Working from home and being a solopreneur has many advantages, snuggling with my dog and connecting with my boyfriend on his way home from work are just two of the many freedoms I enjoy. This life I’ve chosen also has many disadvantages. I miss collaborating with my cubicle mates when I’m stuck on an idea or a project. I miss the energy of thoughtful, fun, supportive, hard-working and smart co-workers. This life can be incredibly lonely and burdensome, as everything feels like it falls on my shoulders. Which annoyingly is also freeing.
Recently, I discovered the concept of a personal board of directors. This is a group of between five and 10 individuals that can help you make sound decisions, give you advice and feedback, challenge your assumptions, broaden your professional network, brainstorm and gut check ideas, and generally expand your perspective and thinking.
I’m blessed to have a Neighborhood Gazette reader and local businessman on my personal board, and I’ve also been working to grow it. We meet on Zoom monthly, hopefully one day in person, with an agenda to ensure we connect but also respect each other’s time. These individuals provide me with connection and support, but also a different lens with which to view life and business challenges I am currently facing. And I’ve heard, I do the same for them.
A fellow coach has asked me to be on his board for the heart and head business perspective I provide. He’s already challenged me to get better at selling and made me practice scenarios with him. It was simultaneously uncomfortable, like skin crawling uncomfortable for this highly sensitive person, but also freeing in an I can do this even though I hate it kind of way. Because he’s an expert, and I’m not and he gives great yet also safe feedback.
Nurturing your network is a critical piece of ensuring you live your best life. It’s even more critical when you lack workplace camaraderie. Here are my top ways to nurture a network to help you thrive. When you’re thinking about someone, follow through on that with a call, text, email or snail mail. When someone inspires you, tell them. When you learn someone has suffered a loss, let them know you’re there, whenever they need you. When you need help and a person comes to mind, reach out and ask, maybe they’d even join your personal board. Feeling stuck, another great time to reach out and ask for help. Schedule monthly Zoom meetings or phone calls with those in your life you authentically connect with.
What’s your favorite way to nurture your network? Want support building your personal board of directors? Email me.
Email Nicole Beaudin at email@example.com