As women in business, I feel we tend to take on this super woman complex. We somehow got this idea in our heads that we can do it all, and if we can’t then we look at ourselves as less than human. As if something is wrong with us because we can’t run a household, be the stepford wife, the idealistic “classroom mom”, AND also run a successful business.
Ladies I’m here to tell you, nobody in the world can succeed alone.
We all need help, we need encouragement, we need people to push us along the way when we get stuck, and yeah, we may need some help running our homes.
“But, other women can do it! I see it all the time!”
Stop comparing! Everyone is struggling in some way, you only see what they allow you to see.
For some, you may already have a support network. For others, you may not know where to begin. We don’t all have supportive spouses, family members, and friends. Some of you may be in a town where you don’t know anyone at all.
So how do you build a network when you don’t know anyone, or you’re in the town you grew up in but still don’t have support when you need it the most?
This will require going outside of your comfort zone. You’ll need to go out and meet people! Make new friends! When I moved two years ago, the first thing I did (before even moving) was look up a MOPS group to attend (that’s mothers of preschoolers). Once I got settled in there, I extended my network and starting going to local networking meetings for women in business. It was there that I met a great group of women who were looking to support one another and help each other succeed. (If you’re in a networking group that isn’t working out, find a new one!)
I also went waaayyyy out of my comfort zone and called other photographers in the area whose work I admired and introduced myself. Did all of them respond? Nope. But for those who did, I’ve formed lasting friendships that have been valuable to my personal and business life. Some of my biggest sources of referrals (and professional support) were my competitors.
And please know, you should have supportive friends for both your home life (other moms who are not necessarily in business) and for your business. A mom who doesn’t run a business can certainly help you when you’re in the throws of potty training or dealing with mouthy teenagers, but probably won’t be able to give you great advice in your business. Conversely a business woman with no kids won’t relate to your problems at home.
One other way to build a support network is to do it online. Although I do caution you with this one. It is easy to get caught up in online forums and facebook groups and lose sight of why we joined. It can be a huge time-waster if you’re not careful.
And lastly, join a mastermind group and watch your business soar! I believe a mastermind group is one of the most powerful ways you can grow your business. In my mastermind groups, I help you create goals in both your home and business. The group cheers you on and holds you accountable to your goals. These groups are a great support network especially for the mom who doesn’t have much time to get out of the house. All it requires is a commitment to join a phone call.
You have to let go of your pride, of your fear of rejection in order to successfully build a support network. Or, you can trudge on struggling to make it through each day on your own. The choice is yours. @sconfair tweet this!
Simple Steps: How to Build a Support Network
- Find a moms group in your area (lookup Mops International for a faith-based group) Please understand it takes time to form genuine relationships which lead to a support network, but most mommy groups will give you support even before relationships are formed.
- Find women networking groups in the area. Got there with the intention of supporting others, and you will find support for yourself too. If you go just to “get” and promote yourself, you’ll never make any connections. –
- Create a facebook group with other moms in business. When you meet a mom in business, invite her to your group.
- Join a mastermind group. Mastermind groups are very powerful with helping you achieve your goals, and lasting relationships and support networks will stem from them. Whether it’s an online group, such as the mastermind group I facilitate, or one where you meet in person I highly recommend them!