Fourteen tips on how to take advantage of the power of community and conversation at the Bootstrappers Breakfasts.
the Power of Community and Conversation
The Power of Community
Here are six powerful reasons not to go it alone:
- Gather Independent Perspectives. Comparing notes with peers–and helping them–can often give you distance and valuable perspective. None of us has all of the answers: we always benefit from a review of a plan or a pitch before we go live.
- See What’s Possible. It’s easy to become a prisoner of our perceptions and take the limits of what we see or can imagine as the limits of the possible. Here again, seeing what others have accomplished–or just what they are attempting–can enlarge our idea of what’s possible. Creative solutions remove self-imposed limits that are not inherent in a situation, comparing notes will often trigger a realization that we have added an imaginary constraint.
- Workout Buddies When you hold yourself accountable to others with the same goals, you invite constructive criticism as well as encouragement and support. Entrepreneurship involves much trial and error, and “one more try” can often unlock new opportunities.
- Learn From Others’ Experiences. Experience is what we call the mistakes that we learn from. Real stories based on direct experience offer practical lessons. The more specific you make your requests, the more likely you are to trigger real stories from others.
- Connect With Others on the Same Path. Engaging with other entrepreneurs helps you to maintain the mindset needed to build a business. There is even value in getting conflicting advice from folks who are trying to help you move forward. It’s a reminder that there are no “right answers” but many good ones: there are often multiple ways to advance.
- Real Life is the Test. Asking the group to hold you accountable encourages you to learn from setbacks and to build on your successes.
Ultimately the power of community raises everyone’s game
The Power of Conversation
- Be Willing to Change Direction and Methods If you just want praise or people telling “it’s not your fault” then you are probably wasting your time. Don’t meet every suggestion with an objection. It’s OK to say “if I adopt that approach how do I deal with this challenge?”
- Quote Experts Sparingly It can be helpful to quote a “rule of thumb” or expert guidance but include how you have incorporated it into your actions.
- It’s OK to be direct, if it’s clear you are trying to help. Self-deprecating humor that acknowledges you are seeing your mistakes in someone else’s approach can help. Your objective should be unlock insight and provide encouragement
- Questions often have more impact than Advice “Have you considered X?” and “Why don’t you do Y?” are questions disguised as advice. Some better ones include “How will accomplishing X help you advance?” and “What can we do to help you move forward?”
Four Tips for getting started:
- Listen. Focus on what the speaker is saying and give them your full attention.
- Ask Questions. Seek to understand, ask question to clarify an attendee’s situation or need.
- Contribute. Help them get to where they want to go.
- Put Real Challenges on the Table. Hypothetical questions don’t energize contribution, real dilemmas and real pain do.
Related Blog Posts
Power of Conversation
- Key Lessons From Priya Parker’s “The Art of Gathering “
- A Serious Conversation Can Change Your Life
- A Great Demo Is A Conversation Driven By Mutual Curiosity
- Asking Questions From A Caring Perspective
- Finding Common Ground and Workable Solutions
- New Startups Form in Private Conversations
Power of Community
- Entrepreneurs Need a Community of Practice Not a Movement
- Circle the Chairs
- A Practical Introduction to Social Capital For Entrepreneurs
- Getting Oriented to a Subculture or Community of Practice
- Guidelines For An Online Community of Entrepreneurs
- On-Line Bootstrappers Breakfast Complements In-Person Roundtable Model (2019)
- Bootstrapper Breakfast: Real Recognizes Real
- At Bootstrappers Breakfast We Help Every Entrepreneur Who Attends to Succeed
- Sam Schillace at Tomorrow’s Bootstrapper Breakfast
- What to Expect at a Bootstrappers Breakfast
- Pete Tormey on the Benefits of Attending a Bootstrappers Breakfast
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The “Power of Conversation” and “Four Tips for Getting Started” originally appeared on the Bootstrapper Breakfast Blog as “Tap Into the Power of Conversation at a Bootstrapper Breakfast.”
Image Credit: “Celebrating Startups” (c) 2023 SKMurphy, Inc. All Rights Reserved.