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Ways to Build Community as an Entrepreneur

Building a community is about uncovering the people who are looking for you exactly as you are. Your philosophies, energy, products, everything that makes you who you are, will be compatible with the right people. To find them the most effective thing you can do is keep being you and nurturing the parts of yourself that you love the most. Most of us have been forming a community since we were young. It’s natural to seek out the people we resonate the most with. When it comes to forming a community as an entrepreneur, the same natural instincts apply. Explore some of the following tips we propose for continuing to expand your network, but remember to always embrace being yourself.

Attend Events

Events are a great opportunity to meet people and expose yourself to new perspectives, products or experiences. Depending on your industry there are different events you can go to. This might look like a panel discussion, convention, workshop, tradeshow, party - the possibilities are endless. Eventbrite is a great platform to find local events near you. If you don’t find anything you’re interested in, you can still use the platform for discovering new organizations. From small groups to developed corporations, lots of organizations dedicate a large part of their programming to hosting events. For example, Hxouse offers a wide variety of discussions, workshops. If going to events is a bit out of your comfort zone, that’s okay! There’s a first time for everything. See this as a chance to grow into the entrepreneur you are becoming. If there’s anyone in your circle who’s already supporting you, you can invite them to keep you company at your next outing. If you’re already in attendance at all the local happenings around you, you’re doing great! Remember to always allow yourself to feel gratitude for the connections you’re able to strengthen at these functions. If you’ve created a good network and find yourself wanting to meet different people, try going to an event that you normally wouldn’t. Sometimes fresh energy can come from completely unrelated life experience.

HXOUSE panel discussion in Toronto featuring guest Mowalola, moderated by Meghan Yuri Young

Shown: HXOUSE panel discussion in Toronto featuring guest Mowalola, moderated by Meghan Yuri Young courtesy of HXOUSE Instagram

Ask Questions and Reach Out

If you’re looking to grow your community, proactively extending outwards to those around you is essential. Whether it’s online, or in-person, always ask questions when you have them. Being a continuous learner is an invaluable characteristic that allows you to thrive in so many areas of life. Asking questions is an underrated tool, not only for expanding your hard or soft skills, but for uncovering opportunities. Many relationships are formed simply by asking for help. If there’s a photographer you absolutely love and feel aligned with, don’t hesitate to ask if they’d be open to working together on a small shoot so you can get to know each other. The worst that can happen is they say no, but the best thing that can happen (and what usually does) is you get to create collaboratively and foster a new meaningful relationship with someone you admire. Remember to be respectful and treat people kindly. Building community isn’t about being opportunistic at any cost, rather, it should be centred around striving for healthy reciprocal relationships. 

Follow People & Organizations You Admire

Social media is a highly accessible tool that many of us use regularly. One way to leverage this tool to build your community is by following people and organizations you admire. This includes content creators, businesses, non-profits, creatives - anyone at all! It’s important to define for yourself why you admire them. Do they share resources and tips useful to you? Does their style help you discover new brands you like? What part of their messaging resonates with you? Do you like their feed style? There are so many reasons you might gravitate to an online presence, being specific with what it is can help you understand yourself better. It can also help you be mindful about how you consume content. Once you follow people or brands, don’t be afraid to show your support for them! You can simply express your appreciation for what they do and sharee what it means to you. It takes courage to pursue what you love so it’s always great to hear when your efforts are received with love. If you want to learn more about who we admire check out some of our Local Business Gift Guides. We have plenty of these on our blog page so check them out!

E's Element blog post "toronto small business guide"Shown: Collage of our latest local business gift guide featuring Cakes - Molly Baked That,  Nails - Slayed By Sabes, Skincare -  Vo Beauty,  Candles - Wilo Studio,  Hair Accessories - Honey Lux Silk 

Give Support Where You Can

Support can exist in many forms. It’s important to show support for the people in your network because uplifting one another is the heart of community. Expanding on the digital space we’ve touched on so far, supporting on social platforms is one of the easiest things you can do! When people post their ideas, sales, or anything related to what they do, reposting only takes a few minutes. Increasing their exposure to the people in your circle is low effort but can make a huge difference in helping them reach their goals. When we comment genuinely and kindly it can be a strong form of encouragement. When it comes to in person relationships, support can look different depending on how well you know the person. If you have an existing relationship and feel comfortable, offer your help whenever you have capacity to. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs and creatives embark on tasks that can be a lot of work. To know that there are people around you that not only believe in you but show up for you is priceless. For people you don’t know as well but would like to, attending their events, buying their products or tangibly supporting whatever they do is a great start. Try to share your resources as much as you can.

We’re so excited for your journey as you grow your network, making meaningful new connections and learning new things! 

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