When I first started out as a new photographer in Sacramento I had little to no connection with a network of professionals, or anything having to do with the creative industry as a whole. I didn’t know where to turn to and my business suffered for it. You see, being self-employed is exceptionally glorified in the real world. And while it truly is the most amazing thing to work for yourself, it does come with downsides. A major downside is the isolation that is working for yourself. There are no holiday parties, no lunch-breaks with co-workers, no meetings in the conference room at 2pm. Most days it’s just me, a podcast and my dog-child. Let me be completely honest here; I never wear makeup, it’s rare when I put on anything other than cozy shorts and a t-shirt, and there have been several days in a row where I haven’t really needed to leave the house but to check the mailbox and walk the dog. Am I depressing you yet? I digress. ;) Community is not only important, but truly essential to living a happy life and running a successful business. Though we are self-employed, we cannot do it alone.
Over the last year I’ve been involved (off and on) with a group called Tuesday’s Together. A group for creative entrepreneurs and business owners where we meet once monthly. We chat all things business-related with new monthly topics given to us from The Rising Tide Society. In my personal opinion, this group is what every entrepreneur/self-employed/business owner needs. A safe place to talk about our business struggles, our business successes and just to enjoy each other’s company in community with one another.
Well, this past Tuesday was my first Tuesday as the new leader of our Sacramento chapter. WHAT? Leader? Me? Yeah, I know. The opportunity presented itself and I accepted. My two biggest fears in all of this were: 1) I wouldn’t be qualified and nobody would be excited when they found out it was me taking over leadership and 2) Nobody would show up to the first meeting. Well here I am on the other side laughing at both of my fears. The entire community embraced me in a huge way that I (clearly) didn’t expect… sending me messages on FB, emails, phone calls, cheering me on and believing I could do it. And our first meeting? We had 18 people show up, engage in conversation and help one another! How amazing is that?
I feel so excited to lead this group of incredible creatives in Sacramento. It’s such a privilege to learn from them, grow with them, and embrace Community Over Competition.