Mar 27, 2015 ~ by Michael Dorrance

The Power of Community

I like to go to Meetups. What's a Meetup? Meetups are neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, or share something. In active startup communities or more urban areas Meetups are prevalent. Simply go to Meetup.com online and use your zipcode to find a Meetup in a subject that you are interested in. Ideally you will find a Meetup that is focused on your explicit business idea. Believe it or not, you are not alone in your quest for knowledge, camaraderie or validation. There are 7 billion people on the Earth, so you are bound to find someone like you.

The Power of Community

Perfect, you have found a Meetup and you Join. Next you are going to want to share a little bit about yourself. You will look at other people’s profiles and notice a broad range responses/styles. Some are very detailed, others sarcastic and some just blank. The key is to share something that makes you different, unique or adds value to that particular Meetup. Pressed for time? Be very general so that you can use the same profile for all of your Meetups. I recommend reading about the various people in the group and see how you might fit in. I also like to see who has RSVP'd so that I can get a sense of people I might want to actively engage with like an expert on a topic or maybe a professor or fellow business owner. I tend to get excited to see what I might learn.

As a solopreneur or small business owner, you often have a limited outlet for your ideas, frustrations or questions. Meetups provide a resource to tap the collective experience of your local community. What could be any greater? Seasoned veterans, other startups or people looking to make the next step, whether that be a new skill, career or hobby.

Give it a try! The only risk is a few hours of your evening. I’ve been to good ones, bad ones, and some that I could have taught. But no matter the “Value” I placed on the event, I have had a conversation with someone new. I have asked questions, answered questions and even debated but all in good spirits. The best part is that even if you could have been the presenter, you gain the confidence to keep going.

Confidence is my key take away from any Meetup. The confidence to strive, the confidence to learn and the confidence to teach others. Motivation comes from many places but when you are starting to lose a bit of faith in yourself, look up a Meetup and rekindle the spark that started your journey.

Hey, better yet, start one of your own and be the spark for others!

You just might start the Meetup that changes the world, one person at a time.