I have never been more encouraged professionally than I was this week. On Tuesday, nearly 50 women (and two brave men) from around Jones County came to the YWCO to learn how to make their businesses better using Instagram. I felt the truest sense of community - all from a little app that sits on a cell phone. I was blown away.
Say all the negative that you want about social media, but I am convinced that there is so much good in it. I have been encouraged this week by people commenting on my feed, asking if I plan to do the class again, wishing they had been able to join. And these are people I don't know. I had a new friend from Georgia discover my blog and send some kind words, reminding me why I started this in the first place - community. Finding my tribe, leaning into new ideas, challenging other women and men in their creative genius and helping those who struggle to find any creative bone in their body. Finding and learning from my people.
At the event on Tuesday, I made a precious new friend who struggles with finding the right content to promote a non-profit with a sensitive subject matter, a successful woman who has several businesses in town and struggles with getting ahead in strategy and planning, a sweet jewelry maker who wants to find her community and enjoy serving them in an honest and transparent way. While we might have all all been passionate about Instagram, were are all passionate about something. And we are trying to soak up everything we can to make these dreams we have work. This is the GOOD in social media, y'all.
In a world where our news feeds are filled with nasty political jabs, articles that remind us we're feeding our kids all the wrong things and opinions that could drive us all insane, community is what reminds us that in this big ole world, we can find the people who will encourage us and keep us going when we're no longer inspired - those who will remind us why we started in the first place. And those who will tell us that we don't have to have everything together to do something good and create positive change.
I once listened to a podcast where someone was talking about community. He asked, "Will a plant thrive if you stick it in a closet without sunlight or water?" He added that a for day or two, the plant would be fine. One might look at it on the outside and not see any immediate difference. But after a week or two, the plant will wilt in solitude.
We need community to encourage us, help us, remind us why we are doing what we are doing and help us keep our heads up when all we want to do is lock ourselves in a closet with no exposure to the outside world. And I'm convinced that as small business owners, entrepreneurs and solo marketers, we need a little extra inspiration (since we're the ones expected to inspire people to buy in to what we are offering).
This world is hard enough, y'all. Find your community. Find your people. Weed out those who bring you down or make you feel further from the place where you know you love to be. We all have that moment where we realized - THIS is what I'm supposed to be doing...THIS brings me life. Find people who bring you life. This will bring life to your business. Exchanging ideas over coffee once a week, weekly lunch bunch to talk about all the things that frustrate you (Let's get real, y'all. It's not all peaches and rainbows.) I encourage you this week to find one or two and start to grow and learn from them. It's a beautiful thing when people come together in community.
If you're interested in catching the FREE 31-day Instagram for Business Content Calendar I offered in the class, you can CLICK HERE and grab your free download.