The best insurance policy is your well-loved community + your best-work products.
I've been convinced of this for a long time, but last week I had a chance to help prove it.
You see, Starship Captain Heather had a bad week. A really terrible week where she learned that her son was going to need to have emergency surgery. Far away. And there were about a zillion extra costs that go with traveling unexpectedly…not to mention all the extra stress of, you know, SURGERY for your child!
During our weekly Starship chat, she shared this with us (and I'm only sharing it here wit her permission) and she started talking about getting a day job.
Wait, I interrupted. Don't you need the money right away? Isn't this, like, an emergency? Won't a day job just take way too long to give you any cash even if you could land one this afternoon?
Then let's focus on what you have right now, the resources around you to alleviate some of this stress.
You see, Heather isn't just a mom and a completely hilarious knitter. She's also a podcaster, a book author, a knitwear designer, and, oh, about a zillion other things. She's the patient soul who edited my book. She's created and given away her podcast for free since 2006, and so she's created a community of people who know her, love her and want so much for her to keep making podcasts. (Her podcast is reading classic stories, so you can enjoy them while your hands and eyes are busy with your knitting!)
So there are her resources: A community that she's already generously given to, that she's created with hard work, and zillions of conversations, and squillions of friendly emails. And a host of products that people love and want to buy.
All that's missing was the link, so that's what we talked about in the rest of the chat. How she could link up the community with her products, in a way that felt good to her. She didn't want to ask for handouts. She didn't want to feel gross about it, or turn people off.
And she didn't need to. I knew (even if she felt funny about it) that people love her and want to support her, but she has to give them the chance.
And so she did. Just a simple blog post explaining the situation and then collecting the many ways people could help while also getting something they really do want.
And the response has been breathtaking.
It's not just that people have bought stuff, it's that the whole community has joined in telling other people about it, that they've sent her best wishes, that they've reached out.
Now, instead of feeling alone and at a loss, she knows she's supported. She knows she's cared for.
But this isn't just about Heather. It's about you and your business. It's about the fear about emergencies.
It's knowing that a dayjob is just one check, from one place, but a community is an insurance policy.
You can't do this all the time, of course. Everything isn't an emergency.
But it's nice to know that when you've invested the time, created the work, and built the relationships – they're there when you need them.
Now, go see if you don't want a knitting pattern or two.