Hey guys and welcome to this week's episode of The Girl Means Business podcast. OK. So honesty time I had an entirely different podcast episode that I was going to put out this week. In fact I started recording it and I was just not I wasn't feeling it. I didn't feel like it was something I wasn't able to speak for my heart on it. And so last minute I changed the topic idea and so today we're going to be talking about how to find your business BSF and I don't just mean one person.
This topic in this episode is all about how to find connections as a business owner that are going to not only help you grow your business but help you as a person. Help you work through the things that are difficult struggling with have someone to bounce ideas off of and also share those successes. You need someone that's going to be your cheerleader and as much as we would love to think that our spouses are significant others are family members are those people for us they just don't always get it unless you run a business of your own.
It's so hard to relate to what it's like because it's not like any other job you probably have ever had when you're running a business for yourself you are all the things. So you are not only the owner and the CEO and the CFO and the marketer and you are the H.R. person and you are the front person you are everything you're doing all the jobs and it can be really overwhelming and stressful at times. And so having someone or a group of people that have your back that understand the struggle they can offer advice or just be someone that you can call up and say hey I need to vent for a few minutes.
Those are the people you need to have in your life and if you have those people already you are doing amazingly. If you are new to starting a business and you don't have that group yet this episode is going to help you find that group. So one of the reasons that this is the episode I'm choosing to go with this week and said the other episode I had originally planned is because I just finished meeting with my group of business women that I meet with once a month. This is a group of women that I had this vision back in January that I wanted to start having monthly meetings with other amazing boss babes in my area.
I wanted to make connections I wanted to originally educate and kind of get my education brand started. And it did kind of come out of the idea of I want to teach other women. So I had this idea for a business brunch where once a month we would meet we'd have brunch. We would talk about a topic and we would share ideas and it quickly turned into so much more than that. It started off with about 12 women and through the year we've kind of whittled down to about usually seven to eight each time.
But the idea that every month we get together and we talk about the things that we have succeeded in and we always start off our meetings with tell us something good that's happened in the past month and then from there we go around there we say OK tell us something that you're struggling with that we can maybe help you with. And we have laughed and we have cried and we have helped each other out and it's been really incredible to see the friendships that have been created and these are some of the women that when I'm having a really low day I will call and say OK talk me through this.
Talk me off the ledge help me get through this season because I am struggling and as difficult as it is sometimes to be vulnerable and to say I'm struggling with this. It's so nice when you have somebody that you can call up who's not going to think less of you or judge you or be like oh well you're supposed to know it all because you're the girl with the podcast and you're the one with this. No I don't know at all. That's why I have experts come on here but it's just nice to have somebody that gets it.
My husband is an amazing support system for me. My mom is an amazing support. I have incredible friends outside of the industry that are a huge support system. They are wonderful but they are not in the trenches with me and they only understand so much. So having that support system around you that gets it is such a value and I think it's one of the reasons why I'm able to keep doing what I'm doing because when you think about the fact that you're running a business you are by yourself a lot of the time the times that you're either you might have times the client obviously but a lot of times what you're doing involves behind a computer screen or in an office by yourself or on a computer you know on a laptop or a phone or whatever.
It's very lonely. And when I transition from teaching full time to business owner full time. That was the first thing I struggled with. I didn't expect to feel so isolated. I went from having all these women around me all day long that I could easily just pop across the hall and say hi to or that I walk in the morning and be like oh my gosh you're not going to believe what happened last night my kid was being a brat or oh my gosh this is so exciting. I didn't have any more.
I literally had nobody to talk to. And it made it really difficult to make that transition. And so I turned to a couple different spots and places to find these people and we're gonna walk through and talk through that today. But once I was able to make those connections it made a huge change in my business because I no longer started feeling as burned out. I no longer felt like that the struggles I was having were specific to just me. I had other people that were like No that's happening to me too.
It just it changed my mindset. It's crazy how being alone all day every day and in your own head can mess with you and it makes it really hard to run a business. So if you're in that spot right now whether it's because you work full time and you're your business is a side hustle and you don't really have many people that understand having a side hustle or your full time in your business and you are now doing it on your own whatever your situation is I guarantee you at some point you have felt the same way.
So I want to walk through a couple of the ways that I have made connections and again this is just my perspective just like this entire podcast It's All experiences that I've had. So you may have other ways in your area to meet with people or you may have other ideas. These are the places where I have found the best connections to find my business VFX. So no one is Facebook Facebook right now especially right now is a perfect place to find new B.F. apps because they are really pushing Facebook groups that's Facebook main focus right now is on cultivating and creating a place where people can find groups of other people with their same interest.
And so I found myself not only creating my own group that blossomed as something really incredible but I also joined other Facebook groups and started making friendships through the Facebook groups. Some of them are local. And so I've able to meet up with people on a local scale. Some of them are networking groups from all over the US. And so you meet people in other areas and the greatness not because we are in the best. We are living in the best time to have an online business or a business of any kind like this because it's so easy to connect with people anywhere and everywhere.
