As the mother of two young children, I see how important it is to monitor the kind of pressure my kids receive from their peers. Sometimes it's positive, sometimes it's not. My job as a parent is to maximize the positive peer pressure my children experience so they can be influenced for the better.
As small business owners, we must also surround ourselves with positive influences in order to be successful. While there's never a shortage of people around to tell that a recession is not the time to start or expand a business, it's trusted peers — other small business owners in our industry — who offer the best advice and perspective. They know the lay of the land and understand the nature of the challenges we face.
I am enjoying myself this week with a few hundred of my own peers in the small cosmetics industry at the 2009 Conference of Handcrafted Soapmakers. We're in Miramonte Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, California. Last night, we gathered at a small reception and chatted it up about industry trends and the ups and downs of business in a rocky economy.
You don't have to come to a Palm Springs for an industry conference to create this kind of experience. Coffee with 2 or 3 business owners at a local bistro can yield the same wonderful interaction. Use a free online scheduling site like Eventbrite or Meetup to plan your gathering. It's fun and the positive interaction and sharing is always a good investment of your time from a business and a personal perspective.
Question:What do you think? Do you enjoy the time you spend connecting with industry peers? Does doing so help keep your creative business juices flowing? Feel free to share your positive peer pressure experiences in the comments section below.