Last week, I shared some of my stories about creating community in Nicaragua, a place that seems so small and closed. In this post, I want to stress the importance that community plays for entrepreneurship.
For entrepreneurs, community is the thing to fight for. Even if it’s tough in Nicaragua, it can be the incredible boost you need.
Let me show you how.
Earlier this month, I joined Agora Partnerships at their entrepreneurs retreat in Pueblo Viejo, Managua. Agora is a non-profit that I’ve worked with on-and-off throughout the years, and I always stay in the loop with what’s going on with the Agora family because I believe in their mission so ardently.
What better way to bring entrepreneurs together than to help them?
What astonished me the most about Agora’s recent retreat was how it made me feel—as corny as that sounds. While I sat in on the Agora retreat surrounded by entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world, I was overcome with a sense of community, learning and support.
Sitting under a “rancho” with dozens of entrepreneurs from all over Latin America, the sense of collaboration and helpfulness was overwhelming. Smiles bounced all over the place as new connections were made and new insights were shared.
Communities help. Communities support. Communities teach.
After my TEDx talk on living an awesome life, I have been contacted by many people who want to quit their jobs and start their own business. The desire for freedom exists, but the knowledge about how to be a successful entrepreneur isn’t necessary there.
I made many mistakes in my first year of entrepreneurship. All I wish is to help people avoid some of those mistakes.
If you want to live an awesome life, break free and try your hand at entrepreneurship, following Agora’s example is a worthwhile formula. Gather a group of amazing minds, and miracles will happen.
Boosting entrepreneurship through community — Why it matters
1. Learn constantly.
Every person on this planet has a set of experiences and knowledge that only they can bring to the table. It’s what I refer to as their onlyness. If you could learn from everyone else’s onlyness, a whole lot more could come from our conversations and projects. There is a world of learning out there, just within the minds of the people surrounding you.
Is it nerve-wracking to ask for help? Yes. It is worth it? Absolutely.
The first few times I opened up to ask for help and learn from those around me, I was astounded at how easy it was. People actually enjoy helping. Throw in my favorite line and you’ll be golden: “I’m not sure what to do. What you would recommend? What would you do in my spot?” People love feeling heard and valued. Give them that, and all their learning is suddenly in your hands.
2. Share experiences.
The Agora entrepreneurs gathered in Managua to share their experiences and learn from the seasoned investors that were here to help them prepare for their next steps. Sharing negative experiences isn’t something super popular in Nicaragua (Hello, Bravado), but it’s necessary to help everyone else avoid the pitfalls.
Does being vulnerable feel weird? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
I mention this during my TEDx talk, but it bears repeating: when people ask me how many books I’ve sold or how many clients I have, what they want is to measure my success. Instead of answering, I flip it on them by offering my experiences as measures of my success. It may sound strange to value success through experiences and not numbers, but I know I am contributing to a shift in thinking and perhaps helping others learn from my terrible mistakes.
3. Connect further
It’s amazing how much larger your network can grow if you invest some time in nurturing a community. Even if you spend one hour a week on the members of your community, relationships will deepen incredibly. Once each relationship is developed constantly and consistently, you will find that each community member will start bringing in more valuable people, sharing the movement with more and more amazing people.
Does it take time? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
I sometimes get introduced to amazing people that I could learn from. Other times, I’m asked to meet with people who hope to learn something from me. (Crazy, I tell you. I don’t know much.) Either way, when I nurture them, the connections are always valuable and turn into long-term relationships.
Is community what you need? Are you ready to boost your projects through a community?
When Marcella Chamorro decided to quit her job to live every day as if it’s a vacation, she turned her attention to creating a lifestyle that is both meaningful and exciting (watch her TEDx video). As an author & entrepreneur based in Nicaragua, Marcella guides those who want to quit their jobs, live their dreams, and live a vacation that never ends at The Perpetual Vacation. Email Marcella at [email protected]