Business Bits: Cheerleaders & Truth Tellers

Thursday, March 21, 2013

courtesy bellalulu

Late last year I had the opportunity to be part of a fantastic event here in Portland; the Mother of Reinvention conference for female entrepreneurs. As a panelist, the topic totally captivated me; the notion that as women, we constantly reinvent ourselves; as wives, mothers, friends, or as entrepreneurs. We may find ourselves ‘rebranding’ who we are as we enter different phases, drawing upon our resources to pursue our values and career paths.

Personally, I know I’ve experienced this; transitioning from a high school special education teacher to Etsy shop owner when my first son was born. I so wanted to be home with him, I knew I needed to reinvent myself to do something different. These transitions can be difficult and messy.  We really benefit from support of those around us. Sometimes we have that already in place, but often times not. There’s a lot of talk about ‘finding our tribe,’ that is, creating a sense of community as we journey through life. Here, I’d like to chat a bit about who we need in our tribes.

For so long, my creative community consisted of amazingly supportive and positive women (along with my husband for good measure). These folks, my cheerleaders, gave me confidence and celebrated my successes.

But, I’ve discovered that in addition to these ever-crucial cheerleaders, we need truth-tellers too.  Not to say our spirited friends aren’t honest with us, but we need people who don’t have a stake in the results of our success. Credible people who can share feedback, ask those deep, difficult questions, and offer honest to goodness critiques of our work. These truth tellers are rare gems-- we’re not looking for opinionated Debbie Downers, but an ally to treasure. These impartial people can push us farther than we thought possible and pose questions to steer us in new, better directions.  During my recent venture into textile design, I’ve needed both; the cheerleaders to celebrate my achievements along with the truth-tellers to call for improvements.  

I’m so incredibly grateful for my tribe (you!), the cheerleaders and truth tellers alike :) Together, you’ve accelerated my business growth and made the day-to-day so much more meaningful.

I’d really love to hear more about your creative community and who motivates you towards new, better horizons.