Ever since I set up Campfire Communications (almost exactly three years ago) I have wanted to run a virtual campfire for small business owners and start ups. But I wasn't sure what it would do or be or if it should be free or a paid membership club.
I've done plenty of research and asked my regular tribe of campers. A few things kept coming out time and again. They just want to feel less alone, more motivated and less intimidated by all the apparently successful people out there. They want to chat and discuss things, rather than have to consume heaps of information. They're overloaded with information already.
What they want is a friendly, non-judgemental group who they can ask questions of, get advice from or simply be supported by, without feeling as though they have to fake it or pretend to be something bigger than what they are. They want to find business besties, accountability partners, butt kickers or actual business partners.
These are the people who have ambition and dreams but equally value honesty and integrity. They may lack self-confidence or self-belief. And they may feel very small in contrast to what everyone else is achieving. Or they may have felt like that in the past and have now got to a place where they feel so much stronger, more confident and happier about where they are in their business journey.
Based on all of that, I have created The Campfire Club. This is a free group run on Facebook. It is open to anyone thinking about starting up a business, new start ups, people who have been running their small businesses for a while, people who want to pivot their business, career changers, sole traders, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. It's open to men and women and you can be based anywhere in the world.
The aim? To make you feel less alone as you head out on this adventure of running a business.
This group is NOT for people who like to tout how they have made six-figures in a matter of weeks or how if you buy their unique formula you can transform your life. In fact, this is a zero bullshit club. It's also not for people who join simply to plug their wares before leaving again. It's for real people who value honesty.
The vibe: Imagine a crackling campfire. The air around you is crisp and cool, but the fire is keeping you toasty. You have a mug of hot chocolate or perhaps a glass of your favourite red wine. The sun is setting and the stars are coming out. You hear the breeze in the trees and can savour the epic view of mountains, lake or sea. You're sitting with a bunch of people just like you. You chat, ask questions, share some of your challenges, get friendly suggestions, a much needed pep talk or a comforting hug of understanding. This isn't corporate. It's not competitive. It's not fancy. It's down to earth and real. You leave feeling revived, cheered up, motivated, ready to tackle that thing you've been afraid of, knowing you've got a friendly place you can return to anytime you need help again.
What can you do in the Club:
Every Monday it's #CampfireConnections time - your chance to find a business partner, business bestie, an accountability partner, someone who can help you with a specific issue or project or job you need doing, or just someone to kick your butt. Start off your week by asking someone to hold you accountable and make sure you eat that frog by the time the week is over.
Get it off your chest
Every Wednesday it's #CampfireConfessions time - your chance to share whatever it is that is bothering you. Perhaps you feel deflated or flat. Perhaps the thing you launched has failed. Perhaps you feel like a fraud. Perhaps you have no clients but don't know how to get them. Whatever it is, this is your safe space to open up and get some advice, motivation or simply some sympathy. It's not meant to be a pity party or a place to simply moan about how hard it is. It's your chance to get whatever is bothering you off your chest and for others to help you move forward. You will be AMAZED at how often others are in the exact same boat. All it takes is for one person to open up and you'll quickly discover that you're not alone. Together you can help each other to move forward and believe you can do it.
Share your celebrations and successes
Every Friday it's #CampfireCelebrations time - your chance to let us know what amazing things (no matter how small) you have achieved. Perhaps you found a business friend or finally ticked that thing off your to do list or secured your first client or made your first sale. Whatever it is, it's time to celebrate it. Feel free to stuff your face full of marshmallows as a reward.
You can ask questions any day of the week. Just use #CampfireQuestions and ask away. As a member of the club, if there's someone you can help, answer them and try to be supportive. That way, they get the info they need and you get to showcase that you're an expert. It's the best way to win new business. Being genuinely helpful is what people remember and they're far more likely to do business with you as a result.
That's it! It'll probably evolve over time but for now, this is enough to kick us off.
JOIN HERE - it costs you nothing. And please share it with any fellow business pals you may have who might benefit from it too.
Chat to you round the Campfire!
Right. Listen up. If you have returned from your summer break and are finding it very hard to relight your business fire, I am going to try to help. Now admittedly, if you are feeling super low, you probably won't be reading this because it will fall into the 'can't be arsed' category. And it will be YET ANOTHER person telling you what you should be doing, when really, all you want to do is lie in bed and binge watch Netflix or lie in the sun and attempt to recreate your holiday. Except, it's England and it's wet and cold.
I have been you. In fact, until yesterday, this was me. Like all self-employed people, I have been on this particular mojo rollercoaster before. Except this time, I couldn't even be bothered to get onto the sodding rollercoaster. It was like I had business mojo flatlined.
And the worst thing about losing your mojo, is that the longer you don't have it, the harder it is to find. Apathy breeds apathy. Then you feel bad about doing nothing, so you do even less. All around you, peppy people are raving about how awesome everything is and what they're achieving and trying to rev you up so that you can join in their energetic success ball. But frankly you just want to pull the blanket over your head and eat chocolate.
Then I watched a video by Mel Robbins on the micro-decisions that make our lives what they are. I'd seen it before but somehow it popped into my Facebook feed (while I was wasting time pretending to work but not). And it's like the universe was trying to give me a bitch slap. Obviously, my life isn't a movie where I suddenly transformed into an energiser bunny and changed the world five minutes after watching that clip. Nope. I stayed lying in bed binge watching Suits, wondering how come all the women in that show are so incredibly well put together and how many times they say 'Godammit!' in any episode.
But Mel's message stuck with me. This morning I woke up and decided that I wouldn't lie in bed reading angry tweets about Trump. And I wouldn't eat a big breakfast that would delay me from doing my workout. Before I gave my brain time to think, I got out of bed, got in gym kit and headed outside for a run. I decided that I would use the run to decide what I'd achieve that day.
I tried to do that. But every time I thought I had a game plan, little voices of doubt would creep in telling me that it was unrealistic or the wrong thing to focus on or not big enough. By the end of the run I still had no game plan for the day. And I knew that without a game plan, I would waste another day going around in circles achieving nothing. And my mojo would plummet further.
So here's what I did.
I asked myself, what is the ONE thing you really NEED to do? And what I really NEED to do is make money so that I can buy my husband a brilliant 50th birthday present. I had a clear goal. Make money.
I immediately thought of the billion different things I could do to attempt to market to clients to make money. My mind leapt to fanciful ideas and projects that would take time to get off the ground and I could feel that mojo slipping away. It was all too big and complicated. So I said to myself: If I had zero money and I HAD to make some by the end of the week, what would I do?
The answer was blindingly obvious. Ask people directly for business. I decided to do just that.
Buoyed by getting that done, I noticed two emails that came in about events taking place in the next few months featuring keynote speakers. I decided that I would email them and ask if they needed any other speakers. I didn't hesitate and ask 'Will I be good enough?', 'What if it's a waste of time?', 'Will they think I'm insane asking at this late stage?', 'Will be scary?' I just did it.
I didn't hear back from one. The other replied saying yes. There was a small cost involved. I weighed it up and thought, sod it. No hesitation. Just do it. I am now booked to be a speaker at an event with 100 women next month!
My learnings on how to kickstart your mojo:
If you my lovely reader are feeling mojo-less, take heart. Do not give up. Do not beat yourself up. Just start with one little thing. And then keep going. It will return.
If you'd like my help (now that I have my mojo back) please check out my services. I would absolutely love to help you develop your brand story.