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  • Writer's pictureEmma

Building a supportive network: Surround yourself with good vibes

Updated: Feb 1

It’s a big step, starting a new business! There is so much going on behind the scenes before you even build up the courage to finally say out loud ‘I’m going to start my own business!’. This is a critical step, pushing past those intrusive thoughts of ‘can I even do this’ to wanting to finally say it out loud, to finally lay it all out the real world and start making steps towards your goal of owning your own business, is a big deal!

I remember when I first said out-loud to another person that I was thinking of starting a graphic design business. My friend Steph and I, had headed to the beach one Saturday afternoon. We’d found a sand bank we could relax on, talking as we soaked in the sun. ‘I want to start a design business’ I announced, and call it ‘Daisy Designs’ (after my beautiful golden Labrador of course).

At that time, it's important to note that I had no prior design experience or formal education in the field. My only exposure to design was playing around with a program called Canva. Now, if there are any designers reading this, I know that Canva is not graphic design, not really. You are manipulating pre-made graphics into what you need. But playing around on this was enough for me to know, I loved design and I wanted more. I was sick of manipulating elements that someone else had created. I wanted to be the one to create! But what it did for me, was ignite a passion I didn’t know I had. It made me realise, this is something I could be doing, every damn day!

Despite my lack of knowledge and experience, Steph backed me 100%. She thought it was a great idea and asked me questions allowing me for the first time, to voice outside of my own head all the thoughts and ideas I’d been having. Shortly after, I enrolled in a Graphic Design school, immersing myself in the industry through podcasts, further studies on platforms like SkillShare, and following design accounts.

During my journey, I discovered the various paths that graphic design could lead to, and I decided to focus on brand design. Steph was the first person to hear my dream aloud, and from that moment, she has been nothing but supportive. In fact, I even designed the invitations, menu, and signs for her wedding. I am fortunate to have great friends, like Steph, who trust my creative process and allow me to grow.

One such friend, Beth, loved the engagement photos I took for her so much that she practically begged me to create her wedding video. Since then, I have produced two more wedding videos, and I absolutely love the experience. Beth had more confidence in me than I did for which I am ever grateful! Additionally, Nic from NicFit entrusted me with bringing her business website to life, and I worked with Kate & Fiona from 54 31 Collective on their entire branding process, including logo design, stationery, social media support, web design, and even their original branding photography.

Building a business is undoubtedly challenging. There is so much more to consider beyond the initial thought of turning your passion into a daily profession. Along the way, you will face obstacles, experience moments of progress, and encounter setbacks. Having a supportive community to bounce ideas off of or simply lend an ear during tough times is crucial.

I am incredibly grateful to have a community of friends and fellow small business owners who have been there for me throughout this journey. I hope you also have a community of your own, whether it be friends, colleagues, or like-minded individuals working towards similar goals. Whoever they may be, having a support system is essential for navigating the rollercoaster ride of being a business owner.

Don't forget the people who were there to help you in the beginning, the ones who gave you a chance, the one's who believed in you and the ones who were simply there to listen.

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