And I've had virtual coffee dates with people before that have been some of the best conversations I've had because we just hop on a zoom call or a skype call and we just chat for an hour and it doesn't matter that they're sitting in their house in North Dakota and I'm here in Texas and we both have kids running around in the background. We can still have a face to face connection and conversation that continues offline. So when you're thinking about Facebook groups as far as creating connections I know a lot of times we're like well that's great but it's all online.
I need someone I can pick up a phone call and talk to you never know where you're going to find your next connection. I. Several years ago my husband was going to Las Vegas for a conference and I was going to tag along. And the last man I said you know what. While I'm there you're going to be in classes or conference all day. I'm going to set up a photo shoot. I always wanted to shoot out in the desert. I had this vision of like this old vintage car in the middle of a desert sort of this road trip brought down the side the road vibe.
And so I went into a Facebook group for Las Vegas photographers and models and I just said hey is it okay if I post this I'm coming to visit Vegas I want to do a photo shoot. Who wants to help me. And I had this lady respond. And she said Hey I'm local to Las Vegas but we're getting ready to move to Dallas soon. I would love to help you with this shoot if you then can help me when I get to Dallas I said Yeah. That sounds fabulous let's do it.
Just expecting it to be sort of a one off like let's do this thing and then we met. We drove around for a couple hours the first day I was there looking at locations and immediately became great friends. She helped me with the photo shoot. We got along perfectly. She moved to Dallas for a couple months I think they were here for making a year hung out all the time became really close friends. They now live up in Washington state I believe and we still we still talk. We still face our Facebook friends we chat through Facebook.
We do Boxer and I never would have met her had it not been for a Facebook group. So don't write off Facebook groups because it's all online.
It's really easy for people to think it's online. It's it's not a real connection because it's somebody loves a different state or different country or whatever. You never know where you're going to find that connection and even if it's just messaging on Facebook back and forth you know I have met amazing people that way through conferences that we've gone to and we'll start messaging back and forth going hey I'm going to this conference too. Let's meet up and have drinks or I go into the conference and so I'll be at this class.
I'd love to hang out with you or meet you or whatever. Again don't let the fact that it's a social media platform deter you from making meaningful and lasting relationships. So Facebook is number one. Number two would be local networking groups. Now I know some people have mixed emotions about networking groups because there are people who say well I go to them and you I end up I'm talking to like plumbers and hotel managers and that's not really am I. But I'm in. I get that. But again just like with Facebook you never know where your next connection is going to come and if you don't put yourself out there you're never going to meet anybody.
And so while every event you go to might not be a home run it might not be where you find your person. It's at least getting you out there. It's at least getting you in front of people it's getting your business in front of people if nothing else. And you never know who you're gonna meet. You know you might find a friendship in the most unlikely place. I love talking to other business owners that are not in my industry because they bring a different perspective to things that I don't always see.
So some of my closest business best deals are hair and makeup people or florists or boutique owners or hairstylist and interior designers and they have a different view of business that isn't just photography. So don't be afraid to step outside of your niche if your specialty is photography or your specialty is you design jewelry that you sell on Etsy. Don't just focus on other jewelry designers on Etsy because you find these little gems and other places. And if everything that you're getting comes from the same pot everything's going to be the same.
So don't be afraid to dabble in a couple of different areas so finding these networking events where it's not just specific to your industry can be a great opportunity to meet some amazing people. I personally tend to focus on women only networking groups and I've found that those are really great for meeting people that are a little bit more likely to become someone that I'm going to go spend time with. I'm probably not going to go hang out with the male roofer that I met that owns his own company but I might hang out with the girl who manages a real estate company or whatever and so networking groups are really good for finding people but you have to be willing to also foster those relationships.
You know if you go into a networking event just like with anything else it just like going into a Facebook group online. You can't go in there one time and expect to find your BSF and it just be smooth sailing from there on. Sometimes you have to go in and you have to kind of caught somebody a little bit it's like dating. I mean really that's kind of what it is it's like dating all over again. So you have to sort of figure out who am I going to vibe with Who am I going to get along with.
And then you have to be willing to foster those relationships. You have to be willing to say hey let's go grab coffee let's make time to get together let's make time to meet up for lunch or let's go to this other networking event together and see how that goes Let's ride together let's. I'll come pick you up or we'll meet at Starbucks grab a coffee and we'll drive together to this place because that's I love those times when I can go grab somebody and we drive around the car for a little while. Those are the best conversations you're kind of trapped there together you have to talk to each other so make it work for your to your advantage.
But again I digress. With the networking groups just know that with any relationship you're going to have to foster that relationship. Number three if you aren't finding a group that has the type people that you're interested in becoming friends with then create your own. This is sort of what I did by accident years ago and it's been one of the best things I did when I first started my photography business and I'm pretty sure I've shared this on the podcast multiple times but I didn't know anybody else that was a photographer.
