stop telling your big dreams to small minded people

You’re a creative entrepreneur and that makes you different. And awesome. And sometimes it can be annoying – cuz other people don’t always “get it’.

HuffPost has an article about things highly creative people do differently. Check out a few things on their list:

  • They observe everything
  • Creatives fail and really good ones fail often
  • They lose track of time
  • They make time for mindfulness
  • They constantly shake things up
  • They surround themselves with beauty
  • They day dream a lot – aka the “imagination brain network” whatever that is

Reading this list makes us sound like a bunch of cuckoos sitting in a beautiful garden, maybe shaking things up by re-designing it, daydreaming about failure, and forgetting to pick up the kids because we lost track of time.


In any case, creative entrepreneurs really ARE different. We do think differently and it helps to surround ourselves with other smart people who “get us”.

There’s a common belief that you’re the “average of the five people you spend the most time with”. You can read more about it here, here, and here. Basically, the idea is…

“When it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced — whether we like it or not — by those closest to us. It affects our way of thinking, our self-esteem, and our decisions. Of course, everyone is their own person, but research has shown that we’re more affected by our environment than we think.” -Business Insider

It make sense, right?

  • If you hang out with people who drink a lot, you’re likely to drink more
  • hang out with people who talk trash, you’re gonna talk more trash
  • hang out with people who have a positive attitude, you’re gonna start feeling more cheery
  • hang out with entrepreneurs who complain about slow sales, you’re gonna get sucked into that mentality too
  • hang out with successful people, you’re gonna be more successful

A client of mine recently told me her motto.

“If you want to get out of prison, don’t hang out with other inmates.”

So here’s the point…

When it some to business and achieving what you want, who are you hanging out with? Is it a bunch a whiners or a group of people DOING IT – making things happen. Even better if your network is more successful than you are.

To start building your industry network, you need to know where the “movers” hang out.

  • What conferences do they go to?
  • What industry groups do they join?
  • Where do they speak?
  • Do they have a blog?
  • Do you have friends in common?
  • Can you find them on Twitter?

I’m not suggesting you start acting like a creepy stalker, I’m saying start getting out of the house and start meeting people.

CHOOSE your business friends with intention instead of wishing you had a better network and doing nothing about it. 

“Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” -Russian Proverb 

What do you think? Does this post resonate with you? Of do you think it’s a load of crap? Let me know in the comments below – I don’t want to be the only one talking, OK?

As always, thanks for reading,








46 Responses

  1. This is so true…I’ve stopped telling certain people my ideas because they were soooo demotivating (if that is a word). I’m excite to actively CHOOSE and increase my network of more creative entrepreneurs!

  2. Your posts are always wonderful and inspiring. I’m positive many people needed to hear this, even myself. It’s something we tell ourselves but it is so wonderful to read from a great mentor as yourself the truth. Thank so much forever!

    1. Hi Sedelia,
      I think I wrote this for you and maybe just a little bit for me too. We can all use reminders.

      1. Hi Jane,

        This was so on point for me tonight. I’m happy I took time to read it…even at this hour when I should be sleeping. The fact is, you don’t always know who to share your dreams with. Sometimes it’ hit or miss. I mean, friends, family, co-workers…the people you spend a lot of time with should be the people you can share your passions with, but it’s just the opposite. They don’t get it! You are expected to work your 9 to 5 and be happy you make money. But for us creative people, entrepreneurs, we aspire to do more than that. Some of want to be authors, designers, beauticians, etc. As far as I’m concern we all should stick together and inspire each other. Screw everybody else.
        That is all. #nextleveljoy #2015 #livingmydreamsnomatterwhat 🙂

  3. Jane;
    Your post absolutely resonates with me! I definitely agree with the ‘HuffPost’ saying that creatives do fail and the good ones fail often. We creatives just keep picking ourselves up and trying again and again. It is those who “don’t get us” that make negative remarks we shall not listen too and better yet as you state, we need to hang around a network other smart creatives who “get us”! You are so true, those who devalue our abilities and minds truly does influence our way of thinking and self esteem and decisions only if we allow it. That being said, your clients motto about if you want to get out of prison, don’t hang out with other inmates is a very valuable statement for creatives to always be ‘mindful’ of.
    Thank you! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comment, Amy. I absolutely LOVE the prison saying. I think my new motto will be — get out of prison so I can fail and fail often! Best advice I can think of…

  4. A great reminder! Always helpful to hear. I always feel much more grounded with friends that get me and my struggle. Fashion is difficult enough, you know?

