Being in business for yourself can be lonely at times. It also can be hard to stay focused and challenged when it’s just you showing up every single day. That’s why it is important to involve other people in your business whether it is by building a community or putting together a team. Having other people rely on you to show up in one way or another is motivating. In today’s episode, we are going to talk about how you can develop relationships that will help you keep up production.
When I first started freelancing, it was just me. Sure, I communicated with the clients, but it was hard to develop relationships with them through email and our limited interactions. Eventually, I did find ways to develop closer relationships with my clients, create a team, and develop a community of others that understand what I do. What I found is that adding people into the mix, allowed me to be more productive. I had a reason to show up, because there were a lot of people relying on me.
Here are the top ways we recommend you develop relationships that can help you be more productive.
1. Look For Like-Minded People To Develop Friendships
Not everyone is an entrepreneur, and that’s ok. It’s hard to understand someone that is an entrepreneur if you aren’t already natured that way. But, there are a lot of people out there that are like-minded and do get you.
One of my biggest challenges in the early parts of my business was being around people who simply didn’t understand what I did. They didn’t know what it meant to be a copywriter for websites. But, even more basic than that, they didn’t understand the entrepreneur side of who I am. I’m not even sure I understood it for a long time.
However, when we found friends that were business owners and entrepreneurs, it made a big difference. Even if they didn’t fully understand the services we offered, they at least understood the challenges of running our business.
Look for other small business owners to become friends with. Find time to hang out with these people and work hard to develop relationships.
2. Develop Strategic Partnerships
I’m a relationship person. No matter who I meet, if I have to spend a lot of time with them, I’m going to develop a deeper relationship with them. Without realizing it, I created strategic partnerships with my clients. Initially, they’d hire me to do a small task, but over time, I offered more and more services to them.
Now, I have several clients that I work with that are more than just a client to me. They are more like partners and we relate to each other about more than just our projects.
3. Join Facebook Groups or Masterminds
There’s a whole online community out there of people that offer the same kind of work you do. Find that group and join it! Obviously, you need to look for groups that are active and provide valuable information to those that are in the group…not just ones that want to sell you on things.
Also, you can consider joining a mastermind of other people that are business minded. Usually, masterminds are paid, so there is skin in the game. People show up every week and they work to build relationships. This isn’t the same thing as a network group. Not say that networking groups can’t become this. But ultimately, the idea behind a network group is that you are looking for referrals and to give referrals.
Whatever kind of groups you join, look for ones that inspire you and encourage you. If they don’t, don’t be afraid to walk away.
4. Create a Team
Maybe you are at a point where you need to bring on a freelancer or contractor to help you out with some of your tasks. Look at this person or people as part of your community. Having contractors relying on you to give them direction every week will help you be more organized and productive.
Things to Be Aware Of
Developing a community with others and involving other people in your business can really help your production as long as you don’t let it become a distraction. There have been times where I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into other people that ended up keeping me from getting work done. That is not to say that you should stop having friendships or relationships if they are draining. But, I am saying that you have to be careful about how much time you invest in your communities, or it will keep you from getting as much done.
All things in moderation!
Do you know of some other great ways to build community as an entrepreneur or business owner? We’d love to hear about them.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today!
Until next week, get out there and start breaking the mental chains that are keeping you from producing!