I’m surrounded and it’s great!
Yesterday and today has added a few miles onto ROB, my little yellow car, as I’m been up to Exeter today, and yesterday was down near Redruth.
Dream Plan Do Cornwall
At the beginning of the year I started the Dream Plan Do workbook by The Design Trust, which leads you through each month moving you on to really focus on your creative business and centres the mind to set monthly and quarterly goals. One the best things to happen is the formation of Accountability Groups up and down the country, and Cornwall is lucky to have 2 groups, one for North Cornwall/South Devon and the other for West Cornwall. I go down to the one held at Chacewater Village Hall as it’s a doddle jumping onto the A30.
The Accountability Groups meets once a month on a Wednesday morning with the Etsy Captain for Cornwall, Alison Bick leading the group. This week we were looking at ideal clients and attempting to fill in ’50 people who need to know you’….. deep breath!
First we shared our wins and whether we had succeeded in achieving our first quarterly goal… this was a fabulous time as it enabled us to talk not just about the successes but also the struggles. We are all having life butt into our businesses and I know I felt better for hearing that we were all in the same boat…. I think without this group I would have floundered and given up on the workbook. We had laughter, we had tears and homemade cookies.
Then we discussed the months topics but were very much side tracked by another question in the book ‘How can you become more memorable?’ This sparked a full on conversation about how to approach people on our 50 list by standing out. The ideas were flowing! It seemed to open up a whole creative seam of ideas and possibilities that we certainly would have dreamed up on our own!
I am a little sad that I won’t be able to go to any more of the meet ups as I shall be working, however I shall be stalking the group on our Facebook page!
Creative Business Network Coffee and Chat
This morning I drove up Tanhouse Lane past all the fabulous Spring Bluebells in the hedgerow making the edges of the lane glow with a purply blue haze as I drove past. Then past Lanhydrock and onto the A30 travelling east. As soon as I approached Jamaica Inn my low fuel warning beep announcing I had very little petrol…. so what do I do in these circumstances? Drive faster of course …..! I was going to turn off at Launceston but decided that I ‘knew’ there was a petrol station not far ….. Oakhampton was the next one. Whilst I was driving the blinking of the low fuel warning sign seemed to get faster as if it, too, was getting a bit panicked at how low the fuel was getting.
Well I put £20 worth of fuel in the tank and drove on. It wasn’t long before I was about to turn off for Exeter however the slip road was bumper to bumper so I stayed on the A30, then onto the M5 to junction 30. This route was simple, past IKEA and keep going. I parked in Mary Arches just as the rain started.
Today was an intimate group for the Creative Business Network Coffee and Chat but sometimes that is a bonus as we can all chat as a group. I’ve been there when the whole of the 2nd floor of The Glorious Art House Cafe in Exeter is solid with creatives and it can get very noisy 😉
Today was lovely and as usual a lot of useful information was freely given by Helen Botrill but also by the rest of the group… we had quite a bit of deep conversation over work, politics and the environmental crisis too. A lot of laughter was there also – especially with Lauren Aston. Bee was there too and had brought a long some vibrant orange and yellow (yay!) crepe paper so she could carry on cutting out petals for a commission she is working on. It was mesmerising to watch her change flat paper shapes into Peony petals!
We left the meeting at about 1pm and I drove out of Exeter the way I came in then stupidly decided to follow the Oakhampton signs. I did a huge loop all the way round Exeter and ended up on the road I would have taken driving in from the A38 ….. doh!
Anyway the drive home was horrid and full of traffic. At some points coming to a complete standstill for not reason other than volume of vehicles on the road. I was so glad to see the ‘nearly home’ trees and even gladder to see the Bodmin turning. I went to the Post Office in Bodmin and eventually got home gone 3pm!
Cornwall Coffee and Chat
The next thing in the diary for creative meet ups is one I’m organising for Cornish creatives, associated with the Creative Business Network and Cornwall Etsy, but open to all Creative Indie businesses in Cornwall. The first one is in May and due to work it’s going to be in the afternoon and in Lostwithiel. So looking forward to seeing who can make it.
The thing with creative business owners is that there is a lot of time spent on your own in the studio/workroom/dining room/spare bedroom running your business empire. It becomes isolating. So I feel it’s important that there is an opportunity for creative people to meet up, not necessarily to have a purpose but to just sit and chat with like minded people.
I always come away from these meet ups energised and enthusiastic, motivated and happier. It’s the interaction with other people without work being the prime reason for meeting. And boy does it help to hear other people are thinking/feeling/experiencing similar things to you.
If you’ve never been to a networking meet up do give it a go… it’s fun and you might have cake!