However, digging in and forcing myself to chat I found myself discussing both another business owner’s struggles as well as my own and now, months down the line, we still exchange emails and support each other through the challenges that we face.
As somebody who loves talking and meeting new people I have always enjoyed going to networking events however, I’ve recently realised that I have developed my own trend of networking. When things are going really well for me I’m always ready for the opportunity to put myself out there and connect with like-minded people but then, on the flip side of that, I tend to “go underground” when I hit difficult times.
Business is a very lonely place and whilst networking both in person and online is a great way to gain new contacts and develop business opportunities, a conversation yesterday with a business owner struggling to fund an exciting new product led me to reflect on how these environments could be improved.
These forums shouldn’t just be a place to pat each other on the back and give a big “thumbs up” to all the achievements; they should be places to go to seek support and encouragement. How tough is it to just say you are struggling when everyone around you is happily launching new ventures and seemingly riding on the crest of a never-breaking wave of success?
As business owners, leaders and coaches, don’t we have a duty of care to others in our community to ensure that there is support available and, to create forums for problem sharing not just forums for celebrating success? Would more ideas actually get off the ground if people had the confidence to discuss their barriers to success?
Over the years I have faced many difficult times in business and the strength to continue has been gained from the support of colleagues and friends. What do you do if you don’t have that network around you? Friends and family may be there to support but do they really understand what you are going through?
When you are facing a big challenge or just really struggling to wade through the day to day it’s really tough to reach out for help.
I’m looking for help to create a forum where this is possible.
If more people share their challenges and solutions then hopefully more of the struggles will be resolved, allowing more of the barriers to success to be not only understood and broken down but potentially eliminated.
If you have experienced major challenges in business or just felt isolated and would be willing to share your experiences as part of a series of published interviews please contact me.
The interviews will be published anonymously unless you give consent to be named.