Facebook is commonly associated with slacking off – I’ll be honest I have done very little productive with Facebook in the past and I am sure you have as well. However, recently I have found a new side to Facebook, a brighter side, and one that has me drawn to my phone. It all started when I was invited to a group of entrepreneurs who are fans of Shark Tank, The Profit and David Klein (the founder of Jelly Belly). I joined the group at a friend’s request and thought nothing of it. That was until I got bombarded with irksome notifications.
I went to my computer to turn off the aggravating group notifications that kept sending my phone on violent bouts of vibrations when I realized the absolute beauty of the group I was now a part of. A simple group of Facebook users, most of which had never met in person began assisting one another with various hurdles in the startup process. If John knew about trademarking than he would assist Julie who was applying for a trademark for her new company and if Matt knew about forming an LLC and Gary didn’t know how to than Matt would help him.
In addition to the clear benefit of helping one another everyone in the group also continually posts content about their companies, their startup stories and how they got into the world of entrepreneurship. When people explain their journeys on the path to being an entrepreneur it is amazing to hear so many similar stories – entrepreneurs have a lot in common. It takes grit and determinations that most folks just do not have. Hearing about others successes and failures and new company ideas might be one of the most amazing things for lighting the fire in one’s own stomach.
After realizing the true potential of the business opportunities for a social network I had previously written off as mainly for personal use I began looking for groups within my industry (photography). Since then I have found the immense potential of knowledge that is spread through social media. Fellow photographers who I otherwise would have never met have assisted with finding my locations to do photo-shoots, have offered my clients when they were unable to serve them and have given me tips that normally would have taken several Youtube videos or several attempts at fumbling through my Camera’s user manual.
I think my new experiences with Facebook offer a few great insights:
1) You never know when or where you are going to meet someone who could be vastly important to your life, your business, or both.
The risk and struggles of starting a business are increasingly decreasing. You now don’t have to know people in an industry to gain insight from some of the top experts. With social media like Facebook a one-on-one individual assistance is available that few other online networks can provide. Constantly be on the look out for how to improve yourself and your business in ways that you previously never thought of.
2) The Internet offers a great stream of information and knowledge that was previously inaccessible even in places not normally associated with productivity. Help is just a click away.
I would have never guessed that a Facebook group would be a great source of business advice – but it is.
3) The most important lesson is about whom one surrounds themselves with. Everyone has heard the cliché “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It is true.
Joining every entrepreneurship group imaginable and submerging yourself within in your given market is crucial to success. At the very least seeing other stories of success and failure alike should help challenge you to work harder at your own venture(s).
Now next time you decide to log into Facebook, get to work!
Andrew Birkett is a University of Florida student majoring in Marketing. He serves on the executive board for the Entrepreneurship Club at UF and currently owns and operates an automotive photography company, Holeshot Heroes, and is developing an automotive themed trading card game.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com