Blog Challenge: Finding Your Tribe

Day 6, and the challenges are getting more challenging. This time we’re supposed to think of 1-2 people we would like as mentors, and the 1-2 questions you would ask if you ever got to meet these people in person.

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Well a couple of people sprang to mind immediately, you may remember a post I wrote a while back about some amazing people I met on the Oxford Instameet, real inspiring genuine people with a love for what they do, whether they do it as a proper day job or not. I came away from that feeling fit to burst with ideas. What I hadn’t mentioned was that a few weeks later, i went to one of the networking events that Indie Oxford organises that had some of the same people and some new faces, again a really positive and inspiring experience where I got the opportunity to ask questions and advice from people who’ve been realising their dream for a while now. So I think if I had to choose, it would be Rosie who is not only one half of Indie Oxford but also runs Kinship of Oxford and A Rosie Life pop up store, the second person (it was honestly so hard to choose) would probably be Sarah Wiseman who runs the gallery of the same name in Summertown and who gave me some good advice at the aforementioned networking event. As for the questions, I’m really stuck? I’d love to know when they each felt they’d become successful, and how they would handle  disappointments?

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

Oxford Instameet

A couple of weeks ago I headed out on an Oxford Instameet organised by the wonderful folk at Independent Oxford and Natasha from Candy Pop, billed as the chance to meet with other local creatives, I was curious as to how it may differ from other photo-walk type events I’d been to in the past.

We met in the café of Modern Art Oxford, somewhere I’d been meaning to visit for ages as their twitter and instagram feed is full of delicious looking food – I opted for the coffee cake and was not disappointed! The most obvious difference for me was that the ratio of female to male had swapped considerably as I’m usually one of the few women (if not the only one) on other photography based meet ups. Also most people there (if not all) were in some way, whether full time or along the day job, trying to make a living/business out of their creative endeavours – some rather successfully. The ladies were all brightly dressed and ready to jump, jump, jump for photo ops in front of many of Oxford’s colourful houses and doorways, you know you’re making a splash when the tourist groups stop to photograph you, instead of a historic landmark!

It was also really inspiring talking to everyone and finding out what they were up to, and I guess my biggest take home lesson, was that success doesn’t happen overnight and that’s ok. Now I know that may sound obvious, but in today’s super social-networking universe it seems that people go from bogging zero to dragon’s den hero in a couple of years. It can leave you (ok, me mostly) feeling a bit of a failure when a business doesn’t go anywhere for the first few years. I was quite happy to throw in the towel a few months before moving to Oxford and give it a rest for while….

But after speaking to one of the ladies who’d spent 8 years building up her online business to the point of taking it on full time, living the dream, quitting the day job, I’ve felt a renewed energy.  So almost two years after moving here I’ve started working on my website properly, and looking to get back in the print studio (something I was going to do over a year ago!), basically sorting my sh*t out.

Overall it was a really fun day, with fab people and I can’t wait for the next one – if you fancy coming on the next Oxford Instameet check out the Facebook event page