“I’m so glad I’m in this foxhole with you.” I say these words frequently to my business partner Mark.

Having a partner or a community or both is imperative when you are doing tough work you believe in. It’s simply too much to carry by yourself.

Not only do Mark and I rely on each other, but we rely on several networks of colleagues we have cultivated over time. Next week, he and I will be attending a small gathering comprised of other small business owners who are doing strategic work for non profits.

Every year, we get together to talk about the vision we see for our companies, the challenges we face getting there, and how we see the intersection of our personal and professional lives unfolding. We open ourselves up to insights and feedback from others who have been in similar shoes.

We dream. We cry. We laugh. We complain. We overcome obstacles we didn’t even know existed.

Doing our day to day work is important. But thinking outside of ourselves is where big growth happens.