One of the hardest things about blogging is being in too deep. When your day-to-day tasks include creating content, building your brand on social media, replying to emails, etc., it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees. This is one of my biggest problems. I have a ton of ideas, I’m the little engine that could just chugging along, but often I can’t see the big picture. Add being scatterbrained and you have someone in desperate need of a creative coach. Enter my “Dream Defender” Esther of Uncommon Cartography.
I’d love to say that I was super on top of things and sought Esther out, but it was she who reached out to me on Instagram back in December. We set up a time in January to meet and I had no idea what to expect. I was really nervous (this is a common trend with me), but you know when you meet someone and you just start vibing off each other? Bouncing ideas back and forth, blabbing on and on about this and that and it just flows? It’s magical.
It also helped that she really seemed to get me and was the first person who could articulate what my blog was missing, which is a stronger connection between real life me and Style and Cheek. It was insanely refreshing and enlightening to hear a business-savvy outsider give their honest feedback. I’m down here in the weeds doing the work and having someone show you the holes and suggest tasks to fix things is so helpful. What I got out of that initial meeting was more helpful than probably all feedback I’ve gotten over the years combined. She gave constructive, unbiased feedback. But really made me feel like she believed in me. It was awesome, and I came out of that first meeting with Esther elated. Needless to say I was excited that we would be working together.
Dream defender is the perfect descriptor for Esther. And it starts with her being very selective about who she works with, to ensure that she really believes in them, by assessing both their heart and their drive. She sees the potential in people and holds you accountable, which for people like me is enough. Just having a cheerleader who really knows her shit has made a huge impact on my career. But she’s also helped me as a person, by being real.
During one meeting with Esther I had been going through some stuff that I couldn’t really contain and just started crying. I’d tried so hard to keep it together but Esther has that nice empathetic quality and I kinda just broke down and opened up to her. She listened. She understood. She told me what she’d been going through lately that was getting her down. At that meeting she told me that no one can tell you who you are and in that moment she became somewhat of a fairy godmother, sister, mentor. For unusual jobs like blogging, it’s great knowing someone who is in the creative field who gets what you do but has different talents, but isn’t just a business robot. Esther’s got heart.
She’s also got a mind like a massive library. It’s an endless source of information. Every meeting I came out with a long list of inspirational quotes, books I need to read, movies I need to watch, people I need to follow, events I need to go to. Mind boggling stuff, people. She knows a lot about a lot. How she does it? Every six months she has a new obsession and once she’s locked into something she researches the bejesus out of it (my word, bejesus, not hers). She says that it’s her job to educate herself on everything that comes down the pipe (and then some!), to constantly be reading and watching were the economy is going and what the creatives are doing.
Currently she’s reading about holistic living, start-ups, and the history of jewels. It allows her to easily fit into any position and when you’re working with a bunch of different creatives working on a variety of topics it’s useful to have this big brain book of knowledge. Which brings me to my next point, Esther knows the people! Her network is vast. A mixture of being a serious go-getter and Renaissance woman has made it easy for her to grow her network. Need a photographer? A florist? A venue? A brand to work with? Esther knows people, and that’s a huge asset. She was also the one put together the pizza and wine collaboration I wrote about yesterday. Esther isn’t just a brand-building business coach, she’s working towards building a strong community of fearless creatives who are their best selves.
If you’re interested in meeting Esther (and other creatives) she is hosting Uncommon Salon, a meetup for artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs on Tuesday, June 14th from 5-7pm at Elm Coffee Roasters. Come hang and say hello. I’ll be there too! If you’d like to attend this event RSVP to esther@uncommoncartography.
image credit: 1,2 @candicehackett, 3 @josiahmichael of Josiah Michael Photography