I’ve been an entrepreneur for over seven years and while being your own boss comes with perks, it also has its downsides. I’m the only one responsible for generating income, figuring out how to innovate and when to pivot, and making big financial decisions.
When I worked full-time at a startup, the company encouraged our career development by offering workshops, hosting networking events, and encouraging time off to go to conferences. I enjoyed this networking, so when I left to go out on my own, I decided to be strategic about spending time bettering my skill set and my connections.
Now, I set aside time each month to do five things to ensure I’m growing, learning, and staying sharp as the sole employee of my business.
1. Take a course or workshop
I’m self-taught in many of the key skills I use daily for my business, from SEO to video editing, so there’s always room for improvement.
Every quarter, I map out four topics I want to learn more about and then sign up for one workshop per month. I search for free workshops on Skillshare and General Assembly, and if I need a more advanced workshop, I’ll browse Coursera for classes that span several weeks or months.
2. Meet with mentors
Having mentors has been a great way to learn and receive feedback from people I respect and admire. I have two mentors who I speak to once a month to share what I’m working on and hear their suggestions and guidance on next steps to take. These are people I met at conferences, years ago, who were already successful in the industry.
I also have two unofficial mentors who I don’t know personally but consume their content on a weekly basis by listening to their podcasts, reading their book, or watching their YouTube videos. I take away tips to help me stay focused and be more productive.
3. Do a professional audit
When you’re running your own business, it can feel like your to-do list is always getting longer. To make sure I’m not overlooking something big, I do an audit of my business once a month.
I start by examining the website for bugs or broken links. Then I review my finances and credit card statement, and rescan my inbox to make sure I didn’t miss any important emails. Doing this audit lets me catch mistakes before they become bigger issues.
4. Connect with other professionals
Being a solo-entrepreneur can be lonely. I make it a habit to schedule a virtual catch-up with a friend, former coworker, or Linkedin connection at least once a week.
I also use websites like Eventbrite and Meetup.com to find local networking or meetup a month events to meet other professionals in my area.
5. Take a break
One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with over the years is finding any kind of work-life balance. Now, I block off one day each month as a personal break. My rule is to spend the day offline and it helps me reset.
As a solo-entrepreneur, it’s crucial to have regular practices in place that help you stay on top of your game. Whether monthly or weekly, these habits will pay off in the long run.
Whether it’s crying babies, loud neighbors, or simply endless thoughts running through your head, sometimes you just can’t fall asleep.
Regardless of how hard you try, the consequences the following day are always unforgiving: crippling fatigue, poor concentration, and – above all – struggling to think of anything other than your bed.
However, as researchers from the University of California at Berkeley found, sleep deprivation can have serious social consequences, and they aren’t just limited to how you perform at work or throughout the day.
It isn’t just your health that suffers from night-time restlessness; you can end up completely sabotaging your social life too.
Sleeping too little leads to reclusive behavior
Led by postdoctoral fellow at the Walker’s Center for Human Sleep Science Eti Ben-Simon, the team found that a lack of sleep can lead to unsociable and reclusive behavior – and that it can have the same effect on the people around you.
According to the researchers’ findings, published in Nature Communications, people who sleep badly more often are lonelier as a result.
While it’s already a well-known fact that social isolation can cause sleep disorders, it hasn’t been clear whether a lack of sleep could also lead to people feeling lonely.
The less you sleep, the more physical distance you need from others
To conduct their study, the scientists performed an experiment in which one group of subjects didn’t sleep for a night, while another group was allowed to sleep in.
Both groups received a video the following day in which they were faced with people approaching them, where they had to gauge how close was “too close”.
The results were pretty clear: those who hadn’t slept felt their space was invaded between 18% to 60% faster than those of the group who had.
This led participants to create more of a social distance between themselves and others if they missed sleep on a given night, according to the researchers.
Too little sleep leads to unsociable tendencies
The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to prove that the results weren’t accidental.
