“It takes a village” is one of those quotes I live by.
Sure, originally it was referred to raising children but I also unequivocally believe that it takes a village to raise a successful entrepreneur.
The way we live our lives today, it’s as if we are directed inwards instead of outwards. So many of us have jobs that entail sitting in front of a computer all day, keeping our heads down, getting through our work day. I learned the importance of having a community and of learning from the experience of others, as a new mother. We were living in the city back then, I hardly met any new mothers. I hardly knew the neighbors living in my building.
It was the loneliest time for me. When we moved out of the city so we could have a community around us, our lives improved in leaps and bounds.
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I took that life lesson and applied it to my business life as well. My type of work – digital and content marketing – is essentially a “lone wolf” kind of work, all I technically need is my laptop. However, had I chosen to go at it alone, it would have been soul-sucking, boring and uninspiring. I am a huge believer in learning from other people experience, sharing and exchanging opinions. It’s important to me and to my career, to always be open to new ideas from people who are in my field and in other areas of business. More than that, I am constantly on the lookout for new interesting people to learn from. I live in a rural slightly remote community so my business networking takes place in one of two forms:
I attend a networking meeting for entrepreneurs from my area, that get together once a month. Those meetings are wonderful for exchanging new ideas, discovering new tools and also create collaboration.
My day to day learning and networking, however, happen online through mentors and virtual communities.
“When people tell me they’ve learned from experience, I tell them the trick is to learn from other people’s experience”.
When I took my business blueprint mastermind, one of the ideas that were drilled into us was to find a role model in our field and follow in his footsteps. What better way is therefor an entrepreneur to learn than from someone who has made a success out of himself in the same field?
I realize of course that having a one on one mentoring/coaching of any sort may be an expense not all of us can afford, and while I do think investing in yourself is a smart investment, I get that this is not a possibility for everyone. I was in the same place when I started. A stay at home mother who hadn’t generated an income in a few years. I found it hard to justify spending money on my business before I actually had one. But gladly – there are plenty of completely FREE available resources out there. There are fantastic role models for you and me to learn from and gain value out of at no cost. I too started with free mentoring that helped me gain the confidence to, later on, invest in myself and go for a more extensive training once I started seeing results. I still make learning and coaching part of my every day and of my weekly schedule, and I hope you will too.
Because this has been such an instrumental help to me, I thought I’d share a few of the FREE resources I found and used to build myself the “village” I needed to create my success
One on one mentoring – like I wrote before, I started out with Free mentoring, when I joined the Free 15 day business builder challenge by Legendary marketer. I was assigned a coach/advisor by the first day. We would schedule a coaching video call every other day (depending on my progress in the challenge) and he would give me assignments, ask questions, and guide me through the process of creating a business plan. I was a brand new entrepreneur and I needed that guidance. It was just what I needed to get me out of my self-doubt and fear of leaping into the unknown, and into taking action. Step by step I got to the point where I knew what I needed to do, I had a business blueprint.
In the process, I also got amazing role models I could follow, and I got an online community I could exchange ideas with. I still attend webinars at least once a month, even if it means I have to wake up in 4 in the morning to attend them (due to time zones differences), I still attend free coaching sessions at least twice a week, because there is never such a thing as knowing enough. I partake in fellow students group chats and participate in facebook live events. When I need to I schedule a call with my coach to reassess where I am at and where I want to go next.
The other way I found wonderful mentors is through researching ideas and subjects relating to my business. I came across a lot of amazing successful entrepreneurs in specific fields, while reading blogs, or visiting their websites.
Most of them offer free webinars, Facebook live events, and free email courses. I just follow and keep up with them.
Here are my favorite mega talented business ladies I follow online:
Monica Louie – is a wiz when it comes to Facebook and Instagram ads. She offers tons of free priceless knowledge. Facebook ads are one of those challenging things that need some very delicate finessing and a lot of smartly focused know-how. Monica offers all of that, in a very clear and concise way, and her website always has free great opt-ins which deliver a lot of value.
Jenna Kutchner – is another amazing go-getter that I love following. Her podcast is fantastic and filled with free great advice, it is also fun to listen to. Jenna’s blog is diverse- there are posts about marketing, great tips for entrepreneurs, empowering messages for business women and much much more. Check her out (and her website is just so pretty to look at:))
Ashlyn Writes – Ashlyn’s specialty is the written word and copywriting. Her “find your online vibe quiz” is pure genius, and she has loads of free advise and valuable info. She also delivers smart interesting posts for creative biz ladies. I’m also a big fan of her Pinterest boards.
Other then these ladies that I follow religiously, I am a member of many Facebook groups, mostly boss ladies groups, because that’s what speaks to my heart:) some of the groups I follow and participate in more closely, some I didn’t feel that connection with.
MY hands down absolute favorite group is:
Bossgirlbloggers created and fiercely lead by the wonderful Ell Duclos. This group has smart creative members, active daily threads, and Ell is always providing well thought out answers and is endlessly helpful. Ell has a wealth of information about Pinterest and using it to grow your blog.
There are many more amazing entrepreneur role models you can follow. research the expert in your niche, look for those who inspire you, and be open and willing to learn.
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”
All the resources mentioned above is what helped me create my “village” that supports me in my professional path. These are my regular go-to sources of information that is available to everyone for free. While enjoying all of the useful resources and learning from them, just make sure you remember to pay it forward and in turn, try and be there for others searching and in need of help. Let others light their candle with your knowledge.