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Social Capital: We Need It Now More Than Ever

Right now, we are hearing it all over the place. Where do businesses find capital to keep going. To pay employees. To keep vendors relationships right. To sustain. But something I barely hear about is how to retain our social capital in times like these. For those of us that are wading through hard times with small businesses, the social capital account will end up playing as much of a role as our bank account and the cost of it entering the negative are just as high.

Social Capital: the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.

Before I go on, don’t think this just applies to business. This is life, really. While my lean for now is about the entrepreneur, it doesn’t stop there. It isn’t some club that won’t allow visitors. This is for all of us.

It was gold.

Here is some transparent truth for today. I am feeling super nostalgic writing this post. As I said a few days ago, I “grew up” on a full dose of small business blogs. The main one was The Entrepreneurial Mind – a blog written by my professor / mentor Dr. Jeff Cornwall. He was always putting out posts that spoke directly to what I was dealing with at the time. Each day, I’d read his blog, dive in to the stack of Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., and notes from his class that were on my desk, and do my best to soak it all up. It was gold.

Well, today I found myself, once again, on his blog trying to get any tools I could to help better navigate this strange time and saw this one on social capital. I have been spending so much time trying to figure out how to grow our real estate team over the past few months, financially, which has been important. Over the last few weeks, however, have spent as much time as possible on content, network, and just being available for our clients and those that just need advice — part of our social capital account.

In fact, there is a growing body of research suggesting that what is called social capital,  having a strong network of people with knowledge, experience, and wisdom to draw from, is an important determinant of entrepreneurial success.  It can be even more important for many entrepreneurs as the financial capital they need to succeed in business.

Dr. Jeff Cornwall

Those are great ways to participate and network and engage those in our circle but it is also HUGELY important for us to deposit into that account as well. I love the areas Dr. Cornwall suggests on ways to secure and retain that capital. It takes time, effort, and intentionality now more than ever. He lays out 5 great points:

  1. Intentionality in working from home.
  2. Family support needs structure.
  3. Mentors reach out regularly.
  4. Set up weekly/monthly Zoom coffee or beers.
  5. Peer-based Zoom meetings.

(Check out his post for more details on these items.)

I love this. We have been doing most of these and it is great re-assurance that we are on the right path – both in business and in our personal journey through all of this. It’s a lot sometimes but know that it is so important.

Don’t let the isolation stale you, your dreams, or your business. You know what “they” say: If you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards! Don’t let that happen. This goes for health, business, and family.

What are you doing to move forward? How can I help? We are in this together and all of us in this entrepreneurial journey need to support each other. Reach out. Be available. Be willing to ask questions. Be humble. Ask for help if you need it. It takes all of us depositing and withdrawing from our social capital accounts.

Don’t stall! Always. Move. Forward.

In closing, a person I following closely is Jesse Itzler. If you haven’t had a chance to follow him or know about what he has done and is doing, do that today. His big thing right now? Don’t sweat the small stuff and keep doing one thing per day to “move the needle and fill the bucket”. What are those buckets?

  1. Health
  2. Family
  3. Business

Do something EVERY DAY that will move you forward but don’t worry about how big that thing is. Just make sure it is happening.

We got this you guys. We do. It’ll be different and tough and fulfilling and sad and fruitful and all of the other things. But we will get to the other side and be stronger for it if we take the time NOW to get better.

Reach out if you have questions for me. Anytime. I want to be part of your Social Capital and I FOR SURE need you as part of mine right now in a big way.

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