While the “near space” networks in the brains of well-rested participants didn’t show any abnormalities, those of the other group were “braced” and on alert for potential threats.
Not only that, but the “theory-of-mind” network, an area of the brain responsible for empathy and sociability, was less pronounced in those with sleep deprivation.
Interestingly, the results showed that those who were suffering from sleep deprivation didn’t just have issues with shying away from those around them.
Another experiment, in which researchers used videos to evaluate people who had slept well and those who hadn’t, showed that those who hadn’t were perceived by viewers as worse in terms of their potential for cooperation and sympathy.
Your own lack of sleep can have a knock-on effect on those around you
“The less sleep you get, the less you want to socially interact,” said Matthew Walker of the University of California.
“In turn, other people perceive you as more socially ‘repulsive’, further increasing the grave social-isolation impact of sleep loss,” he continued, saying: “Sleep deprivation can turn us into social lepers.”
Worse still, those who have to deal with people suffering from a lack of sleep – or even, in the case of this study, those who watched videos of them – also end up being “infected”, leading to an almost viral transmission of the feeling of social isolation wherever there’s a lack of sleep.
“It’s perhaps no coincidence that the past few decades have seen a marked increase in loneliness and an equally dramatic decrease in sleep duration,” said Ben-Simon.
“On a positive note, just one night of good sleep makes you feel more outgoing and socially confident, and furthermore, will attract others to you,” said Walker.
The professional benefits of networking are well-documented. But if the very thought makes you squirm with discomfort, you aren’t alone.
In a 2014 paper, Maryam Kouchaki found that networking makes people feel morally impure, especially workers lower on the professional food chain who see engaging in networking as selfish. But despite the “ick” factor, failure to network has real consequences for workplace performance: the research showed that lawyers who felt dirty about networking had fewer billable hours than their unbothered counterparts.
The study left Kouchaki, an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, with questions: “We wanted to know what determines whether people feel guilty or not, and what we can do to help people get over this discomfort.”
Kouchaki and her coauthors – Francesca Gino of Harvard University and Tiziana Casciaro of the University of Toronto – suspected they might find answers in regulatory focus theory, which posits that people approach their goals with either a promotion focus (thinking about hopes and aspirations and achieving the best possible outcome) or a prevention focus (thinking about duties and obligations and maintaining a state of safety).
While most of us have a natural tendency toward one style or the other, it’s not set in stone; we easily can be nudged to approach a particular situation with either a promotion or a prevention focus despite our typical leanings. We can view networking, for example, through a prevention lens as a professional duty or through a promotion lens as a way of achieving one’s goals.
The researchers suspected that approaching networking with a prevention focus would lead to greater feelings of moral impurity – but that a promotion focus would alleviate the awkwardness and increase people’s tendency to network. And across several studies, that’s exactly what they found: the more promotion-focused people were, the less troubled by networking they felt, and the more likely they were to actually do it.
The research suggests that, for those who loathe happy-hour meetups and employee get-togethers, a change in attitude could be the ticket to a bigger network and more productive career.
Survey says: A promotion focus makes networking less uncomfortable
To begin, the researchers used an online survey to look at how people’s innate tendency toward promotion- or prevention-focused thinking shaped their feelings about networking.
The 412 survey respondents answered a set of questions designed to assess their levels of promotion and prevention focus. These included “I see myself as someone who is primarily striving to reach my ‘ideal self'” (promotion focus) and “I see myself as someone who is primarily striving to become the self I ‘ought’ to be” (prevention focus).
Next, they were asked to write about a professional-networking experience. Then, participants rated how wrong, unnatural, or impure the experience of networking made them feel.
As the researchers had hypothesized, regulatory focus correlated with people’s reactions to networking. The more promotion-focused respondents were, the less impure they felt about networking; the more prevention-focused they were, the more they experienced that “ick” factor.
