EP 281: Business Support Comes In All Shapes & Sizes

May 21, 2020 | Community, Podcast

Tara McMullin is a writer, podcaster, and producer who explores what it takes to navigate the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact. Click here to support this work.

Leading a business can be lonely.

I noticed just how disconnected business owners are when I started my very first website way back in 2009.

That website was a blog about makers and artists in Pennsylvania. I wrote about their stories and shared products that caught my eye. The blog was relatively popular but the real magic of it wasn’t in what I was writing about.

The magic was in how it connected people who didn’t know anyone else who was trying to make a go of turning their ideas into a business. They connected on my website, they connected in an early iteration of what Facebook groups have become, and they even connected in person.

Even though I haven’t written for that blog in a decade, I know there are still people from that community who support each other as business owners. They are less lonely because of the connections they made through that simple website.

After I handed that blog off to other people and started down the path of business coaching and education, I noticed that not only were small business owners a lonely bunch, I noticed that our isolation often led to missing information, confirmation bias, and unhelpful assumptions.

And that’s what’s really led to how I’ve structured my business from there on out. I have been creating the structure to connect small business owners to each other for the last 10 years. I build containers, see what works, and then evolve. From Kick Start Labs to Quiet Power Strategy to What Works, I’ve endeavored to help entrepreneurs find the support they need–the support they crave.

I’ve seen first hand how, yes, the emotional support of the right people can make all the difference in whether you press on or whether you quit. But even beyond the huge help of emotional support, I’ve seen how the right people can open your eyes to new ideas, how it can help you check your assumptions and self-limiting beliefs. I’ve seen how support can help you set new goals and find your focus.

I believe we all need to find our support as small business owners… and I believe that support comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s the people we hire to work for us. Other times it’s our families. Sometimes it’s the professionals we engage with. Other times it’s the colleagues who call us on our own bullshit.

All this month, we’ve looked at the challenges–and opportunities–that small business owners face in getting the support they need to feel confident and prepared.

We’ve looked at mental health support, we’ve examined peer support, and we dug into coaching. This week, we asked 4 of our community members to share times when they’ve experienced a profound sense of support and I’m thrilled with how each of them shared a different form of support.

Rebel Therapist founder Annie Schuessler shared how being honest & vulnerable with her peers has made a huge impact on her and her business.

Business coach Justine Clay shared how a year-long program and accountability partner helped her get a new business off the ground.

Voice coach and the SpeakEasy Cooperative founder Michelle Markwart Deveaux shared how her team supports her–and has helped her see herself and her role in a new way.

And coach Leigh Johnson brings it all home by sharing how important different types of support and mindset about support was key to the growth and then exit from her last business.

As you listen, I encourage you to think about the support you already have available to you–because it’s probably more than you realize on a daily basis! And I also want you to think about what support you might need to call on more or find new structure for.

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