When I decided to really have a go at this freelance stuff, I knew that I wanted to love what I do. And by "love what I do," I don't mean that I'd love every single aspect of the job (taxes and accounting come to mind!), but that the creative work I took on was worthwhile and fit my overarching mission.
Now, let me be very clear: my overarching mission has evolved over the years, I've taken work solely to pay the bills and there are days when I have to dig in and do the stuff I really hate doing. There are moments when I'm completely confident and feel as though anything is possible and there are moments when I want to throw in the towel and start applying for 9-5 jobs.
Running your own business—small or large—is hard. However, my goal since leaving my office job has been to connect with, inspire and support creative, adventurous souls like myself. Through all of the good days and bad over the last several years, I'm pretty happy to say that I've found my people.
We're the weird ones. We don't always fit. We tend to have opinions. We're fearful, but do the hard stuff anyway. We have trouble staying put. We thrive on new experiences. We're constantly inspired by everything around us. We're the ones building each other up.
I've never really advertised this before, but I make a point to share around 5% - 10% of my income with fellow business owners. Whether that means hiring someone to take my new head shots, signing up for an online course, backing a crowdfunding campaign or buying gifts from makers—I try really hard to support those doing cool things.
I started the podcast and the #storytellersaturdays hashtag for similar reasons. As a business owner it's really easy to get stuck in my own head about things. So much of the work that I do is about pushing that needle to keep this little indie business afloat. It's hard. However, I find that if I can stick to sharing great stories, lifting up fellow creatives and offering valuable content for everyone out there who is just like me, all of that noise—the this-is-too-hard-I'm-never-going-to-make-it negativity—is silenced.
So, there it is, friends. The why behind my business is sharing, supporting, learning and growing—together. So whether I'm writing an article, doing an interview, road tripping to meet cool people, creating a course or speaking at an event, it all boils down supporting this community of goers and doers to the best of my ability.
Tell me: If you own your own business, freelance, make things, sell things, solve problems, etc.: what's the why your business? Do you have a mission to which you come back to time and time again?