One idea has become abundantly clear to me. In order to grow your business and find joy in life, you must do it with others.

When I started this journey as an entrepreneur, people kept telling me to find people who were smarter than me, ahead of me in business, and able to provide guidance. 

And don't get me wrong, mentors are great. You need intelligent people who don't let you lie to yourself.  

But that will only take you so far.

To succeed in every area of life, you must surround yourself with people who lift you up and will call you out when you find yourself compromising what you stand for. They should make you aware when you let your goals slip for something that feels good in the moment but in the long run won't help you.

You need a community. 

In a time when loneliness has become an epidemic, building community is more important than ever. Here are some tips on building a community that not only lifts you up but makes you more successful.

Spend time doing what you want more of.

The actions and people that got you where you are today aren't what will get you where you want to be tomorrow. It's time to let go of the habits limiting your growth. This includes the habit of where you spend your time.

Start putting yourself in the right rooms and entering the right conversations with people who inspire you to pursue your goals without hesitation. 

Building community comes from finding things you love doing, and then going out and doing more of them. If you are health conscious, join a community gym, or sign up for a Spartan race or a marathon. On the back end of these actions lives a community that will welcome you with open arms. 

The important thing here is when you enter these spaces, actively engage with people who spark your interest. Chances are they want to reach similar goals, and together you can help each other.   

Use learning experiences to your advantage.

Growing yourself and your business requires gaining knowledge and a set of industry-specific skills. Don't bury your head in a book. Use your time to catapult yourself into a group of people learning the same thing. When I started taking courses on e-commerce, I would only buy into options that gave access to Facebook groups or community platforms. I used those learning portals as a means to develop further connections with like-minded people pursuing similar goals.

Step away from the online world and attend conferences or classes that teach you a new skill set. These rooms will be packed with people doing exactly what you want to do and learning exactly what you need to learn. These are your people. Don't look at them as competition. View them as partners along for the adventure. You may find a business or  partner along the way that you can collaborate with on a service or product promotion.   

Look beyond the work you do.  

Community isn't found in just one place. You must be willing to expand where you are going to forge it. Although you are laser-focused on building a particular business for a certain audience, your community may lie beyond this line of fire.

Consider what drives you every day, and find communities there. I have a deep passion for self-development and have found some of my greatest community support through this commonality. It is no surprise that many other entrepreneurs have the same passion, and I've been able to bond with many over this shared value.

Find things that other entrepreneurs love doing, and go join them. It may be outside of your comfort zone or your zone of genius, but that is where growth happens. That is where you learn to ask the difficult questions and where you connect with others.

People crave connection, so get out there and give it to them. Speaking from experience, you will find it in return.