A prevention focus makes networking seem like dirty work
In another study, the researchers examined how encouraging a promotion or prevention focus might influence people’s responses to networking. They also looked at two different kinds of networking: spontaneous, unintentional networking and intentional, concerted glad-handing.
To control for differences across cultures, they recruited two groups of participants, one in the United States and the other in Italy. The same procedure was used for both groups.
To begin, participants completed a writing task that was designed to put them in either a promotion- or prevention-focused state of mind. The promotion-focused group wrote about a hope or aspiration, while the prevention-focused group wrote about a duty or obligation.
Then, participants read a story in which they were asked to imagine themselves as the protagonist. Half the participants were given a scenario of spontaneous networking; the rest read about a social situation in which they intentionally pursued professional contacts.
Next, participants completed a number of tasks designed to assess their feelings of impurity.
The idea was that any feelings of impurity associated with networking might lead participants to want to cleanse themselves. “If people psychologically feel impure,” Kouchaki said, “then you should see a consequence in the behaviors they want to engage in. If you feel dirty, you should want to clean yourself.”
In one task, they saw a list of emotions (including “dirty,” “inauthentic,” and “impure”) and were asked to rate how strongly they felt each one after reading the story. In another task, participants completed a fast, fill-in-the-blank word-completion task that included words that could be filled in with terms associated with cleaning, such as “wash” and “shower” (W _ _ H, SH _ _ E R), alongside neutral words such as “book” (B_ _ K).
The researchers found patterns consistent with the surveys they had conducted. Overall, participants who approached networking with a promotion focus felt less impure than those who approached it with a prevention focus.
What’s more, this effect was almost entirely driven by intentional networking – which prompted more feelings of impurity overall, but especially among those with a prevention focus.
Taken together, these results added further evidence that people’s regulatory mindset influences how they feel about the morality of networking: a promotion focus results in fewer feelings of impurity, but a prevention focus has you reaching for the Purell.
Putting research into practice
For their final study, the researchers looked at how inducing a promotion- or prevention-focused mindset toward networking would influence real-world behavior.
They recruited 444 working professionals from a variety of professional-services firms in law, accounting, consulting, sales, insurance, and realty for a six-week study. Participants received weekly messages designed to prompt promotion- or prevention-focused attitudes toward networking. The promotion-focused message highlighted how networking can help people live up to their highest aspirations; the prevention-focused message framed networking as an important professional obligation.
At the end of the six weeks, participants completed a survey. In addition to asking how often participants had networked in the last month and how many new contacts they had made, the survey asked about participants’ emotions while engaging in networking. It also included demographic questions and measures of introversion and extroversion.
As in the previous studies, participants in the promotion group reported feeling less morally impure than those in the prevention group. They also reported networking more frequently and adding more new professional contacts – nearly eight on average, compared with 5.5 for participants in the prevention group. Notably, this was true even after controlling for extroversion, a quality that might make some people more natural networkers than others.
Further statistical analysis confirmed that it was the greater feelings of impurity that led people in the prevention group to network less than people in the promotion group. In other words, if you can shake off the dirty feeling, you’re more likely to shake new hands.
Washing your hands of networking discomfort
Kouchaki said the research offers a simple way to help reluctant networkers overcome their discomfort.
“Think about networking as an opportunity rather than a burden,” she said. “That’s the biggest hurdle you need to overcome.” The more you view networking through that promotion-focused lens, the easier it will feel, and the more likely you’ll be to actually do it.
It can also help to remind yourself that networking isn’t just selfish.
“Think about how you’re benefiting others,” she said. By expanding your own professional network, you may be able to help employees or colleagues find their next opportunities.
It’s something Kouchaki has to remind herself too. “Anytime I’m feeling awkward about an interaction at a conference or a meeting over Zoom, I remind myself why I’m doing this,” she said. “And the reason is, it’s a learning opportunity.”
As a solopreneur, I spend a lot of quality time on Linkedin. I enjoy making connections with people in my industry as well as other professionals doing interesting things with their career or businesses.
