Why Brainstorming Groups are So Powerful
When I moved to San Francisco earlier this year I knew I had a very limited network and what I am trying to do with my business Why Not Girl! would be much more difficult because I didn’t have the personal capitol and network to immediately tap into. So what do you do when you are new to a city and trying to start your own business? Network as much as possible, say “Yes” to practically everything and everyone, and try to find a support group of others who you can bounce ideas off of and help you stay on track – and sane.
I consider myself very lucky that I met another female entrepreneur not long after my arrival to the Bay Area. We met for lunch and quickly realized that coming from different industries, having different personal and professional experiences and bringing our unique perspectives to the table could help both of our businesses. She, having lived in San Francisco for a number of years, wanted to bring in another entrepreneur who she knew would benefit from our conversation and I had no problem getting to know another person and getting another person’s perspective. So, our little brainstorming group started there.
There are five of us now, including fellow CGN contributor Christie Mims, and our monthly brainstorm sessions are not only professionally useful, but personally fun. Assisted by a little wine and some yummy pot luck food provided by everyone, our meetings give everyone the opportunity to think about their businesses but in a more creative and relaxing format. (This is especially useful when you are having one of those weeks where you are feeling like a failure – a natural roller coaster experience in entrepreneurship.)
Each of us has the opportunity to share the most pressing issue we are facing at the moment and what we need help on. I often find myself writing down a full page of great ideas that I never would have thought of and some that reaffirm thoughts that I already had. It’s really helpful to hear other opinions and, to be honest, it’s really nice to take a break from your own business and think about someone else’s. Plus, as we quickly discovered during our last brainstorm, what you think is a great idea for someone else is most likely a great idea for you, too.
So whether you start your own brainstorming group or you join one that is already established, look at it as a fun way to network, socialize and help your business gain ideas. You never know what new thought will come your way, and in our case, you may find an opportunity to work together and create the next world-dominating idea.