This month I had a really special celebration with some of my favorite people. We met in Galveston at Yaga’s Cafe on The Strand to celebrate a first birthday…our first birthday.
In March 2017 I was going through some growing pains in my business and I was feeling pretty lonely. I had been following the story of the Rising Tide Society for awhile and even attended two meetings in Houston. I liked the idea of it; a network of creative entrepreneurs meeting once a month to get a dose of community. Being a small business owner can be rough and if you’re a solopreneur and don’t have “co-workers” it can also feel extremely solitary.
The Society’s mantra of community over competition resounded with me too. Approaching everything with a competitive, cutthroat attitude didn’t feel healthy or right to me. My dad didn’t do life this way and he’s super successful at his business. To me the reality seemed like, we could all help each other get sales/bookings/attention, faster than any of us could do it on our own.
So I sent an email about starting a chapter in Galveston, and found myself on the phone with community support guru Kait Masters. Though I could get to the Houston meetings in about an hour, the community didn’t feel like mine. Even though Houston and Galveston are only 45 minutes from each other, the cities have very different cultures and vibes. To me, Galveston felt more like home than Houston ever would. Kait and the team understood my perspective and happily invited me to begin work on starting the Galveston chapter.
I was freakin scared you guys! No one in the area really knew me that well and I wasn’t quite sure people would join the Facebook group let alone attend an actual meeting. But I set up our first meeting in April 2017 and some people showed up! For the first few months it was just a handful of people (sometimes less), but as time went on I found myself surrounded by 7, 8, 12 people each month! Like myself, many of our members were nervous about coming to a meeting where maybe they didn’t know anyone, but they did it anyway. Those were our first big wins. And with the tiniest bit of pride, I can now say, we’ve helped each other on projects, done photo shoots together, and just met up for the sake of hanging out. We’ve turned working relationships into friendships.
The meetings aren’t so much about the number of people that show up, but about the connection points created between the members. The Rising Tide Society is awesome about providing discussion topics for us to conquer each month. Being in group of people with different businesses, different clientele, and different ideas helps us to get creative about growing our creative businesses. Everyone has a different perspective on everyone else’s business. We all act as a sounding board and a teacher to each other.
So this month, we gathered for a dinner in one of our favorite parts of town and we celebrated our freakin selves! It’s so easy to overlook little milestones when you’re charging hard to the next “big thing,” but when you skip those little opportunities to cheer yourself on, you discount how far you’ve come. But not us! On this perfect spring evening, we ate, cried (at least I cried) and then spent time exploring our little island and snapping photos.
OH! And there were balloons!
I am truly so proud of our little chapter and look forward to all the awesome things we’re going to do and the amazing people we’ll meet in year 2!
If you’re a creative small business owner and you’re feeling those same lonely pangs I was feeling, I encourage you to pop over to the Rising Tide Society website and find a local “Tuesdays Together” group in your area. If there isn’t one, I hope this post inspires you to inquire about starting your own!