Not because of money. Or liability. Or fear of messing up someones blog or website. Those things could be bad; cataclysmic even to my business or my reputation. Those things worry me, but they aren’t the things that I dwell on. Those things that leave me antsy here and there, but they don’t really bother me.
What I worry about is becoming like so many other big business owners or bloggers.
Losing myself to the business.
Forgetting who I am…what I enjoy…why I enjoy it.
More than anything, sometimes I worry about losing my integrity and willingness to help out someone who is just beginning.
When I first started designing, I had one designer in particular who went out of her way to answer my questions, give me advice, and just offer her moral support when I wasn’t sure I could make it in this business. I had a few friends who knew coding and styling who pointed me in the right direction when I was just staring at stylesheet without a clue as to how to edit it.
I’ve had experienced photographers offer insight on setting up shots and tweaking my technical approach here and there. I’ve had friends tell me when images just flat out weren’t any good; providing honest insight and feedback into what I could do better.
I’ve had bloggers message me when they saw a particular word misspelled or sentence that didn’t make sense. I’ve had them add my sites to meme linkups because we live in Alaska and I’m usually too late getting up in the morning (since we’re four hours behind ET) to really gain any traffic from their linkups.
The way I see it you have dozens upon dozens of people out there who are willing to help you out when you are getting on your feet and starting in a new venture. Most people don’t mind because they’ve been there.
Other photographers? Other designers? Other bloggers?
They can be viscous. They can be catty and competitive. Stealing ideas and running with them; passing them off as their own. Saying things…doing things…sending emails or making comments to diminish everything that you’ve worked for. Putting you and your abilities down, comparing your technique to theirs. Your abilities to their own. Your weaknesses to their strong suits.
And I fear ever becoming that.
I don’t want to be like that.
I want to be a designer who isn’t afraid to share what I’ve learned. To share tidbits of information that might help someone who isn’t as comfortable in their know how, figure out where to begin. I want to share what I’ve learned the hard way through three and a half years of owning an SLR Camera, with those who have never moved their camera off the “auto” mode. I want to give feedback to bloggers who are just starting up and don’t know how to grow their readership.
I hate competition. I hate rivaling with people who feel that they have to one up everyone else; that feel that they are the only ones with ideas and abilities and that no one else can say or do or accomplish anything. Because they have already. I hate arrogance and snobbery.
I don’t want to be like that.
I want to be someone that readers and potential business owners can reach out to when they aren’t sure. Someone that they aren’t intimidated by or scared to ask a question to because they still feel like they can connect with me and identify with where I’ve been. I’ve always wanted to contribute. To share what I know. To give back in whatever way that I can.
I never want to be someone who forgets where she started. Forgets that at one point, no matter how long ago that “point” was, I was a beginner. A newbie. A baby in the business who didn’t know where she was going or how she even got to the point that she was at.
I don’t know it all. I don’t have ideas that are any better than anyone else’s. I don’t pretend to be the expert, because I’m not. In fact, if you google “rules” for photography or proper graphic design techniques, I’ve probably broken them all. And I’m 100% positive that at some point I broke a few of the cardinal rules of blogging (colored text and backgrounds, anyone? Hello 2007 Blogger templates….).
I never want to lose sight of my integrity or my willingness to share what I know.
Because if I do, then what’s the point?
Sharing this post with Shell @ Things I Can’t Say for Pour Your Heart Out…a blogger who without a doubt constantly gives back to her readers and the blogging community.
Courtney Kirkland is a Southeast Alabama Writer & Designer. Since 2008, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, intentional design to small businesses & bloggers and encouraged thousands to walk in a rich faith in any situation.