  5. JANE!! You’re awesome! I’ve always felt like I was different from all my friends. And you don’t realize how negative you are/were until you start being positive! I learned a long time ago to stop telling people my dreams because if they can’t see a better life for themselves they will try and keep you down with them too. I’ve been on the search to get around more positive, creative, business minded people but it’s so hard!! Beside my business partner and following a few people like you I know no one!

  6. Hi Jane,
    Love this post! I’d echo others comments, and add I think it’s good to listen to the nay-sayers, just to suss out those little bits of truth within them, then use that to figure out how to tackle any challenges.
    I like to acknowledge ‘negatives’, but can’t stand to wallow in them. Hanging out with ‘power people’, (as I call them) not only frees you from negativity, it empowers you to think more creatively, which means better problem-solving. And being a whole lot happier.
    Cool you were bold enough to send out the ‘tough love’. Because even if I was ‘guilty as charged’, I’d consider this the kick in the pants I needed to wake up and change. Which makes this a great post all around. Thanks for the Valentine’s Day positivity boost!

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Interesting how you “like to acknowledge ‘negatives’, but can’t stand to wallow in them.” Great advice to suss out the truth. Thanks for posting.

  7. When I was younger I was always “the odd one”. I never fit in and of course you want to. As I have gotten older and hopefully wiser I realize fitting in is not what is important in life. Doing what you love and enjoying the journey is what is important. Sometimes I forget that but your article helped to remind me of the person I most want to be. Thank You.

    1. Hi Joanne,
      I bet a lot of us (creative types) didn’t fit in when we were young. Good thing we have a chance to get older and realize what’s really important. Thanks for your comment!

  8. This is absolutely true. One of the reasons I married my husband is because he is such a hard worker but also deeply cares about people. I thought, “I want to be like THAT.” And now I am. I’ve also become a much more enthusiastic person since I started hanging out with one of my new friends who is so enthusiastic and encouraging.

    Pick your friends and acquaintances based on who you want to be.

  9. Hi Jane,
    Thanks for consistently sending the love our way. I’ve been lucky to have very supportive friends in my personal and business life. However I found that what I was lacking was other creative, positive designer friends.. I’ve been so busy with my business that I failed to find peers that I could play with, never made the time. So I decided to get out there and network (ugh!) and that as they say “made all the difference”. New people brought new unthought of opportunities and working with peers meant we could help each other with designer specific issues. This is one of the reasons I so enjoy your blog and will always recommend it to my friends,

  10. Thank you so much for this post, Jane. It’s inspiring me to continue my big dreams, even when I have self-doubts. Most of those doubts came from people who’ve criticized my dreams. I’m currently going into a different direction with my fashion business and it’s a little scary but I know that means it’s something worth doing. “If it scares you it might be a good thing to try” – Seth Godin

  11. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for commenting. Yep, it’s scary! And self-doubt is normal for everyone. I guess the hope is that it doesn’t cripple our progress. LOVE the Seth Godin quote. And remember, I am rooting for you and your business!

  12. And that, my dear Jane is why I hang out with you! You are nothing short of inspirational and, because we are both creative entrepreneurs, it is both comforting and stimulating to spend time with people who are open to new ideas, challenge the status quo and unafraid to solve problems in non-traditional ways.

  13. When smo asked me to describe my self as a creative I told them that my life is art my passion is fashion my reality is a catwalk of films and as none of the above is same I stand outside so I guess I am outstanding! All my creative friends got the meaning of it the rest just simply think I am crazy borderline to selfish but I admit I fail a lot or even start from the beginning before I even finish smt but that’s the process I get results and good ones over time . I learn to be proud that I design clothes and have the chance to share my passion with fashion world but as well as with the film industry as a costume designer . The more I got involved with other creative people and less with people who consider creative crazy or out of their mind the better I become in my own work so I thank god that I can be around like them ,you and the people of the fashion brain academy as their always encourangement in a creative persons word !call me “crazy but i am still standing outside with other amazing people who are outstanding” thank u again for another fantastic post <3

  14. Very true. Those negatives are just obstacles in your course like stones on a path. With our creative minds we can see ways to run around them into glorious open space, where we help others see new futures. Love your posts x

  15. Hi Jane, Met you at the DJ expo in NY. How true is this “speak” ! Sometimes, I think it’s hard to step out the comfort and leave people behind….it’s a process. That said, I do believe you have to hang with like minded people. This fuels the fire where ideas flow and flourish. It may not always be the case that you can be around the people you need to be around, however, if you work at THAT you will notice a change in the way you think and operate. (Especially if you ARE that creative person) You need that to fuel your own fire. Thanks, Jane. You’re the best !

