True Story: I Can’t Do It Alone

Tribe_Campfire_Chic

The following is a guest post from the incredible Kam of Campfire Chic. She is wise & true.

True Story: I Can’t Do it Alone

Tribe_Campfire_Chic

My name is Kam and I can’t do it alone.

I had to get that off my chest before going into today’s post. I’ve been blogging regularly for the past 5 years, with 3 of those years dedicated to Campfire Chic. Over the past three years, I’ve done some pretty cool things: launched two ebooks, started 30 Days of Lists, met new people, traveled with other bloggers, and got to know myself a lot better.

In addition to working full time in a desk-jockey position, I blog 5 days a week, co-run a semi-annual month-long challenge, and…you know…have a life? So things get a little hairy on my side of the screen. It took me about 8 months into blogging on Campfire Chic to realize: I can’t do it alone.

How a fortune cookie helped me

I was working part time when I got the idea to start 30 Days of Lists. I had the whole thing worked out: it would be the answer to “I don’t feel like I fit into these creative challenges,” it would be free, I would get sponsors to help me create content and bring people in, and I even had the lists planned out. And then a fortune cookie told me to bring others in to make some magic happen. “Okay, cookie!”

Bringing in others was the best decision I ever made – I needed help without realizing it. I’m not that great at writing my own copy and I was still learning about how to modify Blogger’s templates to get a more personalized design. While I only intended to pull in people to fill in the gaps in my skill-set at first, I got so much more out of the experience.

Find Your Tribe

It’s time for you to find your tribe. Because you can’t do this alone. You may already have a tribe of supportive individuals, but maybe it is time to add a few people to that group who will challenge you and email you wanting updates on your latest project.

    • The Accountability Person – Having the “accountability” people in your tribe is important because we can be nice and encouraging until the cows come home, but that doesn’t get work done. She’s the one reminding you that, “smiles don’t get work done” but from a place of love, of course.

 

    • The Cheerleader – Sometimes you just need somebody on your side. That person who sends you a million emojii in every message and if there aren’t a thousand exclamation points scattered throughout, you know something must be wrong. She’s the one sending you little notes with reminders of how awesome you are and asking things like, “how can I help make this happen?!”

 

    • The Challenger – This is the person who challenges your thoughts and ideas and pushes you to find better answers. This may not be your favorite person so trust me when I say you need somebody who isn’t the Cheerleader and who will ask you the hard questions like, “do you think you’re charging enough money?” “Are you charging too much?” “Will people without iPhones be able to participate?” “Are people actually going to care about this?”

 

    • The Promoter – You know the person…she’s on all sorts of message boards, fan pages, IG, Twitter, ALL OF THEM and she somehow promotes her favorite things without being obnoxious. It’s a superpower! You need somebody who is not only willing to have a quick post from you promoting your new product/blog series/whatever she’s practically demanding a post from you as soon as you announce your intentions, “Just got your email about your blog party, I’ll move around my blog calendar if you want to submit a quick post with the announcement! Is there a link you want me to start tweeting? Let me know!” She’s eager to help and does an awesome job of it. 

 

    • The Gaps – What aren’t you able to do as well as somebody else you know? Maybe it’s copywriting? Find somebody who is excellent at copywriting for your next project and hire or collaborate with that person. See if she has tips for copywriting or can suggest some books or blogs that will help you with the gaps in your skills. Find your designer. Find your product photographer. Find your influencer. Find your muse. Find the people who are going to fill in the gaps in your skill-set and get to work.  

I can’t be each of those people for myself…I can’t do this alone.

Can you?

Do you want to continue on your own? I didn’t think so.

I’d like to invite you to the BUILD tribe – Kristin and I are both there, so you know it must be freaking fantastic. We are a mighty group looking to do awesome things and we’re movers and shakers…we’re not interested in ideas, we’re interested in action. If that sounds like you, or something you need in your life, sign up here.

