Seth Godin had a recent blog post on “Bring us your problems” that clarified for me one of the benefits for attending a Boostrapper Breakfast–for organization you can substitute entrepreneur:

We’re far more aware of our problems than our opportunities. Our problems nag at us, annoy us and paralyze us.

Every organization wrestles with its problems, and is eager to solve them.

When you generously invite people to bring you their problems, they might just do that.

Solving problems—actually solving them, not just claiming you do—solving perceived, urgent problems, is a surefire way to get the world to beat a path to your door.

Here are six ways that I have found attending a Bootstrapper Breakfast can help entrepreneurs solve problems in their businesss:

  1. Presenting a problem helps you to solve it: composing your thoughts into a narrative or problem statement is often half the battle.
  2. Even though it’s a small group–typically eight to sixteen entrepreneurs–you are actually tapping into not only the experience around the table but the experience of others that they have worked with or heard stories or advice from.
  3. Hearing another entrepreneur describe a problem similar to yours can give you a chance to look in the mirror and help you to frame your thinking. And the advice and suggestions they get may also be applicable to your situation.
  4. If you are just getting started a Bootstrapper Breakfast gives you a chance to present your ideas or practice your elevator pitch in a supportive environment.
  5. Sometimes the questions you ask others or the advice you offer is also applicable to your current situation–you may have been facing the same problem or held back by the same mistakes or habits without realizing it.
  6. Getting your mind off yourself and working on other entrepreneur’s problems can get you out of a rut and  bring a fresh perspective to your business when you next think about it.