” Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. “ Helen Keller’s words will stand the test of time as it celebrates the pinnacle of our existence, of working together as one. And when we do, we achieve great things beyond our imagination.
When I first became an entrepreneur, I thought that it is all about being a one-man band and was proud that I could tackle all sorts of problems. That was one of many failures which turned me into the person I am today. I learned early on that the only way to build for success is to work with people who share a common vision, and are driven by the same passion.
If you ask any successful entrepreneur what their secret is, they most likely will mention networks, teams, mentors or even peer support groups who helped them in their journey. The power of their community allowed for meaningful exchange of ideas and collaboration which helped them accelerate growth and eventually, leading to their ultimate goals. I’ve been fortunate to meet many successful people in many different industries which gives me push button access to answers when I need them.
Why Peer Networks Help Build Stronger Businesses
Last February, I was lucky enough to exchange thoughts on Twitter with influencers hosting the 2017 National Entrepreneurship Week (powered by Microsoft), which inspired me to come up with these reasons why you should never underestimate the power of networking:
1. You Can Build a Network of Trusted Advisors
Challenges are a dime a dozen you play with entrepreneurship. By networking with other founders who have incredible experience and expertise to share, not only will you have a support group of brilliant minds who can help you solve your problems – but also an opportunity for you to build TRUST by helping them out with their hurdles.
2. It Can Be a Healthy Outlet for You to Vent and Learn from Mistakes
It’s stressful keeping all your rants to yourself without feeling the need to break something. Having support without being judged brings you to that zen-like state that activates your creative thinking process. Not only will you learn from your mistakes, but you will learn from others as well when you share your pain points – from raising capital, improving sales, a better marketing strategy, or negotiating equities. You can take notes from others or vice-versa. This will save you TIME when resources are limited.
3. Networking Promotes Diversity
Not only are you helping close racial and gender gaps among entrepreneurs in your local community, but you also encourage everyone to participate in making a difference as a business owner without prejudice. By allowing diversity to thrive, you also get more opportunities to learn and work with people who may have very unique skills or contexts that you don’t.
At the end of the day, whether you build your own peer support group or join one, it simply feels good to help and be appreciated for the value you are sharing. It’s like a chemical reaction, that feel-good endorphin rush that overwhelms you when you did something good, no matter how small.
I’d like to end this note with an invitation to local entrepreneurs in Cleveland to join us in our quest to build dreams together: Cleveland Entrepreneurs Meetup
P.S. If you’re crazy enough to not live in Cleveland, here are some links to other popular cities (in the US and around the world) where I have met some of the most amazing people:
New York Entrepreneurs
- Ilana Eberson – The NYC Business Networking
- Ari Shamash – Google NYC Tech Talks
- NY Tech Meetup
- Julia – Free NYC!
- Andy Troy – New York Creative Socials
- Joanna Allen – Top NYC Friends
- Trang To – New York Entrepreneurs & Startup Network
Los Angeles Entrepreneurs
- Rolando Marin Jr – LAFC Group
- Zach Sekar – LA Tech Happy Hour
- James Miller – Network After Work
- Marina Z – SM New Tech
- Barry Craine – Los Angeles Hiking Group
- Brett Greene – New Tech Seattle
- Eric – Seattle Volunteers
- Brent DaPron – Seattle Outdoor Adventurer’s Meetup
- Jeremy R – Pacific Northwest Hiking & Adventure Group
- Saul_K – Seattle Get Up, Get On Out
- Ralph – 20’s/30’s
San Francisco Entrepreneurs
- Joe Robinson – Designers + Geeks
- Todd Holloway – SF Data Mining
- Logan (mylo) Johnston – SF Free School
- Mandy Ivy – Tech in Motion SF
- Rob – Silicon Valley Startup
- Tammy Lee – SF Data Science
- Steve Stone – Creative Connections
- Josh Churlik – Denver Founders
- Jason Knoll – Startup Meetup
- Rima & Rodney – There’s a New Kid in Town @Denver
Other US States
- (Las Vegas) Paul – LV Entrepreneur Business Network
- (Boston) Chris Requena – Boston New Technology
- (Detroit) a2geeks
- Patrick M. Powers – Entrepreneurs in London
- Irfan Khalil – Startups, Entrepreneurs and Investors
- Peter Evans – Business Networking and Growth
- Amiel – Young Professionals in London
- Prabir Saha – Entrepreneur, Personal Growth and Networking Mind
- Armin – Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub
- Scott Handsaker – Startup Victoria
- Phil Brierley – Data Science Melbourne
- Scott – 30+ Professionals
- Sally A Curtis – Adelaide Personal & Business Development Group
- Rob Horkings – Entrepreneurs In Adelaide
Hong Kong Entrepreneurs
- Josephine – Multi-Networking Business Community
- Jonathan Greechan – Startup Founder 101
- Gentleman Zhao – The Hong Kong Expats