Finally had the opportunity to join in at Ottawa's Tuesdays Together last night after a few months away from home. We were talking all about networking amongst industry peers and collaboration. Our fears of what would happen if we opened ourselves up and reached out for help from others.
It reminded me of those first few months in our photography business when we had no clue who those peers were and how much rejection we faced being the new kids on the block. Some people didn't even respond to my emails. At the time, it hurt. Badly. To be ignored, rejected, passed along for other more experienced photographers. I totally got it though. Who would want to work with the newbies if there were others more advanced, talented, creative and experienced than us?
But we truly believed in our work, kept hustling, working hard behind the scenes, reaching out to those we admired and offered our time, sweat, tears and hearts. We met some of the most supportive creative entrepreneurs during our first year in business and we're now so lucky to be working alongside these industry leaders.
My main piece of advice for those just starting out in creative entrepreneurship is to be confident in the service or product you offer, work hard even if no one is watching and never give up even in the most daunting of times. And above all, as Dr. Seuss says, don't be a copy of someone else. There is no one youer than you. Be wierd. Crazy. Quiet. Shy. A loud-mouth. Whatever it is. Know who you are, what you stand for and your value. Even if you feel that you have nothing much to offer. You have SO MUCH potential in you. It's just a matter of time for your hard work to pay off. So, shine bright in your uniqueness and let rejection bounce off of you. Because you don't have time for those who want to bring you down. You're too busy moving forward and not looking back.