264: Creating Your Support Network

11 Minutes Read

You've probably heard the saying, "Your network is your net worth."

Clever. And true. 

Yet for business owners and leaders, where the stakes are high and the demands on you are so great, your network needs to be more than just some friends at work.

A support network takes the idea of a business network and extends it to all the people and roles that allow you to thrive as a business owner or leader so you can achieve your full vision.

In this episode you will discover:

  • How to support your emotional well-being with a strong network
  • How to choose mentors, coaches, and non-work friends who help you maintain perspective and also have fun
  • How to have a vibrant network even if you hate the idea of "networking"

For grow your network with other amazing leaders and business owners, join the Superabound Collective at besuperabound.com/collective.

Listen on Spotify here





Episode Transcript

Steve Haase  0:02  
Welcome to the Superabound podcast with master coaches, Erin Aquin and Steve Haase where business owners like you learn tools that help you clarify vision, clear up static and overcome challenges, you are listening to episode number 264, creating your support network. Hello, everybody. It's great to be here with you today, I am really excited about this topic, because most people really have this idea that they're just gonna do it alone. And then they'll have some folks around them because you know, it's more fun. But actually, going it alone is a recipe for disaster. And it's actually not even possible, there's no way to be alone. So we're going to take some time to actually think deeply about who you have around you, why they're there, what they offer you what you offer them, and how to create a powerful, supportive network as you grow and lead your business. Welcome, Erin.

Erin Aquin  1:01  
Hi. So I am definitely like a recovering lone wolf. When it comes to business, I have been an entrepreneur, gosh, probably since my late 20s, early 30s. in some capacity or other, it's been a very long time, since I sat at a desk in a corporate environment and worked with hundreds of people. I do have like a vague recollections of like, company holiday parties, and you know, having review time with my my bosses. Of course, now we you know, we do that sort of work with folks who we coach, so I'm still connected to that world. But it's been a really long time since I was a roll out since I held a role in someone else's company. And I have to say, as someone who, you know, struggled as an entrepreneur for a long time, there was a sense of kind of like a hard one pride, about being able to figure things out alone. So I totally get that some of us become entrepreneurs, because we maybe don't like following other people's rules, and we don't like working within the confines of a company structure. But, you know, as I've sort of grown up and matured, in my thinking, now we have company, we have a small team, but definitely a very engaged one we work with a lot of leaders and business owners who were going to our team dynamics are a big deal, I really see the need for a support network for all of us. And I've in the last few years, I've definitely embraced the various ways in which I can have support as a, as the owner of a company, as someone who is really in charge and responsible, you know, with you, of course it but it's my name on the bank account. So I am responsible for a lot of what happens. And if you are also in that position, as you're listening, you know, that can also be lonely. Even if you love working alone or working with a smaller team. It can be lonely. So we're going to talk about that. The other reason that this topic sort of came up for us to want to record a podcast about it is over the last few days, we have been taking folks in our community on a five day journey, calling it a journey instead of a challenge, but a journey to tend their inner flame, which is maybe a post more poetic way of talking about self care and self investing. Because we know that when there's so much responsibility on your plate, self care isn't is more than just rest. Self investing requires something a little bit deeper if there is so much responsibility on your shoulders. So we've been doing that in a community. We've been doing it live and you know, we've had a couple 100 people register for it. We've had a lot of folks join live for the sessions. And just being in that community even though it's a webinar, you know, we can't see everybody on the call. But knowing that energetically we're all self investing that half hour of time each night to discuss and dive deep into the topic of self care of avoiding burnout of creating deeper layers of internal success. That is a way of creating a support network. It's not just us sitting alone watching a class It's you being part of something with other people who have a similar experience to you. And we're gonna talk about all of the different ways in which you can create your best support network for where you're at right now in your business or in your leadership journey.

Steve Haase  5:19  
So the place to begin with creating your support network, as with anything, is your vision. Why is it important to you? Why does your business need to last and thrive? With you bringing your best energy to it being supported and all the ways that you need? One of the reasons we fall into lone wolf syndrome? I like your framing of it there, Erin, is because we lose touch with the bigger picture, and how important our work in the world is. And so when you think, okay, create a support network, I'll put that on my to do list along with everything else. Steve, thanks for that, you know, you're actually missing the fact that it's part of your bigger plan for achieving your next lantern. And then the one after that, and the one after that on the mountain of your vision.