I didn't really know anybody else that owned their own business. Aside from people who did like Mary Kay and I didn't have anybody to talk to and so my poor husband was tired of hearing me talk about it and as much as he tried to feign interest I could tell he was the sort of done. So I went on searching for a group and I didn't find one that existed yet. So I was like You know what. I'm to create my own. I went on I created a Facebook group. I was literally just me in there by myself for a while and then I think I mentioned it to another photographer I met while I was out shooting on location somewhere and she joined and then she knew a handful of photographers so she asked them to join.
And it just grew from there.
And so I couldn't find what I wanted and so I created it for myself. And through doing that I made some of the most amazing friendships in the group of women I was talking about that we meet once a month. They're all from that Facebook group and the connections there. And so it's just if you don't see something in the world that fits what you're looking for. Don't be afraid to create it because I guarantee you somebody else is looking for the exact same thing. They just haven't created themselves yet.
So be the first one create a networking event create a Facebook group create a Facebook Messenger. Text group or whatever but don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and create what you're looking for. So my last tip for finding and cultivating a friendship with your business effort is you have to put in the time. And I mentioned this a few minutes ago with the networking events.
You are not going to have those relationships unless you are willing to invest the time needed to foster them. Again it's just like dating. You're not going to be able to create a lasting relationship with somebody if you're not willing to go on dates. And so when you are looking for somebody to be your business bestie or you're looking for a group of people to spend time with and to talk to and to get to know then you have to be willing to put in that time whether that is through text messaging instant messaging are on Facebook whether it is getting together in person for coffee or lunch or creating events to go to make the time.
We are all so busy. Every single person right now if you say hey what's your schedule like. They're probably going to say they're busy. I don't know a single person in my life that isn't busy except maybe my three year old and two and go but everybody's busy. It's all about what you are willing to prioritize and what you're willing to put value in. I value relationships. I know that I need those relationships and I need that time in order to make me feel better in order to help me get out of my own head in order to help me grow in order to help me stay mentally healthy.
I need those relationships. You know one of the girls said it perfectly today at our our meeting she said You know I've got so much editing I should be doing right now it's busy fall season I have tons of sessions I need to edit. She. I almost didn't come because I had these sessions to edit but man I'm so glad I did because I needed this. And if you're listening to this episode right now you're thinking I want a business bestie you need this. And so make the time. I I've started doing this just personally and professionally with all of my friendships all my relationships.
If I see something that reminds me of somebody I will text them just this morning I sent a text to my best friend I've known since I was five and I said Hey I just been thinking about you and I said You're like a funny little photo. It wasn't anything super meaningful it wasn't a thing of us long conversation. Obviously she lives at a state now so we can't really get together all the time we want to but just that five seconds it took me to send her that message. It kept our relationship going.
It's so easy nowadays to let things just die off that you have to put in the time and effort it requires to maintain a relationship with somebody. You have to be willing to pick up the phone everyone smile and say hey let's just chit chat for a long I'm driving home from this place or I'm headed to a photo shoot or whatever it might be. Let's just talk. How's life. What's going on you know. Time for a phone call send an email send a text message. It is so easy to connect to people these days and yet we don't take the time to do it as often as we should.
So here is my challenge to you this week. OK. Couple of things. Challenge number what I challenge you to either join a Facebook group or go to a networking event and meet somebody new just say hi to somebody all you introverts out there I know you're cringing at this you can do it online it's fine go into a Facebook group and introduce yourself. Just get that connection out there. Throw out that fishing line and see what happens. That's challenge number one. Challenge number two. I want you to connect with somebody you are already friends with that you haven't talked to in a while.
So send that text message send that email. Make that phone call and respect that connection again it doesn't take a lot. Hey it just takes a few moments. Just send a quick text it says haven't thinking about you How are things going schedule a lunch with somebody. Schedule a coffee for somebody just an hour of your day one time a week. Make an effort to keep those connections. I know this is not necessarily a quote unquote business or marketing tip but these relationships are so important to helping you grow your business.
Because I cannot tell you how many times I would have shut down my business had I not been talked off the ledge by somebody that I am friends with as a business friend I can't tell you how many times I have sat in tears just done just burned out done Ray to throw in the towel and I got a text from somebody that's like Hey how's it going. I haven't talked to in a while and it helps bring me back. You can be that for somebody and you need somebody to be that for you all right guys that's going to do it for this week.
Thank you for letting me ramble on. Thank you for letting me just sort of put my heart out there for y'all. I'm sure some of you are thinking oh dear lord I wish she had gone with whatever the other topic is that she was talking about this week. But I just felt like it was placed on my heart to say this because I think it's so easy for us to feel alone and I don't want you to feel alone. I want us to all have a circle of women around us that will lift us up and support us.
And if you do the business best. I will be it for you. Message me send me a text send me an email. I'll be there for you. All right guys. Have a wonderful wonderful week. I will see you back here next week same time same place.
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