Whenever I make a new connection, I always send them a message so that the request to become their friend on the platform is more personal and doesn’t seem random.
The art of meeting people on social media has become the number one way I’ve made new friends during the pandemic, as well as business connections that have led to new mentors, partnerships, and even an increase in sales.
So after you connect with someone on Linkedin, what do you say to them and how do you say it? These are the scripts I use to build a genuine online relationship with someone.
Keep the first message concise
The first message you send to a person should be just a few sentences. The goal? For them to know you’re a real person (not spam) and that you’re glad to have virtually met them on the platform.
Begin the message with a quick hello:
It’s nice to meet you! I look forward to learning more about you and hope we can continue to connect.
You can add on a sentence about anything you have in common (location, industry, mutual friends).
A quick intro: I’m _____(name) and I _____ (job, business, etc.). I connected with you because ____________.
Looking forward to following your adventure here.
Be sure to reach out with value
Over the next few weeks, find a reason to message the person again. This time, provide value. Compliment them on something they’ve done (a job promotion, a post they wrote on the platform, news about them or their company, etc.).
Here’s an example:
It was great to see _____(news, promotion, post they wrote). I enjoyed learning about _______ and find it useful as I _____(add in a personal detail about you). I look forward to continuing to follow your adventure.
You can also share something with them that you think they would like (an article, podcast, book, conference, etc.).
Here’s an example:
It’s been a pleasure following you on this platform. I was recently listening to this podcast episode about ____ and thought it might be something you enjoy because you often discuss ______ topic. Give it a listen if you’re interested! I look forward to continuing to stay up to date on your adventure.
Only make an ‘ask’ once there’s a relationship
If the person you’ve connected with has responded to previous messages and you’ve built a genuine relationship with them, it’s OK to take things to the next level with a specific ask from them, such as connecting in person or over the phone.
You can send a message like this:
It’s been a pleasure chatting with you here over the past few months. If you’re interested, ______ (ex: let’s meet for coffee/jump on a 20-minute call).
I’d be interested in hearing more about ______ (your career journey, business,etc.) and sharing more about ______ (your career journey, business,etc.).
Even though connecting with someone on the internet might feel a little less personal than meeting in-person, you still want to treat the relationship with authenticity and not be in a rush to use it as personal gain or for personal value.
Ease into getting to know the person before asking for anything. That’s the true secret to LinkedIn connections and online networking.
It was a Tuesday night in May when we attended an “Influencers Dinner” salon – a virtual party hosted by author and behavioral scientist Jon Levy.
There were games, breakout room trivia, and a musical performance by singer-actress Jihae, who’s set to star in the upcoming season of “Succession.” The event was co-hosted by actress Nia Vardalos – best known for starring in and writing the hit movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – and also counted CEOs, an Oakland Raiders linebacker, a serial entrepreneur, and a film producer in attendance. About 124 people attended the evening, which was actually somewhat of a reunion for past guests of Jon’s parties.
Before the pandemic, these virtual parties were dinner soriées. Insider covered one six years ago when it was held at Levy’s New York apartment. (During that one, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” gave a presentation in Levy’s living room.)
The caveat is that the dinners are supposed to be a secret – guests, unaware of who else will be attending, are only given a date and a time. After arrival, no one is supposed to talk about work or boast about achievements. It’s a time to connect and understand one another as equals.
It’s a safe space, in a sense, for these high-profile guests to simply exist.
And then there was us. Guests were told reporters would be there, but our identities were never revealed. In our anonymity, we watched the event unfold.
Later on, Jihae – who afterward told us she found the night “refreshing” – sang her new single “Utopia” as well as a rendition of Sam Cookes’ “A Change is Gonna Come.”
Edited for clarity, here’s our post-salon conversation about what else we saw happen during the evening.
Keishel Williams: What was your first impression when you logged in?
Dominic-Madori Davis: Oh my god, I thought it was going to be him promoting his book for two hours, but it definitely turned into therapy in a sense.
