I’ve tried to make a go of photography at different times in my life, and with the exception of the last time, they all fell flat.
There are many reasons why things actually took off this last time around, but one of those reasons is something you probably couldn’t anticipate. That reason is community.
Community is something that’s frequently overlooked and undervalued.
We don’t see the need in connecting with others. We can’t understand how it will benefit us. Putting ourselves in situations with new people makes us feel uncomfortable. It’s another to-do item on our list. It’s just not necessary.
“I can do this on my own,” you pridefully tell yourself. “I don’t need anyone else.”
As you probably expected, I beg to differ.
Being a creative entrepreneur can be incredibly isolating. Most of your friends and family don’t understand what you do. Many of them don’t even consider what you do to be an actual job.
People don’t say that you are a photographer or a wedding planner. You do photography or plan weddings like on the side or whatever. But I digress.
Your hours are weird. You frequently work alone. You wear ALL of the hats. And unless you have a community, you have no one to bounce ideas off of or commiserate with.
Or maybe you’re a new mom. You were told that this would be the best thing ever. And it is. But it’s also really really hard some days.
You’re in a complete fog. If you log four hours of sleep you consider it a win. Your body is in some serious pain from pushing a tiny human out of it, and you’re on a crazy hormonal rollercoaster ride with your emotions. But this is supposed to be the best, right?!?!
Your friends without kids don’t understand. Your mom gets it, but she went through this decades ago. You feel like you shouldn’t have these feelings. You feel like they’re wrong and unnatural, and you don’t want to tell anyone about them for fear of judgment.
We all go through different phases of life where we’re intensely passionate about something, or we’re struggling with an experience, or we’re really just trying to figure it all out. And whether those phases are good or bad, it can sometimes feel like you’re the only person in the entire universe going through it.
Community takes that feeling of isolation and squashes it. It gives you people who can relate to you. It gives you people to cheer you on, to encourage you, to commiserate with you, to lend a word of advice or to pop a celebratory bottle of champagne with you.
Community reminds us that we’re not alone. It reminds us that we’re not the first or only people to go through what we’re going through or feel the way we feel.
Community gives us a place of belonging and a sense of relief. So whether you’re a creative entrepreneur seeking out support or a new mom looking for someone who understand your life or someone who wonders if there’s anyone else out there who shares their passion, you need to find your tribe.
They’re out there. Seek them out, love them hard and they’ll love you right back. I promise.