Building Mama Knows Luxury has been a whirlwind full of ups and downs! I've been a Creative Business Owner for close to four years now and today, while ripping weeds from my garden, I felt compelled to share some of the biggest truths that I have learned along the way!
Anyone who has ever come to me for advice will tell you, I love my analogies! Without even trying my brain finds and provides an analogy for almost every situation that I find myself in. I can always think of something to say, lol, words have never failed me!
I love to lead; not because I like to be the boss, but because I thrive on seeing people that I have helped find their rhythm and build their own unique success. I believe that if we can find the proper guidance right at the moment that we need it, if we can absorb the wisdom and experience of someone who has already been there, that we can use the time we saved to advance our goals so much quicker!! Throughout my crazy life (I always say, someday I will write a book!) I have been lucky to receive the gift of mentorship from men and women who I have so much respect for and I have always taken the opportunity to pay that gift forward whenever someone comes to me for help.
Photo by Kelly Brooks - Knitbrooks - Sip and Stitch Edmonton, 2016
Over the past years I have found my footing in the maker space. I have nurtured some Amazing relationships with people that I admire so much, participated in movements and groups that have brought the physical maker community together and watched personal and professional bonds grow and bloom as a result. I have laughed and cried and vented with these people, all the while knowing that they had my back every step of the way and that they relied on me to offer support and encouragement to them in each thing they worked through.
Photo by Kelly Brooks - Knitbrooks - Sip and Stitch Edmonton, 2016
So here we go, my Words of Wisdom for Creative Business People
1. Go With Your Gut and Just Start!
If your heart and soul are telling you that you want to share your idea with the world, just do it! Questioning yourself and telling yourself that you have to learn everything about everything is super demotivating and incredibly counter productive. I encourage you to take the leap of faith!
2. Be Original and Authentic
Humans soak up inspiration from everything; it’s part of our basic genetic code. Be sure to put your own special spin on everything you do. People react to new and exciting things; you will have the most success if you pour your own unique style into everything you present to the world.
3. Give Credit Where Credit is Due
It is totally ok to be inspired by someone who has shared his or her work. Do the right thing and acknowledge that the idea came to you because of their work, give them the shout out, resist the urge to claim that the idea was your own. Ask yourself: “Would I have thought of this on my own?” If the answer is no, you should give credit.
4. For every person who speaks to you, 10 more watch silently from the sidelines.
People are paying attention, even if you don’t think they are. Ask yourself how each thing you do could be observed if you had a live audience of 100 or 10,000. You never know who is watching and you should always put your best foot forward.
5. Make Real Connections
Take the opportunity to enrich your life by building true relationships with people that you come across in the creative community. As a beloved famous man once said: “Ask not what they can do for you, but what you can do for them!” Be a giver, not a taker and I promise the love you spread will come back to you tenfold!
6. Ditch the Jealousy
We are all PEOPLE. Every single one of us is just a person with a dream and a life and our own struggles and successes. Resist the urge to be jealous of the success of your peers. You really have no idea what that success means to them and it really isn’t your business. I know this is so hard, I really do, you have to find a way to bring yourself back to center whenever the green eyed monster starts to creep in.
7. Be Graceful and Forgiving
Remind yourself that we all have different opinions and beliefs and we all come to the table with a unique set of skills, abilities and experience. Resist the urge to assume the worst of people. Think deeply and speak slowly, try to offer forgiveness to your fellow creative peers, even when they seem to be behaving badly. My mother taught me: “Do onto others as you would have them do unto you!” I firmly believe that this is a key to happiness in the online world.
8. Let them Bury Themselves
Resist the urge to crusade!!! Remember that you are judged by your own behavior; actions that seem completely justified by you can be perceived unfavorably by those who witness your behavior. While it often hurts to sit silently and it can feel very lonely to do so while someone behaves badly, you can remind yourself of #4. The world is watching, if you notice it, so do others! While we all agree to play in the same playground, bullies and thieves have a way of finding their own way to what they deserve, do not sink to their level and risk your own reputation, let them bury themselves.
