Figuring out the Elements of Success, and the Importance of Having a Virtual Squad
Now that we are a bit over a month into 2020, how are you doing with your resolutions? Are things rolling along as planned, or are you feeling stuck already? Recently, I saw this commercial on television:
It got me thinking about the importance of having a squad. The commercial refers to it as a crew. You know, those who have your back, root for your success, and help you get back up when you fall.
We all know having a group of people you can depend on is important. Their presence and support is crucial for both physical and mental health. Having a squad is equally as important in business. But in the business world, it is usually referred to as your network. That network is and made up of contacts, resources, and even your clients.
So, if you are an artist who primarily sells work online (like me) how do you build your network? Especially if you are not ready, willing, or able to create a YouTube channel (also me!)?
It is still possible. I have found that creating a virtual squad takes three main things. Research, sharing, and a willingness to collaborate.
If you are an entrepreneur, there are many resources available online. Some of them are also free, which is a great bonus if you are working on a shoestring. For example, since I am a woman-owned business the following websites and blogs are beneficial to me:
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). The WBENC offers classes, certifications, networking opportunities, events, coaching, and resources for businesses that are at least 51% women-owned. https://www.wbenc.org/
- Fundera, although primarily a banking and loan company, has a blog. Their list of the 11 Best Small Business Grants for Women Entrepreneuers may be quite useful. https://www.fundera.com/blog/small-business-grants-for-women
- Artisan Indie has information to help you learn about things like marketing, creating revenue streams, and product development. https://artisanindie.com/blogs/news
- When Women Inspire is another great blog. It touches on a wide variety of topics, like balancing family and business, education, inspiration, financial issues, knowing your worth, and building confidence. https://whenwomeninspire.com/
By sharing, I mean get out there and share what you know. Be kind to those who aspire to do what you are doing. Teach workshops, join Facebook groups of like-minded individuals, take classes. Or mentor a newbie and build some good karma. 😉
Ask questions of those further ahead in their journey. Seek out the rock stars of your field. Don’t be afraid to request and exchange basic information. There is a saying that goes something like, “you get only as much as you give”. I find this to be very true in both personal and professional life.
Sharing is the vital for both being inspired, and becoming better at what you do. If you want to become a rock star, do your best to learn from some! Then pay it forward.
In the course of sharing with those like-minded people I mentioned, you will come across unexpected opportunities. It might mean some new commissions coming your way, or a request to write an article about your area of expertise. Maybe you will be asked to create a piece with a well-regarded artist or musician.
While some of these opportunities may be paid, others will not. Don’t dismiss the unpaid ones out of hand. Consider them carefully. If they could benefit both you and your collaborator, and the work won’t cause too much havoc in your daily life, I say go for it!
Remember, you are building a squad – a network – here. Although collaboration may possibly expose vulnerabilities and unknown weaknesses, it can also make you stronger and wiser, both as an artist and a person. Collaborating also gets your name or product out to a wider audience.
I firmly believe that building and investing in your squads – both personally and professionally – is a key component to being successful. Obviously, it’s not the only thing, but it is critical, worthwhile, and doesn’t cost anything but some of your time.
2020 is young yet. Get out there and become the rock star you want to be! 🙂
If you have any opinions on this subject, wish to share tips that worked for you, or even just want to say hello, please comment below. I’d love to hear from you!