I am usually pretty good with openers, but this one I struggled with to get
your attention. For my creative tribe, the writers, the photographers,
and the entrepreneurs, I hope the title alone caught your attention. Venturing off and doing your own thing or building your own start up is a lot of things.
It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s stressful. No matter what you are doing the one thing that we all need,
besides confidence in ourselves and our craft is support.
The literal definition for support is “give assistant to.” The connotative meaning for support is for people to help spread the world about your brand, which would be the same as giving assistance. When you told your friends and family what you wanted to do, what was their reaction vs. their action? When we think of support from your friends, you think of action. You’re a clothing designer. So, you expect your friends to buy your clothes, wear them, tell people how amazing your clothing is, and share them on social media. The same goes for writers, photographers, artists, and whomever does something creative.
Another reason why it is hard to wrap this around your head is because if the roles were reversed you’d be your friend’s cheerleader. Besides the fact that they may be great at what they do, that’s your friend and you support your friends. What we all need to understand is that our friends are not our audience. You are not doing this for your friends. There are people you may have never met that are more than happy to support you and your work. But why? Your friends may not understand why you are doing what you’re doing. It is also possible that they do not agree with your mission statement. Also think about your friends lives and what they have going on, maybe all you have to do is ask them to retweet an article, like a picture, or listen to a song.
It is also not your job to convince them to agree with you and your art. There are several theories as to why strangers are quicker to support you than the people that know you. We are not here to explore those negative anecdotes, but to help you focus on the supportive audience that you do have. Cater and appreciate the solid support that you do have. Besides yourself, the supporters are who keep you going. It’s better to focus on the love you are receiving than to the love you are not receiving. One way to solve all of this is connect with people in the same creative space. Not gaining active support from you friends may suck, but it is not the end of the world.