhat nervously (and early – easier to join in conversations that way!) but I need never have worried. The welcome I received was so warm and so lovely – people were interested to hear what I had to say; people offered support and encouragement; and people just wanted to make friends!
I never set out to be a ‘suited and booted’ type of consultant – I’m far more a ‘chat over a coffee’ kind of a girl – and this group suited me down to the ground. I had definitely found my tribe.
Since that first meeting, I have been invited to speak to the group on the subject of Twitter; I’ve gained clients; I’ve helped people out for no fee just because they needed me; I’ve learned more than I could ever explain; and I’ve made friends.
Would I have got to where I am today, eight months from ‘Day One’, without my Tribe? No way.
So get out there, find yours, and see where it takes you.