Tell me if this resonates.
You’re an artist – it’s in the fabric of your being. You have big ideas, beautiful ideas, and you love to get out those delicious materials and get “in the zone” whenever life allows, so you can make a little bit of the beauty of your inner world REAL in this world.
But it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes your head is just in the wrong place. You get scared/anxious/blah/down, and the beauty stays inside you.
I don’t know about you, but for me it’s painful to keep it all inside. It makes me feel guilty, and kind of… creatively constipated. (And that’s never fun.)
So how do you create more “uptime”, get that creativity out of your heart and into the world, and minimise the challenging times?
It may not seem like it, but I’ve been there too. Sometimes I get in my own way, just like you do. And to illustrate, let me pull back the curtain on a part of my life that you don’t usually see.
Let me share a slice of the behind-the-scenes of being a business owner.
I run a business called Foundations Revealed from my laptop at home. It’s a GREAT life that gives me a lot of freedom and a liveable income, but as with everything, it has its challenges.
I’m isolated. I have trouble explaining to Muggles exactly what it is that I do, and I fight every day against my own fear and resistance, because I know that the only thing standing in the way of success and impact in the world… is my own willingness to put myself out there.
I have to have the audacity to create something awesome that helps people change their lives for the better, in some small way.
I have to be sure about who the hell I think I am to be doing this.
I have to give myself permission to ask for money in return for what I do, and truly believe that I deserve it.
The deep and wonderful truth of it is that to be a successful entrepreneur you have to become a finer person. You can’t just be in it for the money; people can smell greed at twenty paces. You have to have your heart in the right place, and your fears under control, and that’s quite apart from having to figure out Facebook ads, and mailing lists, and WordPress, and Instagram for business, and appear confident and comfortable on Facebook Live, and how on earth do you manage a team, anyway?
Sometimes it’s lonely out here. It’s overwhelming to run a business. Some days it all comes crashing down in a huge ugly cry, and I have to create smoke and mirrors to conceal it. But when I do, there’s something I’m forgetting:
I’m never, ever alone.
If you’re following me on social media (@cathy.hay) you’ll know that I travel a lot, even outside of costuming events. Toronto (pictured at the top of the page), Phoenix, Orlando – it’s a big time and money suck, but it’s worth every penny and every moment of jetlag, and not just because of my lifelong love affair with North America.
These events are where I see my entrepreneur friends, people who are doing exactly the same as me in one hundred different little worlds.
At every event, my peeps pick me up again and point me in the right direction. They remind me who I am and who I can be – Kara (the celebrity caker who isn’t afraid to dish out tough love), Des and Micheal and Caroline (who are rocking the Irish accounting world), Oonagh the personal trainer (who shows us how to do pushups from our toes “like you’re freaking Madonna or something”), Mary (who’s turning autism around for two million kids by 2020), and the list just goes on and on.
And then there are our mentors… we literally can’t keep up with them all. Jeff is a pioneer and a legend in the world of online business, Stu is a genius in running great memberships, Jason’s the man in customer experience, James brings together the business design with the woo woo Law of Attraction stuff, Mastin gets us out of our own way, Ricardo the karate champion teaches us to be unstoppable, Susan dares us to “just do shit” and either win or learn something by failing… learning from them is like trying to drink from a fire hose.
I am living in an abundant world of limitless knowledge and inspiration… and when I go to these events, I suddenly remember that I’m not alone, that I CAN do this, however big and scary it seems, and that I am abundantly loved and supported every step of the way by this community of world class rock stars who are just such a pleasure to be around. I always come away so overcome with gratitude and so filled with energy… until I forget again, and have to be poked on Facebook or Instagram to stay connected.
I know you do this too. You love whatever events and friends you can find in your area or afford to get to, you come away with your heart full of inspiration, but you forget… you hide behind the few Instagrammable photos that show the best of you, comparing your backstage to everyone else’s front stage, and spend WAY too much time trying to figure it all out on your own when you KNOW there’s a world of love and support out there, if you’d just have the courage to lean on us.
You have the Internet; use it. You have a world of help and support just waiting for you, and if you’re willing to admit that you suck sometimes, at some things, you’ll find that we’re all out here waiting to help you. We all WANT to have the opportunity to help you!
The answer to the hard times is not to hide them. The answer is to be real and connected. You’re not as alone as you think. When was the last time you asked for help with the scary parts?
You can probably tell that I’ve just come home from the latest business event; I’m fired up and inspired. I want to make everyone in the costuming and corsetry world feels just as supported as I do with my business. If you’re into corset making, whether as a modern maker, a historical costumer, or a cosplayer, I want you to join the free Facebook group Corset Makers, because I’ve got something very special planned for you over the next few weeks (and it won’t cost you a thing). You’ve never known support like this…