The other night I was procrastinating on Facebook. I can’t remember what I was “supposed to” be doing, but I was tooling around on Facebook instead. I’d posted something on my personal page about how I’d gone to visit a couple of stores earlier that day to see if they might be a good fit for my work (specifically my rain boots) — I just moved to Portland, OR, and one of my missions is to get my work into some new local stores. I mean, could there be a better place to have a line of rain boots than Portland?!
So, this is what my Facebook post read: “So, I got brave today and started going in to some stores in Portland to try to get my work into some new shops, and it’s totally working! What was I so scared of??”
And it got some comments. And then it got some more comments. Things like: “OH! I’d love to hear more! I haven’t found my bravery yet…”and “I need to get that brave!” and “That’s because you are AMAZING! I often dream of being like you! And can’t wait until I have that kind of confidence!” Meanwhile, I didn’t feel like it was all that brave– it felt like more of a relief. It was something I was putting off because I was afraid, and I finally stopped letting the fear control me and just did it anyway. But everyone’s comments made me realize that we stop ourselves and make all kinds of excuses for why we should just wait until tomorrow, or until next week, or until we have the perfect website, etc, to contact so-and-so.
It got me thinking. What is it that’s so scary for so many of us creatives about putting ourselves out there and selling our own work? Why do we often procrastinate and make so many excuses?
I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I did come up with a way to counter the fear and grow some bravery in this arena: it’s called Get Brave, Go! I’m normally so brave in my business. I operate from a jump-in-and-figure-it-out-as-I-go mindset most of the time. But In a flash of insight, I realized that if I’m afraid, then other people are, too. We all are! And perhaps a community where we could support each other in our outreach efforts would be an amazing place to go when we’re feeling those fear-based procrastination/excuse thoughts about reaching out and marketing our work. I realized that if people were telling me they wished they could be as brave as me, when I really didn’t feel brave at ALL, that we could probably all help each other out a little!
So begins Get Brave, Go! It’s a Facebook group for artists, designers, and makers who want some support + encouragement + bravery around contacting shops and buyers to carry their work! It’s for people with creative businesses who want some support in contacting new potential clients, for people who want to contact bloggers about their work, for people who might feel afraid to talk about themselves at all. Basically, if you’re afraid to put yourself out there in your business, this group is for you. Let’s all get brave together!
Please come join us. We’ve got almost 200 people in the group already, and people are taking incredible action in their businesses/lives that they might not have otherwise! We’d love for you to join in the brave-licious fun. Just request to join the group and I’ll add you lickety split! No cliques, no judgment, no questions. If you want in, you’re in.
Here’s to getting brave and making our creative businesses soar!
Jessica Swift — Jessica Swift
Jessica Swift is a full-time artist and surface pattern designer (a one-woman show!) who believes that our childhood dreams and obsessions are the key to knowing the work we’re meant to do as adults. She remembers creating posters as a kid, filling large bubble letters with vibrant, hand-drawn patterns and decorating every surface she could get her hands on.
Twenty some years later, Jessica’s childhood fascination with color and pattern continues. From licensed products to objects made in her own studio, Jessica’s eponymous brand of surface designs and vibrant gift/home products is centered around her daring use of color and quirky & fun pattern sense. Her aim? To elicit happiness, play, and light-heartedness in the world through her work.
Jessica grew up in Boulder, Colorado, earned a BFA from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and 2 cats. Her work can be seen on her website, in her Etsy shop, and on her blog.
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