Are You a Member of a Mutual Appreciation Society?
Surrounding ourselves with people who will support us and cheer us on is crucial to our business success. So many of my clients confess to feeling unsupported by their family and friends when they set up in business.
Often, it's because those friends and family members are concerned or worried. They may not understand the desire to have your own business. They may see what you're doing as risky and irresponsible. They may feel that you ought to get a 'proper job'.
It takes time to get a business up and running and these first few months are critical to its success, but this is the time when our support system often isn't there for us. This is the time when family and friends are looking to us to prove that we can do it and that it's not just another pipedream we've come up with.
I was very lucky when I first started my own business because my husband Peter had been in business years before and was now a business advisor helping others to get to grips with the demands of the role. He was my cheerleader and sounding board and he steered me in the right direction so many times.
Over the years, I met other women at networking events who would tell me about their lack of support at home and so an idea was hatched. Once a month we would meet up for a coffee and a chat. Our chats turned into pep talks. Each member of the group would be given a set amount of time to 'dump' whatever had gone wrong that month. We were allowed to moan and groan about business problems without feeling that we would be judged.
The rest of the group would then give that person feedback on how amazing they were and pointed out all the wonderful things that they had achieved that month. It really was a pat on the back and it meant so much coming from your peers.
Since I've moved away to the 'middle of nowhere' I don't have my monthly meetings. I do have a dear friend and fellow therapist who I check in with on a regular basis for mutual support. It's lovely to know that we can contact each other any time and say 'can we talk?' and the other person knows immediately that this is important.
What I have realised lately though is, that I have become a member of a much bigger Mutual Appreciation Society just by being online. I can visit a forum, go on facebook or twitter or visit my challenge group and tell them how things are going. Without exception I will get all the support I need - and I am truly grateful.
Thank you for being part of my Mutual Appreciation Society. Thank you for: cheering me on when I need a boost, celebrating my successes with me, pushing me when I'm needing some motivation and helping me to spread my message. I appreciate you more than I can say - you all know who you are.