“A flower doesn’t think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.”
Almost a year ago, I stumbled into this incredibly giving, supportive, and motivating community on Instagram. It was made of all different kinds of small business owners – photographers, wedding planners, web designers, basically a whole group of incredibly creative and successful people. It was uplifting and yet so rare to see people (sometimes in the same field!) encouraging and supporting each other’s work and personal lives through posts and comments. And I wondered, why is this friendliness so uncommon?
Throughout our lives, we are taught to compete with others. In sports, for scholarships, promotions, awards, etc. In those competitions there are clear winners and losers. But in life, there aren’t! But the mentality is still there – the mentality that if someone succeeds, it means someone else’s success is no longer possible. That’s the furthest thing from the truth. Each person defines their own meaning of success and can succeed at their goals alongside everyone else!
There are over 6000 weddings a year in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. There are plenty of weddings for photographers, caterers, planners, stationers, videographers (etc) in the wedding industry! SO many weddings! 😀 For us, we would love to have 20-30 weddings a year or less. We are a small business and want it to stay that way! Looking at numbers alone, you can see that our existence is hardly “a threat” in the local wedding scene! We would get to be a part of only .5% of all Omaha/Council Bluffs weddings a year! That’s nothing! And many other wedding businesses are small, just like us!
Meeting with and helping other wedding vendors in the industry is so important to us for many reasons! Everyone needs encouragement, inspiration, advice, and friendship. The people that can relate the most are often our “competition”. But if we can’t talk to them, small business ownership can be a lonely journey because we have maybe 3 coworkers. Some of whom are pets.
At one time or another, someone else had to help every single business grow. Whether it was through paid education via school, workshops, conferences, one-on-one training, internships, job, someone else was there to show you the way and you went and ran with it! Do teachers feel threatened by teaching students that are smarter than them? #thesearethequestions #imthinkingno
Don’t forget that you are unique! You can teach someone else your knowledge and your craft but they are not you. Even if they used your advice and knowledge, they still have to put in the work, effort, and time into their own business. There are so many ways in which you and another person differ – style, aesthetic, perspective, ideas, personality and more! Your knowledge can be learned but your skill cannot 🙂
At the end of the day, we all want to take part in beautiful weddings!