There’s nothing more special than having the support of your friends in life. When it comes to business, creative ones, in particular, the lines of support become blurred. Friends who aren’t in the creative realm often don’t know how to stand with their artistic, sporadic, entrepreneurial pals who seem to always be working on something new. With so many mediums available to promote projects and businesses, it’s understandable that supporting a creative friend might be difficult or even stressful. We get it and we’re here to show you how to support your creative friends through their never ending hustles!
9 Ways to Support Your Creative Friends
Listen to their struggles. Your creative friend loves having the freedom to do their work but that doesn’t mean struggles don’t appear. In fact, they’ve probably doubled. While you might not be able to relate to their problems or even give them advice, offering a listening ear helps more than you know. You’re giving them the opportunity to be heard and reveal that their struggles are valid. That’s huge!
Attend an event when you can. More than likely, your creative buddies regularly host or attend meetups, events, or parties. If there’s one in your area, surprise them with a visit. Putting these kinds of things on are difficult — there’s an excruciating amount of time, energy, and money that goes into them. Anxiety and adrenaline run hand in hand! Seeing your face in the midst of all that would do their heart some good.
Brunch it regularly. There’s something cathartic about just being with your good friends. Doesn’t chillaxing with your tribe after a long week (or two) over grits and mimosas sound amazing? Of course, it does! You both need the break and time to catch up, so put this event in your G-cal now!
Use harmless language. Erykah Badu’s disclaimer still holds true years later: We’re artists and we’re sensitive about our ish! One of the struggles, if you will, with creative entrepreneurship is trying to explain (or live up to) your vision with others. It’s hard to do and when the other party doesn’t understand your daily tasks, struggles or why you can’t “just get a 9 to 5,” harmful language is inadvertently passed around. As unfortunate as this is, it happens and it hurts. If you don’t understand your creative friend’s why in all of this, that’s okay. Instead, mindfully express that and ask for help navigating the waters.
Share your struggles, too. Please don’t treat your buddy different because they’re different! Share your goals and desires with them. Share your struggles at the office or home with them. Share with them the way you would anyone else. Believe it or not, things like this keep up grounded and present in reality. It’s easy to grind and dream for days on end. Knowing that our friends actually need us is helpful. :)
Nail at least one of their titles. We get it. Dope, creative entrepreneurs have one million jobs because #TheGrindDontStop. On the outside, it looks like we’re all over the place. But the truth is, we’re multihyphenates in a 9 to 5 kind of world. You don’t have to understand all we do because again, we get it. However, knowing just one of our many titles is friend care. My friends (and mom) refer to me as ‘writer’ and it works for all of us!
Accept the crazy hours. Balance is something humans are always trying to achieve, no matter their profession. Your creative friends, at least when starting out, might have this especially hard. Accepting that their work hours exist on a sliding scale will help both of you maintain a great friendship. This speaks to the importance of using Gcal to schedule those brunches we mentioned earlier!
Give honest feedback. Sometimes your friend will ask you for feedback on what they’re offering. They’re asking you because they trust and respect your opinion will help them achieve something new. Use your position wisely, dear friend! Be honest and thoughtful. Share what you liked, why you liked it, what elements didn’t appeal to you, what could make them appeal to you if tweaked, and what you didn’t like. These things are helpful and valuable.
Ask how you can help. Whether it’s being a listening ear, product tester, beta reader, sample taster, or providing comic relief, your creative friend needs you in one way or another. See how you can fill in and be ready to receive the same good vibes when you’re in need, too.
Ariel Williams is the digital content manager and part-time social media support at Blogalicious.com. She also runs SlayCulture.com. Send your pitches and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.