There is a piece of advice that you will find all over the internet, from all the top business coaches and start-up gurus, every ‘how to’ blog about growing your business or even making personal change. (Hell, even I’ve put it in my ebook “Five ways to flourish when you escape the corporate grind”). So what is this ubiquitous instructions, this universally agree wisdom?
“Get a great team around you”
Well, you can’t argue with that, can you? We all know we can do more when we have people supporting us than we can on our own. We all know that we’d do much better if we could focus on what we’re good at and have other people to do all the stuff we’re crap at (and probably hate with a passion, too.)
Some people say this is pretty much ALL you need to do. Get a good enough bunch of people around you and you can do ANYTHING!
It’s seductive. So simple. And it’s reassuring, isn’t it? To think that we don’t have to take all strain by ourselves but can have other people to share the burden with.
The only problem is that hardly anyone tells you HOW you pull together your dream team. I mean, it’s not like people are hanging around on street corners with cardboard signs saying “Genius, at a loose end, ready to commit myself to your dreams.”, is it? You can’t just drive around and pick up the people you need on your particular bus. So where do you find them?
And even when you find them, why are they going to help you? What’s in it for them? Why would they join your support team rather than someone else’s? If these are good people, then they are not going to be short of options.
Of course, these two questions are interrelated. And the answer is community.
There are some, a lucky few, who have a network they can draw upon that contains the skills they need and people who are disposed to helping them. For the rest of us, we need to find a community where potential members of our team are likely to gather. By interacting, sharing and doing things together, we discover who the people are that we need and at least identify who we’d like onboard.
But then the question still arises, why would they help us? Well, people will work with us when they know, like and trust us. The community has provided one part of the puzzle because they know us but now we have to work on the other two elements – we need to get them to like us and to trust us.
Again, the community provides the context in which we are able to build these relationships. They will see us contributing and engaging in the community and helping others. They’ll see us as whole people, not just in a narrow business or professional context. They will also experience us, get feedback from others and be able to evaluate our social capital. They will be able to make their own mind up as to whether we are trustworthy or not.
We need to show up and take individual actions to prove ourselves but it is the community that gives us the platform to do it, the opportunity to take action. We have to show we area willing to be open and honest, to be vulnerable and to want to contribute and help others. That means we have to willing to be on other people’s teams and support their dreams and ambitions.
The way that we often seek community is by joining a networking group or attending a course (either in person or online). These can work but they are not always a great fit for people who are still trying to determine what they are going to do with their life and the next part of their career. If you do not yet have an established business then you are not ready for networking that is focused around business development and lead sharing. If you are taking a course, the focus will only be on a narrow area and that’s only a small part of what you need.
That’s why I started After the Mothership, to create a space for people who are transitioning from corporate and don’t know what they need or what direction they are going to go in. To create a community of people who are working through the same sorts of challenges, asking the same questions but who have different skills and experiences that they can share with each other.
In other words, a place where you can find your dream team and become part of someone else’s.
Experience some new ideas and new people by coming to one of our our monthly meetings in London. Book your place for our September event “After Corporate Life – What next?” HERE
Or get involved in our private Facebook group HERE