Why finding your peers is great for your business

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One of the biggest mistakes creative entrepreneurs make is trying to do everything in their business alone.

Or, leaning on friends and family for support, but their friends and family just don’t get it.

Even if you’re a solopreneur, that doesn’t mean that you have to rely only on yourself for support. You NEED others in your corner who understand what it’s like to run a business.

Here’s how our experts have found the support they need to be successful.

This season’s experts:

Katelyn Hamilton

Katelyn began her career in marketing and public relations in Nashville, Tennessee. After working in the agency world for six years, she decided to pursue the entrepreneurship route to create more freedom and flexibility in her life. Now, Katelyn works as an Online Business Manager where she helps entrepreneurs organize, strategize and prioritize the backend of their business to go from overwhelmed to out-in-front. A Georgia grad, she bleeds red and black and is a diehard Georgia football fan, dog mom and outdoor enthusiast.

Visit Katelyn: Website | Instagram


Megan Minns

Megan is a Life and Business Coach that specializes in helping online course creators, coaches, and service providers build a scalable, sustainable, and enjoyable business… without sacrificing their personal life!
She does this through her coaching program, Empowered CEO™, and her weekly live show, The Productive Life.
Megan has a Master’s Degree in Organizational and Human Resource Development, corporate Human Resources and Recruiting experience, and has been helping online business owners streamline and systemize their businesses since 2015.

Visit Megan: Website | Empowered CEO |Facebook Group


Quinn Tempest

Quinn Tempest is a business strategist and coach who helps females founders create more purpose + profit in their business *without* burning out. She’s the founder of Create Your Purpose®, a community of global entrepreneurs dedicated to building impactful businesses with intention. Her professional expertise is in branding and holistic digital marketing strategy and she is a frequent speaker at events and organizations around the country.

Visit Quinn: Website | Instagram


Alisha Robertson

Alisha Robertson is an author, business coach and the founder of Living Over Existing; a podcast, newsletter and community for women entrepreneurs who want to run a successful business without sacrificing the life she desires.

After experiencing severe burnout, Alisha tore down everything she thought she knew about becoming a successful entrepreneur and decided to build a brand that helped women to focus on building their business and life with intention. Through her work, Alisha strives to not only help women entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their brands but also help them to prioritize themselves in the process.

Visit Alisha: Website | LOE Collective | LOE Instagram 


Jordan Gil

Jordan Gill, operations consultant and founder of Systems Saved Me, helps overworked one-woman shows become streamlined solopreneurs. Her jam is creating a cohesive operating system for managing your tasks, files and inbox. She’s been on podcasts like What Works and CEO Vibes sharing her love of replacing monthly retainers with one day virtual intensives. She currently lives in Dallas TX with her cavapoo Vivienne and collection of 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles.

Visit Jordan: Website | Instagram | Facebook


Erin Flynn

Erin Flynn helps creative entrepreneurs design profitable and sustainable businesses that are simple and streamlined so that they can work less and live more. She’s the founder of Successfully Simple™ and is on a mission to help other creatives slash their work hours, earn more, and enjoy their lives.

Visit Erin: Website | Instagram | Shortcut


Transcript:

Erin Flynn:

Hey there, Erin here, and today’s question is, again, a really good one. It is, how important is it for you to have support from your peers? How do you find your people to get feedback and support? I can’t wait to hear what our experts have to say. So let’s dive in.

Katelyn Hamilton:

Hey, this is Katelyn Hamilton, and I’m an online business manager and marketing strategist. It’s incredibly important for you to have support from your peers, for me to have support from my peers, and really just kind of find that community and get the feedback and support that I’m looking for. While I always say not to really rely on other people’s opinions of you, I think it’s really important to find people that you can trust and that you can count on to give you honest feedback.

I mean, you can look at creating a network, a pod, maybe a Facebook group, or you can also work with a business coach, working with somebody that really is an advocate for your business, can see your business and your blind spot from the outside. That has been critical for me and my success and having that person to push me and to call me out on stuff, also to provide me feedback and give me ideas and encourage me when I’m ready to throw in the towel, because you do have those moments, and that happens in business.

I think that for me, I’ve found my people, so to speak, through Facebook groups, different entrepreneurship Facebook groups online. I’ve been able to just meet people that are like-minded as me, in the same stage of business as me, and also people that I aspire to become and aspire to have a business that they have, whether that be a direct correlation or indirect correlation, and kind of tap into their knowledge and skillset and resources, again, as well as hiring a coach who’s an advocate for me.

I think that you kind of have to do a little bit of your own research, find who you vibe with, and you’ll meet somebody through the online world, because I think it’s so incredible to be able to build those relationships, or maybe it’s Instagram or Facebook that you can just connect with them and see that friendship blossom and bounce ideas off of each other, because I do think it’s a reciprocal sort of thing.

Maybe it’s somebody in a different industry, somebody that you don’t feel like you’re competing with, so to speak, and can give you insights for maybe it’s your ideal client market or something like that. I have found that to be really successful for me, and I rely on my people a lot to give me that necessary feedback. I think if you want to today go find a Facebook group, find your business bestie, hop on a coffee chat with them. I mean, I know that’s super right now just to send a quick message and be like, “Hey, this is what I’m looking for.”

It’s almost like you’re shopping for a bestie, right? Like online dating, but a business dating. Ask people to chat and see who you vibe with, and that’s worked out really well for me. If you want to connect with me further, be sure to check me out on Instagram, www.instagram.com/katelynehamilton, or my website, which is www.katelyn, K-A-T-E-L-Y-N, ehamilton, H-A-M-I-L-T-O-N.com.

Megan Minns:

Hey, this is Megan from meganminns.com, and I help online business owners learn how to scale and grow their online business, specifically through their planning, their systems, and building a team. And when it comes to getting support, I find that this is one of the biggest challenges that most online business owners face, and it’s also one of the most important things to really work towards. I am not naturally the type of person who seeks out new friendships. Even though I’m technically an extrovert, I find it very difficult to do this in the online space.

Now, put me in person with people and things change dramatically, which is actually how I have found the best friendships in the online space. I met a lot of my current business besties at in-person events and conferences. At the time I’m recording this, we are deep in COVID-19. It’s the end of 2020. We haven’t been able to travel at all. This is really difficult to do in today’s current times, and I absolutely understand that. But as we all know and hope, life will return to normal.

Whenever we are at a time where conferences and masterminds that are in-person and industry events are happening again, I think this would be the best way for you to spend your time. And I know it costs money to do, so you have to be selective, but it really is a game changer for making real relationships with the people you may have interacted with or seen online, or even making brand new friends. Even Erin, I met her in person and that really kicked off our relationship, even though we had kind of been in the same circle virtually before.

It really does make a huge, huge difference when you can meet people and spend time together in-person. Now, besides that, there are other incredible ways to make meaningful relationships without having to meet in person first. And my favorite way to do that is through joining group courses or group programs as long as there is a community component, or even a mastermind. I don’t think you would get this from joining any type of self-study course.

But if there’s a mastermind or high level group program with a big strong community, you can absolutely make meaningful relationships as long as you are showing up and engaging and going the extra mile to be a really engaged, helpful, supportive member of that community. You can’t expect to join an online community and be a silent watcher and build meaningful relationships. You really have to engage, reach out to people, be helpful, and actually nurture a real relationship.

So this is how I find my people, is through a combination of in-person events when that is a realistic option and joining masterminds and high-level group coaching programs, where I can really get to know people at a higher level than just sending DMs on Instagram, although that is certainly a great way to get started. So if I was you, what I would love to recommend for you is to look at where you can start to intentionally get to know people in a community. It might even be a place you’re already… You might already be a part of it.

Like it could be a group you’re already in that you’re just not engaging in actively, or you might need to seek out a new program or mastermind to join and really seek it with the intention of getting that peer support. And then hopefully in 2021, you’ll be able to start maybe attending events or conferences again, where you can really build some meaningful relationships faster. I hope this helps. We have our own online community over on our Facebook group.

You can go to meganminns.com/community if you are looking for a free option for getting to connect with people online. We would love to have you over in the Empowered Entrepreneurs community, so hopefully I see you in our Facebook group.

Quinn Tempest:

Hi, there. This is Quinn Tempest. I’m a business strategist and coach based in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. And I find it really important to have support from my peers. So really the question is, how do I find my people and how do I get that feedback and support? Well, to be honest, I have been the worst at this in the past for much of my business, and I’ve been in business for myself for nine, 10 years now. I didn’t know who to turn to. I didn’t have anyone to ask questions to.