KW: I’d had a chance to read a bit of excerpt from his book, so I knew that there are specific ways he likes to get things done in order for people to feel like they’re connecting with each other.
DD: That first game where we had to quickly check our phones, then put them down, and try to remember what was on the right of our screen was interesting – it got pretty deep fast.
KW: One thing that I think we both wanted to know: What about these gatherings makes busy, important people want to attend?
DD: The artist that performed that night said one reason she really likes going there is because it feels like a “wisdom circle.”
KW: That’s an interesting way she put it.
DD: I agree, it seemed everybody was really into the whole introspective thinking about how they live their lives and how they can better themselves.
KW: I felt a bit like that too. I also spoke to someone, South African-Canadian actress Kandyse McClure. She’s attended several in-person salons in New York and LA, in addition to a few of the virtual ones, and said one of the reasons she enjoys attending is because Jon himself is very authentic. And that even though she’s an accomplished actress, and is usually in a room with other accomplished people, she doesn’t feel like they’re going there to network. They just go in there to connect on a human level. For you, did you feel a sense of kinship with any of the people, when you had to do the breakout sessions?
DD: Oh my gosh, during the breakout session, I was muted right when everyone was introducing themselves, and then the breakout session ended because my group jumped right into the activity. So I didn’t really know who I was with the entire time until like the final two seconds when everyone went around, introducing themselves. I was muted, so they didn’t know I was a reporter at all.
KW: I’m not sure how many people were in your group but it was just five of us in my group, so it started off a little awkward where nobody really wanted to start talking first. But as soon as the ball got rolling we were all speaking and really trying to figure out the answers. We were done at an early enough time that we had time to chat after and find out who was who and what they enjoyed about being there. After that, we all decided that we wanted to speak further and I thought that was a really great way to connect.
DD: It was really interesting to play all the games and everything. It gave me ‘safe space for notable people’ vibes.
KW: I believe there was a photographer in my group. Indrani [ Pal-Chaudhuri]. There was also a journalist, Joel Stein – he was in my group as well, and a few other people.
DD: Yeah, there was also a journalist in my group. I forget if he worked for either the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post, but he was a journalist and I had heard of him and I think I looked him up on Twitter afterward. We were like six people in my group, and they just jumped right into the activity. Everyone, I mean, I don’t know, were we allowed to Google? I’m not gonna say we were Googling.
There were things that, at 23 years old,I’m not sure if I would have known about them. I think the one question I got was ‘what was older Tumblr or my space,’ and I was like, obviously MySpace. That thing is ancient. But one of the other questions I was like, oh I don’t know, I’m gonna need to be like an adult to answer this stuff. What did you think?
KW: For me, it was very interesting to see the mix of people. I tried to make sure to keep a count, and there were about 124 people there. There was an Emmy Award winner, Barry Kibrick. And then there were entertainers, there were other stars, there were producers, photographers, musicians, CEOs, medical professionals.
KW: What do you think made this particular virtual version work for them? Because when [Levy’s] events first started, they were dinners and he brought together these 12 people, strangers, to cook together and get to know each other that way. But now he had to move it virtually. What do you think made this still remain such an intimate experience for them?
DD: I don’t know, I think they’re really just longing to connect with other people. I’m thinking if the dinners were still on, it’s kind of like you just go to a stranger’s house, in a sense, and meet other strangers. It must be people just really want to connect with each other and other people and probably find a sense of humanity in one another.
KW: Yeah. You said you spoke with the musician [Jihae], what was that conversation like?
DD: She told me that she was recommended by one of his guests to be the musical performer. She said that it was great to meet new people, and it reminded her of going to diplomatic receptions with her dad as a teenager, watching diplomats, generals, and politicians maneuver intelligent questions to each other. That’s also the vibe I got … and I guess there’s not, like, a superficial vibe to [the parties], which I guess is the recurring theme.
