Being a creative entrepreneur is tough. Besides the usual stress of business, you also have people in your ear at every turn belittling the work you do because it’s non-traditional. This includes family. This includes friends. And it also includes other business owners! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been mocked, questioned, or told to “do something else” along this journey of mine with Adorned by Chi. Oh wait, yes I can. The pain of having your dreams crumpled up and slam dunked in the trash is something you never forget.
In college, a “friend” of mine slyly mocked my product shot set up, asking me “who takes these photos of you?” while snickering. A coworker asked me last year why anyone would “buy that (my e-books) from you”. Another entrepreneur told me to move on to another more standard business, that Adorned by Chi can be “a little hobby”. And the one that hurt most is someone I care about scoffing at me when I said this was my passion. My point in sharing these cringe-worthy comments is to show you that you’re not alone, and to empower you to push through the negativity to continue building and chasing your dreams.
After all, JK Rowling was rejected a dozen times when she submitted Harry Potter to publishers, and one told her not to quit her day job. What if she had listened? What if she had given up after the 11th rejection? She wouldn’t be a billionaire, and she wouldn’t have the massive impact on culture that she does today.
So, what can you do when you realize the people who should be rooting for you, who should be your loudest cheerleaders, don’t even bother to pick up the pom poms? You can..
Be Your Own Cheerleader
When no one else supports me, I support me! I know I’m creating something unique and a brand that I always wish existed. Sometimes I look at my own work and gawk over how great it is and all the wonderful ways I can grow and improve. It’s not being conceited, it’s actually necessary. You need to love and believe in your talents, even when the people around you refuse to.
Stop Sharing Good News With the Wrong People
There’s a point where you’ll begin to notice a pattern with the people around you. Some are stoked to hear about your latest win, while others act uninterested or, even worse, belittle what you’ve accomplished. Just stop telling those people your good news. Your story and your growth are a gift they don’t deserve!
Find a #BizGirlGang
While it’s sad there are some people I care about who will never share my joy, I’ve been blessed with so many other business friends who totally get me and together we encourage and help each other through pep talks, support and collaborations. My friend Reanda from Pixistics, Sequoya from Yoga with SQA, Ariel from Slay Culture, Essence from Essence Murjani and Jasmine from JXL, have been there for me through my business hiccups, major wins and more. And of course I do the same for them. I genuinely care about their success! I love my #bizgirlgang, they keep me sane ha!
Takeaway: Surround yourself with people who get it, and distance yourself from the people who don’t.
Pray and Write Down What Your Grateful For
Negativity can cloud the mind. The best way to clear it for me is to pray and take note of all the things I’m grateful for. Every sale, every successful shoot, every word of encouragement. It all means so much to me and those small gestures push me to keep at it, despite the naysayers.
At the end of the day people will say what you’re doing is weird, but pay hundreds of dollars to watch Beyonce fabulously dance around in a bedazzled leotard. Life is funny like that. Just push through and once you’ve become a success in their eyes they’ll have nothing but love for your business.
Have you also been hit with a lack of support? Share your story below!