Yesterday I wrote a guest post for Handmade Success about how important accountability is for your business. You can read the whole post here.
Today, I want to share my recent noticings about accountability.
The last two months, I've been part of giant experiment in accountability and what it will do for brand-new craft businesses.
Let's face it, it's been over 5 years since I first started my craftybiz.
It's hard to remember all the hard parts of starting up. It's even hard to remember the challenges of the 2-years-into-it (first craft shows, first wholesale orders).
The Starship and all the sweet, vulnerable sharings of the Cadets* there has reminded me.
*Cadets is what we call members, no matter how advanced their business is. Once you complete the Map-Making Guide, you become an Ensign, and after each class you earn another pip + new title. It's really goofy.
There are no red shirts.
Through them, I can see how bewildering creating an online presence can be.
Through them, I can see how easy it is to doubt yourself.
Through them, I'm learning to go deeper, to communicate clearly, to hold back and watch the daring things they'll do for themselves.
But more than anything, I'm learning how important a community of peers, cheerleaders, and clear-headed advisers can be.
Working one-on-one is transformational, but can be short-lived. It relies on you to make the transformation.
Working with a group is a slower transformation, but you're gently held throughout the process.
You're encouraged and reminded and held accountable.
It soaks in deep.
And it's vitally important for the success of your business.
In my Handmade Success post I say:
It's hard to prioritize connecting when (online at least) it looks so much like time-wasting.
Our need for accountability, to stand around the (real or virtual) water cooler and talk about what's going on is deeply human and can't be ignored.
If you have a hard time putting in the time when you think of it as self-care (and I understand that!), then think of it as a business investment.
Study after study shows that the more connected we are, the greater our success will be.
The Cadets who take part in the Communication Station (forums) or the weekly check-ins make far more progress than anyone else in any other form I've worked in (classes, coaching, etc).
It's not just supportive and sweet, it makes real change.
Now, this isn't really about the Starship and its wonderfulness.
It's about community and finding yours.
It's about asking (and allowing) others to hold you accountable.
How can you get started on that today?
PS. You can get that community anywhere online (and there are some good tips here), but if you're looking for something a bit more craftybiz focused, check out the Starship.