Have you ever caught your parent in one of those,
“Do as I say, not as I do” moments?”
Like, Mum, why are you allowed to devour a Kit Kat 20 minutes before dinner,
but *I* have to die of starvation so I don’t “ruin my appetite”?!
Well, the irony recently caught up with me.
Over the years, I’ve had designers run to me, hearts on their sleeves, devastated by
something their clients had said or done. And each and every time I would reassure
them, “This is business; it’s not personal.” Be like Teflon, baby. Let that shit just slide riiiiight off.
But, uh, it turns out that’s a lot easier said than done. And since starting my own
paid membership community a year ago, I’ve become President of the Sobbing,
Emotional Mess Committee – feeling every cancellation like a brutal bitchslap.
So, what did I do?
Easy: I gave myself my patented Anna, “Harden up” talk that I would give anyone else.
“This is business, baby.” I told myself. “It isn’t personal.”
But something I’ve learned is that it still hurts. Why? ‘Cause my community is 100% me;
everything I stand for, believe in and practice. And once you invest in me, I invest in
I’m always reminding my boss ladies that I really, really want them to succeed.
Like, whatever you need, I’ll make it happen.
Struggling with offering day rates in your business? Gimme a min, I’ll create a
masterclass for you. Want help licensing illustrations? Hold my coffee, I’m going to
find you an expert, ask them for advice, and bring it to you. And if you’re feeling like
life is too hard, keep an eye on the mailbox ‘cause I’ve sent you a card with love
notes from your fellow designers.
Sure, it’s business. But there’s no fricken way it ain’t personal too.
Especially when I get messages like these from women who have connected and been supported by me:
So, the way I figure it….
I was wrong.
I shouldn’t have told my fellow designer boss ladies to harden up or
pretend nothing is wrong.
When you’re working towards what you’re passionate about, you’re vulnerable.
And when you’re vulnerable, you may get hurt.
I used to question a how Brene Brown was able tomake a whole career about
encouraging people to be vulnerable. But I GET it now.
(Omg, I’m 42 and still learninggggg. Yaaas.)
So yeah, business is gonna hurt sometimes. If you’re doing it with your whole heart,
it’s probably even gonna sting like a real mother fucker.
But that’s the minority of the time. The majority of the time, you’ll know you’re living
in your light and making a real difference in the world.
And now I know the real solution for those cancellations:
Keep caring. Don’t switch off. Soften up. Be vulnerable. And be true to who you are.
I can’t promise you’ll never get a cancellation or an angry client. But what I can
promise is that the people that love you will love you hard. And the ones that cancel
didn’t need you. It might hurt. And that’s okay.
Deep breaths. You’ll get through this. And when all else fails, remind yourself of all
the people you’ve helped.
You’re doing great.
All the love,
PS. Need more pep talks (and real talk)? Make sure you listen to my podcasts!
The uncool designer & Designer Boss with Emma Kate