I Get By With a Little Help From my Friends

As you may know, Fleurieu Gifts is my first venture going it alone. So, so alone…
Up until recently I had worked at executive level in education and marketing. Both professions that depend on great communication, with a wide variety of people. If I got tired of being at a computer or frustrated with the project I was working on I’d grab my coffee cup, leave my office and pester one of my work-mates with meaningless chitchat for five minutes, then return to my desk refreshed, my need for stimulation and company filled.
All this is but a distant memory as I potter in the shed at Fleurieu Gifts, tweak the website, do the finances, create botanic master-pieces, work on marketing… all. by. myself. There are some days where I go a full six hours without speaking a word to a human. Plants don’t count.
An old work colleague called recently to touch base. I felt like a giddy school girl as I asked and answered questions, caught up on gossip and enthusiastically invited him for coffee any time, no really, any time…really.
I realised I had fallen into the trap that one of my business friends had warned me about. I was so engrossed in the business that I had stopped networking. Something I did on a daily basis in my office jobs. Why? Because it was good for business and it is good to talk to people in similar positions. They have ideas; you learn about new opportunities… (mentally slaps hand on forehead). Determined to right the balance, and wanting to meet other business people doing it alone, I joined the Adelaide Etsy team – Etsy is a global marketplace for handmade goods. Fleurieu Gifts’ Etsy shop is where I list Fleurieu Gifts’ more custom-made and unique pieces.
Last Saturday, a group from the Adelaide Etsy Team met up for coffee and to swap stories about what works, what doesn’t and the perils of postage etcetera, etcetera. I got so much more from that meeting than tips and tricks; I got to hear people’s stories, learn about what they do and be inspired by their success. I also realised I need to do this more. So in addition to committing to meet up with the Adelaide Etsy Team every two months, I’ve also joined the Fleurieu Food group to meet other local business owners.
And it’s not just about meeting others in business, but appreciating and being grateful to family and friends for their encouragement and support. Today I was nominated for the AusMumPreneur Award for Emerging Mumpreneur and Eco-Friendly Business. I don’t know who nominated me (I do know it was none of my family members) but knowing that someone loves the concept of Fleurieu Gifts enough to nominate for an award was as humbling as it was awesome.
If you’re thinking of going it alone, be sure to surround yourself with positive, honest and enthusiastic people. They will carry you through when you need it.  If you are already doing it alone, I’d love to hear how you’ve got by with a little help from your friends, too.

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