I’m afraid no one will show up.

What if …

I spend months and months pouring my heart and soul into creating a product, but when it comes time to “Sell! Sell! Sell!” I hear only the chirps of internet crickets (they are slightly smaller than the average cricket but much louder, projecting their sound to every insecure corner of the world). All the energy, time and thought invested in something no one wants or cares about.

What if I build it and they don’t come?

Over the last year, I’ve learned a lot about building a tribe. In the spring of last year, I read Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Nonconformity and The $100 Startup, igniting my desire to create a for-purpose business. In July, a friend and I started meeting on a weekly basis to discuss creativity and entrepreneurship which has grown into a group of almost 30 people. In October, I enrolled in one of Sarah Bray’s fabulous online courses, turning my world upside down by affirming that marketing can be done in a meaningful way. Also in October, I launched GLIMPSE, my first attempt at combining marketing with community building. Then, in February I was elected Vice President on the board of the local coworking space, which just last week announced its closure.

All of these things have taught me this:

  1. Getting people involved and invested requires individual invitation and therefore,
  2. building a tribe / nation / community takes time.
Before starting this venture, the size of my tribe was negligible. I had a teensy email list, a tiny following on Twitter (both comprised of friends and family—my obligatory fans) and was not very active in my local community. Had I attempted to launch a product, my fear would have come true and my efforts would have been in vain.Fear is dichotomous; it is both based in truth and falsely magnified. I am right to be concerned about people not showing up, but I should not let concern manifest into fear. Concern should simply motivate my careful intention. Though my insecurities still exist, I know if I continue to build my foundation and focus on people, I will be successful.Erin Anacker is a recovering web designer and a people enthusiast. pixology, her nimble little business, was created to encourage entrepreneurship, develop community and support women in graphic design. With a passionate voice, Erin seeks to empower others and initiate authentic conversations around design and business. Read the full story on her website and connect with her on the Twitters.

Krystle: Erin, stealer of fears. In my head I’m my 14-year-old self hoping that people show up to my birthday party. But, what’s worse: not planning a party at all or throwing a party and no one comes? I’m learning to say yes to cake, even if it’s all for me.

Fear Confessions is a series of essays by creatives who share personal stories about facing their fears. It’s a celebration of vulnerability.

  1. First: LOVE Glimpse!
    Second: Is this not the fear of EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US? I know all too well those obligatory fans, as they are mine as well. But I think the sentiment of letting concern fuel intention is a good one; one which I will try myself. Because for me, intention feels natural and much less like sales and marketing.

    You are on to big things, Erin. Little people like me are following.

  2. Morgan, thanks so much for your encouraging words—it means the world to me, really! I’m loving our high-five circle. One for you, one for me, one for you…

  3. Your newsletter is on my first Instagram Video Erin. You are building your tribe slowly but surely, that’s for sure.