I’ve been blogging and running my own business for so long but haven’t reached out to women in my city yet. It was a problem because while the internet has made it so easy for you to connect to anybody, anywhere, proximity counts. I didn’t have that community of women in my own backyard that I could call upon for immediate support, instead having to always rely on “virtual hugs” and supportive Facebook messages.
So this past weekend I organized a meetup for women bloggers in my local area. We had a great time over brunch at Granite City, sharing our projects and figuring out ways we could support each other. (My favorite part of the brunch was discovering how many of them were cupcake connoisseurs as well!) It felt amazing to be around so much positive energy. I was wondering why I hadn’t done this sooner, as it could have made a world of difference over the past few years, as I was struggling for support with my events or in my personal life.
The lesson? If your support network is small or weaker than you would like, don’t just accept it. Put in the work to grow your team. Good friends/confidantes don’t just fall out of the sky. They’re cultivated and nurtured, just like any other relationship.
My tips for you:
- Double-check to see who you are overlooking. Sometimes we feel like there’s no one in our corner, but perhaps we’re not looking in the right places. Do you have friends that you used to be close to, but time and distance have weakened your bonds? There’s nothing stopping you from rekindling an old friendship, particularly if there was no nasty falling out.
- Organize some type of dinner party/get together. You need face time with your support circle. It is so easy to just stay at home and text your friends or trade “LOLs” on Twitter, but over time, that kind of connection weakens.
- Join a shared interest organization/group. Is there a young professionals group in your city that you could connect with? Are there student organizations on campus that fit your interests? Sometimes the easiest way to make new connections is to go where folks are already looking to make new connections.
- Use your kids. Over the past few years, I have made a few “mom friends” by befriending the parents of my kids’ friends. It has helped me tremendously as I get to know them and their family and it also helps my kids feel like they have a bigger community as well.
If you found these tips helpful, care to share it on Twitter?