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In Pursuit of a Community | Part I

3 years ago - LEAVE A COMMENT

Imagine this scenario with me. It obviously wouldn’t go exactly like this, but you’ll get my point:

“Hi! I’m Mandi. I’m a wedding photographer.”
“Me too! I’m in North Atlanta.”
“I am too. My price point is xxxx. What about you?”
“Mine is right there as well. I’ve actually seen your work before and we have very similar styles. I think we have a similar bride we market towards.”
“That’s awesome!”

Then we hug and talk more about ourselves and our businesses, how we got started, how we’re doing this year, how we hope to be doing next year. But in all of that, we encourage and celebrate each other’s successes. We smile when we talk about how many successful weddings we’ve done, that awesome bride that we each had this year, how the Lord has blessed our businesses.

How does this happen in an industry that really could (and kind of should) be all about competition, especially when you find someone else with a similar style and price point as you? How come this person doesn’t automatically become competition, but instead becomes and friend and one that you would love to continue hanging out with? How do you keep yourself from comparing and secretly hoping that her brides would come and book you instead? How do you see this woman as a sister in the business and not someone to become jealous over?

It’s simple, because before she’s a sister in the business, she’s a sister in Christ. She is in the same community of Christian creatives that share the same love of not only photography and other creative industry jobs, but more importantly Jesus. She is community, not competition. And because of that one connection, everything else falls into place.

pursuit

I found Pursuit Community (formerly known as Pursuit 31) three years ago online. I honestly don’t remember how I stumbled across it, but I am so glad that I did! It’s amazing, because the group I found had been on my heart for a while. I had wanted to start a conference and/or community of Christian women photographers to help and support each other; but I worked full time as a school teacher at the time, and knew it wasn’t possible at that time of my life. Karen Stott, the creator of Pursuit, apparently had that same calling around the same time, and the Lord opened the door for her to start Pursuit. I’m soooo glad she followed that calling and created this community!

The community is an online Facebook group of over 6,000 women who ask questions about their business, but also about the Lord in their business, personal and business struggles. Oh I just LOVE it! There are a number of sub-groups, like Pursuit Mommy’s, Pursuit Wives, Pursuit Infertility, and so many more.

I have needed this group. I have loved everything about this group of Christian women. I have shared my struggles. I have asked for advice on how to run my business. I have asked for prayer requests when things in my life have been hard. I have loved on and prayed for women asking for the same things. I have made friends.

While some of these women I have had the chance to meet in person, most of the amazing women in this online community, I will never meet due to where we live around the United States and the world; but I cannot tell you how many of these amazing women I have friended and talk to on a regular basis. Friends I’ll never meet, but have kids my age; a friend going through a miscarriage and sharing her story; a friend asking for prayer because her oldest son is in state custody; a friend asking for advice on natural birth because they have seen my blog posts, and so many more!

Am I saying that I don’t ever struggle with jealousy or comparison? Of course not! I’m human! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes struggle with this, but ever since finding Pursuit Community and really getting involved, I have found more joy in celebrating each other’s victories and being a part of a community of women who love Jesus. I just love it!

Be on the lookout for Part II of this Pursuit of a Community when I explain all of Pursuit’s different opportunities to get involved beyond just being online. I recently took a BIG jump into participating in Pursuit and I’m so excited. I cannot wait to share it with you!

But before I go, if you’re a Christian woman in the creatives community, and haven’t found Pursuit Community yet, you need to check it out! It’s a closed group, so you have to request to join; but here’s the link for the Facebook Pursuit Community. Go check it out! Next week I’ll talk about the city groups and how you can become involved in those!

3 years ago -

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