Small business owners and entrepreneurs often find that although the struggle of self-employment is a fulfilling endeavor, it can also be a long and lonely road – especially when friends or family value and relate to a different kind of employment model.
Not only that, but first-time entrepreneurs don’t always know which steps to take or what to do next. There are no managers holding them accountable, and no higher up CEOs driving the direction of their business. Some entrepreneurs have business backgrounds, but many don’t. Those small-business owners need to seek out these skills on their own.
How do you solve entrepreneurial isolation and lack of formal business training?
I found myself in this struggle shortly out of college. The job market at the time was terrible; I was struggling to procure a full-time position. Although not my original intention, I was able to propose a consulting arrangement with two small business owners in order to make ends meet. I quickly discovered there was a lot I didn’t know as a first-time entrepreneur. With such little experience, I often second-guessed what I was doing. I searched for additional information wherever I could find it. After a couple months of this type of work I quickly discovered my least anticipated but most pressing challenges – loneliness and isolation.
Around that time, I was also furiously reading business books but I found it hard to digest the books alone. My natural group of friends either lacked the interest or the background to provide meaningful insights.
I looked to expand my network and found a monthly business book group on Meetup.com. Out of desperation for a community that I could relate to, I joined.
How Business Book Club Can Help Your Business
The group morphed over the years. When I moved, I started a new local chapter. The reasons I lead the group and attend are the same – I get a support network, community, and new friends in a similar space that I can relate to and who can relate to me. We learn new topics through the readings and gain insight by discussing key takeaways from each book, weaving in relevant business experiences or asking personal business questions to the group so that we can improve.
Why might you want to join something like Business Book Club? What will you get out of it?
Gain insight into your blind spots. We rarely know what we don’t know.
Widen your business knowledge by reading books you wouldn’t choose on your own.
Have conversations with individuals who have different backgrounds, skills and opinions.
Learn from each other’s experiences and mistakes.
Use this group to propel you forward in pursuing good business practices and skills.
Make new connections.
Meet potential clients and make referrals to others.
Get out of your isolating routine and meet the community.
Gain motivation and accountability from the group.
Get practice at articulating and defending your ideas.
Book Club has been a huge force in moving my business forward. What can it do for you?