Submitted by Virginia Green, PhD, MBA – Member, BNI Pipeline, Redondo Beach, CA for 13 years
Your friends with J.O.B.S say, “wow, it must be so cool to be able to set your own schedule. The meetings I have to sit in are so boring and unproductive…”
“Hmmm,” you think, “sure. I remember those days. But sometimes I can go all day without actually talking to a human. My cat, maybe, but an actually human voice?”
Probably the most challenging aspect of being a small business owner is the social isolation that can result from being on your own. Who do you bounce your great (and not so great ideas) off of? Who can you call when your computer freaks out for no reason? What happens to your brain when you spend hours trying to figure out Quickbooks™ by looking at YouTube™ videos?
Human beings are hardwired for connection. We are a ridiculously vulnerable species, without fangs, claws or fur. We need each other for food, shelter, and support. When we get isolated, we suffer. Loneliness is no fun, and it impacts our ability to be that smiley enthusiast we know we need to be to grow our business.
Entrepreneurs are the bravest segment of the business world, mainly because 37% of us fail in our first year. And yet, many of us are therefore the most resilient, courageous and compassionate people, because we know what it takes to get back up when you fall.
Your membership in BNI is your recognition that connecting with your fellow entrepreneurs is a boon to your mental health. When I go to my BNI meeting every (sigh…) Thursday morning, I know that, when I get there, my friends and supporters will be cheering for me from the minute I open the door. (and there’s pancakes, not gonna lie.)
After thirteen years of supporting my fellow entrepreneurs and cheering them on, too, I know that, no matter what tricky situation overwhelms me, there’s always just a few days until my next BNI meeting. Or a one-to-one. Or a training. Where I can make that connection I need.
Virginia C. Green, PhD, Certified Daring Way Facilitator (based on the research of Brené Brown)
Stillwater Family Therapy Group, Inc.
2312 Artesia, Suite 1
Redondo Beach, CA 90278