Networking: Building Your Entrepreneurial Village

social-connections-graphicIn 1996, Janet Jackson read a poem in the movie Poetic Justice that co starred the late rapper and wordsmith, Tupac Shakur. The poem, “Alone”, was written by Dr. Maya Angelou and reads, in part, ” Alone, all alone. Nobody, but nobody can make it out here alone.” I love that poem, the ebb and flow of Ms. Angelou’ message resonated then as now, given the fact that I’m somewhat of an introvert who decided to step out into the world of full time entrepreneurship, I needed to hear and abide by those truths.

In 2012 when I left nursing after 35 years in the field, my resolve to leave was based upon factors beyond my immediate control. Not only was my body fatigued, my mind felt exhausted and depleted from the day to day attention to detail needed when dealing with the lives of other people. In order to be the best at what you signed up for, you have to be able to perform in A+ standards every-time. The fact that inner office politics virtually destroyed everything I’d held dear or even been taught as a nurse sealed my nurse exist. Times they are a changing.

The thought of making such a drastic change in my life, at such a vulnerable, economic time in life, was frightening. But, I knew where my purpose lay. After years of ministering and giving advice to patients, family and co-workers, I knew my skills and life experiences would continue to be a service to women on their journey to reconnecting to their truths. My purpose as a motivational mentor and women’s advocate is to empower others to walk in awareness and become better than they’ve ever been before.

The most important thing I’ve learned on this entrepreneurial journey, is that making a people connection is the best medicine for times when the walls seem to close in on such a solitary profession. These are the times you need to make a human connection for chit-chats and comparing notes with your sister-friends. As they talk about working their 9 to 5s, bringing home the cash-laden bacon and shopping for holiday gifts with the girls ( always preferred online shopping) join in. Try to attend a holiday gathering or two, but always maintain your Rolodex of fellow folks in the biz who actually gets it; can offer up some of those” been there done that” business advise and even give you a discount on their latest best selling product:)

Hillary Clinton ran her presidential campaign and wrote a book derived from an African Proverb, “It Takes a Village To Raise a Child.” In the world of owning your own business, it takes a community of like-minded folks , including Life Coaches, Business Coaches, Lifestyle Mentors and loving sisters you call when you’re feeling blue, whose words can inspire and lift you up again.

After being away from the workforce for nearly two years, I’m happiest doing what I’m still being called to do; be a service to others. Does it get frustrating when the client pool dwindles and extra monies are somewhere in the vicinity as opposed to in my business account? Yes! but, listen, life ebbs and flows and as long as you have a village to keep you accountable and help you stay motivated to on your journey to impact a world, you WILL survive and thrive in this business of becoming your own boss…

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Want more articles on Networking? Read more on Project Eve here:

How to Rock a Networking Event When You’re an Introvert

Networking Tips: 4 Ways Your Professional Network Can Help Your Startup

5 Common Networking Mistakes to Avoid

Six Networking Tips to Try Before Desperation Strikes

 

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