Creative entrepreneurship can be a lonely place. Many of us leave corporate jobs to work from home to pursue our dreams to run our own business. It doesn’t take long to realize how lonely this life can be. Because, whether you are introverted or not, we all need community. We all need other adult like-minded people to talk to when we start to doubt ourselves. But, it’s hard to find those people right? It’s also scary! We fear reaching out to others in our industry for fear of rejection, because we’ve all seen that or heard horror stories about creatives tearing each other down.
I have to admit that I have been super blessed with the other photographers in my area. When I started my business, I attended some workshops and a local conference led by two wonderful photographers who believed in community over competition. As an introvert and a new kid on the block, I was super nervous about attending things like this. Would I be welcomed? Would I fit in? Would I be accepted right where I was? The answer to these questions, for so many new photographers and creatives, is far to often NO! I’ve heard so many stories of new female photographers attending large conferences and being laughed at, humiliated, and made to feel “less than”. I am so thankful that this hasn’t been the case for me. I’ll be talking about my experiences with The Reset Conference and my local photographer friends later this week. Those events have been life-giving, life-changing for me. But, even with those events, the day-to-day life of entrepreneurship was pretty lonely. Part of this is just my nature of not being bold enough to reach out and make those personal connections. Part of it is fear of rejection. And part of it is just not having that confidence and encouragement to make the leap to start this sense of community myself.
Enter The Rising Tide Society! I’m not even quite sure when I first stumbled upon The Rising Tide Society. I think I ended up on a webinar or maybe just a Facebook post. What I do know is that when I went to their website and started reading about the passion and vision behind it, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this movement. It wasn’t something I just wanted for myself, but for people like me starting out their own businesses and needing support and community.
I’ve never been one to be brave enough to start something new, but on a whim, I applied to be a Tuesdays Together leader. I was certain I was going to be denied and really didn’t give the application much thought after hitting the submit button. A week or two later, I received an email saying I had been accepted! Talk about emotions! I was thrilled and honored, but completely scared. How was I going to get people to come to this monthly meeting? I reached out to one friendly photographer, Kara Evans, in hopes that she would come alongside and help me get this thing off the ground. Kara reached out to a new friend, Sarah Hemenover, and the three of us began meeting together once a month. This last year has been so rewarding. As we met, just the three of us, talked about our struggles and victories, discussed the monthly topic, and drank our fair share of coffee or wine, we began to feel less alone. We started adding people to our group and have slowly increased our monthly attendance. While we still aren’t a big group by any means, we are growing and that’s exciting!
So, what has this all meant to me? It means I feel less alone. It means I feel like I’m a part of something so much bigger than myself. It means I’ve found people who are like-minded to encourage, be encouraged by and to call friends. It means when this homeschooling mom of five gets frazzled and tired and overwhelmed, I can get out of the house and recharge with these wonderful people in my community that get this crazy life I lead. These are my people.
Here’s a little video that does a much better job at describing what The Rising Tide Society is all about.
If you are a creative entrepreneur in the Bradley-Bourbonnais area and would like to join us for Tuesdays Together, let me know! We’d love to have you! To find a Tuesdays Together near you, check out the RTS website.