It's no secret, The B Hive Apiary is a business. And while not everyone likes the idea that we charge for some of our events, we turned this group into a business because our members asked for it. We were initially resistant! We didn't want people to feel like they were being charged to make friends, but the more we thought about it and the more we were encouraged by our members, the more we realized that there was nothing wrong with it.
It's REALLY hard to ask your friends and family to support you financially when you own a business. Not everyone will agree, but for the most part - women have a hard time asking for help and money. We want to do it all ourselves, we want to prove that we don't need the help. But Erica and I learned some things in this journey of running a business that helps women make lasting friendships. Not only about business but also about real, authentic, vulnerable friendships.
- You have to ask for help. Whether you wan't to prove yourself or not, asking for help is the only way you'll truly get ahead. While you may be a human version of Super Woman - you are in fact, not Super Woman. By trying to do everything yourself, you're physically unable to give 100% towards everything. As I always say - "Don't half-ass everything, whole-ass one thing you're good at". We learned, not only as business partners, but also as friends to speak up and ask for help. If I'm feeling swamped by logistics, running the website and writing blogs - I ask Erica to step in and help with something I just can't get to. And if Erica isn't able to get to something, she asks me for help. It not only builds our relationship as business partners, but also as friends. I know I can ask her for help any time!
- Bring more brains to the game. We poll our membership often, we asked direct, pointed questions that help us get clarity on topics we're discussing or different perspectives on things! It's been super helpful! As business owners, we always want to provide our members with the things that keep them coming back, that make them happy and that give them the most value. If we just do things that we want to do all the time we'll get nowhere. But we also stay true to our values as business owners - if the general consensus doesn't align with our values - both professionally and personally, we won't go forward with it. As friends, you can see the value of a "hive mind" when you have a group text running and you need the voice of many to help you write that text to the boy you like.
- Not everyone will like you or your business and it's ok. It's hard not to be personally insulted when someone doesn't like your business. Especially when you put all of your spare energy into making it what it is. We've learned, that people not liking you or your business is just a part of life and you just need to accept it and move on. Stop trying to change people's minds! The same rule applies in friendships - while we pride ourselves on being a fairly "drama-free" environment, there's bound to be fights, drama and people disliking each other, especially when you have 400+ women in a group. It is OK to not like someone, it is OK for someone to not like you, it is again, a part of life. You must learn to deal with it and move on. Even though there may be ladies who don't get along - we always expect everyone in The B Hive to treat each other at least civilly.
- Live a life of abundance. This was a hard blow to the gut for us. We are probably some of the most generous business owners out there, we share so much information, so many resources and share our coaching backgrounds with SO many female entrepreneurs and all for free. We learned, particularly recently, that many female business owners live in fear of competition and are in a mindset of scarcity. As if there's not enough to go around. We sought guidance and assistance from business owners we've known, and even collaborated with, and received guarded, fearful responses. We learned that we will continue to serve in the mindset of abundance, because there is enough to go around - and ultimately we should be helping each other out. In friendships we see this too - the constant competition, comparison of women amongst each other. "She's doing better than me in her life!", "I want what she has!", behavior that makes other women feel bad is not only hurting them - but hurting the woman doing it. Be kind to each other and remember the world is a big place, you are where you're supposed to be!
- It is ok to be selective. This was a personal learning journey for me, but both Erica and I realized that it is applicable to our business as well. I realized, personally, that I was often times using my energy for things, and people who were not serving me in a positive, motivating way. And while I often received advice to give many "the benefit of the doubt", I realized that, that too was not going to serve me in my life. I have become very selective of with whom I spend my time - whether it be family, friends, romantic interests and business connections. We, as business owners, have recently realized that this is applicable to business as well! We want to surround ourselves in business with people who are reaching for the stars, dreaming big and pushing themselves to do better in every way. We've become much more selective with who we collaborate with, with who we bring onto our team and with whom we socialize with. We're surrounding ourselves with those who are better than us because it makes us level up! Not to contradict our living a life of abundance - we still openly and willingly help female entrepreneurs who reach out to us, because we know that we were once them! It is one of our core values - and we still abide by it, but we definitely make sure, on projects that require more of our energy we level up!
Starting a business and running a business is filled with learning moments. It's a laborious journey that has ups, downs and loop-de-loops. But for us, evolving as we grow our business is just part of the excitement! And building a business that allows you to help women make friends - teaches you even more about yourself and your relationships with others.