Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Business Alone

Photo courtesy of Theresa Reed

Photo courtesy of Theresa Reed

A a solopreneur creating a fully DIY life, I find myself often lonely. Going a little bit out of my mind at all times. And wondering if all the crazy things I experience are “normal” or not.

Which is why we need friends. And not just any friends, but business friends.

Business friends forever.

I found my group of BFFs early in my solopreneur journey, thanks to a wise fellow businesswoman who’s been down the path much further than me. Theresa Reed invited me to join her and two other experienced entrepreneurs for a three-course lunch of smiles, stories, and encouragement. It turned out to be just the right meal for my connection-hungry soul.

Thanks to Theresa (and indirectly, to my business coach Cat LeBlanc, who also happened to be a mutual acquaintance of one of the other members), I met Victoria Prozan, a creativity coach who is also one of the most passionate and empathic people I know. I also met Alison Monday, the web development genius behind my soon-to-drop business website and a soon-to-be yoga instructor.

Together, we take on the town once every other month.

The scene of last night's BFF meet-up

Check out this amazing Bayview restaurant, the scene of last night’s BFF meet-up

When we get together (as we did again last night), the table is open. We celebrate our wins and talk openly about what’s not going so well, too. This is our place to be honest. We know that the other members of the group truly care and that they’re “on the same page” with how we’ve chosen to run our business.

Our BFF group is an oasis of honesty and encouragement, even positivity. Not the fake sort that’s drummed up artificially, but the real, raw, resilient kind that comes from living this DIY business journey every day, from proving to ourselves and everyone else that survival truly is proof of adequacy.

I look forward to our every-other-month meet-ups with so much anticipation! And when I’m discouraged about how things are going, I know I can count on these women who’ve been further down the journey to inspire me to get back out there again. I also love celebrating their successes.

Plus, what’s not to love about great food and great conversation … under any circumstance?

People have asked me how to join a BFF group. There’s no better way than to start your own! The process is simple:

STEP 1: PICK YOUR BFFs

You will become like the company you keep. Whether your BFF group is for business or for your fandom or hobby, pick people who are committed to lifting themselves and others up. No naysayers, no backbiters, no lifestyle of negativity. No one’s perfect—but you know whose company will enrich you, and whom you can also enrich. Personally, I love a variety of ages and experience levels in my group. So take those factors into consideration, too.

If you don’t know anyone like this, it’s time to start networking! Visit a few meet-up groups, invite local colleagues out for coffee, attend a local festival or event. You’re bound to meet some interesting potential BFFs who have the right positive energy! Take time to get to know them well before forming a group. It’s amazing what happens when we take action with intention.

STEP 2: PICK YOUR TIMING

Will your BFF group meet every month? Every other month? Three times per year? The timing and frequency is up to every individual group. Right now, our group meets once every other month. Because two of us are in Madison and two in Milwaukee, we take turns “hosting” in our city.

STEP 3: PICK YOUR PLACE

Your choice of venue will be guided by your group’s desires. Do you want to have coffee and dessert, or a four-course meal? Are everyone in your group sworn foodies, or does a greasy spoon do the trick? There are no rules here, but as you’re selecting your place, consider whether the locale is conducive to conversation, and (if desired) the need to spread out.

Once you’re there, have fun! You could structure your meeting more, with a set topic of conversation or agenda, or just keep it open and relaxed, as we do in our BFF group.

Either way, by surrounding yourself with some solid Business Friends Forever, you’ll renew your strength and determination for the entrepreneurial journey. And most of all, you’ll have more fun.

Get another perspective on BFFs in this great post by Theresa Reed.

*  *  *

What about you? Do you have a group of supportive friends
you meet with regularly to celebrate your DIY business journey?

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