You can do it.
You know those friends, who say or do just the right thing, at just the right time for you? Like when you were kinda stuck, or lost, or unsure of yourself?
Well, I have a friend who encouraged me this past week, just like that. I got the chance to collaborate on a fun project with Danie, who owns Best of What's Around, and Libby, who owns StoreHouse, both located in Fortville. Libby acquired a fun old bicycle, Danie worked her painting magic, and I did the lettering for it.
Quick background...I met Danie 6 years ago, when she was getting ready to open her shop, and I was a maker-newbie who was SUPER nervous about putting my artwork out in the world for whomever to see. She was a new shop owner, and doing something I'd always DREAMED of doing--owning, opening and getting ready to run a successful business. And she was SO CHILL about it all. As in--'no big deal, I'm opening my own shop and I got this s$%# handled, guys'. Though she never actually said that--I totally believed it.
A week before the shop opened, I remember hanging my signs up on my dedicated wall space in the shop and as I was, several super-talented and much more established makers & creators were coming into the shop to drop off and set up their handmade goods as well. I was in AWE. And I instantly felt overwhelmed and that I was way out of my league. What in the world was I thinking? These girls are SO talented, so put together, so on top of things, so creative, so good at their craft! And--SO much better than me on all accounts. I remember just praying to make my booth fee of a whopping $50 back in sales the first month.
And then a funny thing happened. Danie's shop opened a week later, and I started selling signs faster than I could get new ones made. And I could NOT BELIEVE IT. What in the ever-loving WORLD, you guys?? I was just happy to be creating and making, and well, THIS was just the icing on top of the cake.
Over time, I got to know Danie better and grew to value and seek her advice and opinions on all things business-related. In fact, her shop is where I first connected with some of my most treasured friendships and favorite women biz owners.
So, back to the collaboration project...
Last week, I spent a part of my afternoon working on the lettering, in the work area of Danie's shop. Allison, owner of neighboring store (plus, she's one of those rock star makers I was referring to in the beginning of my story!), Time & Again Shop, came over as well and I had the chance to get caught up with both of them as I worked. The two of them had just been to one of Christy Wright's day conferences earlier in the week, and they were sharing all sorts of great advice & tidbits they'd learned. I, of course, was soaking it all up--and by the way, I'm now an official fan of Christy's podcasts much thanks to them (Look her up guys--"Christy Wright's Business Boutique").
The next day, Danie posted a video and then some photos on FB that she'd taken of our bicycle art. And she was even sneaky enough to take this one of me while I was working--and by the looks of it, I was SUPER SERIOUS about my work, guys...😆
Anyway, in her video she totally called me out. She mentioned how while I was working, I continued to doubt myself and self-critique. And THEN, she went on to talk about how she knows how we all have moments and times when we feel like this. And how we, as women, are so incredibly prone to self-doubt, downplay our successes, not feel "good enough", compare ourselves with others, and feel discouraged in our work. We often let our negative inner dialogue take hold and that is neither productive or good for us in any way.
WHO IS WITH ME ON THIS???🙌🏻🙌🏻
Danie called me out. And I love her for it.❤️ Because I NEEDED to hear that. And there may or may not have been a few cathartic tears shed by Yours Truly. Because she reminded me that I'm not alone in feeling all these things. That fun feeling I mentioned in the beginning—the one how when I first started selling signs, I sold them quicker than I could make them? Yeah, that is not something that lasts consistently forever. And while you’ll have some highs, you’re also bound to have plenty of lows. No one ever said owning a small business is easy or smooth sailing. And it’s so easy to get caught up in our own negative self-talk, especially if you’re in the “lows”. But she also reminded me that I am enough, worthy and that my worst critic is Myself. And frankly, that critic needs to take itself a long-ass hike.
We are all in this together guys. And I am eternally grateful to friends like her who encourage me when I'm down/negative/discouraged. Because sometimes you just need a little nudge to get your groove back and then you're ready to roll. Let's empower and encourage each other--because sometimes you might just be the one to give another that little push they need that will remind them who they are, what they're capable of and that they can do anything they put their mind to.
Here's to a FABULOUS, creative, productive, and full-of-all the-good-feels kind of a week, friends!