I’ve been thinking so much lately about what it looks like to grow a team. For years and years I went about growing my creative business alone. And while that was good and economic and helped me stay true to my vision for awhile (ahem, years!), I kept arriving at a place of burn-out. Even worse, I began to feel a bit isolated. Repeated burn-out + isolation = disillusionment.
About two years ago, I was deep in that space of disillusionment. I had a successful creative biz, yet I began to get restless, losing my spark and drive. I was also stuck in harmful work patterns that were certainly maintaining my biz, but left little to no room for growing my biz with new ideas, inspiration, JOY. Although I had some help in the way of freelancers, I didn’t have the feeling of being a part of a team of people who were all aligned, working toward a greater mission and purpose.
Around this time, a fellow artist (Katie Daisy) mentioned her “business manager” – someone who helped shape and hold the bigger picture and vision of what she wanted to do. Intrigued, I signed up for a consultation with her biz manager, Betsy Cordes.
It was love at first phone call, and I went on to hire Betsy as my brand manager – a HUGE, sometimes scary investment in myself and in my biz. It’s been about a year and half since making this specific leap and with Betsy’s help, I’ve gained enormous amounts of clarity, inspiration, and time. I’ve also gone on to grow my team in other ways, including a full time Community Manager and other part time consultants and freelancers. It’s a far cry from where I was two years ago. I’ve never felt more supported by a team of folks who work well together, and who genuinely support not just my work, but who I am as an artist and where I’m heading with my business. Here’s the most important thing I’ve learned these last couple of years about growing not just a team, but growing a business:
It deeply matters that the people you choose to be on your team have values and beliefs and work ethics that are aligned with yours.
An essential part of creating a profitable, sustainable, fulfilling business is choosing team members not just based on their experience and capabilities, but on whether or not you actually connect with them as people. Are their values aligned with yours? Do they ‘get’ what you are trying to do in the world? If the answer is “yes”, then you end up with more joy, less stress, more sales, fewer complaints, and a business environment you want to be in, with people you want to be around, who want to be there.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have landed here. I genuinely love my life and my work life more than I ever have before. I can honestly say that every single person I work with (developers, audio/video engineers, designers, accountants, bookkeeper, copywriter, etc) are people I adore, respect, and count my lucky stars for. I feel a part of something bigger, something collaborative, something that is growing with the effort and love of many folks. Hello, joy, hello TEAM!
We talk trust, heart + soul investments, why letting go is both hard and amazing, and how to find your team soulmates. Did we mention there is super silly faking of British accents? Yes, there’s that, too. Listen to the podcast over here!