Do you ever feel like you're all alone in your business? Maybe you're the single owner and employee of your business. You might work from home all the time and the only person you talk to is yourself or your dog. 🙋🏼♀️
You want someone to bounce ideas off of and heck, even just hang out and work for a little while.
Well I'm here to tell you friend that finding support in your business isn't as hard as it might seem. 🤗
I covered this topic this week on the Live Training you can catch the video below!
Today, we're going to cover the different ways you can find support as a small business owner and how you can support other small businesses. As well as talk about finding out how you like to be supported.
#1 Ways of Support
There are tons of different avenues and ways that you can get support as a person and as a small business.
To name a few:
Friends & Family
Mentors & Coaches
Friends & Family
The obvious and most immediate one that are friends and family. Those closest to you are going to give you unique support because they know you on a different level and they love you and they want to support you, they care for you. So obviously going straight towards friends and family is a huge advantage, they're right there. They're easy to find. I know sometimes that when you're starting a business, your friends and your family don't necessarily support you in that decision or they don't support you at first. Maybe they think that your idea is kind of weird or they don't agree. It happens. And that's totally fine because I also believe that you should have multiple areas of support, so you shouldn't just rely on the same people at the same groups. You should have all different areas. That way you can get support from all different types of people depending on where they're at in their life and their business.
Mentors & Coaches
Mentors are a great source of support, they could be somebody that you admire in business. They could be in the same field that you are but maybe they're a few steps ahead. You want to know how they got there, how they did it. A mentor can obviously offer you support in a little bit different way because they're actually in it with you, they're in the business world, they get it.
Coaches are great too. Generally they're a paid source of support. But what's so nice is they are there for you and they want to see you grow. And not only that, they're really going to push on the things that you don't want to talk about. Like the tough things. For example, I've worked with a coach. Even though I'm an extroverted person, sometimes it's really hard for me to bring up and let go of the tough stuff. Like the things that I'm struggling with.
My coach would know when I was struggling with something because all of a sudden she would ask me a question and we would kind of go deeper into it and I would just get more and more quiet and reserved. And she would say, "Okay, we really need to talk about this. What's, what's coming up for you? What emotions are coming up, what's going on?" And for me, it was nice to have somebody to push on me like that to talk about those things.
The advantage of having a coach (alongside) friends and family is that they're going to have a lot of empathy, just like your friends and family would. But, a coach is going to push on your harder because they don't have that connection where it's so personal that they might offend you or upset you. They're there to help you succeed and they'll do everything they can to make that happen for you.
General business connections could literally come from networking, going to meetups, asking your friends and your family, "Hey, do you know anybody in this area? I would love to connect."
There are a few ways to connect with these people. You could take them out for coffee or see if they have a consulting hour or pick their brain type of paid meeting where you can talk with them.
Having business connections with people outside of your industry is also incredibly helpful. For example, I'm a web designer, I know a lot about web design andI know a lot about digital marketing. If I'm talking to somebody that owns a restaurant for example, we're in two totally different worlds, right? But we both still have similair struggles in our businesses. But what's cool is we both have totally different experiences and perspectives because of the different industries that we're in. And those experiences can shed light on what we might be going through in our business. Sometimes we are so focused and "stuck" in our own industry problems that having the outside perspective of someone in a different industry can open up ideas and possibilities you never thought of.
There are tonnnnns of online communities you can join.
You could search for Slack channels for people inside or outside of your industry and hop in the chat for support.
You could also join an online mastermind or accountability group that meets weekly, monthly, etc.
There are also tons of Facebook groups that can offer both local and global opportunities to connect with people.
Whether you join a FB Community, check out a few networking groups locally, or hire a coach - it's imperative that you find people to support you in your business.
If you don't have the right support, it's going to be hard. Building a business is already tough, but don't make it harder on yourself. Find support, find people to support you through it all.
#2 How Do You Like to be Supported?
The biggest thing about finding support is you also need to know how you like to be supported. You might not know the answer to that question and that's okay because I'm going to kind of briefly walk you through how to figure this out.
If you've ever heard of the book The 5 Love Languages, basically what the book goes over is there are five love language. The book primarily talks about romantic relationships. However, he has written other books because this applies to all areas of your life. So just as an example, my love language in my marriage is quality time.
Your love language doesn't necessarily correlate to how you like to be supported but sometimes it does. For instance, my love language in business is words of affirmation.
To give you an example, recently I went through a friends beta course to get my marketing and messaging together. I've been working on implementing everything I learned to do live videos, stories, blogging, posting, etc. and it hasn't been easy. I'm learning a new skill and it's a little painful right now. BUT - so many people have reached out to me this week telling me, "you're killing it!" And that meant the world to me. It helped me want to keep going and it gave me so much encouragement.
In order to get the support you need, you have to know how you like to be supported. If you're not sure how you like to be supported, it's going to be hard to get what you need. I highly encourage you to spend some time nailing this down. There is also a free assessment for the 5 Love Languages if you want to check that out!
#3 Supporting Other Small Businesses
People in business need your support just as much as you need support.
Here's how you can help:
Buy from them
Buy from them
Buying from a small business that supports them hugely, whether you love their products or their services
Can't buy from them but love their product, service, values, mission, etc.? Awesome!
Share their content, if they post something - re-share it. Or simply tell your community how much you love the company and why. It's that simple.
Did they do awesome work for you or do you just love the product you purchased? Write a review!
But I'm not talking about a simple one liner, "Love this company!" That's great and all, but offer a little bit more. Tell the story or the pain around how you were feeling before you worked with them or purchased their product. Ratings and reviews can hugely help a business show up higher in e-commerce platforms and podcast listings. It also helps people build trust when they're looking for a service like by seeing all the great things people wrote about them.
Do you know someone who owns a small business or is there a company you really love? Tell them!
Write them a DM, email, or mail them a letter - old school style. Tell them what you love about what they're doing and how you admire them. Tell them how awesome they are and how they're making an impact in the world. Your nice words could be the thing that keeps them going that week!
How are you going to support a small business after reading this? Also, you may have gotten a few ideas from this piece about how YOU would like to be supported.
Until next time...Hang Loose! 🤙🏻