The only entrepreneur I knew was my father, and he’s 70, and he hasn’t been in business for himself since he retired, which was quite awhile ago. I didn’t know really until I started tapping into Instagram how many more people there were like me. And I think that was really the start of it, was just looking at female entrepreneur hashtags and seeing what people were doing, seeing that there were women like me, going through the challenges like me, asking similar questions like me. And I created a lot of a really great connections that way.

In fact, I think that’s even how Erin and I got connected and we had virtual coffee. I was on her podcast and now we’re actually in a mastermind together. One of the things that has really helped me is just remembering to step out of my shell, remembering to know that I’m not alone and that I don’t have to do it alone. Also, I created my own community. So now I’m the leader of a community, and I get so excited every time I get to go into our group, post a question, post a challenge, and immediately within five, 10 minutes, get three or four comments of either, “Hey, Quinn, I hear you. I feel you,” or even direct resources.

And the same thing happens for my members. They feel supported. And that’s why I created not just a course, but of course, a community, because we don’t need to be alone. In fact, I think we’re better together, and I wish I had something like I created so much earlier in my career. I feel like I would have sidestepped so many obstacles, so many challenges, so many issues and actually felt like I was understood.

I just want to say, when it comes to how important it is for support, it’s non-negotiable for me now. But for the longest time, it was something I didn’t even think about. If you’re listening to this, go reach out to someone. Talk to someone. Go DM someone on Instagram. Just start a connection and see where that can take you. Because really when it comes down to it, we have to make the connections. We have to initiate, just like relationships are built over time.

So keep holding that trust, keep holding that loyalty, and reach out to people who either inspire you or resonate with you, and start that relationship now. You’ll thank yourself in 10 years. You don’t have to do it alone, and I want to be there for you as well. So feel free, connect with me, create a connection, send me a DM over on Instagram. I am @quinn.tempest.

Alisha Robertson:

It’s Alisha Robertson, your business coach for all things building a life and business with intention. So when it comes to getting support from my peers, I feel like I’m about 50-50. It is really important for me to have people that I can go to who understand the journey that I’m on and who can give me feedback and who can provide support and just kind of be there for me when I need to vent about all things entrepreneurship.

But the other half, I also feel like sometimes there are going to be some instances or just some seasons in your life or in your business where you’re going to have to kind of figure things out on your own. Not everyone will understand your vision. Not everyone will understand the path that you’re taking. So sometimes you may be faced with the fact that not everyone gets it, and that’s okay. That is completely okay. That doesn’t make them a bad friend or a bad mentor or whoever it is that you’re you’re speaking with.

But it just goes to show you that you don’t necessarily always need the opinions of others or the feedback from others. Sometimes you just have to go at it for yourself. But for me, when it does come to finding my people who I am able to go to for feedback and who I am able to go to for support, thankfully the internet has opened up a whole world of entrepreneurs who get me, who are either on the same path as me or some who have been where I am and who can really serve as like a mentor for when I don’t know what the heck I am doing.

When it comes to finding those people, it’s just been the relationships that I’ve been able to build on social media sites like Instagram or on Twitter. I’ve been able to just start these random conversations with people. And eventually we’ve gotten to the point where I’ve been able to reach out and say, “Hey, you’re building a course, or you’re building a coaching program, or you’re writing a book. Would you like to start some type of weekly call where we can just sit down and talk about our goals and just hold each other accountable?”

So really just not being afraid to shoot your shot and be the person who reaches out to someone else, of course, after you’ve kind of built a relationship with people. Also, I’ve joined different masterminds, and I’ve also joined other group coaching programs that have been able to open me up to other women that I may not have met otherwise, which has really kind of created a community of its own, which I also love. So not being afraid to pay, I guess you could say, to get into the room to meet other people who may be like-minded as you, but yeah.

That’s how I’ve been able to really just find my people. It’s building genuine relationships. That’s the biggest takeaway I want you to get from this, is to build genuine relationships first. That could happen on Twitter and you all talking about your favorite TV show or what you’re currently watching on Netflix, or saying happy birthday when their kid turns a different age. Just building those genuine relationships before actually reaching out and saying, “Hey, can you do this for me? Or hey, would you like to be a part of this call with me? Or would you like to get on a phone and chat about whatever it is?”

Just taking that time to build that genuine relationship, I think, has really been a game changer in the people that I have been able to find who have really served as my business besties. All of my business besties that I have have come from me just starting random conversations with people on Instagram or on Twitter, or me just simply genuinely supporting their work or sharing their work, or even having them on my podcast. Use the platforms that you have to build relationships with some of these people.

