Don’t Just Build a Business, Build Your Community

 

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely job. Before I started my business, I thought every day would be filled with clients, friends, and family, enjoying coffee and brunch dates and just being surrounded by people who got me all the time. But I quickly got a huge dose of reality. I was behind a computer more than in front of anyone. Before I had this amazing team, it started out as a lonely job.

At the beginning (and still during tax season), there were many days I’d work from sun up to sun down without seeing a soul, except my husband. That dreamy business I created in my head from the pictures of other entrepreneurs on Instagram wasn’t exactly how things looked in my day-to-day. I felt disconnected from friends and family. We now had completely different schedules. And when I was with the people I’m closest to, I really wanted to talk shop. The only problem was, they couldn’t relate to my daily wins and struggles. I so desperately wanted to build friendships with people who did what I did on a daily basis that shared my passion and heart as a creative. Luckily, the community I was longing for was closer than I thought.

It Takes a Village

When you run a business primarily on your own, having other people that you can throw ideas around with, vent to, share wins and cry about failures, learn from, listen to and high five (virtually and in person) is key to success. Your creative village is who you lean on when you need a recommendation for a new office photo shoot, videographer, content writer, course for improving your editing, and everything else you’re learning to do. It’s your safe place when friends and family have no idea what you’re talking about all of the struggles new business owners go through. Finding my village, locally and online, was my saving grace.

How to Find Your People

There are so many ways to meet other creatives these days. The internet makes it so easy to connect with like-minded people. If you’ve ever purchased a course or taken a class online, chances are there’s a Facebook/online group to connect with them. Start interacting in that space and talking with the creatives you feel like you could be friends with in real life.

If you don’t have a group like that online, check out The Rising Tide. They believe in community over competition to build up creatives. There is a national group and local communities all over the country that meet the first Tuesday of every month (Tuesdays Together). There’s nothing like connecting in person. I know it feels vulnerable to break away from the computer and talk to strangers but think about the potential friendships on the other side of that fear. You could have creative friends right in your backyard that you can go grab a coffee or a glass of wine with, but you’ve got to meet them first!

The Right Kind of People

It’s important to find people that bring you up and don’t tear you down. You will come across some relationships or groups that don’t have your best interests at heart, aren’t your style or just negative – I say, politely exit stage left and never look back. Keep your circles positive. And in return, make sure you’re being the kind of creative and friend that you want to attract. There are others just like you looking to connect! Be vulnerable, take risks, grab coffee with someone you don’t know, build your community. You never know where that new friendship in life and business will take you.

Do you have any suggestions on how to find your people and a community in your industry? If so, share them in the comments!

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Amy Northard, CPA

The Accountant for Creatives
+ taxes + bookkeeping + consulting
+ Hang out with me over on Instagram!

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