It’s Launch Day!
Today marks the start of a giant dream and an incredible group of people around the world taking strides to change the way entrepreneurs see themselves and their businesses.
It is our hope that we can push the movement forward in the months and years to come through Tuesdays Together meetings around the world, free educational content on the blog, online courses taught by experts in their field, and so much more!
The Rising Tide Society is designed for all creative entrepreneurs, small business CEOs and weekend warriors… for every dreamer who wanted something more for their life and their business. Whether you’ve been following our journey on social media or are discovering us for the first time, welcome! We are so excited to share a little more of our heart with you today and pay tribute to all those visionaries who are helping to pave the way!
The Origins of the Movement
The Rising Tide Society has been inspired in big ways by so many of our colleagues. We are but one wave in an ocean full of leaders, visionaries, and entrepreneurs who all share in the same goal – to improve the quality of life for creatives and small business owners by educating and empowering them to thrive.
The term, “Community over Competition” is first traced back to our friend, Ben Sasso, who rocked the photography world when he published The Photographer’s Manifesto in 2014 that sent shock waves through the industry.
Last week, we talked with Ben about his hopes are for the industry going forward and his response was so eloquent that we knew we needed to share it with all of you:
“I’d love to see an industry where creatives push each other forward instead of trying to push each other out of the way. We should quit worrying, there is plenty of room for all of us and we can all be awesome together. If one us gets better at what we do, the whole industry is pushed forward. As you improve, we all improve.”
As you improve, we all improve.
Ben’s words so beautifully parallel the quote that inspired our name… A rising tide lifts all boats. When creatives share ideas, innovate, collaborate, and support one another – it raises the standards of business, customer service, and creative artistry across the board. It elevates our industry as a whole and sets the stage for advancement.
The creative industry has launched some truly incredible communities that continue to inspire us and our mission! We particularly love Showiteer for liberating artists to build beautiful websites centered around a strong community, Pursuit for encouraging creatives to live to bring glory to God through their work, and Shoot & Share for taking a service based approach to business, thereby inspiring thousands.
Denim & Grace Magazine’s Don’t Hate, Celebrate Campaign encourages artists to celebrate their peers and take a public step against bullying in our industry. The magazine also launched a campaign to bring awareness against bullying, defaming and slander called, Campaign: Celebrate. We have been so inspired by their nomination form where you can highlight a photographer who is doing incredible things in this industry, thereby celebrating the good that is happening all around us!
Leaders of The Blink Conference, Melinda Watts and Latasha Haynes, have launched incredible Instagram Movements including: #shelovesloud #everygirlhasastory and #hersuccessisnotmyfailure taking phrases and invigorating conversation for the empowerment of women and female entrepreneurs alike. We are so excited to highlight the work they are doing and their heartfelt stories in the weeks to come!
Earlier this year, the Creative at Heart Conference led by Kat Schmoyer of Dear Sweetheart Events took the east coast by storm as it united photographers, wedding professionals, graphic designers, calligraphers, and all creatives at a capacity that had never been done before. The Conference Motto has served as an inspiration for all of us in so many ways: “A Creative at Heart believes in always showing compassion over competition. In building purposeful community right where you are. That sweet starts lead to joy filled journeys. In inspiring the hearts of like-minded women. That we are cherished, loved, and worth it.” She is taking this mission all the way to Australia next year – and we’ll be cheering her on the entire way.
Alongside so many others, we’re working to change the old ways of doing business. Credit is due to all those who have come before and paved the way. Together, we’re turning the tide.
Making Waves & Turning Tides
You may be wondering, what is this whole “Community over Competition” concept? Isn’t competition a good thing? And in its purest form… Healthy competition can be an awesome force in the marketplace. It fuels that internal drive to invent, innovate, and progress in the field. It also pushes business owners to offer better products and services, thereby improving the customer experience.
However, there are many instances where competition transitions from being an encourager of ingenuity to an egotistical and destructive force. It is this extreme dog-eat-dog method of entrepreneurship that has left so many business owners disheartened and others frustrated with the state of the industry. Forums are filled with spiteful comments, entrepreneurs ranting about other professionals publicly, and gossip that only perpetuates more negativity. Newcomers, who dare to bring incredible concepts and innovations to the table, are discouraged before they even have the chance to make their mark.