9. Contribute to Positive Change
If you are a natural crusader and feel compelled to instigate change, find a positive way to apply all of your beautiful energy. Start a helpful blog, create a meet up group in your area or start respectful and loving conversations that bring real issues to the forefront. Strive to support the community, stand firm and be courageous, especially on behalf of those who also seek to strengthen and support our community.
10. Find and Nurture Your Tribe
It’s exciting to build something new and business success is incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. It is also time consuming, difficult, frustrating and maybe a little bit obsessive. Your tribe is the group of people who support everything you do, they are your family, your friends, your fellow business people and creative peers who get what you are going through. Remember, always, to pull these people back to center often. Acknowledge them, praise them and give them the lion’s share of your attention. In a world where many businesses are built online, life can start to feel really lonely for the business owner, remember to step away and fill your bucket with the love and support of your tribe as often as you can.
This blog post is dedicated to the Creative Business Women who take my breath away with their brilliance and who gave me the incredible gift of their friendship and support. These women set aside competition and chose to soak up the benefits of friendship and support, despite the fact that we are all working to grow our own businesses in the same creative space. Thank you to all of you, you have truly made my life better!
Cristin – Kozy Komforts – My maker Bestie! She helps me run our local Sip and Stitch, lets me vent when I am worked up and puts her own special sort of calm on me as she helps me through all those maker frustrations! This woman is so talented and a true Momboss, as she raises three beautiful mini humans, she embraces life and tries new things and seeks happiness and balance.
Kelly – Knitbrooks – This girl is my polar opposite, and I love it!! It seems like if I have a weakness, it’s her strength and I only hope that I can somehow find opportunities to help her in return for everything she does for me. This very site would not exist if not for Kelly. Her encouragement and advice has also helped me improve my photo skills so much over the past year and those skills are a huge part of my success with Mama Knows Luxury so far. A soft spoken young woman, Kelly is actually the perfect kind of leader, her infectious desire to get together and make connections with her fellow creatives has helped create groups like Our Maker Life and Sip and Stitch get togethers in at least 3 cities!
Stephanie - Boe Baby Boutique - Steph told me once that she is a "Gangster Who Sews" and I laughed hysterically with every ounce of belief that she was not lying. This woman is So Strong and So Smart. My children rush to see her and her sweet hubs Louis whenever we go to craft sales and her sweet Boe is my second favourite baby boy under 3! Steph makes me laugh, she inspires me with her crazy combo of work ethic, leadership and Stunning Artistic Talent and I hope to get to know her more and more as time passes!
Michelle – MJs Off The Hook Designs/Sentrybox Designs – Michelle also took a chance on me when Mama Knows Luxury was nothing more than a half formed idea. Since that time she has come to be a friend who supports me, encourages me and seeks support and encouragement from me in return. It’s impossible to lose sight of a goal when Michelle commits to helping you reach it! I seriously cannot wait to meet this stunning woman face to face!
Teresa – DeBrosseNYC – One of my newest friendships, this one took me by surprise, but I am so incredibly grateful to have the gift of Teresa’s sweet soul and keen business sense just a text message away!! I feel that there is so much to come with Teresa, we are cooking up ideas almost faster than we can complete them and bringing our strengths together in beautiful partnership. I am truly grateful to have the ability to choose to work with people who I deeply respect and Teresa is a perfect example of this, her dedication to what she believes in, her desire to help others in a huge way and her excitable, endearing personality are what make her a friend and a colleague that I am so excited to add to my top roster of closest confidants.
Stephanie – All About Ami – This woman, goodness, where do I start?? Hugely successful on her own, Stephanie is one of the most unselfish people I have ever met and her sweet, supportive husband helps create a package that constantly influence and improve the Knit/Crochet creative space in such a positive way! Stephanie took a chance on me when Mama Knows Luxury was barely an idea and I will forever be grateful to her for setting such a high bar for all of my future Collaborative Partners. She is a member of our local Sip and Stitch and it is so rewarding for me to see other creative business owners in our community benefit from the gift of working with Stephanie.
Who inspires you!! I encourage you to honor them in the comments? What do you think of all of this?