Entrepreneurship can present aspiring innovators with exciting new experiences and thrilling profits; however, it can also be lonely at the top. Many entrepreneurs find themselves lonely and isolated. This is why it is even more important to identify and manage your network carefully and intentionally. If you want to connect with other like-minded business owners, here are a few ways that you can build and enhance your network.
The internet and social media opened up a wide range of networks and connections that were not previously available. Find online interest groups, connect through social media, find new connections and put your name out there with public postings to help you connect with other small business owners.
Publications, Public Appearances, and Posts
If you want to excel at networking, you need to be willing to put yourself out there. Consider writing an op-Ed or publishing an article, participating in a panel discussion, or sitting for a podcast recording. Getting your name out there can be a proactive way to establish yourself in the field of entrepreneurship.
Many entrepreneurs experience loneliness at the top. While running a small business is no small feat, many others came before you who you can learn from. Consider enlisting the help of a mentor who can help guide you along the way. While you may look to a mentor for advice and counsel, don’t be afraid to also offer your expertise to others as a mentor. You never know what relationships will be most impactful to your future professional pursuits.
Like many other professions, there are large-scale organizations whose whole purpose is to connect with others and present professional development opportunities. This also exists for small business owners. These larger organizations often have the infrastructure to offer numerous benefits and have a large reach. When building your network, don’t feel like you need to recreate the wheel. Instead, rely on what is available to you.
You may be surprised at the number of resources available to entrepreneurs in your area. Everything from local meetups to small business communities near you can be useful resources to expand your network while staying close to home.
Maintain Your Network
To build your network, you also need to maintain them. Your network will dwindle if you don’t spend any time or energy fortifying the relationships that you have established. While new connections may be exciting, don’t forget to invest in the ones that you already have.
While entrepreneurship can be a difficult industry, you can make the challenges less stressful with a strong network. Don’t let yourself succumb to loneliness at the top when all it takes is the right investment into building strong connections.