We have all grown up with BFFs (Best Friends Forever). Your BFFs might have changed over the years or stayed the same. It does not matter. Having that one friend (or many) to have your back means a lot! You share everything with them. Your successes and failures! Your hopes and dreams! E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
Sometimes, your best friend is not an entrepreneur like you. So even though she tries to understand your situation, her point of view and her solutions might not be the ones you are looking for!
What do you do at such times? Who do you talk to regarding achievements, goals and successes in your business? An ideal situation would be having a Business Bestie!
When I speak of Business Besties, a lot of questions come to your mind. Who is a business besties? Why do I need one? How do I find her? What do we do when we are together? Keep reading to get answers for all of these questions!!!
Who is a Business Bestie?
Sometimes when we are overwhelmed in our business, we end up cursing ourselves for creating the mess we got ourselves into. That is when we start having doubts about our capability! We need just one person who swoops in at that time and offers us something we need - a word of encouragement, a sympathetic ear or an ability to make us look at ourselves in a more positive manner! That is a Business Bestie. They are the first people we go to when we have that brilliant million dollar idea! They are the ones that we go to when we think we have failed miserably! They are the ones who have our back, share our work, give us tough love when we need it and offer advice that we respect. They are like BFFs but for our business. More often than not, the relationship between Business Besties is much more than just business! They know so much about each other! They are a part of our lives, sometimes much more than our families!
Why do you need a Business Bestie?
Here are a few reasons why I think you need a business bestie.
- They love and support you! They will love you through your failure and your successes. They will support every decision you make. They will help you get over your mental blocks and move on towards a successful business! Just like your best friend extends you full support in spite of anything! Just like she might curse you when you are alone but with fight like a wild cat if anyone else says the same things as she says, your Business Bestie will point out your shortcomings to you, but will support you and your business before anyone else!
- They share your work! You do not need to even ask them to do that. Every time you create something new, your Business Bestie is the first to share! They are the ones whom you talked to before you created your stuff so they know it as much as you do and can talk about it with confidence.
- They give you a kick in the butt if needed! If you are being an ass, they will let you know and will not hesitate in bringing you back on track. They will tell you when you are doing it wrong. They will reason with you. they will try to explain it to you. And if you still do not understand, they will be ready to kick you in the butt!
- They inspire you to do better! They are the ones whom you do not want to let down. They constantly know the right things to say and do to keep you motivated. Just like when you were kids, you worked hard at studies because your results pleased your parents, you work hard in your business to please your Bestie! Not because she is someone to be pleased; but because you value her pleasure as much as you valued your parents' happiness.
- They understand your business woes. They have worked on the ideas of your business as much as you have and they understand exactly what you're going through. You can share any troubles with them and they will help you overcome them and find solutions - that work!!!
- They will give you honest feedback. They will definitely give you an honest feedback. You can depend on them to tell you if your product is overpriced or if the combination that you are working on will not work!
Remember, having a Business Bestie is not a one way track! You will have to do the same things as they do for you if you want it to work! So unless you're ready to put in the same amount of efforts in HONESTLY helping someone grown their own business, do not expect them to do that for you. If you feel you cannot do it, or you do not have the time to invest in that kind of relationship, opt for a business coach! They will charge you a fee to do all these things!
HOW can you find a business bestie?
The first option would be to look at all your existing friends. Is there someone who is also running a business? She might not run a business similar to yours, but as long as she runs one, you surely can become Business Besties. You already have that connection and trust in your relationship. Becoming Business Besties is the natural next step.
The next place to look would be a community of women entrepreneurs. Be it your local community or an online one. A good option would be to pay a visit to a local business that is run by a woman and introduce yourself and get acquainted. Just talking about what you do with others, helps you in building your 'tribe'. Will you be Business Besties with all women that you meet like this? NO But you will have a tribe! A common group to come to in case you need anything. Maybe one of them will become your Business Bestie, but it wont happen overnight! This relationship needs trust. And that has to be built!
What if you do not have a local community of women entrepreneurs? BUILD IT! You can always take the first step to build what you want! Start by visiting your local exhibitions and craft fairs. Better still, if your business will be helped by it, book a stall. Connect with other women who are running businesses and then develop a relationship beyond the exhibition or fair. Once you get to know them, start promoting them - WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING in return! Just promote them. Compliment them on things done well. They will start reciprocating your actions soon and in no time will you have a roaring network of women who support you! But remember - TAKE THE FIRST STEP!
As your relationship with your fellow women entrepreneurs develops, get to know them better. Meet regularly and start discussing your business with them. Start by discussing common problems and issues that all of you face. It will help in breaking the ice and women will feel safer to share. Be the first to offer solutions. Get them to trust you. Be a leader. After regular interactions with your group, you will realize you connect with some of them more than the others. Let your friendship grow naturally. And you will have your Business Bestie!
What do you do when you have a business bestie?
Now that you have your Business Bestie, we come to the next question - WHAT next? I highly recommend meeting regularly. If you are in the same town, meet up for coffee every week. Make it a habit of keeping one day of the week aside for your Business Bestie. If you live far away or meeting up every week is not practical, make it a point to talk to each other often. I call Kausalya almost every day! We talk about a lot of things related to both of our businesses. The ideas that we have. The problems we're facing. The success we have achieved. She is sometimes the first to know about my achievement even before my husband knows! Staying in touch is the key here - regularly.
One thing that is super essential for a Business Bestie relation to work is that you should not feel insecure. You should NOT look at her as competition even if you are in the same business. There is enough room for both of you to grow, and some more! You need to trust the other person to make this work. You need to be honest with them.
Here are some topics that you can discuss when you meet, if you do not know where to start :
- Ideas for growth of business.
- Struggles you are facing in business
- Upcoming events and how you can help each other
- Requirements in your business
- Work-life balance
- Promotion of products or events for each other
- Fiscal advice
- Feedback about products and services
- Anything else that is bugging you!
And you can always gossip about that one woman who is a pain in the a*% for both of you!!!
Do you already have a business bestie? Or is your childhood friend also your business bestie? What do you two do when you are together? Did you find my tips useful? Do leave me a note in the comments.