Do you know what being part of a community means?
I surely thought I did. I thought it meant a place to go to get answers, a place to give advice and a place to get advice.
It is those things- but it’s so much more than that.
It wasn’t until we launched the StartUp FASHION Community that I really, truly, down to the fiber of my being felt like I knew what it meant to be a part of a group who fully gets what we’re each going through and wants to help.
I think that the word “Community” gets thrown around a lot. These days everyone is building a community around their business. But that’s usually in reference to a community of potential customers. That’s great– and totally necessary.
But what about Community for you. Your needs, your fears, your advice, your support system?
Being around others who are going through what you’re going through- who care – is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for your business.
One word — belief.
You know how some days you wake up feeling excited about the day ahead only to find yourself two hours into work feeling like…
What the hell am I doing?! Am I crazy? How am I going to make this business work?
That feeling sucks. It more than sucks, it is debilitating. It makes us feel stuck, confused, disoriented, and doubtful.
It makes us second guess every single decision we’ve made from the moment we decided to launch our businesses.
And as if that weren’t enough– it’s a feeling that we don’t want to talk about. Because we feel like failures. We feel like our answer to “How are things going?” needs to be “Good. Things are moving along.” Because we don’t want others to know about our doubts, we don’t want to hear the “I told you so’s”, we don’t want to give any indication that this business we were so excited to launch isn’t going as planned.
We’re losing belief in ourselves and the weight of that is crushing.
That’s why a community is so fucking important.
A community creates and reinforces belief. Belief that you can do this. Belief that you will do this. Belief that you are 100% capable of doing this and your doubts and fears, while natural and common, are not accurate.
We all need a team. And as independent businesses, teams are hard to come by.
When we become part of a community, things that seem so impossible, become completely possible. The potential for what we want to happen in our lives and our businesses becomes so much more real and clear.
There is such power in that.
The power of a community to show each of us how to believe in ourselves and our goals happens because we have come together as a group to help and support one another.
Community is a support system, an insurance policy and a safety net. When things go right, your community makes it even better. But when things go wrong, your community is what can save you. Community isn’t just for the good times. It’s for all times. – Charles Duhigg
Yes, damn it!
If we’re really going to make change in this closed-off and exclusive industry, if we’re going to make sure that every single designer and maker who wants to be successful, has the opportunity to be so, we have to do this as a team.
We’re not individual designers who know each other, we’re participants in the same mission– we’re all working towards the same goal.