If you’ve ever left a traditional job to start your own business, you know that the change in lifestyle can be a bit of a shock. Gone are the water cooler chats, midday coffee runs, and much-needed happy hours. Forget about a leisurely lunch with colleagues – you’re too busy filing invoices or hustling to visit your next client. And if your email crashes or your printer doesn’t work? That’s on you, the IT department of one.

You really are going it alone. And that can feel, well… lonely.

In fact, one Intuit study found that 41 percent of small business owners feel lonely in their work life. The same survey also found that 70 percent of small business owners say networking with other business owners is important. And while small business owners are aware of the importance of building a strong network and developing professionally, they might not always have the time or resources to act on it.

This dilemma is the very reason Intuit created QuickBooks Connect. The event is designed to be an immersive, hands-on experience to help attendees connect, learn, and be inspired to ultimately fuel their success.

Get connected

At QuickBooks Connect, thousands of accountants, small business owners, developers, and self-employed individuals gather under one roof to share stories, learn from each other, and build their professional networks. Attendees walk away with new friends, new ideas, and even new partnerships (Death Wish Coffee Company owner Mike Brown met his accountant at QuickBooks Connect 2015).

This year, there will be even more opportunities for guests to connect with likeminded people, with built-in connection breaks and several industry-specific meetups. If you’re a female business owner, you can meet up with fellow women entrepreneurs and share stories over mimosas in the Pavilion. If you’re a restaurant owner or simply a lover of good food, the Foodie Meetup is the place for you. Or maybe you have an idea for a new business or need guidance on where to take your business next. If that’s the case, you can attend the Speed Feedback session and learn from others who have successfully grown their businesses.

And finally there’s Connectfest, our evening after party where you can join fellow attendees and musical guest Third Eye Blind for music, dinner, and drinks. How’s that for a Tuesday happy hour?

Know your resources

Let’s be honest: you didn’t start your own business because you love creating invoices and tracking receipts. Administrative tasks like these are necessary parts of the small business world, but they’re not something you’d categorize as fun. They take time away from the work you love – not to mention time you could be spending with friends and family. And while you know there are product features and apps out there that could make running your business easier, you may not know where to look.

QuickBooks Connect makes it easy to discover new innovations that will help you save time and run your business more effectively. While browsing the exhibit hall, you can talk to fellow small business owners about what works for them, as well as product experts from the QuickBooks ecosystem, including partners like American Express, Google and PayPal. You can also choose from dozens of breakout sessions to suit your needs – with topics that range from digital marketing to how to save for retirement.

Be inspired

The day-to-day hustle of running a small business can get pretty exhausting. So it’s important to set time aside to reignite your passion and remember why you do what you do.

QuickBooks Connect features a lineup of phenomenal main stage speakers handpicked for their inspiring stories, including Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Malcolm Gladwell, Shaquille O’Neal, and Eva Longoria. Each one of them has overcome tremendous obstacles and persevered in spite of the setbacks they faced. Whether you’re a seasoned small business owner or just starting out, their stories of success in the face of adversity are sure to get you pumped.

That’s the power of QuickBooks Connect. It’s a one-stop destination to connect with other small business owners, learn how to run your business more efficiently, get inspired, and have a little fun while you’re at it. So come hang out with us, and consider your to-do list checked!

To learn more about QuickBooks Connect and register for the event, visit quickbooksconnect.com.

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