We all have our moments. Those moments of self doubt and overwhelm. Those moments of "What the heck am I doing?" and "Why in the world did I think I could do this again?" That's where your business besties swoop in and save the day. They halt your oncoming breakdown with some loving words of encouragement or make you laugh with a few dumb jokes. They tell you to pull yourself together or suggest you mix a strong drink.
Your business besties are the first people you go running to with one of your new brilliant ideas. And you go to them knowing you'll get an honest opinion. Business besties are the people who have your back, share your work, give you tough love when you need it, and offer up advice that you respect. Sometimes business besties are the people you end up blocking off your Friday night for just so you two can sip cocktails and talk about every topic under the sun... for six hours straight. (Real life. This happened.)
Business besties are seriously the best. If you have some of your own, you know how valuable they can be. If you don't have business besties quite yet, don't worry, I'm going to help you find some today.
WHY YOU NEED BUSINESS BESTIES IN YOUR LIFE
They love and support you.
A few weeks ago, I was battling with the overwhelm of trying to do it all—keeping up with my business and blog, taking on more hours at my local social media gig, and attempting to have a life outside of work. I told my Instagram people I was feeling like a "hot mess" and within hours my business bestie, Alyssa Mopia, was texting me love and encouragement from six states away!
Then last week, I was feeling crippled by all of the noise in the online world and tweeted about it. My girl, Marissa Burdett was there relating to my struggle and sharing resources (like the Content Freedom Challenge) to get me out of my funk fast.
A month ago, I had a lightbulb moment and dreamt up a new idea I've never seen done before. I didn't know if I was crazy, and the idea was too, or if I was onto something. So the first thing I did was reach out to my business bestie, Kayla Hollatz, about the idea. She was pumped about it and even started dishing out ideas to add onto my original one. Without her encouragement, I might have simply deemed the idea as crazy or too big and moved onto the next best thing.
Having business besties who love and support you, have your back, and keep you going is everything. Your business besties can be the reason why you get out of your funk faster and the person you celebrate your little—and big—wins with!
They share your work—no email pitch necessary.
Your business besties genuinely believe in you and your work. Odds are you talk to them on a regular basis so they know exactly what you're working on and what you're launching. You know you have real business besties when you have to remind them which ideas they are not allowed to share online yet.
Two of my business besties, Kayla Hollatz and Allison Barclay, know first hand how this one goes. I have sworn them to secrecy for now, but those two could tell you all about my up and coming idea... *rubs hands together mischievously*
They give you a kick in the a$$ when you need one.
Tough love is a beautiful thing. I'm all for having business besties who call me out on my bs and excuses. Sometimes we just need a swift kick in the butt to keep moving along. Tough love can be a very effective motivator. Enough said.
They inspire you to be better.
One of the best ways to stay motivated and inspired as a solo business owner is to surround yourself with other business owners. When your close friends are being boss and running successful businesses, you're going to want to keep up with them and I guarantee you'll be inspired by the amazing work they're doing.
I am continually inspired and renergized by my twitter check ins and social media conversations with Chloe West. I can't get enough of my fun loving, hilarious chats with Frank Fuhrmeister. I could talk about minimalism and productivity all day on twitter with Catherine Beard. Find those people who inspire you and reach out to them often!
Their response to your business question will not be a blank stare.
The other day, I spent a solid 20 minutes explaining the algorithms and pros vs cons of keeping or deleting my business Facebook Page to my boyfriend. (How he has patience for my over-thinking-out-loud ramble sessions, I have no idea.) After receiving a blank stare, I realized this topic was better suited for my business bestie. One simple text to by business bestie, Kayla Hollatz, was all it took for me to finalize my decision to delete my facebook page.
Having business besties to run your business questions by is going to help you avoid those blank stares and looks of confusion. Your friends and family can love and support you as best as they can, but they might not be the greatest sounding board to your business ideas and questions. By having your business besties, you can share your exciting ideas with someone who gets it and have someone to ask those tough questions to who stands a fighting chance at answering them.
They will give you honest, real feedback.
When you're updating your logo or writing your sales copy, your business bestie is the perfect person to give you feedback and critique. The reason your business bestie can give you valuable, transparent feedback is because she knows your brand inside and out.
Once you spend enough time with your business besties, you're going to know their brand almost as well as your own. This means your business besties are one of the few people you should be accepting critique and praise from. When my business besties are honest with me and give me meaningful critique, I respect their praise that much more because I know they're not just blowing smoke.
You're better together.
When you partner up with your business besties—whether you're launching a new product or cohosting a twitter chat—you're going to come up with better content, cover different areas of expertise, and get more people interested in what you're doing. This tip goes back to last blog post which was all about collaboration over competition. When you partner up you're going to make a bigger impact and have a lot of fun in the process.
Important Note: This needs to be a two-sided relationship.
Your business besties will love and support you, give you honest feedback, share your work, and listen to your ideas, but you need to be doing the same for them! It's a two way street. One of you cannot be putting in all the effort. Your business bestie needs to get just as much value out of the relationship as you are.
Find ways to build your business besties up and show them how much you appreciate their support! For example, I share the love by tweeting my business besties blog posts and launches. I also started a new series on Instagram called #FridayFeature where I share by business besties story a little more and even mention something great they have in the works! Share the love.
HOW TO FIND YOUR BUSINESS BESTIES
This, right here, is often the hardest part as a solo business owner. You see other people who have business besties and you want your own business besties, but you don't know how to find them. I've met every single one of my business besties through this organic "formula." I say formula in quotations because there is no step-by-step guide. I've simply noticed some consistencies in the way I've built organic relationships with my business besties.
1. Twitter, especially twitter chats, have played a huge role in finding my business besties. I met a majority of my blogger and business besties through Kayla Hollatz's twitter chat #createlounge. Ashley Beaudin's twitter chat, #fireworkpeople, has also allowed me to link up with some amazing business owners.
2. Instagram has been instrumental in meeting some of my business besties as well. I met my travel blogger bestie, Alyssa Mopia, after we were constantly commenting back and forth on each other's photos.
3. Facebook Groups are another great place to meet business besties within your niche. I met a fellow branding boss, Meghan Maydel, after joining her Facebook group and chatting with her on a video call.
4. Pinterest Boards are another great place to reach out to bloggers and business owners within your area of expertise. Find a group board you love, look up the creator, and message them to join!
Move it into your inbox.
Eventually the 140 character limit just won't cut it anymore, so you'll move the conversation into your inbox. My guess is you'll email each other back and forth a few times until you can't keep up with the five different email chains you have going on. That's when you'll want to set up a date and time to actually meet and talk.
A phone call or video chat over Skype or Google Hangout is the perfect next step. You can see how well you click when you finally meet and talk to them in real time! You will get to hear their voice, see their face, and notice their quirky hand gestures.
Keep in touch.
If the chemistry is there and you want to keep talking to this potential business bestie, determine how you will stay in touch! If you're both looking for more constant communication, talk about setting up a weekly accountability meeting. If you're looking to talk with more than one person, a mastermind group might be the way to go. If you want to keep it casual, swap numbers so you can text. In order to grow solid, lasting relationships with your business besties you need to continually be communicating with them.