38: Why Community Matters

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You’ve found a creative passion and decided to go for it and start a business. You’re working hard and staying busy, but you look around and realize that you are often alone. In today’s episode, I’m sharing four reasons why it is so crucial to have genuine friendships among industry peers. I’m digging into how much of an impact those connections can have as you navigate the unique challenges that come with running your own business and why community matters.

The Shoot It Straight Podcast is brought to you by Sabrina Gebhardt, photographer and educator. Join us each week as we discuss what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, Shoot It Straight Podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight

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This episode is brought to you by The Round Table, a community built for female photographers who want to continue growing their business while forging industry friendships along the way! Every month, you get access to three new pieces of content covering a vast variety of topics from myself and guest speakers. Come join us and get access to the content and private Facebook community!

Review the Show Notes:

Being an entrepreneur is lonely (2:41)

You’re lacking follow-through (5:04)

You have questions (8:35)

Surround yourself with people who understand (10:20)

Episode Links:

The Round Table

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Review the Transcript

Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast. I’m your host, Sabrina Gephardt. Here I will share an honest take on what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur. while balancing business motherhood and life myself along with my guests will get vulnerable through honest conversations and relatable stories because we’re willing to go there. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in yet willing to talk about the hard stuff to to shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight. Welcome back to a another episode of the shoot it straight podcast. So you have found a creative passion. And you decide to go for it and start a business. And it’s exciting and fun for a while. You’re busy, you’re creating and you’re Googling and you’re just figuring this whole journey out. And before you know it, you find yourself spending your work time alone, day after day, hour after hour, month after month, and you’re busy.

So it isn’t completely miserable. But you don’t have any industry peers. No friends who know what it’s like to start a business. No one who creates the same thing that you do. No one who can commiserate and talk shop with you. Humans, especially women crave connection. We are literally built for connection and community. And sure, you probably have relationships, I’m definitely not assuming that you are a hermit. I know that you have friends and a partner and maybe kids. But lacking friendships within your industry is a big deal. It’s kind of like if you’re the first one of your friends in your friend group to have a baby. And you’re desperate to know if everything is normal, right? You want to ask questions about sleep and bottles and swaddle blankets, but none of your friends have had a baby yet. So you are alone with your thoughts. And Google. The same goes for your business. It’s another one of your babies after all right. And like children, being a creative entrepreneur poses really unique situations and complications and struggles. It’s crucial for you to have people in your life that you can talk to about these things. I feel like I say this all the time. And I will gladly continue to say it until I am blue in the face. community matters. And just in case you don’t agree with me, or you don’t see what the big deal is, I’m going to share four reasons why you need to find a community of industry peers. So the first one, I touched on this a bit but being an entrepreneur is lonely.

Okay, we are at home, we are behind a screen. And we are craving connection. I will be very honest here the first 18 months to two years that I was in business. I felt like I had industry peers. But it was all people on the internet that I had never met in person, I had never had a face to face zoom chat with because back then zoom was not a thing. It was people that I was messaging with on Facebook, or in different forums. And that was better than nothing. But the first time that I interacted with people face to face at a conference and then at a workshop, I realized there is a huge difference. There is a huge difference in how connected you feel to someone when you are actually interacting with them face to face over a long period of time. Now I don’t just have somebody that I can type a question to and get a type of response back to, but I can pick up the phone, I can get on FaceTime, I can get on a zoom call, or we can just text each other in real time. That is so different. It is so different. And again, this is something I didn’t think I was missing until all of a sudden I realized I had been missing it. Okay, I would not have told you in the first two years that I was lonely. I wouldn’t have said that at all. I was busy with my kids. I was married. I was in all these other things outside of my business. And within my business. Like I said I had those very simple online relationships. But as soon as I started gaining true industry friendships, local competitors who became friends, okay, people I met at conferences and workshops, those relationships all of a sudden showed me what I had been missing. And I realized, Oh, dang, yeah, I had been actually very lonely, and I didn’t realize it. And those relationships, even though like I said, some of them were with actual competitors of mine. Those relationships showed me this whole new level of joy and and brought this spark back into my business and my passion that I didn’t realize had gone out So, number one being an entrepreneur is lonely.

Number two, you’re lacking follow through. Okay? So this is a beautiful thing about having a community of industry peers is the accountability that comes with that, okay? They are able to hear your goals and your vision and your dreams for your business. And they can check in with you. They can walk through these things with you. They can follow up and say, Hey, how’s it going with that thing you’ve been working on? Hey, how’s your new website going? Hey, how is you know, how’s your editing technique going? How is your client communications going? Hey, did you ever get that CRM setup, there is a level of accountability that comes with industry peers, sure, I can share my goals and my dreams and my vision with my husband, or my best friend, and they can try and support me. And it’s not the same thing because they don’t understand. They don’t understand the complications, the stressors, the excitement, they don’t understand the problems and the struggles or the winds, none of it really means anything to them, because they are not in it. It’s the same exact thing when I talk with my husband, who’s an attorney, and he owns his own practice. And he’s sharing things, client stories or wins in the courtroom. And I am happy for him because I can tell I’m supposed to be happy for him. But I don’t really understand what the big deal is about certain things that go on is the same thing. Having industry peers who absolutely understand what you are talking about what you are going through how exciting or frustrating things are, is invaluable.