Our goal isn’t to obliterate competition in it’s purest form, but rather to encourage creatives and small business owners alike to recognize that community rises above the cutthroat tactics that extreme competition so frequently produces.
The Rising Tide Society believes that we are stronger together than we could ever be apart. We want to champion camaraderie and reshape the conversation. We want to empower dreamers to become business owners and to help those entrepreneurs overcome the odds that are already stacked against them. And in order to do that, we need to look at things a little differently and adjust our mindset.
We are colleagues not competitors.
The Founder of the International Association of Professional Wedding Officiants and our Columbia Tuesdays Together Leader, Reverend Laura Cannon, discussed what a shift from a competitive to cooperative mindset would look like in her article last week on Wedding Wire’s ProBlog saying, “Adopting this mindset doesn’t mean that you are ignoring your competition; it simply means the focus is on your own natural internal motivations for success, happiness, and peace.” So, what would a shift to a cooperative mindset look like for an entrepreneur? Laura’s comparative chart sums it up perfectly.
|Focuses on beating competitors
and winning customers
|Focuses on self-improvement and delighting customers
|Believes in the scarcity of resources
|Believes in an abundance of resources
|Creates a Fear of losing customers to competition: “I need to close every sale to succeed.”
|Establishes trust in attracting the right kind of customers: “I don’t need every client; I just need my ideal client.”
|Asks: “How can I win?”
|Asks: “How can I help?”
|Tears others down through gossip, discrediting, and trash-talk
|Builds others up through cheerleading, collaboration, and cross-promotion
|Views the success of a competitor as intimidating
|Views the success of a competitor as inspiring
The Harvard Business Review also discussed this concept briefly in a 2009 article: “Individualism is a fine idea. It provides incentive, promotes leadership, and encourages development—but not on its own. We are social animals who cannot function effectively without a social system that is larger than ourselves. This is what is meant by “community”—the social glue that binds us together for the greater good.” (Rebuilding Companies as Communities)
Creatives and small business owners are especially in need of community. In a career field where many of us spend hours working alone in a home office and bearing the burdens of business in solitude, it’s easy to feel lost. Natalie shared this notion a few weeks ago in a post on the Loneliness of Entrepreneurship and it was one of the primary catalysts for our Tuesdays Together meet-ups.
“I have been where you are sitting right now and I have cried those same tears. I have felt inadequate. I have doubted my work. I have worried and struggled and fought with every ounce of my being to keep this business alive. There have been days where I wanted to quit, roll my hands into fists and pound away at the brand that I’ve built until it’s nothing but rubble. I’ve seen doors slammed in my face and in those early years, I wondered if new ones would ever open. It’s hard to see it now because I’ve come such a long way over the years, but I have been where you are… and believe me when I say that you don’t have to do this alone.
You see, we’re all in this together. Hundreds of thousands of big dreamers, risk takers, and ground shakers. Leadership doesn’t have to be lonely. It doesn’t have to mean going at it alone. We dare to believe that with our hands and in our minds, we can carve out a better future for ourselves and our clients. We have the audacity to take big risks and seek a life that revolves around our passion rather than a time-clock.”
Tuesdays Together arose from the conclusion that every single one of us needs a break from the online world and the day to day struggles of entrepreneurship. By kickstarting monthly meetings for local creatives and entrepreneurs, we hope to establish genuine communities that foster meaningful relationships and empower business owners to grow fulfilling careers.
And this is just the beginning!
I hope you’re as excited about this as we are! We are still actively accepting Applications for Tuesdays Together Leaders and are actively seeking out creatives and entrepreneurs who are well connected in their area with a passion for community. We are also on the lookout for writers, experts, and genuine souls to share fresh content on the blog. More details on submitting topics can be found, here.
In closing, we have quite a few people to thank for making this project a reality! First and foremost, thank you to all of our Tuesdays Together leaders, applicants, and attendees for being the heart of this movement! Your sweet messages, lovingly long emails, reposts, and energy keep us going when the caffeine runs low and we need a boost! Thank you Poppy and Scooter for the gorgeous calligraphy quotes that continue to inspire us. Thank you Lauren Swann for taking over the role of Community Manager when the applications started pouring in and we were joyfully overwhelmed. Thank you, thank you, thank you!