WHO do you hang out with?
Hang out with the right tribe to benefit your business.
I love getting out of Newcastle. Don't get me wrong, I love coming back too. It is just that getting out of town helps to improve my business.
I have had a few great leaving-Newcastle experiences in the past month or so. One involved me going to the Opera House to enjoy one of the most extraordinary breakfasts I had ever eaten. I was with four inspirational, highly successful businesswomen.
It was a photo shoot and interview for an industry magazine discussing the value of masters of business administration and similar qualifications to be successful in business (that is a topic for another column).
We talked about a lot more than education. The conversation was incredible. We all had similar challenges despite our vastly different backgrounds and we shared our views and ideas with collaboration and without any competition.
The opportunity to get involved in that event came from the fact that, despite the challenges of childcare and time away from the business, I make the effort to go to a Sydney-based women's business networking group. Going to that group, and some other strategically chosen events in Sydney and the Hunter, has exposed me to some great ideas from guest speakers and other attendees.
It's helped open up a whole range of new business opportunities. Collaborating with others helps you to be inspired and motivated, teaches you new skills, and gives you new ideas and approaches to business problems and opportunities.
You don't necessarily need to get out of Newcastle and the Hunter but you do need to get out of your shop, truck, office or home and collaborate.
Did you know that 96 per cent of all NSW businesses are small businesses? Half of those businesses are sole traders. So many of us don't have others in our business to talk to or bounce off.
Now you've decided to collaborate, who should you collaborate with?
Collaborate with people who work at your level, experts in their field and people with similar values and passion.
I'm collaborating with a number of other Hunter businesswomen to run this week's first Hunter growth seminar for women. The experience of organising it has been very inspiring and rewarding.
We all share a passion for empowering women to lead better lives. When you spend time with people who are interested in learning and growing in similar areas, the education increases exponentially.
The women speaking at the event are all experts in their field and that expertise is complementary. We are all working at a similar level which means we are all pulling our weight and learning from each other.
Two-way relationships are essential, both at work and at home.
So, hang out with your own tribe, whether it is here or elsewhere. The people in the tribe don't have to be in the same industry as you or be similar to you. Say yes to opportunities to collaborate and it will open your mind to anew perspective on your business.
Make it an action for this week to hang out with your tribe or find a new tribe to hang out with.
Shivani Gupta is a small business person, author and keynote speaker. She founded and runs the personal and leadership coaching firm Passionate People Institute.