Finding the right tribe for your vibe
Rachel Murphy runs Authentic Baby Photography – a baby portrait service keeping it real with beautiful natural photographs. She shares her advice on avoiding isolation when working on your own. Solopreneurs – listen up!
As a business owner, entrepreneur, Mum boss – whatever you call yourself, you’ll probably be experiencing a similar thing to most others running their own business….Isolation.
It’s something that I’ve struggled with over the years. Coming from a social care background, I was always part of a team. Having people to talk to, share responsibility with, make decisions with. Adult company!
As a Mum of three young children, I spend most of my time either with my kids or working from home. On my own.
Now don’t get me wrong, I bloody love what I do, and I do have some (adult) human contact. As a photographer I get to work with mums-to-be, new mums and families, which is great fun. I do get to build a relationship with them to an extent, but it is very much on a professional level and brief as once they have their photos I won’t usually hear from them again until their next milestone (although many have gone on to become friends).
But where do I start?
So how can we build a team around ourselves as solopreneurs?
By connecting with other people in the same boat as us!
Depending on what you want to achieve from your connections will depend where you’ll go looking for them.
If you’re looking for fellow mums in business who face the same juggle as you, then try a local ‘mums in business’ networking group.
If you’re looking to be inspired; motivated; perhaps even to learn from other ambitious business women, then perhaps look for a mastermind to join.
This might take time to get right. As in life, you won’t get on with everyone, and not everyone will get on with you. You might have to try several different avenues to find the right people. YOUR people.
Can I not just join a few Facebook groups?
I value connections with people in real life. Actual humans that I can meet face to face. Of course there is a place for online spaces and communities, of which there are plenty to choose from, but you can’t beat having some actual people around you
What I created for myself was a local network of female entrepreneurs – most of which are mums – to form relationships with. To meet for a coffee, to brainstorm a business idea or share a glass (or bottle!) of wine with and have a break from the kids.
The important part of all of this is finding the right tribe for your vibe.
It doesn’t mean that you’ll find them in the first place that you look. Try different options. Networking groups are great for this, but they won’t all be the right fit for you. Standing up with a name badge and delivering an elevator pitch over breakfast isn’t what I was looking for.
Meeting and chatting in an informal way over a glass of wine and listening to inspiring business women was, which is what I found in a local group for female entrepreneurs.
There are groups that meet at different times of day, on different days of the week. Some meet weekly, others monthly, so you’ll be sure to find something to fit in with your schedule.
Some require a monthly or annual membership, others will have a pay as you go set up. Find what suits you best.
For my potty-mouthed, non-corporate need for relaxed business networking with other female business owners (that preferably involves alcohol), I have now found my tribe. I’ve found my people and that’s important to me. I have people that are my friends, my cheerleaders, my advisors and my colleagues. Some are in the same field as me, but with a shared ‘community over competition’ value, it isn’t an issue.
I’m not saying that you just turn up to a networking group and will immediately find these things, as only a small percentage of business owners attend such groups. Other ways that I’ve made connections is by contacting people and starting a conversation. We live in an age where it couldn’t be easier to connect with strangers, social media makes it super easy for us to do so. Send an email, drop a PM or slide into their DM’s – whichever works for you. You could even pick up the phone (a shocking suggestion, I know!).
I guess what I’m saying is that running a business is bloody hard work. It can be an amazing, exciting, stressful, exhausting rollercoaster but you don’t have to ride it alone. Grab some friends and have fun doing it together!
Who is Rachel Murphy?
Known as the “no bullshit” baby photographer, Rachel Murphy specialises in simple, honest newborn photography. She created Authentic Baby Photography three years ago, allowing her to work flexibly around her young family and has recently opened her own studio in Reading, Berkshire. Deciding to do things differently to most other newborn photographers she has banned buckets and baskets, instead focusing on the real moments that babies give us…no props needed! Following her success in the photography industry Rachel also mentors other photographers wanting to grow their own photography business.
Check out Rachel’s wonderful family photography at AuthenticBabyPhotography.com