Why every business owner needs a community

business community

If you are a church-goer, you may wonder like I do how the preacher always seems to cover exactly what I am experiencing that particular week. It’s as if he has insider information!

Well, yesterday’s sermon was about community, which is what we’ve been talking about this month on EnMast. Of course, he was talking about church community specifically, but he also covered communities in general and how none of us can go anywhere alone. How true.

From a religious standpoint, we should help others because that’s what God wants us to do. But in business, we don’t always think about what God wants us to do. We tend to be more bottom-line oriented. Will I make money by helping this person? No? Then I won’t do it.

But if you take money out of the equation and look at the human element of helping someone else — whether it’s being someone’s mentor, offering free advice to someone who needs it or simply forgiving someone who never paid an invoice — it’s just the right thing to do. And you often find these opportunities to help, and to be helped, through business communities.

It’s interesting to me that people often find a business community the same way they find a church community. It’s often after a hardship or challenge of some sort. They may turn to a chamber of commerce because business is slow and they need to find leads. They aren’t looking for relationships — they are looking for money. But what they find is that if they establish relationships first, money will eventually follow.

Think about how the church rallies around a person who has just lost a family member. The church community offers support of all types, from praying for the family to bring dinners over to the home. The person who was helped realizes the value of this community and in turn helps other people. And so on and so on.

Business communities do the same thing — minus the casseroles (although I did recently bring a dinner to a business friend of mine who was sick). They look out for each other, help when help is needed and celebrate with each other. Sounds like a good group of people, huh? But you don’t have to wait until something goes wrong to join a community. In fact, when I started my business 15 years ago, my dad, who had been in business 40 years at that time, gave me this advice: Get an accountant and join a chamber of commerce. I did both. For me, joining a chamber of commerce gave me the sense of community that I needed, as well as countless other things that I didn’t know I needed (and bonus — that how I met Brad!).

Do you have a business community that you can turn to? 

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Bridget Ingebrigtsen

Bridget Ingebrigtsen owns Write On Command, a company that provides writing and editing services to businesses and not-for-profits. Bridget describes her six-year stint as Anchor Advisors' writer/editor as being "mutually beneficial" -- she helps Anchor Advisors keep their written projects on track and Anchor Advisors helps her keep her business on track. When she's not running her business, Bridget is running after her four children, two dogs and the latest in entertainment news. Connect with Bridget on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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