Kam is the blogger behind Campfire Chic where she shares her story as a cubicle-dweller looking for adventure and the perfect breakfast burrito. She focuses on documenting everyday life, trying new things, and being brave. Get your hands on her new ebook, About You: a simple guide to writing about yourself with confidence and take your about page to the next level…by using your own voice.

Written By

As a woman, telling your story is a powerful and radical act. I tell my story with personal photos, colorful paper, and unique memorabilia. This is my platform for teaching modern-day scrapbooking and helping women document their awesome-lady lives.

  • Amy T Schubert

    I love this post. It’s something I have to remind myself of over and over and over again.
    xo

    • It’s so hard sometimes. Knowing when to ask is the hardest.

  • One of my favorite quotes is “I can do anything, but I cannot do EVERYTHING.” for sure something that I have to constantly remind myself… because I’m no good at remembering the message. Fantastic post, Kam. Love it, love it, love it.

    • Yes. I can do anything. But I can’t do everything. That’s so on the money.

  • Violetta

    OK, here’s a question or two–and they’re not rhetorical, I really want to know.

    What if a person is so used to doing things on their own, and having to, that they haven’t had time to build and maintain a stable of friends to select from when it comes time to include people? It needs to be mentioned that “ask for help” is only a viable solution if you have a bunch of people you already know who are willing to help. Not everyone has that, and it can he an alienating and painful assumption. I think it needs to be addressed that “help” is something people seem to feel wildly divergent levels of entitlement to. The “why” of that bothers me. People who feel entitled to help often suck up resources and attention that the giver might barely be able to spare, or that should actually go to someone more needy–all in the name of “building relationships”. It’s a hard problem to even be aware of, unless you’ve experienced being denied help you really needed, then seeing resources going to someone who just wanted strokes and reassurance that they belonged.

    There’s also a worrying gender facet to this. Why are women more likely to be loved, and receive resources, if they seem needy or lacking, or if they play up what they’re bad at? Why does it always seem that we have to highlight our incompetence and inability to receive connection with other women? Relationship shouldn’t cost one their feelings of self-pride, but so often women and men lay that price on women.

    This isn’t a criticism of you personally. I guess I’m playing a Challenger role. I’d love to hear other’s thoughts!

    • Good questions. Here’s how I feel.

      First — for a REALLY REALLY REALLY long time I did everything by myself (and I think most of the people that I tend to work with were the same way). But it wasn’t enough. I can’t get the things that I want without help from others. I used to HATE working with other people — and I certainly didn’t have a group of friends to turn to to ask for it.

      I SLOWLY built a group of people that I’m comfortable turning to, and I built that group by reaching out and participating in different events, asking people to contribute to projects I was working on, or just reading people’s work and telling them they’re awesome.

      A support system is just like any other relationship — it can only be healthy if there is give and take on both sides. There are a LOT of bullshitters out there — but that’s how it is, there are bullshitters everywhere and you need to wade through them to get to the people who are going to HELP you.

      I want to help the people who help me — because when they get better and do better, then they can help me to do better and to be better. Also, I like them and I want them to succeed — it makes me truly happy to help people that I care about.

      As for the gendered aspect to is — I think we’ve been socialized to believe that asking for help is weakness — and that’s bullshit. I think it’s seen as a weakness, and then when women ask for help, it just underscores their weakness. The only way to combat that is to call it what it is — bullshit.

      If I want help — I’m going to ask for it — and it doesn’t matter that I’m a woman. I know who I am and I know what I want, and this is what it takes for me to get it.

      Everyone is needy. Everyone who wants more than they have right now will have an easier time getting what they want if they can get the right help, and that is absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of.

      I don’t think we have to highlight our ‘incompetence’ — nor do I think we are. I think we are highlighting the areas in which other people are more competent — or at the very least have the time and requisite skills to complete the task in a better/easier/more efficient way than you can.

      We can’t ever break the bonds of the system if we continue to play by the rules of the system.

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