Being a small business owner can be lonely sometimes but there are ways to get a ‘Business Family’ around you for support, to keep motivated and focussed.
I found that during the summer holidays I had time to think, to step back a little and work out what was working in my business and what was not. I would like to say that while it was fresh in my mind I put down some notes with timelines to keep me focussed for the months ahead, but, while I have lots of notes, they are not that organised – working on it!
Working alone is often the hardest thing to deal with, when you are starting out but also long term. When I work at home, which normally means I am on the admin side of things, I have to work just as hard at not being distracted.
There are ways to keep focussed and to get support.
This one was out of my comfort zone until recently. I have been to a couple of networking sessions now and each time has been a positive experience. The first time can be quite daunting but everyone is so welcoming and it’s an amazing place to not only generate more business but more importantly find like-minded people who are working in similar circumstances and coming across the same problems.
I went to an event at the central library here in Northampton recently and Ruth of Building Business said you need your Business Family as much as your Home Family, its important to surround yourself with people that give you positive vibes.
I only go to one group at the moment, Northampton Business Network, run by the lovely Ann Brebner (who bullied me into networking and I thank her for that!). They meet once a month on a Wednesday morning and the meeting lasts for 2 hours, which once the ‘elevator pitch’ is done, is actually as fun and productive as you want to make it.
For more information click here: https://www.northamptonbusinessnetwork.co.uk/
2. PUBLIC WORK SPACES
Something thats always on my list is to find new places to work remotely and to make more of an effort to get to them.
Being a small business and just me, when I am not out taking photos, I work from home. For my sanity though, and to keep motivated, I do need to be with other humans sometimes. When I do get my act into gear and set up base in a coffee shop for an hour or 2 I decide what I want to get done and with no other distractions it happens!
There are so many work spaces out there that offer an environment that is fun and positive to be in. That, people to talk to, wifi, coffee – or tea in my case – and maybe a bit of lunch as a reward for getting a job done!
I do like libraries but have not found one around me that works for me. This photo is of the library in Boston, went in to visit a year ago and I so wanted to be a part of it I actually sat and read my book for a bit, isn’t it lovely?
3. SUPPORT GROUPS
Do you have anyone that mentors you? That you can talk through problems with? That you can celebrate successes with?
Once a month I am part of a local Bird Table group. I meet up with 3 other women who run their own business and, with the help of a Bird Table coach, we discuss where we are at with our businesses, things we are planning, share ideas and end the session by setting goals for the next meeting.
Working on my own this support is invaluable to me and I would recommend that everyone does something similar.
For more information on the Bird Table take a peek at: https://www.bird-table.co.uk
One last tip is read. Learn from those that have walked the road already. If you are thinking “I haven’t got time for that”, what about the minutes waiting for the kettle to boil, or at the school gate, or waiting for a client running late, maybe on a train or just 10 minutes before you turn the light off at the end of the day.
Personally, I have to keep my reading light, too heavy and I won’t find those minutes! I was reading Jo Malone’s ‘My Story’ over the summer and found it really helped me to keep motivated. She is an amazing woman, she believes in herself, in what she can do, is stubborn and a perfectionist. You may have seen some quotes I posted on my social media which I took from the book.
So, thats 4 tips from me to you.
How to get support from other business owners through networking and smaller groups, to find spaces that help you to focus and keep motivate and how to learn from books.
Good luck. Let me know how you get on with anything I have talked about here and if you fancy a walk and chat one day give me a shout.