I’m writing to you today with a cup of coffee in hand and a giant dream. A desire to make waves for the greater good and to be the change that we so desperately wish to see in this industry. When I shared my Overcoming Comparison post a few weeks ago, I was overwhelmed by the response I received from other small business owners who shared my struggles and my desires for the future.
This morning, I am joining forces with some truly inspiring industry leaders from Boston, Massachusetts to Augusta, Georgia to launch the Rising Tide Society and announce our very first initiative.
It is our hope to cultivate a Society of Creative Entrepreneurs who believe in community and have a desire to lead with love. From this dream, Tuesdays Together was born. A Meet-up on the first Tuesday of every month where we gather together for coffee and conversation. A safe space for idea sharing and goal building. Separated by distance, but beautifully united by a hashtag and a shared desire for community.
Because isnâ€™t that what we all deserve? A safe place to belong.
I remember how it felt to be a new face in an established industry. I vividly recall being told that my dreams were too big and my goals were far too lofty for a small-town Annapolis girl trying to build a business after high school. I still see the nasty forum threads, the negative comments and vulgar remarks thrown around on the dark corners of the internet towards newcomers who dare to dream of something different for their lives.
“I have been where you are sitting right now and I have cried those same tears. I have felt inadequate. I have doubted my work. I have worried and struggled and fought with every ounce of my being to keep this business alive. There have been days where I wanted to quit, roll my hands into fists and pound away at the brand that Iâ€™ve built until itâ€™s nothing but rubble. Iâ€™ve seen doors slammed in my face and in those early years, I wondered if new ones would ever open. Itâ€™s hard to see it now because Iâ€™ve come such a long way over the years, but I have been where you areâ€¦ and believe me when I say that you donâ€™t have to do this alone.
You see, weâ€™re all in this together. Hundreds of thousands of big dreamers, risk takers, and ground shakers. Leadership doesnâ€™t have to be lonely. It doesnâ€™t have to mean going at it alone. We dare to believe that with our hands and in our minds, we can carve out a better future for ourselves and our clients. We have the audacity to take big risks and seek a life that revolves around our passion rather than a time-clock.” (The Loneliness of Entrepreneurship)
This movement dares to say – Enough is enough. It’s time to band together: photographers, wedding professionals, artists, and creative entrepreneurs. It’s time to share our knowledge, collaborate on projects, lift one another up and grow together as a community. Everyone deserves the opportunity to chase their dream.
As Creatives, we must actively guard our hearts and always remember: “Her prosperity does not make me inferior. And I choose to cheer her on because community rises above competition.
Compassion sets us free, perseverance pushes us forward, and comparison cannot hold us down when our words are wings of gratitude and our heart is guarded from the negativity of this dark and broken world. If no one has told you lately, then please let me be the firstâ€¦
You are braver than you believe and more daring than you know. Every scar that you carry and every worry in your past, has shaped you into a truly remarkable human being.
And such a brave and unrelenting person is deserving of something greater. You are worthy of something greater. A love that fills your heart and brings joy like a spark to your soul. You were made to endure. You were created to seek out your own characterization of success and chart a course for your life unlike any other.” (Overcoming Comparison)
The Rising Tide Society launches June 1st.
Tuesdays Together Meet-ups kick off next week on May 5th in twelve cities nationwide.
Attend an organized Tuesdays Together meet-up or create your own privately by signing up on the website + downloading the kit! On the first Tuesday of every month, we’ll be gathering together across the country to get out from behind our computer screens and build genuine relationships. We’re also looking to expand our organized gatherings in June and we’re seeking creative leaders to help bring this movement all the way to the Pacific! We have crazy big dreams and we’re going to need your help to make it happen!
© 2023 Natalie Franke