This is a knowing nod to all the business owners who occasionally miss the camaraderie of an office or team working environment. Like myself you took the plunge, made the jump, put all your eggs in one basket and ventured into business on your own. The benefits of that major decision speak for themselves, but business owners can sometimes be less forthcoming about the challenges and isolation ‘going it alone’ can bring.
Without colleagues around, there’s no banter, water cooler gossip, socials or general office politics to break up the day. The task-driven among you will be saying that’s a good thing, because you’ve got too much work to do anyway and no time for idle chit chat. However, others might be thinking about those colleagues who made the 9-5 bearable and provided an outlet for various work related frustrations, like IT. This week I was faced with the dreaded frozen screen and no IT department, so I had to figure it out myself. The computer Gods were smiling because I managed to get away with switching the terminal off and on again. If I had been really stuck this is where a supportive network group would have been beneficial.
Time4Networking provides a great opportunity to talk, share and get advice from likeminded people who fully understand business challenges. Networking isn’t solely about getting clients, it’s also about finding your tribe. Often when I mention my thoughts about Facebook not being my preferred method to attract business, I get shot down in flames. But at this week’s networking meeting I found someone on the same wavelength. We high-fived in celebration of our shared views about how and when we employ social media for our differing business models.
Of course, generating revenue is important. I’m sure everyone who networks, would like nothing better than a guaranteed income stream, from a string of contacts at each event they attend. Even if you only exchange a few business cards, it does not mean coming away empty handed. You meet people who are just as passionate about what they do, as you are. There is a comfortable sense of belonging that can be hard to beat and a welcome change from any office environment I’ve ever been in. Lastly, you never know what it can lead to next. I had a one2one meeting this week with someone I sat next to at my very first network meeting back in July🤞.
Going solo has its challenges, but it also has benefits. I may not have fantasy football, book-clubs, or an IT department anymore, but I have networking.