One of the toughest parts about being in business for yourself (on a very small budget) is probably getting the word out there. There is such a huge reliance on word of mouth which includes social media sharing! It's definitely one of those times where the saying is true and one person can make a huge difference. Keep this in mind when you see posts on Instagram or Facebook from a small company - If you enjoyed their work/service and can leave a favourable review or refer them to someone who wants what they are providing - don't be shy - spread the word! It costs you nothing to share a website/event or leave a comment - it can mean the difference of that business getting even ONE more customer and that can mean a lot.
One of the next hardest things for many of us is to realize our own worth. A couple years ago - the idea of making things and selling them, showing my work in a gallery, running a market stall...all complete and utter pipe dreams. I would NEVER have had the guts to put myself out there. Story time: during one of my painting classes at ACAD there was a crew taking pictures for ACAD publicity. One of the photographers came over to me and offered to buy my unfinished painting when it was complete. She said something like: based on the other piece I had brought for critique and what she saw so far she knew she would love it and even if I didn't want to sell it right away - down the road I could contact her and let her know when I was ready! This stuff does not happen every day - praise and sales falling in your lap! Did I call her? Heck no! I had a plethora of excuses: the face isn't done, maybe she won't like it after all, I'm not a 'real' artist, how much would I even ask for it?? This exact painting is now up on a wall in a gallery (Thanks Rumble House!) and you know what? I'm still struggling with the idea of calling up that photographer and telling her...
I know I am not the only insecure person out there trying to promote themselves. We all have to do it whether it's at our current job or one we want to have. One of the good things I got out of working my insurance job for 8 years was growing accustomed to listing the accomplishments you had and the milestones you hit - because if you didn't, chances are no one else would. Now I'm doing my best to apply these guidelines to myself in this new role! Cause lets face it - this is what I have been wanting to do since I was a child - I owe it to myself to give it all I've got.
This past week or two has been hard. Very emotional highs and lows. This post was inspired by some of the recurring thoughts going though my head as well as some conversations I've had with others. It's been nice to hear that I'm not alone in the insecurities and also nice to know that I have been learning something and and becoming more confident. This is somewhat out of necessity - knowing I have to make some money eventually to survive in this society! I like to think I'm growing as a person though - so I'm sticking with that. :)
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