Erin Aquin  6:15  
Yeah, a really helpful reframe for me was coming to the realization that there's no like, special prize for doing it all alone. Like, do I want to die? Having done everything on my own, about what I want people to say about me? She, she did it all on her own, she kind of achieved mediocre success, but she did it alone. Or do I want to have a legacy that I am leaving because I involved other people, because I cared more about my vision than like personal pride of being able to say stamp, I did it alone.

Steve Haase  6:57  
Something about our culture just really holds up the I did it alone as bonus points. You don't need those points, bonus points. It feels much better to have actual people in your life, that are sharing the journey with you that are that are giving to you that you're receiving from and that you're creating real relationships with, rather than cultural bonus points, which as you said, Erin ended up being very empty, very hollow.

Erin Aquin  7:29  
Okay, so to create a support network, yes, of course, you want to be connected to your vision. And what we're going to present is not like an exhaustive list, there may be different categories that you think of, but I will share what I think and Steve, you share what you think, are the most sort of important categories of support, it's not going to be surprising. The first one I'm going to say is that if you are a business owner or leader, you should probably have your own coach. This, for me has been the most important and impactful relationships I have had the things that have moved my business forward the most, is when I'm in a coaching relationship with someone. And that is because that coach is there 100% For you, they are not there to get you to do what they think you should do, or get your business to look like what they think it should look like. They are really there to support you and be the keeper of your big vision and your potential. I mean, I sorry, I can't speak for every single coach. But that is at least how we view coaching. When we are coaching someone, you know, we stay on the side of what is that person's big vision for their life for their work? And how can we be the space holder and the container for that, and then help them solve problems through the lens of that top of the mountain vision. So definitely having a coach who is there on your team, for you to bounce ideas off of for you to be vulnerable with, for you to say the things that maybe you wouldn't say to other people on your team, to share your fears, your concerns to solve problems with the coach relationship. Definitely number one, for me, in my opinion, first person in my support network.

Steve Haase  9:36  
And that's not just because we're coaches. That's literally why we're coaches. The changes that we see in business owners that are working with us ongoingly are so big that is what fuels our motivation to continue this work. And that's why we say we coach should be the number one in your support network. It has been transformative for both of us as clients as well as for the people We work with who are our clients.

Erin Aquin  10:02  
Another category that I definitely have in my support network at all times is a peer group of other folks in who are business owners or leaders does not have to be in my industry, I am continually joining networks and organizations that sort of put you in workshops or in peer groups with people who understand what it takes to be a business owner and a leader. Because, unfortunately, it's not very often that you're gonna go to a dinner party with your friends. And if they all have nine to five jobs, you're not gonna be able to really talk about the hardships of hiring, if none of them are in a position where they have to do that, it's probably going to bore them, actually. But having a focus group where you can actually share information and resources, and just be in the room with other people who get the roller coaster ride of leadership and entrepreneurship, that has been really, really valuable to me. And it is something that I'm always always investing in,

Steve Haase  11:15  
I think it's also really important to have a network of the people that are in the space that you want to be influential in and want to be known in. So this would be your more traditional professional network. And what's interesting here is, everybody has a professional in network folks that they've interacted with, or people who know people. But in order to actually create it, you have to invest time into it, you have to build it, it's not going to be strong, it's not going to be vibrant. If you just sit there and hope someone asks you for a proposal, or network of professional relationships, that could bring you business that could support you with new ideas or new collaborations, or vice versa, that you could provide value to, which always feels great and, you know, comes back around in some way only happens when you are active with them. So Erin, and I make sure we are always in touch with people that we like, who are in our same professional space, the places where we want to be known. We reach out, we say how's it going, I want to have a coffee, if we haven't done that for you yet, and you want us to send us an email full lineup a coffee, right? We love to get to know people so that we can be known and also be helpful.

