Thursday, February 01, 2007

I've become a mentor

I wasn't really planning for it to happen, but there it was. At a recent meeting of the Downtown Women's Club, I met a woman who was just at the first stages of starting her own business, and I couldn't stop myself from saying, "oh, you need to read these books, and there are these clubs you can join, and oh - this could work for you too!" She, like me when I first started (and let's face it, like me now every once in a while) was feeling overwhelmed with all there was to DO, and as a result, was stagnating on imortant things. Now, for the last two weeks, we've been meeting once a week and discussing the challenges we face as business owners, and I help her figure out action plans for getting everything done in a manageable way.

And you know what? It feels REALLY, REALLY GOOD. I've always loved helping other people succeed (after all, isn't that what designers do?) and the fact that I'm able to take time out of my schedule to give back to even one person has not only been incredibly rewarding in a spiritual sense, it's helping me define things that I need to work on for my own business. And let's face it - the appreciation ROCKS.

I'm beginning to realize even more, at this stage of my business, how important those mutually supportive networks are. Getting together even once a week with a couple (even one) other people just to chat about the challenges and successes of running your own business is one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself as a business owner. I haven't felt this good in weeks!

So, now I'm curious: what's your favorite part of running your own business? Is it the freedom, the money? Is it the ability to be your own boss, or is it also the ability to give back in ways you didn't think you could?

No comments: