Where to get started
When you're a creative and a small business owner, or looking to move into one or more of those categories, it can feel a little isolating. Doubly so if you're in a season of your entrepreneurial journey where you're struggling or unsure of the next stage in your business.
Reaching out to other creative entrepreneurs can help you to feel less alone, and like there are folks out there who understand the unique struggles you're going through, and who can celebrate successes with you!
Here are a few ideas on how to get started:
The Rising Tide Society
The Rising Tide Society provides affordable small business education opportunities, support for small business owners, and a sense of community the size of an ocean! The mantra of The Rising Tide Society is #CommunityOverCompetition based on the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats. If that weren't enough, their organization facilitates hundreds of Tuesdays Together meetings across the country, which is a chance for you to meet up with local entrepreneurs, talk shop, network, and most importantly, be around other folks who really get what you're going through. Check out both The Rising Tide Society and your local Tuesdays Together meeting, and start connecting with a supportive community of creatives!
Workshops and Retreats
Having only been to one, I certainly can't speak to all workshops and retreats out there (and I'm willing to bet they're not all as amazing as the one I went to), but I can say that the experience was such an amazing way for me to connect with a group of like-minded badass ladies, and I think making a commitment to dedicating time to your craft, and to connection, can do wonders for your business (and mental) outlook!
Co-Working Spaces and DIY Clubs
While this might be harder to come by in rural areas, most mid to large sized cities have co-working spaces where you can rent a desk or office space, even as a solo entrepreneur or at-home worker, and get some valuable human interaction time with similarly situated individuals! Or there are also places that are geared towards the maker-scene. In Madison, we've got Sector 67 and the Bodgery as two amazing places for makers looking to connect, and have access to awesome tools and work spaces!
Online communities are an amazingly effective and easy way to seek connection with other creative folks, but become crucial for those in more rural areas, or for those that are just dipping their toe in, and aren't quite sure about in-person meet ups. Though to that I say "Come on in! The water is fine!" Still, online communities, including Facebook groups, etc., allow you to connect easily, and on the go, in whatever way you feel most comfortable, with as little or as much commitment as you are able to do, which is nice for those that might make a habit of telling themselves they don't have the time.
In summary, connecting with other humans is important. And if you're a creative person, and/or a small business owner, it's going to be doubly important for you to connect with folks who really get what you're going through, and the unique challenges that come along with owning a small business or working in a creative field. Do yourself a favor and get out there, even if it's a little out of your comfort zone. I promise it will help you feel more connected not only to a community, but to yourself and your craft. And that's worth leaving the house for!