KW: Exactly. Authentic, that genuine connection. The fact that these people are so accomplished but they don’t seem to be coming there to get something from each other, rather than just be in each other’s company.
KW: I know Jon did mention specifically that was one of his aims when he decided to do these types of events. Even though it’s called a networking event, people don’t necessarily come there to network because ‘networking’ brings a somewhat negative connotation that you go into a room, you carry your business cards, and you pretty much just want to know what someone does, in order to know how you fit into their circle.
DD: Yeah, I know that the idea of networking can be so uncomfortable because to the root of it, it’s basically, like you said: How does this person fit within my circle and how can we possibly lean on each other to do good? There’s an element of using each other and it can be uncomfortable.
KW: So he really tries to make it more like a vibe where people are coming to create friendships and close connections. And I think just the short time that we’ve been there, I was able to see some of that taking place.
DD: Having an influencer circle where it’s not necessarily branded straight as networking, but you go to get genuine relationships that can then more organically and authentically bring you together. I think people feel much more comfortable with that type of branding and with that type of setup than just straight networking.
The advent of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble changed the dating game, introducing phrases like “swipe right” and “swipe left” into our lexicon and bringing the idea of speed dating to a new generation.
Later on, Bumble users asked the company for a service to help make friends instead of lovers – and in 2016 they got Bumble BFF, which allowed users to have two separate profiles for dating and friendship.
Since then, Bumble added another way to help people connect with one another in the digital age: Bumble Bizz.
What to know about Bumble Bizz
When you open up Bumble, you can decide what you’re swiping to find that day – if you go with your dating profile, you’ll be swiping for dates and potential partners. If you switch to Bumble BFF mode, which contains an entirely different version of your profile, you’ll be swiping to look for a new friend.
If you choose Bumble Bizz mode, you swap to yet another public profile – this one containing information about your work experience, education, professional goals, and passions. When you look through your swipe deck on this version of the app, you’re not looking for a partner or a friend – you’re networking.
Bumble Bizz lets you swipe through the names of professionals in your indicated industries and make connections with potential employers, experts in your field, recruiters, and fellow professionals.
The advantages of Bumble Bizz
Some people may hear about this new feature and wonder how it sets itself apart from other networking sites like LinkedIn. The benefit of Bumble is that it encourages connecting with new people, not just people you already work with.
On sites like LinkedIn, you’re often reliant on adding people you meet in real life to help you establish connections. Other than that, you can fill out your profile to the best of your ability and hope you get contacted by someone looking for a worker like you, but making those new connections isn’t the site’s primary function.
Bumble Bizz was created to help people form new connections – an ability that’s been severely impacted by the pandemic, disproportionately affecting young professionals who are too new to have large networks.
That’s not the only thing that sets Bumble Bizz apart, either. The central tenet behind Bumble is that it’s an app where women have to message men first, rather than the other way around.
Seeing how well this feature worked in the dating arena, Bumble decided to keep it when creating Bumble Bizz – in any male-female match, the woman always has to be the one to message first. In any same-sex pairing, the opportunity to speak first goes to whoever was the second person to swipe right.
Bumble hopes that this will cut down some of the sexual harassment that some women have reported on sites like LinkedIn.
Upon its launch last March, the social app quickly became popular among investors, who hold regular, live audio-only discussions, called “rooms,” in some cases within various topics of interest to groups called “clubs.”Business owners soon followed, building a roster of virtual educational events and places to hone their storytelling skills, commiserate about entrepreneurial life, and share experiences with the likes of high-profile users like Daymond John and Jason Fried.
If you can get an invitation – Kristin Marquet Chester, owner of New York City-based Marquet Media, recommends starting by asking your closest friends and then making requests on social media if needed. Here are three types of rooms and clubs worth checking out for entrepreneurs. To find these events in the app, search for the relevant speakers or the name of the club.
