If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the 5 years doing HH full time, it’s how isolating running your own business can be. It’s hard for other people with their ‘normal’ jobs to understand why you do what you do. When they think you spend all morning sleeping in, work for 3 hours then spend a leisurely afternoon relaxing into the evening. Because working for yourself is easy, right? Doing art all day is fun, right? RIGHT? What could possibly be stressful about that.
I think running a creative business is particularly hard work and can put tremendous strain on you. Everyday you are putting yourself out there to be judged. When you create something you love and then try to sell it, you are asking people to confirm what you’re doing is worthy. Your fate is up to them. And quite frankly, some days can be really miserable because of it. But you know what I’ve found to be the best cure for that horrible "I’m no good, let’s give up now" feeling?
I feel so so lucky to have found some really awesome friends who totally ‘get it’.
It’s so important to surround yourself with a supportive network of people who understand what you do. A group of cheerleaders who have your back when you get an awkward customer, to remind you it’s not the end of the world when your supplier messes up again, to confirm you’re not crazy for obsessing over your Instagram feed and to let you know you’re on the right track or help you get back on if you lose your way.
What also comes from having a solid team of business babes around you is the constant feeling of awe and inspiration. I can honestly say I feel so proud every time we chat about their next new project or what they’re working on. It is such an honour to see their hard work come to life. To literally watch their labor of love from start to finish for a new product launch, or see them putting that new plan in to action, or to be totally bossing it on Instagram. It is a wonderful thing to be part of a group who are genuinely gunning for each others success. It gives me a whole new appreciation for the job I do and reminds me there is space here for us all. No you’re crying.
I can see you nodding. That all sounds great but HOW do I find them?
Well I’m glad you asked.
- First of all you gotta do some stalking. Get on the internet and find people whose work you love, whose ethos you admire and people who you think are pretty cool.
- Next get to commenting. Make an effort to comment on their blog posts, RT their tweets, go wild and DM them about their IG stories. Hopefully they’ll soon start to notice you too are pretty cool.
- Add them all to a group chat on Instagram where you can discuss biz things and share cute cat photos. Mustn’t forget the cat photos. Naturally things will begin to escalate in the group and you’ll be chatting business, life and learning lots about each other.
- Realise that Instagram DMs are the worst way to have a group chat, the app is so laggy and slow. Suggest the switch to a Whatapps group and to save the IG DMs for important cat photos.
- Don’t be shy about asking for feedback on your projects and give away your advice freely, even if you feel you don’t have much to give it will always be helpful. Everyone needs someone to listen.
- Invite them to a real life meet up! Now that you’re all reasonably confident none of you are serial killers now is a good time to pose the question of meeting up IRL. Maybe head down to a makers market or a workshop for a in inspiration session.
- Hopefully the meet up went really well? Yay! How about suggesting a regular face to face with everyone via google hangouts? You could have weekly meetings to set out your intentions for the week ahead and keep each other accountable, celebrate wins and brainstorm ideas.
- If you get to this point you no longer need my help tbh, congrats on finding your own business besties!
You might also like :