So, I realized the other day that I never really shared the tattoo that I got this past summer. Better late than never, yes?
Well, that's it! This past summer I got tattoo #2 (and the summer before that it was tattoo #1). It's a pretty, dainty bracelet tattoo that forms the letter "L" for Cute Kid's name, Lily.
I do have to admit, I super love tattoos. And so, even know, I'm excited for tattoo #3, which I'll be getting this weekend on a trip to Austin to hang out with friends. I'll try to be a little more timely in sharing that one.
My bracelet tattoo was done by the same wizard that did my compass tattoo, Charles Cain at Mark of Cain in Mountain City, TN. Best line work I've ever seen. I'm sick to my stomach at the thought of cheating on him with my tattoo in Austin, but a 12-hour drive to the mountains just isn't in the cards anytime soon.
Friday before last we had the Launch Party for Indie Spaces and it's Indiepreneurs. It was a really great night where we finally kicked off Indie Spaces in a big and exciting way, and we highlighted the talents of the people who are making Indie Spaces so awesome right now.
The night was filled with music (by Stan the DJ), food, beer, and wine (food and beer by Arron of Haute Chow), and some really great chats with people in the Shoals who are geared up for watching our community flourish.
We packed the space out, had a really great time, and saw some really great connections happening. For the full effect of this really great night, check out our Facebook album of all the photos taken by Indiepreneur Courtney Croxdale, and the photobooth photos by UTouch Booths.
Man, I love these people.
We've been out of the mountains for 7 months now. Seven months, and I'm still trying to figure out what life's supposed to be like. Get into a routine. Reposition myself into this new life of the usual mother, partner, web designer roles, but also where I fit into my new roles in new friendships, business guru at the space, and as a part of our extended family.
I often find myself thinking a lot about my dreams for where I want to be. Full-time web designer, or full-time entrepreneur cheerleader? Or part-time each, and which gets what part?
Dreams. What's my dream?
What's your dream?
I talk about dreams a lot. Not the ones that you have in the middle of the night, and not just my dreams. I talk to David about his dreams, I talk to our Indies to help them discover their dreams. Goals. Path. Purpose.
Dream customers. Dream jobs. Dream experiences.
Monday David and I had the pleasure of being a recipient of a pint of the elusive Shirey Ice Cream. I'll be honest, sometimes, maybe more often than not, my dreams involve ice cream. And I know David's does.
This ice cream was a dream. And talking to the ice cream-maker, Reese, was a dream encounter. He's my dream customer.
Reese is finishing up his last semester of college, and as I penciled in a meeting date for after graduation, I wished him good luck with finals. He shrugged his shoulders, then said something to the effect of, "Whatever, I'm not worried. I'm going to be an entrepreneur."
If I could make every person who walked into the space live life with that attitude, I would be in a constant dream state.
Guys, here's the stuff that dreams are made of: passion.
Passion makes us realize what matters, what makes us produce quality products, and what builds our dreams. It allows us to see through the muck, and focus on our goal. Reese has the passion, and he's not afraid of it. And he's going to rock his own world.
I admire the hell out of that, and find it so inspiring.
For me, I'm working on my own passion, and figuring out how to best organize my time to be most effective. My passion for many years has been micro-businesses. Creative entrepreneurs. Through Indie Spaces and Indie Shopography I breathe, eat, and sleep my passion.
What's yours? What's your dream? What's your passion? Promise me that you won't be afraid of it.
Since the opening of Indie Spaces I have become very aware of how creatives respond to people. It's things that I've reacted to in my own life as a creative, but now that my life is hanging out with creatives all day, I'm becoming much more in tune with what makes us all tick. In particular, how we respond to others.
Now that I'm seeing it in action, I'm able to compare it to my own relationships, in those that have flourished the most in the past 6 years, as opposed to those that have dwindled into nothingness.
Always, and about everything. Even if you don't agree with us, shoot us down in an encouraging tone. And try to finish hard conversations with "I'm proud of you," or something similar.
We creatives sometimes get a little blindsided due to an almost insatiable need to follow our passions. It's ok to occasionally sit us down and hammer in the importance of sleep, or eating, or health insurance. Let us know that our ideas are awesome, but that other things need to be taken care of, too.
It's also ok to tell us that we're boring the hell out of everyone with all our business talk. (See number 5 below.)
Spread the word. Pass out our business cards. And, if possible, buy one or some of our products. It proves to us that you truly believe in us and what we do, and will totally make you our best pal.
This is one of those things that I know I appreciate the most. When our friends don't belittle our even smallest accomplishments, you're cemented into best pal status. Jump up and down with me for a minute when I book a new client. Go out with David and I for a drink when we schedule a cool new event or book a new artist. Celebrate with us; it's fun for you, too. We usually buy the first round.
I try very hard these days to not talk about work all the time. 1) I don't want to get burnt out. 2) I don't want to bore my friends to death. As a friend of a creative, be aware that we're really excited about what we're doing, and that we're going to talk about work a lot (because to us, it's not really work, it's fun). Try to find a way to at least feign some interest for a while.
Also, be comfortable occasionally steering the conversation away from work, because sometimes we're really not aware of how painful we're being. And, most importantly, if we don't want to talk about work, let's really just not.
When I think of the three most influential pals I have in my everyday life, they hold each of these qualities. They believe in me, support me, celebrate with me, and help me talk and not talk about work. They're also very good about tactfully waving caution signs.
Now, in my role at Indie Spaces, I have to be this pal to every creative who comes in our door. I have to celebrate and caution, talk and not talk, and always, always encourage. It's becoming part of my personal brand, and my character in general. I'm emulating those who have believed in me.
And the best thing that we can do, as creatives, is to recognize and appreciate these qualities in our pals. Because, let's face it, sometimes we're not the easiest people to be around. Or is that just me?
P.S. HUGE thank you to my pals. You are why I'm where I am now.
I was hanging out in yoga the other day, holding a pose, when my yoga teacher said something that almost made me drop my pose and run for my notebook, for fear that I would forget it.
In order to transform there must be fire.
I know that in that moment she was talking about the fire in my shoulders and quads, but I also know that she meant it in a broader sense too, and for me, in that moment, it meant everything. I repeated in my head over and over for the rest of the class.
When times get tough, just remember how pivotal those moments are. Your reactions determine your transformations. And those transformations wouldn't be possible if not for the fire.