Yesterday I talked about authenticity, originality and persistence, and how those themes kept popping up for me at Alt. Today I want to talk about three more common threads I noticed among the speakers: growth, hiring, and collaborations.
We all want to grow, right? Raise your hand if “grow your blog” or “grow your business” has ever been one of your New Year’s resolutions. It’s a no brainer, and in some ways, actually doing it is a no brainer too. There’s always more you can be doing, but I keep thinking about how it seems that the key to true growth is figuring out what direction you want to grow in. It’s easy to sign up for an ecourse or put extra energy into social media, but which outlet should you pick? I came away from Alt wanting to grow on my newsletter, Google Plus, and maybe Youtube. (Yeah, I know- more on that later)
When you’re running your own business, it’s easy to get caught up in the management level stuff that everyone tells you you should be doing. Between creating and managing systems, marketing, even email, sometimes it feels like the amount of time spent designing is less than I’d like it to be.
At the same time, growing my own business has been more fun and rewarding than I ever could have imagined. I eat up articles about growing your business, and I love the strategy behind social media. I even like doing my own bookkeeping, which I know a task lot of creatives loathe. But even the things that you like doing have to be delegated sometimes. Susan Peterson talked about how when she first started she swore she’d always make every moccasin she sold, but as she grew she realized she didn’t have to be the one making them.
I listened to a panel about hiring and collaborations, and while I didn’t walk away with all the answers, I did come away feeling like I’m headed in the right direction. Sometimes when we identify the next step, it’s easy to feel like we should be there already. For a long time I’ve been thinking that hiring help will be my next big step, and eventually you start to feel guilty or not bold enough for not moving towards that next big thing.
Now I feel like I’ll know when the time is right to grow in that way. It’s not right quite yet, and that’s okay. (Side note: I’m also reading Rework right now and the reading I did on the plane totally solidified that for me. It’s a great read if you haven’t read it yet!)
I’d never thought about it this way before, but collaborations are almost like an alternative to hiring and are a great way to get your feet wet working alongside someone else. This last year I’ve experienced first hand the magic that can happen from collaboration. It’s one of those things where you don’t know what you don’t know until you learn from someone else. And I just think there’s something that happens when someone else’s eyes are on your work and when ideas are coming from two sources instead of one.
Whew! If you made it through my Alt posts, you’re a champ! And if you liked today and yesterday’s post, you should sign up for Biz Nuggets. I’m hoping to make my newsletter more essay-style like these posts and share what I’m learning or doing every other week or so.
I’ve been craving collaboration lately, and I just reached out to a friend about collaborating on some things for my blog. Running a blog and business by yourself can be very freeing, but it can also get lonely. There are certain aspects of my business that I want to have all the control over, but there are times when I feel like having someone who’s creative and passionate by my side would help me so much! Also just checked out the preview of Rework- and am literally loading it onto my Kindle now. I’m very interested in what these guys have to say!
Angel Y. says
I have to go back and read some of your other Alt articles but I love what you’re saying here. I love to collaborate because I feel like working with someone else helps me grow as a creative professional. I’ve also been working on my newsletter and Google+ and I’ve seen some great results.
I love this — “the key to true growth is figuring out what direction you want to grow in.” So spot on!
I really dislike Google+, but it seems like things are heading in that direction. As you start growing it, you’ll have to share what you’ve learned!