Since 2011, I’ve been a part of 3 formal entrepreneurial life groups. Although that’s not their names, that’s the way I see them.
And the impact of those groups, the time I’ve spent in them, and the relationships I built through them have been priceless.
They have had a profound positive impact on my life and business.
In fact, I don’t think I’d survive without them. They have exponentially increased my health and happiness … and yes, my business has grown because of it too.
Increasingly I believe every entrepreneur should have some sort of small group of entrepreneurs to be able to do life together with.
Entrepreneurship is one of the toughest, most demanding and lonely jobs out there … and too often we try to go it alone.
Here are the most profound benefits I get from these entrepreneurial groups:
1. I’m Not Alone.
Entrepreneurship is one of the toughest, most demanding and yet loneliness jobs there is.
Having a group of people on the same or similar journey to share life and experiences together is one of the most profound, deeply impactful times of my life.
Every time I’ve met with these awesome entrepreneurs, I say to myself, “I am not alone. Everybody has the same problems, with different names attached to them.”
There’s a special hope that comes from knowing the universe hasn’t singled you out for misery.
My struggles aren’t as unique as I thought. Other people are often dealing with the same things as me, or will.
And through that experience, I have found unparalleled camaraderie and friendships that I couldn’t get anywhere else.
We, entrepreneurs, are a special breed, we deal with certain life situations, pressures and stresses that most don’t.
But these fellow entrepreneurs get me, are there for me, walking with me, sharing their life and experiences with me and vice versa.
It’s a place and a people to truly belong … and to never suffer in secret or solitude again.
2. I Learn and Grow and Improve My Life
Every time I meet with entrepreneurs I learn something new that benefits and improves my life.
There is no competition or judgment, but it helps me see areas I need to develop more and their example helps me model new behavior, especially in unknown territory (like becoming a dad for the first time).
Hearing others share their experiences over just giving advice allows me to know the full story, not just 140-character glossy version of it … and I get to draw my own takeaways from that.
3. I Can Take Off My Mask and Be Me
I can be open ….. and let down my guard and share things I can’t or don’t or won’t with others in my life (or business) in a safe, confidential people, without judgment.
Whether it’s a key struggle I’m wrestling with, or a huge success that I can’t otherwise share, I can in these groups.
Too often we simply bottle things up and then they inevitably end up blowing up in us. Or we check off a dream from our list … yet have no one to share that with.
I can be open, let my defense down and feel safe and embraced doing so.
4. My Life and Experiences Can Help Others Too
It’s tremendously rewarding to get help from others, but also to give help too.
By being part of these groups, I also help and support others to improve their lives and work on their struggles by sharing my own life and experiences.
It’s not about giving advice, or telling them what to do … it simply saying, “I’ve been through a similar situation and here are the details of it all.”
Being generous with my life and experiences is an incredible reward. We’re in this together.
5. Investing In Myself Benefits Everyone Around Me
So many times, we hear the advice — “Work on your business, not in it.”
But when are we encouraged to work and invest in OURSELVES.
These groups allow me to set aside time to invest in myself that benefits everyone in my life.
I hate booking my schedule full of things so I have a limited number of repeating events. But I also know I need a set, fix, recurring time. If I don’t have something on my calendar (fourth Tuesday of every month) I’ll come up with every excuse to miss meeting with other people.
This is a focused, set and consistent time that gives me a great dose of camaraderie as well as time to invest in ME and to give to others.
And my wife, my team, my partners and my customers feel the difference when I do.
Ready to Find Your Group?
Every time I’ve talked about the entrepreneurial groups I’ve been a part of, a number of people always say — How can I find one like that?
If you’re interested in these kinds of groups, check out my new venture Leader.Team.