Erin Aquin  12:36  
Yeah, I cannot tell you I'm like one of my superpowers is I'm a little bit of a matchmaker both in actual relationships, I have hooked up at least a few people who are now married. But also professionally, I get such a kick out of connecting people. Just kind of a fun example, my the woman who does my hair is getting married. And she was talking about how hard it is to find a great photographer. And I have a great photographer who does all of our branding, you know, if you're on Instagram, and you see like our professional photos, they're all done by this woman, Jesse, I connected them. And now my hairdresser has a photographer. So you know, it doesn't even have to necessarily be in your professional space. But being a helpful human is so fun. There I really, you know, it's if I if I were not a coach, I think I would somehow be like a matchmaker or a recruiter or something because I really do get a kick out of connecting well aligned people. And sparking relationships that are advantageous for both people. If you can find a way to do that in your world, you will be well loved. It's a side effect. It's not why I do it. But it is a side effect of hooking people up with other people who are great.

Steve Haase  14:11  
That's awesome. It is so fun. And it is just providing value out in the world. What it also does is helps you get business because what's happening is we have a acronym for relationship based selling. It's S A L E, you have to make the sale and the S stands for safety where somebody trusts you. You are a valued part of their world of their circle. And so when you're doing things that just helps them out, and they're actually benefiting from having you in their life, you are creating a tremendous amount of safety for them to recommend you think about you see opportunities for you guys to work together. You are are sowing the seeds for future sales by taking that first step. The next area that I'd like to explore with creating a support network is one that came very easily in the earlier part of most of our lives. And as we get older and get busier, starts to get further down on the list, and that is, friends, you might have one or two good friends, maybe not many adults, as the you know, if you say, Who do you have in your life, that's a really good friend, a trusted confidant. That list gets smaller over time for similar reasons to the professional network, which is that it takes effort it takes work to actually create those relationships. A lot of people feel sad that they don't have friends, they're like, Why aren't my friends calling me? Well, for the same reason, you're not calling them because everyone's busy. So to have a great support network means that you need to value it. And you see those friends as just a part of your emotional well being, which as we're talking about all this week, and attending your inner flame, that is part of your sustaining ritual. That's how you keep that flame burning bright as you are emotionally, well, you are emotionally nourished. And friends do that for us.

Erin Aquin  16:21  
And as a business owner and a leader, it's really important to have friends, for the exact opposite reason that you have people who are supportive in your industry or your professional network or other people in the same boat is hopefully you have friends who do not share the same professional space as you so that you can talk about something other than work, you know, we have, we have a lot of really good friends we never talk about our work with, they never ask us to coach them on an issue that's coming up for them. We play board games together, we do things together, we are like there to enjoy each other's company, and sometimes have really nice deep conversations. But we get to take off the hat of being someone's coach and actually just be humans hanging out. Which is also really good for you, if you especially if you have a high level role, especially if you do a lot of public facing work, it's really important that you have spaces where you don't have to quote unquote, be professional. And you can actually just let your hair down and have fun and have that be the bonding point of the relationship.

Steve Haase  17:39  
Next, I want to talk about something that may or may not be on your radar, but is really important to many people including us. And that is spiritual support. If there's something in you that is awake to higher calling a higher purpose, whatever that might be for you. Doing it on your own is one thing. But when you're able to share that with other people when you're able to learn from other people, and you're able to just develop that part of your life. In a supportive way, it's a game changer. Because it allows you to connect with people in a different way. It allows you like you said, Erin, to take off your work hat, take off your business hat take off all the roles that you play, and actually come down to what you hope to be most dear about yourself about your essence and about life, and why we're here. So when you find people, when you find a situation that you resonate with, that is so valuable. And including that with your support network will give you that extra spark that will help you know put the ups and downs of business into an important context. And it's something that you hold dear and will ultimately give you more resilience for your business. But the point is even deeper than that. So one way to take a step forward with this is to actually join us in the support network that we've created. Over at the Superabound collective. It's at besuperabound.com/collective. And there you will find other business owners. We're also there offering coaching, support, and fun behind the scenes videos and special events just for our members. It's totally free for a limited time. It's totally free for now, and hope you can join us there. Take care.