Networking or making friends?

It seems like a bit of a recurring theme now but it's really being hammered home that I need other people on this journey with me. Without a huge hiring budget, bringing people on board seems really daunting. Will people really want to give up their time to help me (for free?!) or at a reduced cost? The idea seems crazy, but then I think of all the amazing experts in branding, research, impact, marketing etc who give up their time to help entrepreneurs on the Impact Central course I'm on. I'm constantly amazed that all these wonderful, busy people will give up half a day or more for us. 

I suppose I need to stop thinking about business relationships as being purely about give and take, work and money. I've certainly volunteered my time before to help a cause I believed in, and wouldn't hesitate to take time to help out a friend. I guess I need to stop thinking about 'networking' which conjures up imagines of cringey speed dating type conversations at an event where everyone is in suits and handing out their business cards. Maybe it's more like making friends. This is something that doesn't come especially easy to me but I've always made an effort to do it. When I moved to a new area on maternity leave (in lockdown!) I made an effort to join (zoom) groups and meet up with people I didn't know. And in fact I've already made a business friend - the founder of a similar amazing business, Borrow and Nest, who rent out wooden toys. We're at a really similar stage in our businesses and have daughters the same age so we have loads in common. I'd love to help her out, so I suppose it might not be so crazy that someone might do the same for me...

Me and Kate, the founder of Borrow and Nest, doing an IG Live

I've had a bit of feedback from friends and family this week that I'm really determined, which wasn't something I'd really considered before, but now I feel like I better live up to it! I will not let this business fail because I don't want to put myself out there and ask for favours or help from others.

On that note, do get in touch if you have any marketing expertise as I'd love to chat!

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