And if you are somebody who is constantly setting goals, or talking about these big dreams, or how one day you’re going to do this, that and the other or how you want to get better at this, but you never follow through. You need somebody to hold your hand and walk through it with you. industry peers will do that for you having community of people who are doing the same thing you are, they will do that for you. Today’s episode is brought to you by the roundtable a community built for female photographers who want to continue growing their business while forging industry friendships along the way. learn practical ways to move your business forward while finding community and accountability with like minded photographers. Every month, you get access to three new pieces of content over a broad variety of topics. In the past, we have covered topics like pricing, editing, goal setting, website reviews, social media and videos from me behind the scenes at real sessions. Members have also had the opportunity to learn from incredible guest speakers and industry leaders on a huge variety of topics. I pride myself in giving you just enough education every month to keep you growing and moving forward while not overwhelming you with content. Oh, and the private Facebook community is absolutely incredible. Consider it your space to ask all the things, get all the support and make real life business besties. If you’re ready to join us, you can head over to Sabrina gebhardt.com backslash membership and enroll today. And now back to the episode.

Number three, this is the third reason why you may need community or to grow your community or to join a community. You have questions? This may seem like a really obvious one. And I will say in today’s day and age, there are a million Facebook groups and forums where you can post questions and get people to answer them. But how much do you really trust the responses? And how customized are the responses to you and your exact situation? Right? When you have a community of peers and they are all doing the same thing you are and they have gotten to know you and they know your backstory and what you’re passionate about and what your strengths and weaknesses are. They can answer your questions in a completely different way than if you were to just post in some random forum where nobody really knows you knows the story knows the situation. Okay, having a safe space to ask the questions that feel dumb, right? Because Hi, we all have them. Running a business is hard. And sometimes we have hard questions. And sometimes we have questions that feel really dumb and being able to drop that question inside a group or text it to a group. Ask it of a friend who is going to understand what you’re asking and who may or may not know the answer but is willing to ask another friend and try and help you find the answer. That is invaluable. Having a place where you can say, You know what, I know, I should know this, but I don’t, I’m going to ask, and nobody’s going to laugh at me, nobody’s going to judge me, they’re going to drop the answer and support me. And we’re going to move on. That is invaluable. That is a huge part of having a community of peers that are in your industry. So the fourth reason why you need community is to surround yourself with people who understand. So I kind of touched on this earlier, but I really want to drill this home, I’m sorry, but your partner and your best friend, they don’t get it.

They support you. They love you. They want to love you through the highs and lows. They want you to reach your goals, but they don’t understand the day to day minutia of what is going on. They don’t understand the jargon. They don’t understand how hard you have to work at a certain thing to see any growth or progress. They don’t understand how big of a deal it is that some big names so and so reached out to you. They don’t understand the huge when you got on social media, they don’t understand ad campaigns, they don’t understand those things. It’s great to have their support, it’s great for them to tell you. Oh my gosh, that’s so exciting. I’m so proud of you. But I’m going to tell you right now, as much as I love my husband and my best friends, it means more to me. When an industry peer who understands how hard the thing was, congratulates me. And they will make a friggin big deal because they know how big of a deal it is. It’s different. It is different. So having people surrounding you that actually understand what you’re going through day to day is so huge. So again, I will talk about how important community is until I’m blue in the face. And I’m wondering, do you have one? Again, it can be people in real life. It can be competitors in your neighborhood, it can be a Voxer group that you’ve set up, it can be a group in a mastermind or membership that you’re in. It can be people that you’ve met at a conference before it can be people that were at a workshop with you. Well, I don’t care where it is. Do you have those people? Do you have right now at the drop of a hat? When I say name your industry? Friends? Can you name them?

First Name, Last Name and how to reach them. Not just oh, that Lady Jane comments on my stuff in the forum. When I ask questions. No, she doesn’t count. I want people that you can access immediately that you do access immediately that you talk with on a regular basis. And here’s the thing. I hope that this has inspired you to get out of your shell. If you are like me in the first few years of business and you don’t really have anybody, you don’t have any real human connection with anybody in your industry. I hope that this has inspired you to go find those people. And if you need a recommendation, my group, the roundtable might be a perfect fit for you. I’ll put a link in the show notes. Thanks for being here today by friends. Thanks so much for listening to the shoot it straight podcast. You can find all the full show notes and details from today’s episode at Sabrina gebhardt.com backslash podcast. Come find me and connect over on the gram at Sabrina Gebhardt photography. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be honored if you hit that subscribe button and leave me a review. Until next time, my friends shoot it straight

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