    1. Hi Ava!
      Nice to hear from you. Interesting how you said, “I think it’s hard to step out the comfort and leave people behind….it’s a process.” That’s one way to look at it and it makes sense – and sometimes very necessary. Also, we can keep these people in our lives and just NOT go to them with the creative stuff. For instance, my other “Mom friends” talk about parenting stuff with me. My “entrepreneur friends” talk about work issues.
      Thanks for your comment!

  16. Love it. This is so true! I also think creative folks like designers, musicians- people like us get more done through passion and action on what we believe and failing is only perspective. We move while other people just talk about it!!! I totally agree that sharing your dream with the right person is SO important. I used to tell certain people my dreams almost expecting their approval… and it left me disappointed. When I stopped needing approval I was able to make big steps in the right direction!! Thanks for your post!!!!

    1. Amma, this is GREAT. You are so right, we all look to others for approval sometimes and it makes me wonder why?? I will keep this in mind as the days go on. So glad you brought this up!

  17. This post really hits home for me! I’m a mid-life career changer — transitioning from a very “regular” career in business and marketing to a more creative path as a design entrepreneur. And I’m realizing that finding a support group of creative people is going to be essential to success. Thanks your great blog!

  18. Wow! This is me! Unbelievable, you exactly write how I feel.
    And I always felt it, but never knew it… I am not surrounded by a single person who thinks similar.
    That would be truly amazing! Sharing my thoughts and ideas and being understood.
    Thanks for your post.

  19. This was a great article. I’m still adjusting to the failing often thing. I tend to be my harshest critic, and my gut reaction to an unfavorable outcome is almost always ‘wow, you kind of suck at this, you should quit’ . I never listen though, usually taking a few days to get out of my own head and look at things objectively. Failing will always suck, but I think the way we handle it determines how far we as entrepreneurs get.

  20. Dear Jane,

    I am following you from quite a long time. You are an amazing person. Every day i am learning something new from you. Just to share my experience i have seen Demotivator i my life on all stages. It’s your own believe that keep you moving forward. I am a jewelry designer & is still struggling to achieve my dream.I really suggest if we can make a group of Motivators 🙂 My Facebook is mahroz gul if someone is interested in get in touch.

  21. Hi Jane,

    We can always expect a wonderful, make you feel good article from you!! Great topic. That is what I love about what you offer – great help for starting your fashion business AND being a coach. I really liked reading the others comments also, it does make one feel better knowing we are not alone!

    Jane, thank you!!

  22. Haha! “Wanna get out of prison?…” Hey you quoted me! That’s cool Jane. And it’s true. If you want to be a visionary, you gotta leave behind a whole lot of mundane or fear-based thinking. We see all this film and media around about ‘shooting for the stars’, ‘follow your dreams’ etc. but the environment needs to be supportive and it is not allows so we must find ways to protect ourselves from narrow mindedness (both ours and others).

    So, I agree with your article Jane, it is sooooo important to be with peers that inspire you to believe in yourself. Business collectives, like you facilitate, give us a place to co-encourage each other and then we don’t bother sharing our excitement and achievement with people in our life who dont ‘get us’, and instead, share with others like us creating…out there… on the leading edge.
    High five co-creators!
    Bel Fin

  23. Hi Jane,

    What a wonderful topic you have selected… It resonates so well with all the creative souls like us. I feel, to understand a creative person’s point of view one needs a little more of Emotional Intelligence (EI) over Business IQ.

    Creative people like us see things differently and interpret it visually through our work.

    I have stopped sharing my ideas and dreams with people who lack the understanding of appreciating things.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your article Jane and have read through all the comments.
    More power to us… Lets stay focused and motivated to chase our dream.

    Fuel4Fashion Design Studio

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