How to stay connected as a creative entrepreneur
Every entrepreneur, every artist, has the same feeling at some point during their career: that it is them against the world.
It can be a very isolating feeling when it seems like you’re standing alone. And often, those around you won’t understand unless they’ve done something similar themselves. How many times have you tried to explain what it is you do only to be presented with an odd look or a followup question that makes you cringe?
After spending years running my creative business, I’ve found a few great ways to help me stay connected to like minded souls, and today I’d like to share those with you. It isn’t easy running a business or even just creating alone. It is amazing how much more inspired I am when I am around other creatives. It feels so good to brainstorm, create and just flat out laugh and have a good time with others who truly ”get” you!
Take the time you need
You need to prioritize yourself first. Self-care is a non-negotiable when running a creative business and I’ve learned that the hard way.
Take time away from your business to spend time with your loved ones, to travel, to do the things you enjoy, to create in a “non-work” space. Schedule it into your calendar if you have to and stick to it. It sounds so simple, but I find these are the events that get rescheduled or put off because I embrace the idea that me working out or taking a lunch break with a friend isn’t as important as that deadline I have looming.
You cannot build deep connections and give to others without first refueling yourself.
find your flock
It may be that your “real life” friends and family don’t quite get what you do as an entrepreneur, or even as a hobby artist. That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life without a support system.
The beauty of having the internet at our fingertips is that we can always find someone who shares our passions. Take some time to dip into your favorite creative Facebook groups and nurture those relationships. Comment on other artists’ blog posts or Instagram shares.
If you really want that “in person” connection, head to your local craft store. Look at creative events happening in your area. Take art workshops or attend retreats. It might take a little bit of effort to put yourself out there and find people with a shared interest in creativity, but it will do wonders for your state of mind.
I met one of my art besties in a Facebook Group and she and I have now become the best of friends and we don’t let the 2,492 miles that separate us — separate us! We make time for video and voice calls, travel to see each other and text regularly. My other amazing friend reached out to me after seeing we lived in the same town. I could never have imaged the friendship we now share.
So, don’t let fear of rejection hold you back!
Streamline your support system
Loneliness can often come hand in hand with overwhelm. If you try to do all of the different things needed to run your creative business, chances are you won’t be making time to interact with others.
This is where having a team comes in. It might sound like a big step to take, but the amount of time and headspace you’ll get back can barely be described.
Start by making a list of all the things that need to happen for your business to run smoothly. Then take a marker and circle all of the activities that you enjoy doing. Anything that’s leftover can be hired to someone else if you are in a position to make it happen.
Perhaps you need a virtual assistant to help organize your teaching schedule or organize your inbox (eek!). Perhaps you need a community manager to oversee your Facebook group. Perhaps you need someone to help brainstorm ideas or create your social media graphics.
Start small, reduce your overwhelm, and build a little support network of people who care about the state of your creative business. I reached a point where I needed someone to help me with my online stores. I found the perfect fit in a young lady in our youth group at church. Super smart and in need of a part time job, she was just what I needed at the time.
There’s an important truth that so many entrepreneurs seem to forget: you are the boss. You get to decide how you spend your time. You get to decide who you spend it with. You get to decide how you feel, day in, day out. If something doesn’t feel good, fix it.
Have a blessed day!
Interested in more tech help? Have you heard of Maker’s Tech U? It’s my membership community for artists and makers. Maker's Tech U will help you breakdown the tech roadblocks that are holding you back, gain confidence in your abilities so you can spend more time focused on your passion.