The Power of Community in Freelancing and Entrepreneurship
When I became an entrepreneur back in 2014, after almost 18 years of management in the corporate environment, the first cultural difference that hit me was the loneliness. I missed the team more than anything else from my former corporate life.
The majority of entrepreneurs are pioneers, dreaming to solve the problems of the world. The point is that it’s hard to make it on your own. You need support not only in business, but also emotional support. This support can come from family and friends, but the best support you can have comes from communities of people who have the same dreams and face the same problems like you. They understand you.
I believe that any freelancer or entrepreneur needs to find their own crowd and to build their own tribe. Those are two types of communities that are mandatory in freelancing and entrepreneurship.
- Find your crowd
Like many entrepreneurs, I didn’t afford to hire a team and I had to learn by myself a lot of new skills in marketing, web design, promotion, administration, accounting, contracts etc. Basically, I had to learn how to perform those particular activities that in corporate were made by specialists from different departments. All I wanted to do was to be a personal branding and business consultant. I realized quickly that this is only a small part of my business. For the other parts, I just needed to make brainstorming and share ideas with someone. But with whom?
It was the moment when I started searching for a different kind of friends. Someone said that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I remember that I had long discussions with my new friends that began at the lunch and finished with dinners. We were talking about business strategies, marketing strategies, partnerships or just motivating each other when we were tired of facing problems.
“My crowd”, how I like to call it, constantly changing. I was always careful to make new friends, smarter and more experienced than me. My business grew and I also grew more in 3 years – facing problems and finding solutions with my crowd – than in all my 18 years of corporate, when other departments were solving my problems. I feel confident now in my abilities and I am totally independent.
2. Make your own tribe
There is no brand without a community around it. My consultancy business started with 1 client of personal branding and in almost 2 years I reached 300 clients, most of them freelancers and entrepreneurs. I keep contact with the majority of them and I monitor their development. They are my community now.
Every client is important to me, they are my asset, my portfolio, my friends, my tribe. We worked together and during the process of the personal branding or business consultancy they offered me the honor to share with me their dreams and their deepest fears. This type of communication connects and forms a very strong bond, based on trust.
In Romania, I work mostly with mothers entrepreneur and we build together a Community called Mamprenoare, formed by almost 200 women entrepreneur. For me, the Community is my tribe, for them, the Community is their crowd. They are organised locally in 4 cities in Romania, each city is managed by a Local Community Manager, they have their own agenda of Community Meetings where they share ideas, promote and motivate each other.
I still don’t have a team, but I have my crowd and my tribe. This is more than I ever had in my entire career. This year, it was the second year when I organised a Christmas Party for my Community.
It was the best Christmas Party ever!
Photo Credit: Andreea Pop