Tuesdays happen to be my favorite workday of the month. Why? Well, every Tuesday I have a webinar with my business mentor. And the second Tuesday of every month is the meetup for the LaSalle-Peru chapter of the Rising Tide Society!
The Rising Tide Society is a group of small business owners and creative entrepreneurs who believe in community over competition. The main group currently has over 60,000 members worldwide with 300 local chapters that meet up monthly, and continues to grow every month.
The LaSalle-Peru Chapter was formed in July 2016, with our first meetup held in August. We currently have 55 members, and welcome other creatives! We have photographers, dj's\emcees, stationers, crafters, florists, and many others.
We held our March meeting last night. Not only was it our largest meeting to date, but it was also our first welcoming a guest speaker. Steve Goodwin, from www.myfamilyonabudget.com, presented our monthly topic of Budgeting & Financial Freedom. When you're a small business owner, there really isn't much separation between your personal and business money and Steve gave us some fantastic information on how to thrive financially.
I began my business 5 years ago. It started out part time, and built fairly quickly into my full time job. And while I have a great team at my side for sessions, running your own business can be quite lonely on a day to day basis. I miss having coworkers, and feeling like I'm a part of a greater mission. Creating a community with the Rising Tide Society has helped bridge that loneliness and longing for connection with people who get it. They're doing the same thing. We're not alone in this.
At the beginning of this journey, I felt quite sharply the pangs of competition with other photographers. It was a very negative feeling, that wasn't conducive to business or personal growth. Fairly early on, I stumbled upon an online photographers group that felt like home. I met several members in person, although none are very local. I have maintained those friendships, but I still needed something right here in my immediate area. 18 months ago, I was introduced to the Rising Tide Society, and it all fell into place. I began going to the meetings in Chicago (still not local!) and knew right away it was something I wanted to bring to the Illinois Valley area. The group grew so fast that the founders needed time to catch their online system up before accepting chapters in smaller communities. Finally, after what felt like forrrrreeeevvver, I received word that I could begin a group here!
The News Tribune wrote an awesome article before our first meeting. People joined the group, and added other creatives. It's been so awesome watching this little community grow.
I also want to give a shout out to our members that attended last night, and their businesses!
Shannon Lyn - www.shannonlynnphotography.net/
Kristin Shapiro - www.facebook.com/happilyeverafterinvitations/
Steve Goodwin - www.myfamilyonabudget.com
Jenn Barajas - www.facebook.com/jamphoto26/
Belinda Brown - www.bbfitclub.com/
If you're a small business owner or a creative entrepreneur, we'd love to have you join us. You can find our Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1095279870556290/