Debbie Sharvit
Aug 14th, 2018

How a peer-to-peer community helps you grow you and your business

When starting your business, collaborating with peers is an excellent idea. On the other hand, collaborating is just as effective when seeking new partnerships to develop as a professional or brand. However, it isn't simple starting out. It also isn't painless overcoming the hurdles in our way along the growth process.

These two situations, as well as numerous others, can find solutions in a peer community. These communities help entrepreneurs, people professionals and scores of others in the field develop themselves and their business. Here in these communities, peers get to share, learn and contribute to their professional community.

Photo by "My Life Through A Lens" on Unsplash

Photo by "My Life Through A Lens" on Unsplash

As the saying goes, “you only get what you give.” Here is what a peer community can give you and your profession.

Closer to More Opportunities

Like that another saying goes, "it takes a village.” In business, it takes a community to develop talent. Whether honing the skills of peers or shaping the next generation of people professionals, peer-to-peer community involvement brings us all closer together to develop ourselves and businesses. Part of developing as a professional is discovering new opportunities.

By bringing professionals together, the community can learn and engage with one another. Each person is at a different point in their growth. With them all under one roof, it becomes much easier to learn and interact with others your hope to inspire or aspire to become one day. From those discussions comes the ideas and opportunities to launch your career to the next level.

Unlike the boardroom or a meet and greet at office drinks, professionals get to meet one another in a more casual setting. In doing so, people get to discuss their ideas, pain points and questions related to the space. Together, they can discuss and plot ideas on how to overcome the obstacles they face. In choice cases, the opportunity that presents itself may be what you least expected.

Addressing Challenges and Gaining Experience

As mentioned above, peer-to-peer communities make it easier for people to learn and share. From these discussions come positive gains. Often, these gains are reflected in your actions and actions going forward. Once again, it is the community of peers that helps resolve our struggles. Together, we can address any issues and obtain the business wisdom needed to become the professional or brand we seek to create.

This outcome should come as no surprise when you think about it. Putting like-minded professionals together helps each of us better understand our industry. More so, these meetups show us that we are not alone. Sometimes, we can become too wrapped up in our work and think only we are going through such struggles. In peer communities, that is not the case. Instead, we get to understand that we are part of the process. We can be reminded that people are going through similar issues, or have overcome them already. Their wisdom can help resolve your challenges and vice-versa.

By connecting with such people, you get to address the struggles of your role. You may also be the person that provides a solution for someone else in the community. Each person at these events brings a different perspective and experience. You can learn just as much from an independent professional as you may from a career HR leader for a major brand - and that’s the beauty of peer communities.

A Professional Safe Place

Ever feel like you can’t speak your mind at work? Do you ever find yourself walking on metaphorical egg shells to hide your uncertainty around a subject? If so, then you are part of a group of people that know all too well how difficult it can be to speak up at work. Instead of offering a workplace where creative solutions thrive, countless offices become focused on other tasks that focus on themselves.

This outcome and isolation is especially trying on people professionals. Not only is people in the job title, but we understand more than other roles just how vital it is to have the sorts of interaction. While your peer community should never be your only source of inspiration and learning, it may be the case. If that is your current situation, there is no need to hide what you feel. This isn’t a stuck up, head down office you may be used to. Instead, peer communities are thriving, lively and educated destinations to help one another grow.

Today, you can find your community in-person or online. Either way, feel free to speak what’s on your mind. Discuss what you enjoy about the job and what has been troubling you. Have frustrations around certain aspects of the job? Talk about them! A peer community encourages your honest thoughts just as much as it does your creative professional solutions.

Have no fear, people professionals. This is a place where you get to be you and develop into who the professional you aspire to become.

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Ready to Get Involved?

Whether looking to grow your business or looking to collaborate with others, a peer community is an excellent idea. Beyond advancement, consider these communities as career enhancement. Together, we can solve problems, push the industry forward and make ourselves all look better in the process.

With the industry rapidly changing, it is wise to stay informed and involved. You never know when the shifting of the industry could leave you with questions needing dire answers. By staying involved and engaged in the community, those worries can be eased.

Through peer connections, we understand that we are far from alone. In fact, we are one of a large sum. We are educators, learners and above all else, professionals. As the industry grows, so shall we. Together, these communities should have you and everyone else moving in an upward trajectory.