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.
Great post Heather. I, like you have the support of my family and friends in all of my endeavors. I am sure it difficult for many people when they finally make the decision to strike out to start something new but don’t have the support of their loved ones. I love the idea of the Mutual Appreciation Society.
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Thanks for your lovely comment. We are both so lucky to have the support of our family and friends. It does make such a wonderful difference to know that the people you love are THERE for you. And I know we both appreciate it.
Great post, Heather — very positive and sweet. I love your formal ‘Mutual Admiration Society’ What a great idea.
Luckily I do have people around who support me, the biggest being my husband. Yet girlfriends and business associates in the form of people online (you!), personal coaches and others I’ve met through those groups have been wonderful. You’ve reminded me of how blessed I am.
Blessings to you, Heather —
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What a lovely comment – thank you. I’m so glad that you feel the support you need and I’m happy that I’m a tiny part of that – it’s so special. Our mutual appreciation society is getting bigger all the time – isn’t it wonderful xx
Heather, I agree, this is a warm and personal post. I am glad to be a part of your Mutual Appreciation Society.
You are blessed to have a helpful husband and you so right, having online options help.
I totally love the idea your group had of giving everyone a set time to share their business complaints and difficulties in an non judgmental environment. Everyone needs people and places to vent. It is healthy for you emotionally to get rid of some of those feelings. It is also great that you had a time limit because you can get stuck if you dwell there too long.
Some people are so afraid of being perceived as negative, they won’t share their frustrations and yet sharing them is what helps you get past them. Some people won’t let you share your frustrations because they are so focused on being positive. Some people just share their frustrations, complain all the time and dwell on the negative.
I am impressed that your group had such a healthy balance. After I finish my home study, “How to Write for Fun and Profit” I am going to do a course on relationships. I will definitely recommend this model.
Keep up the good work!
Blessings to you,
I’m so grateful having you ‘on my team’ it’s been a blessing over the last few months. I love getting your messages cheering me on, it makes my spirit soar. And I’m so glad we’ve had the opportunity to get to know one another more – you are such a wonderful giving person. I’m glad we found each other and I’m honoured to be part of our amazing group of like-minded positive people all helping and support each other on our journeys.
much love Sharon and thank you xxx