The access to famous people on Clubhouse is “mind blowing,” said Jeremy Knauff, CEO at digital marketing agency Spartan Media. “It’s like cramming everybody into a stadium and doing an episode of ‘Shark Tank.'” Spend enough time networking with people on the app, and you might be able to connect with and ask questions of celebrity entrepreneurs directly. Here are a few people whom you should follow:
“Shark Tank” star Daymond John runs a club called If You Want to Be Rich, Think Like This!!! He often pops into other rooms as well to opine on everything from building a diverse pipeline to cryptocurrency, advised Zachary Klempf, CEO of San Francisco-based Selly Automotive CRM.
John’s fellow Shark Barbara Corcoran doesn’t have a club but hosts in her own rooms and speaks as a guest in others. This week, she hosted a charity event in the club Leadership Lab with Kat Cole, former president of Cinnabon and another frequently recommended Clubhouser, focused on breaking barriers for women at work. One piece of advice she shared that she regularly gives to her “Shark Tank” companies’ founders when they’re burned out: Make a list of everything you love and everything you hate about running your business, and delegate the latter.
There are practically too many startup and pitch rooms and clubs to count, but here are a few recommendations:
Startup Club,run by Ed Nusbaum – startup mentor and co-founder of Agora, which helps companies with tasks like conversion and monetization – is one of the best clubs for founders to learn, practice their pitches, and even make hires, according to multiple founders. You can follow frequent moderator and admin Soumeya Benghanem, product management lead at VMware and an entrepreneur. And check out Pitch Practice, which is run in the club every Tuesday by Shondra Washington, president and co-founder at TBC-Capital, and Chris Moreno, an investor focused on Latinx entrepreneurs.
Startup Hotline: What Investors Really Think of Your Idea room (in the VC & Angel Investors Club), hosted each Wednesday by San Francisco-based Hustle Fund general partner and co-founder Elizabeth Yin. It’s not always easy to get kind or straightforward feedback from venture capitalists, Yin said. That’s where this room comes in: It’s a no-pressure forum to practice and get honest commentary. Mac Conwell, managing partner at RareBreed Ventures, said he has scouted companies while moderating in the room.
Future of Work, which delves into topics from entrepreneurship to raising capital. Bob Myers, chairman of SKYL, a startup consultancy, said he swears by the room for “thinking creatively about how working culture might change as time goes on.”
Scott Omelianuk, editor in chief of Inc., regularlyhosts events on entrepreneurship.
Other recommended rooms, from Myers, Yin, Burning Soul founder Lauren Eckhardt, and Pietra Communications CEO Olga Gonzalez: Breakfast With Champions – Millionaire Breakfast Club for its thought-provoking sessions; The Hustler Club for unvarnished feedback from other founders; and Leadership Lab for deep dives on company culture.
Networking and affinity groups
Katherine Lynn, founder and CEO of job application platform NextSteps, was tired of hearing men on Clubhouse talk about how easy it was to raise money. So she started Women Founders Club in September with Liana Fricker, founder of Inspiration Space, a virtual community for entrepreneurs. The Women Founders Club now has more than 70,000 followers, and features stars like Alli Webb and investor Brit Morin as speakers. Here are some other affinity and networking groups to try:
The Sisterhood of Influential Entrepreneurs, run by fashion blogger Zavanna Dova. While many clubs are good for practicing and learning, this one, along with Women in Business 40+, also provides a venue to share your experiences, said leadership coach and consulting business ownerKaren Laos. Keya Grant, director of supplier inclusion at Papa John’s, also recommends Tryb because it “holds space” for Black women entrepreneurs that can be difficult to carve out on other social media platforms.
Entrepreneur Noir.Grant is a founder of this room and said besides being a diverse space where everyone is welcome, it’s an opportunity for business owners to connect with corporate buyers like herself who are looking to diversify their supply chains.
Small Business Saturday. Every Saturday, Bria McNair, an HR professional who also runs a professional coaching business called Be Wise Forever, hosts a room in The Hustler Club for business owners to share their experiences and support one another.