Small business owners often feel lonely and competitive towards others in their market. So, in a culture that drives a scarcity mindset when it comes to running a small business, how can business leaders fight against viewing others through a lens of fear and cutthroat competition?
If any of this resonates, then this week’s podcast is for you! Because, Natalie Franke—the mama bear for small businesses—is joining us to discuss how to have a community over competition mindset.
Natalie is a wife, mother, and champion for small businesses. She is the founder of The Rising Tide Society and the chief evangelist for Honeybook. She’s also the bestselling author of the book Built to Belong and is releasing another title this August called Gutsy. She loves helping business leaders define their business and personal priorities, and encourages them to flip the common, cutthroat narrative to truly embrace community over competition.
In this episode of Priority Pursuit, Natalie shares her passion for small businesses, how The Rising Tide Society was formed after a season of loneliness as a small business owner, and how entrepreneurs can shed the competitive mindset and move to a place of cultivating real relationships with other small business owners in the same market as you.
How did The Rising Tide Society come to be?
As a driven small business owner, Natalie built a successful, six-figure, luxury wedding photography business. But, as her business began to grow, Natalie struggled with feeling she had to be everything to everyone all the time. For her, anything less than perfection was considered a failure.
Does that sound familiar, friend?
Instead of viewing the world as a playground and a space for experimentation and joy, she viewed it as a performance, and for years, everything needed to be polished and pulled together. So, while she was checking off all the boxes of what she was “supposed” to do to be “successful,” Natalie began to feel lonely and isolated and realized the only people who could understand were other small business owners.
After discovering there wasn’t really a space for small business owners to connect and be authentic with one another, The Rising Tide Society was born. What began in 2015 as a small meetup in a coffee shop to connect with other creatives quickly exploded into hundreds of meetups happening every month around the world where creative entrepreneurs could gather to share their goals and ideas.
Now, hundreds of thousands of business leaders gather together internationally for TuesdaysTogether meet-ups and privately-held events like it to connect with other creatives and network with independent business owners, share experiences, and get access to educational resources.
What does the term “community over competition” mean?
According to Natalie, when business leaders learn to view their competitors through a lens of comparison, they end up running a race that no one else is running.
While there is competition in the marketplace and that is how running a business works, choosing community over competition means that, as a small business owner, you choose to put your love of other people over competing with them. You don’t place the race for profit over the ethics of running a good business or taking care of other people.
Community over competition isn’t pretending not to compete with others in your market. It’s choosing to cheer for others when they win and recognizing that their success doesn’t equate to your failure. It acknowledges that you can embrace them as colleagues and support systems, rather than competitors. A network opens many more doors than an opponent.
How can you have a community over competition mindset?
Natalie shares that the process of choosing community over competition begins with cognitive reframing—reshaping your thoughts and flipping the script on them. Doing this helps you change the neural pathways in your brain that automatically see others as competitors and, instead, allows you to reframe and view them as allies.
To reframe your mindset, Natalie recommends starting by writing the names of three people in your industry or adjacent industries that you compare yourself to. When you open social media, make it your first priority to spend time connecting with those three people. Visit their feeds and be deliberate about liking their content, leaving comments that will encourage them, and cheering them on. This will help you break down your walls and cognitively reframe the way you view the people within your market.
Next, spend time over the course of several weeks repeating this process over and over. Become their biggest cheerleader! After you’ve nurtured and cultivated these relationships over social media, invite them to have coffee with you and talk about your businesses. Use those conversations as opportunities to ask questions and find more people who may be interested in forming a community and sharing ideas with you.
This activity does come with a bit of a warning: there will be people who reject you in this process. The reality is that not everyone will be on the same page as you are when it comes to choosing community over competition and they will opt to not meet with you. And that’s okay! The great news is that there are plenty of people out there who are excited to network and create a community of like-minded business owners. So, keep asking them and keep seeking them out. Find unique ways to communicate with them, such as sending them a video or voice memo instead of just a message. Practice empathy and pursue people the way you’d want to be pursued.
Want to hear more?
Be sure to listen to this whole episode (at the top of the page or wherever you listen to podcasts) to hear more about Natalie’s journey and love for small businesses. If you’d like to connect with Natalie, please visit her website at nataliefranke.com. You can also connect with her on Instagram (@nataliefranke), TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- The Rising Tide Society
- Built to Belong
- Receive 50% Off Your First Year of HoneyBook
- Receive 50% Off Your First Order from Photographer’s Edit
- Learn More About Treefrog’s Small Business Marketing Resources & Services
- Join the Priority Pursuit Facebook Community
- Follow or DM Treefrog Marketing on Instagram
- Follow or DM Kelly Rice on Instagram
- Follow or DM Victoria Rayburn on Instagram
The Priority Pursuit Podcast is a podcast dedicated to helping small business owners define, maintain, and pursue both their personal and business priorities so they can build lives and businesses they love.
You can find The Priority Pursuit Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Stitcher, and wherever you listen to podcasts.
If you’re a small business owner wanting weekly content about relationships, proven marketing strategies, setting boundaries, delegating, creating an incredible client experience, and keeping your priorities at the core over everything you do, subscribe to Priority Pursuit on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. To ask questions, share your wins, and connect with other priority-driven small business owners, join The Priority Pursuit Podcast Community on Facebook.
For more information about Treefrog Marketing and even more small business marketing resources, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
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