That’s my biggest takeaway for you is to just start genuine conversations and let the relationship kind of grow organically from there. All right, you guys. If you would like to keep up with me, you can find me over at livingoverexisting.com, or you can find me on Instagram @thealishanicole.

Jordan Gill:

Hi, I’m Jordan Gill from Systems Saved Me. I am borderline obsessed with having peers in this space, because sometimes like you just… You’re an idea land. You think something’s really awesome. And then someone’s able to look back at you and say, “I’ve tried that and I would do it this way, or you actually are this type of person, so why would you do this as your business model?” Those sorts of things that, again, we just kind of need people who know us and have grown with us.

I’ve been really fortunate that I’ve been in a peer-led mastermind, the same one since the middle of 2017. So that is a lot of years of consistent getting to know me, and we’ve become like a sisterhood. We’re there for each other through personal shakeups, business shakeups, and I’ve just found that I feel so grateful for those women. There’s about eight of us now. And the commitment that comes from… If you share similar values to people about commitment, then you’re going to have an incredible support team there for you.

And then I actually also joined a group coaching program this year. I hadn’t been in one for a while, and that has been tremendous to be able to be in rooms of women who think differently in such an abundant space and are your biggest cheerleaders and just like you all think each others are dope. And so for me, again, I’ve been I want to say lucky in the sense that I’ve… The peer mastermind is low ticket item, and it’s like 500 for the six months to somebody who’s just facilitating.

And then the group coaching program that I’m in is a $24,000 program for the year. And so again, I’m blessed that I have the finances to be in that level of a space. At the beginning of this year, I would never have thought that I would be in a program at that stature, but I bet on myself, and I knew that the person that I was learning from and the types of people that she attracted to her were similar people that I wanted in my space. I took a leap, and again, I had no idea what my offer was going to be.

I had no idea really what I was doing at all in this program, because I did not have a plan to do what it was teaching us. But it was by far, besides my team, the best financial decision I’ve made this year. Hands down. I think that it’s good to have a balance of friendships. It’s also good to have a balance of business colleagues or people, peer-to-peer colleagues that you can call on for questions or insights. Sometimes you have to pay for that and that’s not a bad thing, and it’s not something to shy away from at all.

If you want to continue to connect with me, my website is systemssavedme.com, or you can find me on Instagram @systemssavedme.

Erin Flynn:

Hey there, it’s Erin. I’m back. And for me, I don’t know that I would still be in business if I didn’t have support. It is so key to have support in your business and have someone or a group of people to turn to and get feedback and help when you’re struggling. I’m actually in several masterminds, groups of peers where we kind of bounce ideas off each other, help each other work through problems, and things like that.

And I have lots of great connections that I’ve made over the years with other entrepreneurs that I can go to in a less formal way to get feedback for what I’m working on and things like that. And having those connections, whether it’s a mastermind or something less formal or a great community that you can go to, is just so important because those peers know what you’re going through. They have had similar experiences.

They’ve had either gone through it before, or they can look at it from a business perspective that may be other people in your life don’t understand. So I think it is so important and I would not, not have the business that I have today if I didn’t have those connections and that community to lean on for support. My takeaway for you today is to find your people. Find others who have similar businesses. They can be competitors or not, or just complimentary businesses and lean on them.

Start a group, start a mastermind to meet every week or every other week and to connect, bounce ideas, give each other feedback, or join a community. If you’re not quite sure yet who to connect with, joining a community like mine, The Shortcut, could be a great place for you to find like-minded people who will be able to support you. And from there, you can then branch off into a mastermind if you want to go a little bit more in depth with a certain smaller group of people.

But I just think it’s so important, and I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have that support and community aspect in my business. I probably would have given up a long time ago, and I don’t want you to do that. So go find a community today. And if you’re interested in joining The Shortcut, head to successfullysimple.com/shortcut. It’s a community of amazing entrepreneurs where you can connect and maybe meet your mastermind group.

About Erin Flynn

Erin Flynn is the founder of Successfully Simple™, a hub for creative entrepreneurs who want to work less and live more. Erin’s mission is to help female creative entrepreneurs ditch the busywork and redesign their businesses around what success means to them. Find her on Instagram @SuccessfullySimple