If you’re an entrepreneur, you know how lonely it can be to run a business by yourself. All entrepreneurs feel this way (we actually asked dozens of business owners and they agree.)
But why do we feel the need to join a community of people like us?
It’s simple. According to Forbes, a community of entrepreneurs can help you:
- Avoid mistakes by learning from others!
- Make superior business strategy decisions with the help of others.
- Save tons of money and time, because you’ll have access to the RIGHT experts.
- Be more visible as people naturally get to know you and what you do.
- Get access to new tools, resources, and ideas as sharing of ideas and resources are encouraged!
- Strengthen your entrepreneurial spirit, as other entrepreneurs motivate you to build, grow and thrive in business.
Unfortunately, finding a community isn’t so easy
The advantages of belonging to an entrepreneurial community are many. There are many communities out there that entrepreneurs can choose to get involved in. We live in a world where every other person you meet either runs a community you HAVE TO JOIN, or they want you to join the community they found.
What is concerning, however, is that more and more entrepreneurs are reporting that they are struggling to find a community where they actually belong. They join all these groups but discover that they lack the support and community that was promised.
The relationships between members feel forced and inauthentic, and the entrepreneurs simply feel alone in a group.
“We crave authentic connection. We are so done with the highlight reel.” is the feedback we received recently from one of the entrepreneurs in our community.
The lines have never been more blurry
Entrepreneurs these days are exposed to over 5,000 brand messages and advertisements every day, across every marketing channel. As an entrepreneur, you know this. We both do. And it is becoming harder and harder to tell the fake from the real.
“We are tired of being manipulated to fit a mold that is shaped by community leaders. It is exhausting to always have to aspire to be like someone else,” said another entrepreneur we spoke to.
In a circle of entrepreneurial minds and successful people, you’ll find an abundance of tools, advice, and resources that everybody can use to thrive. There, the next game-changing intervention is always just a virtual coffee date away.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
What we have are communities where relationships between members aren’t authentic, and so, there’s barely any growth support.
This leaves the entrepreneurs in the community feeling so disillusioned that they give up on networking altogether.
Entrepreneurs cannot thrive outside an authentic community
An entrepreneurial mind cannot thrive in isolation. So, even though they’ve been burned before, hopeful entrepreneurs still go looking for a community of authentic, like-minded, caring business owners. But the landscape hasn’t changed. So what happens?
You guessed it!
They get their hearts broken, their dreams trampled on and their pockets emptied. Again.
The situation is basically a post-corona economy pandemic. You can’t get away from it, and you can’t do anything to protect yourself from it.
So what’s a lonely entrepreneur to do?
How do we find those communities that not only say that they offer authentic connections but ACTUALLY have the business model to support it!
Well, these communities exist, even though they are very few. The good news is that they have characteristics you just can’t miss.
How to spot an authentic community from a mile away
There are entrepreneurs out there who found authentic connections in business. We’re talking about connections that help them thrive, grow, and feel understood. We located them and asked them to share some signs on how we can identify these kinds of communities.
Here’s what they told us:
1. Authentic communities put people first.
“Communities that encourage authentic connections will be able to offer authentic connections. Listen carefully to what their leaders have to say. Do they speak only about business cards, business opportunities, and business links?
If so, chances are the focus in this community is more on the business and less on the people. Authentic relationships will struggle to thrive in this community because their members won’t view authentic relationship-building as a priority.”Jeff – Nevada, US
2. They don’t require a reason to have a meeting with you
“Communities that prioritize relationship-building between members will always be encouraging their members to meet up with one another – and more often than not – not at all for business reasons!
Their members have become so focused on building authentic relationships that they will prioritize getting to know new people in their space, before pursuing any type of business-related discussion.”Steven – Birmingham, United Kingdom
3. Their entrepreneurs actually get involved in joint projects
“Joint ventures, profit share projects, and mutually beneficial arrangements are at the order of the day in a community that truely prioritizes authentic connection and relationship building.
It is easy for their members to pull off bigger joint projects together and to create mutual earning opportunities in clusters, because they’ve gotten to know each other so well over the years of being involved in the community.”Brian – Toronto, Canada
4. Their retention rate will be sky high
“The building of authentic relationships is a long-term mission. Often, members of an entrepreneurial community that truly promotes authentic connection will meet up with each other a few times, and get to know each other really well, before even starting business-related discussions.
You can’t force the forming of authentic relationships, you can only foster it and create an environment which is conducive to relationship building.”Caryn – Cape Town, South Africa
5. They won’t focus on selling or advertising to each other
“A relationship is a two-way street. If one party to a relationship is always attempting to influence the other party to convert to a customer, relationships won’t flourish. Business that gets done in a community that is truly focused on authentic relationship-building will adopt the approach of “Let’s make money with each other, not from each other.”Scott – Belfast, Ireland
These are the 5 ways to spot an authentic entrepreneurial community from a mile away.
We hope that this has been helpful and that it truly enables you, as an entrepreneur, to find your best fit. Hopefully, you can take this information and use it to find a community where the members actually care about you and aren’t just after the number of referrals you can put on the table, or the amount of finances you can contribute in monthly fees and product purchases.
If you’ve got anything to add, please do post your comments in the chat! We’re always delighted to hear from our fellow entrepreneurs!
Finally, if you’d like to experience relationship-based networking hosted by an authentic community of entrepreneurs that call themselves the Explore ProTech Tribe, you’re more than welcome to join us at our next Global Online Speed Networking Event.
You can buy your ticket here.
Just between us: If you found this article through someone else, ask them for a discount code. They might be able to get you up to 100% discount.
Better still, we can send you a discount code right now. Simply click here to apply.
A massive thank you to all the messages sent to us by the members of our community! You guys inspired this post! Thank you!
“Being a part of and exposed to a few networking groups, I have never experienced the dynamic and culture that is UNIQUE to Explore ProTech. It is a space and platform where, you not only feel safe to show up as WHO YOU are, but also because of fellow TRIBIES doing the same, they quietly support you in becoming more of WHO YOU are.
That is a measure of COLLABORATION in its true form. It is where Pete and Nestene created this culture by living “Coffee ☕☕ First, Business 💼💼 later”. It is such an privilege to be a part of a TRIBE where everyone honours this. A journey I thank each and everyone of you for travelling TOGETHER.”Steve – Cape Town, South Africa
“People crave authentic connection. We are so done with the highlight reel. Involvement with this tribe is always going to be about people first before business.”Christine – Calgary, Canada
“Before I joined this community I struggled to find paying clients, had no support and I felt completely alone struggling to run my business. These days I don’t struggle to find paying clients and I love that this tribe is so supportive and caring, it really feels like an extension of my family.”Sommerville – Bela-Bela, South Africa
Lots of Love,
Nestene and Peter
Final copy courtesy of Matthew Iyiola – the copywriter for coaches.