Our First Event – Recap!
This past Saturday, the first Comeback event was hosted in the back of a white-brick donut shop in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.
The biggest thing I learned from The Next Step, our first in-person event ever: never underestimate the brilliance and kindness found in a group of creative women.
Since early June, I’ve been emailing venues, sponsors, and creatives to coordinate this roundtable discussion. If you haven’t met me yet, hello! I’m Iris and I am the gal that receives every email or comment you send. I have had wanted to connect with this community for a long time and there’s nothing like meeting someone in person to make a real, lasting connection.
With location found, sponsors in place, and format decided, I opened up tickets and waited. Somehow, I was fortunate to have some of the kindest and wisest creative people buy those tickets.
Photographer, lifestyle blogger, and sustainable fashion brand owner, Juliette Laura was our guest speaker and she shared her story with the group. She answered questions and included everyone, igniting a rich conversation that lasted the rest of the event.
A lot of advice, experience, and support was shared across the table and these are some of the notes I jotted down:
On the new ideas
You know an idea is worth pursing if you are excited to talk about it to whoever will listen. However, even if an idea keeps you up at night, you need to be able to execute it to the best of your abilities. Do everything with integrity. If you have to cut corners to get it done, now may not be the time.
Look for ways you can serve others. Ask who you already know for directions or leads. It’s helpful to include interests outside of your work on your website so that others can connect with you more specifically.
On running your business
Your business is not really about you, it’s about who you’re serving. If there is a part of business-running that you keep pushing to the side, then you know that is where you should be focusing. Stephy of Moonlit Skincare shared this tip: she put her budget as the home screen to her computer so she had to look at it every day.
You are not your customer. Your family and friends might not be your customer either. It may be tempting to lower your price to be affordable to your pals, but the people you’re truly looking for will be able to afford it. Don’t devalue your time.
On getting the word out
Amy from b social box sent a quick message to her LinkedIn network because that was a resource she had already built. A quick hello, “just letting you know I started ____” was enough.
Do some deep research to truly know the person. If you’re interested in asking someone to be your mentor, ask them out for coffee (or something more specific to their tastes) and see if you click. It’s ok to say when it’s not a good fit for you.
Block out the noise. Feedback from friends and family isn’t always the most helpful. So many people have other jobs and it’s not always talked about. Brand deals and partnerships can take years in the making. That’s not always shown on the Instagram feed. When feeling envious, think about how it can inspire you to create something else (like trying out the lighting from a photo you wish you took).
On balancing multiple pursuits
Set boundaries for each pursuit in your life so you’re not worrying about something from one project while working on another. We all have seasons of our lives where we will dedicate more time into some areas than others. Those areas will change and the division of your time is not set in stone. Prioritize your time so you’re out of the weeds of things.
Things went so much better than I could have every hoped and it was all because of the people sitting around the table. I realized that something I felt was missing in some of the bigger events I have been to is the ability to really talk to the speakers and attendees. With a small group, everyone seemed comfortable striking up conversation and including others as they arrived. By the end I knew everyone’s story, their challenges, and their goals for where they were headed.
I learned a lot from this first event, both from the discussion and the process of setting it up. Thank you to everyone who helped throughout this process and showed up the event in person! You keep me going. :)