Building a Supportive Community

Who’s Cheering for You showed you the types of Cheerleaders you need to help you get to the next level in your business. Now learn the 6 principles of creating a supportive community of Cheerleaders who believe in your Pattern Design Business and root for your success.

What’s a Supportive Community?

A supportive community is a group of people who will help you through the difficult times of building your business and celebrate even your smallest achievements. It’s a group of people who are committed to your success and are there when you need them.

The word ‘community’ comes from the Latin words cum munere, which mean to ‘give among each other’.

Communities are fluid and can be created in any way that helps you achieve your goals. Your responsibility is to find cheerleaders who not only support you now, but who will encourage and support the successful designer you’re becoming. 

Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Below you’ll find 6 principles to finding Cheerleaders who will support and encourage your entrepreneurial journey.

Remember, the four types of cheerleaders you need are:

  • True Believers who tell you to 'Go for it!'
  • Confidantes who say: 'I understand'
  • Way Showers who say: 'You can do it too! Let me show you how'
  • Messengers say: 'I can help'

You can find more information on the different types by reading Who’s Cheering for You

Principle 1: Do the work

To create an awesome group of cheerleaders, you have to start with the right mindset. This means that even though your cheerleaders are there to support and encourage you, it’s not their job to build your business for you.  

We all need sounding boards, proof that success is possible and the information to get us to the next level and Cheerleaders can help with that but, the actual work has to be done by you. 

Don't worry, no one expects you to be the Lone Ranger. You don’t have to build your business in a solitary vacuum. Success happens to be a very social activity where delegating, networking or asking for help are important not only to your business, but to your well-being. 

Yeah, there's a lot of stuff you have to do on your own, but there are things that you can farm out. Tech editing, proof-reading, batch scheduling social media posting, batch writing and website maintenance are all tasks that can be done all at once or farmed out. I’m sure you can think of plenty more depending on what your needs are. 

Delegating or batching tasks leaves you with time to do the work of creating patterns, services and products that will increase your income and promoting those products will increase your exposure in the marketplace.  

Principle 2: Ask for help

The information, people and knowledge you need to build a successful business are all available. You just have to go out and find it.

I know it’s easy to just go about your work in silence, but that won’t get the results you need to build a sustainable business. There are people who have done what you’re trying to do and may have a different, more productive way of going about it.

Asking for help can be scary but being willing to talk to other people can give you better results than doing it alone. Here are ways to reach out:

  • Join Organizations, Masterminds or Groups
  • Attend Webinars or Seminars
  • Read the Autobiography of someone you admire
  • Read books that can Inspire you like Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny
  • Regularly meet with like-minded friends and colleagues 
  • Actually reach out to someone and invite them for coffee or a margarita
  • Hire a Creative Business Coach

Principle 3: Hang out with Awesome People

Creating a community of Cheerleaders doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate the people you care about from your life. But, it does mean that you don't have to sacrifice what you need to make everyone else happy. 

When I did the exercise in the Find Your Cheerleader Workbook’, I discovered that my parents were on my naysayers list. I love my parents, but seeing how their doubt about my career choice was affecting me, helped me interact with them in a different way. I just stopped telling them about L Knits and stopped listening to their opinions about it. 

The people who are my True Believers and Confidantes are the relationships I choose  to nurture and spend more time with. 

Hang out with people who believe in you, your talent and your business.

Principle 4: Doubters are important

Speaking of naysayers; pessimists and doubters actually do have a purpose when it comes to your success. 

Have you noticed that every time you decide to try something new in your business, someone tries to question your decision? (I'm hoping that voice of doubt isn't in your own head. If it is, just tell it to sit down and shut up.) 

Naysayers test your resolve. No matter how determined and passionate you might be, if a naysayer can talk you out of doing what truly matters to you and your business, you may have to question your conviction in the first place. 

If you’re still determined, then doubters and pessimists will only make you more determined. And, they may have brought up some points you hadn’t considered and given you some food for thought.

Understand that no matter how determined, passionate and driven you may be, it’s easy to be caught off guard by a naysayer at a weak moment when you’re doubting yourself.

Principle 5: Watch your Words

Language is powerful. Your words can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

The key to attracting a supportive community of cheerleaders who believe in you is to watch what you say and what you think about yourself, your business and your talent.

Talk about what inspires you, not what worries you. Tell people what you want to create and have them hold you accountable.

This isn’t about positive thinking or manifesting. It’s about the power that words have over your attitude and behavior.

What you share, you strengthen.
What you focus on expands.
It’s never the other way around. 

Start paying attention to what you say, including the conversations you have with yourself. Notice what you talk about and how you’re feeling. Start to consciously talk about possibilities, not problems; what you’re trying to achieve and not what’s going wrong. 

When you change the tone of your conversation, you’ll start to feel different, act different, attract different. 

Principle 6: Take time for you

When you respect and take care of yourself, you attract people who respect and care for you.

I know this may sound selfish, but you’ve got to make yourself your first priority. I used to tell my husband that my cup was empty, that I had nothing left to give to my family. I was relying on him to fill my cup when it was my responsibility to do the work of taking care of myself. 

Putting myself first was hard. I felt like I was neglecting the people I love. But, when I got over the guilt, I felt so much better. I was able to do better and be better because I made self care a priority. 

When you’re tired, rest. When you’re hungry, eat. Move your body and calm your mind. Listen to what your body is telling you.

Make a list of ways you can take time for you.

Who's cheering for you?

Download the workbook from the Resource Library and complete the workbook and decide which relationships you want to keep and nurture and those you prefer to spend less time with. Ask yourself how does it feel to make those decisions?

Which of these principles hit home with you? Which do you want to incorporate into your life? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

To discover the types of Cheerleaders that'll help you get to the next level in your business read: Who's Cheering for You

This article was inspire by ‘Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny.’ Click the highlighted link to check it out. 

Sticks & String,