Last night, I held an informal meeting of a group of entrepreneurial and wildly creative boss ladies.
Simply put it was amazing. The amount of vulnerability we all showed, the risks we took, and the way everyone supported each other; it's the stuff that we all crave when we first start our businesses (or really, at any point during our entrepreneurial journey), and man, these ladies delivered.
But the real reason I want to bring this up today is not to toot my own horn with my organization capabilities (I mean, it's LITERALLY my job), but do start a new series called "Friday Freelance Tip" about the small, tiny secrets to how I'm making this business work for me.
About 18 months ago, I was lonely.
Crying-into-my-pillow, watching-Netflix-for-days, applying-for-admin-jobs-on-the-regular lonely.
I had switched from working in an office, or teaching yoga, or generally being around people when I made my money, to working straight up at home. And I was a freelance writer at the time which meant most of my interactions were via email.
And I felt so defeated. I didn't have a lot of work, I didn't know if it was actually going to be okay in a month or two, and it seemed damn near IMPOSSIBLE that it was ever going to get better.
I complained to my one other close freelance friend, and she got it, but no one else seemed to understand. It was the closest to a true depression as I've ever come. My boyfriend thought I was a crazy person, my parents told me to "just get a job" and my other friends listened, but didn't understand my sadness. To them, why am I complaining when I get to stay home all day?! In pajamas, no less?!
And thus, the Creative Ladies Club was born.
Albeit 18 months later. Albeit during a time in my life when I wasn't depressed about not having work, but actually excited about the turn my business took (and though still having less work than I'd probably want).
And in just ONE session, we have a group of women who get it. A group of women who know that sometimes, you just don't do anything all day (and then stay up until 11pm writing a blog post or a pitch letter). But we don't judge each other. We cheer each other on.
Which is why YOU, freelance entrepreneurial lady, need your own Creative Lady Club.
Because no matter what your parents and your boyfriend say, no one will quite understand those crushing insecurities around your business like your creative lady friends. And no one will root for your business even harder than you will. And no one will buy you coffee because you only had a (*insert pathetic financial month of business here*) dollar month, not because you can't afford it, but because that's what empathetic, creative lady-friends do. We catch each other when we fall and we shoot confetti cannons for each other when we win.
And also, because I'm tired of seeing other entrepreneurs as a "threat" or as "my competition." Because we have tons to learn from each other. And we ladies don't need to be kicking each other down that mighty high ladder we all just climbed up.
So, the tip this week?
Find your #bossladies.
Find the women who will travel through the muck with you, who will help you sit through the hard part of being a business owner, who will dedicate email space and calendar space to holding your hand while you press "Enter" on that LLC application, and then buy you ice cream and high-five you to celebrate.
Find the ones who understand, and you'll give yourself an amazing leg up on your journey to full-time freelance-dom (or profitable freelance-dom, or less-overwhelmed freelance-dom or whatever it is that you're craving).
Even if you're an introvert (we have PLENTY in my group). Even if you don't think that a "support group" is for you (it is. Trust me). Even if you can't imagine how you'll squeeze it in to your already-so-packed schedule (it's worth it, so start squeezin').
Do any of you have an amazing group of women (or men) entrepreneurs that help you get through the tough stuff and encourage you to keep going? If so, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!