When I first had children I flat out refused to participate in “Mommy Groups.” I didn’t want to be friends with people just because they had a baby. Stupid, I know, but I’m stubborn like that.
The benefits of belonging to a community of people in the same situation as you are many, and I was late to the party in realizing this. The principal of belonging to a mommy group are the same business community. Here are a few reasons why:
1. They “Know”
Chances are, many people in your business networking community have been there and done that. If they haven’t, they’re trying to find the answer too.
The great part about being a first time business owner, is that you are connected to people who know the answer, or they know someone who can help! Even if you’re a seasoned professional, there are still lots of opportunities to learn from different people.
2. They’re Surprisingly Supportive
When I started Sprogs, I set up a Twitter account, I wasn’t expecting anything, just thought it’d be a way for me spam the world with Sproggy goodness. Again I was wrong (what’s with this theme). I found people wanted to chat with me, hang out and support me! If I had a promotion going on, they’d retweet it. Why? Because in a community you help each other. The idea of if you succeed, they succeed is very prevalent. It’s not as cut throat as you’d think it is.
To prove this point, many people in the Edmonton women’s business community, work together! You just need to ask Catherine and Kathleen from Social Circlet about this! Catherine and Kathleen started Social Circlet to “…grow, support and share best business practices, cooperatively promote and work together.” Urm, hellooo, brilliant.
Again, when you succeed we all succeed.
3. There’s always the “one”
As in any group of people, you don’t have to like everyone, and you’re ideals don’t have to mesh. There’s always going to be one person that just rubs you the wrong way, but isn’t that life? For every one person you don’t connect with, there are 20 other people who you will find amazing and inspirational. The people I’ve met over twitter and at networking events have become my friends…my good friends. We meet up go to Cafe O’Play, they’re my customers, and I’m theirs.
4. It’s educational
I know (not from first hand of course) that Mommy Groups often have people come in and speak with the moms about different topics like, cloth diapering, and baby CPR. Well, the many networking groups in Edmonton do the same thing! Bossy Mama is just one of many in Edmonton that hosts classes. From using Facebook for your business to the Economy for Entrepreneurs, there will be something for you to learn.
Communities make you smarter!
Yes, I came to this realization a bit late, but isn’t your business like another baby? I know mine is. It can keep you up all night, it costs a lot of money, and it’s demanding. But it can be fun, and a community has a great deal to do with that!