Proximity, Opportunity and Showing Up

05-Oct-2012

Proximity, Opportunity & showing up as a creative entrepreneur

I’m going to be brave here and share, explicitly, that the Braid home office is smack dab in the middle of Oklahoma City. We work with dream customers from Seattle to Miami. From Boston to Austin and everywhere in between. I suppose I’m a little shy, or even at times apologetic, about being from the midwest but the truth is this: I have never felt limited by my location. 

How have I been able to thrive as a creative professional smack dab in the middle of the heartland? Half of the formula to being in the right place at the right time is to be in any place at all (a place that isn’t your couch, watching Breaking Bad while putting final touches on that logo design or consultation package you’ve been obsessed with). It’s proximity that creates opportunity, and I’m successful because I show up. 

proximity to clients creative entrepreneur

SHOWING UP ONLINE
Most of my professional (and personal) growth started online. Here’s how: 

I post to my blog consistently. I regularly share my expertise, my struggles, my victories and my stories - from what I wear and eat to where I’m going next. This kind of sharing (even the personal stuff) consistently gets me hired. It’s not a waste of time - it’s my livelihood.  

I make friends on the internet. Relationships formed on the internet used to be taboo but these days creating genuine friendships online is a very real (and very rad) thing. I started my personal blog almost five years ago and have formed amazing friendships and started my creative career through it. For example, Braid was recently hired by one of my very first blog readers (turned friend and now colleague) to design an interior design book featuring blogger’s homes. And while I love doing business with friends it doesn’t always have to turn into a job. I also forge alliances and relationships with like-minded creatives whose blogs I read - we turn to each other for reciprocal advice, support and camaraderie. This kind of interaction is especially valuable for solopreneurs and freelancers who don’t have coworkers to lean on.  

Showing up creative business

SHOWING UP IN REAL LIFE
I’m taking it to the next level by making sure I get in some quality face-time with quality people. 

I invest both time & money in traveling to meet interesting people. I roadtrip to Austin for client meetings and I fly coast-to-coast for retreats and conferences. It pays off every single time. 

I say yes more than I say no. I know there has been lots of chatter in finding power in saying no. And here at Braid we think that’s important (especially when it comes to saying no to new business that isn’t a good fit). But when it comes to opportunities for thought-provoking conversations over coffee or speaking engagements and networking events I say yes more than I say no. I never regret it - even when I think my time would be better spent obsessing over my inbox (or watching Breaking Bad). 

I pick up the phone. Or even better - hop on Skype. Email is quick and instant. But it can also be impersonal. Phone calls and face time instantly amps the level of communication and trust with our clients and vendors. It also reminds everyone that we’re real people with real opinions and really rad hair. 

To sum it up - it really is about who you know. Your talent and hard work will only get you so far. The closer you can get, in proximity both online and off, to lots of other creatives the more opportunities you’ll have for inspiring conversations and collaborations, kick-ass clients, and forever friendships. It’s about showing up - regardless of your location. 

In this post I talk a lot about blending the personal with the professional. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personal brand can boost your creative career check out our ECourse. In the meantime, let us know on Facebook ways you show up - online and off. 


Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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