Nutrition experts have long extolled the positive benefits of having a buddy to encourage us to stick to healthy eating and exercise habits. Many scientific studies show that a group (even as small as 2 people) that agrees to lose weight and get healthy together has a far greater chance to get and stay healthy. So why not get a buddy for just about everything we want to achieve?
I thought about this idea yesterday when I received an email from a friend of mine whom I met through my yoga teacher training. She has been wanting to do daily meditation and pranayama (breath work), and has had a tough time getting motivated. She asked me if I’d be her meditation buddy and I gladly accepted.
In January 2009 I became very interested in starting my own business, and though I have many friends who are also interested in this endeavor, most have not taken the plunge just yet. I needed to get out there and meet some other would-be entrepreneurs so I started writing a column about entrepreneurship for Examiner.com. In 15 months I wrote 125 columns, most of them featuring start-ups. A collection of 27 of those stories became my first e-book, Hope in Progress. That group of entrepreneurs became my de-facto start-up buddies, people who inspired to get in gear, and they did. I founded Compass Yoga, my own yoga instruction business, in May.
Buddies have taken root in other areas of my life, too. I have writing buddies who inspire me and my writing. I’ve had job search buddies and apartment hunt buddies (you need these in NYC with this rental market!). Buddies have also come to my aid on Innovation Station, my extracurricular education program for middle school students. When I think of the areas of my life where I found the most success, in each I had a buddy.
So where else could I use a buddy these days? Certainly as I ramp up for my first gig as a college professor at LIM College next month. Today I learned about Sprouter, a new online community for entrepreneurs who have just launched – an area where I’d like to connect with other new start-ups. As I’ve gotten more interested in new technology, I started looking for some offline communities in this space. Digital Dumbo is a group of like-minded individuals who are working to make Brooklyn into the next Silicon Valley. I’m attending my first Digital event next Thursday.
What areas of your life could use a buddy?