☀️ Some Bright News for the Darkest Months ☀️
What's happening at Vistoso Creative?
The struggle is real in January
This time of year is especially tough. It's dark at 5:30, it's cold, and the leaves are everywhere but on the trees. It's tough to stay motivated and focused. It feels like all of the worst parts of being a service-based entrepreneur rear their ugly head this time of year.
I was having a drink with my wife the other night, and we were sharing some of our struggles with motivation and loneliness with each other. We identified with the fact that it's hard to find online communities that aren't filled with spam, scams, and negativity.
Any graphic design group that I've joined is overrun with folks who don't speak or understand English offering each other services in circles. In all honesty, it's kinda funny at the start. Most posts in those groups go something like this:
"Need a graphic deisnger? will work cheap."
"Yeah i can make it messaged you"
"i will design to the best quality. Do inbox me and let's talk further. you won't regret my work."
"Hey! I'd love to assist you. Please inbox me and let's discuss it further."
"I do please inbox me."
"Professional at your service. Please inbox me and check out my work. I'd love to assist you in a professional manner."
While it's entertaining for a little bit, it's not constructive in any way.
Let's be honest; it's lonely out here.
One thing that I took for granted when I was working a 9-5 is the value of having a shared experience with coworkers. Even if that experience is negative, it matters to experience it together. You don't get that when you're starting a business. With every conversation, you're either selling or being sold to. It kinda stinks.
It can feel especially lonely when you're trying your hardest to make quality content that is helpful and resourceful and all of your posts and work just disappear into the ether. Gaining traction on social media feels like shouting into the void, and it is especially easy to slip into feelings of inadequacy.
So, you join some in-person business communities.
Boy, are they stuffy. While this isn't always the case, it takes a lot of effort and motivation to keep getting dressed up to go to networking events and talk to judgy "business leaders."
And what do you get in exchange for going to networking events?
Your choice: You sell or be sold to. This also kinda stinks.
There are plenty of places for networking, but it feels like there aren't many spaces for honesty, transparency, and real connection. It would be nice to share knowledge, skills, gripes, feedback, and kind words with people who are in their first few years of business.
But, owners of new businesses and startups have a lot in common.
I love my conversations with Joa. Her DIY attitude is inspiring, and I had a feeling about where this conversation was going when it started.
If it doesn't exist, you've gotta build it yourself.
So we started talking about what a great community would look like, and what we all have in common as budding business owners and operators. Here's what we came up with:
We all have wins, losses, good days, and bad days.
We could all use a little more engagement with folks in our position.
We need a semi-private place to ask stupid questions and give honest feedback.
Sometimes we just need to vent.
We want to share the things that we're good at with others.
Does any of this ring true to you? I'm willing to bet that there are others out there in the same place. So, we're doing it.
Welcome to the Startup Success Community
The Startup Success Community was created to:
Provide a safe, open connection space for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Provide insightful prompts to guide your entrepreneurial path.
Provide access to industry experts for guidance.
Here's the vision:
We want to help entrepreneurs in their first three years of business to feel a sense of community in what can be a very lonely space. We're here to build together, ask questions, answer others, and share resources.
To keep conversations going and discussion flowing, we will do weekly threads for things like self-promotion, motivation, gathering feedback, and venting. The ONLY place these things are allowed is within their designated post/thread. The main space of the group should be free for Q&A, resources, and building together.
It's so hard to compete with the big guys with huge advertising budgets and marketing campaigns. You could be the best in the world at something, but in your first few years in business, it's easy to feel so small.
There are others like you out there! Share your knowledge and gain some resources from others. We are here to help. Let's be better together.
My name is Dan, I am the owner of Vistoso Creative, a graphic & web design company based in Staunton. I am coming up on two years in business helping people solve design problems and improve their digital presence. I hope to be a resource to this community and to help out where I can.
Here are my areas of expertise:
Being a generally cool and chill dude.
If you need help in any of these areas, hit me up!
Here are some things I'm not so good at:
Thriving in a networking environment
If you've got any hot tips on any of these topics (or anything else you excel at), make a post about it! Share your knowledge and expertise with the entrepreneurial world.
It's lonely out here, y'all. Let's connect.