I’m in an industry that everyone talks about as competitive. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely is but does that mean we can’t still be friends and support each other?
I don’t know about you but starting my business was extremely hard, it still is. When I came back from uni I didn’t know what I wanted to do. All my friends had either got jobs in the tv or fashion industry, which at the time I was extremely jealous about, I mean who wouldn’t be. After a year I decided the wedding industry was for me but I had no idea where to start. Most of my friends were makeup artists, so you’d think I’d be able to get advice left, right and centre. Wrong. They were in completely different areas of makeup than me, so they didn’t really know any more than I did.
When an industry is known as competitive the last thing you want to do it make friends with everyone. We dismiss each other because we might feel threatened. It made me feel uncomfortable to follow other makeup artists on Instagram, so making friends with them just seemed like the worst idea ever. I used to find myself comparing my work to other artist or wondering why they were booking so much work and I wasn’t. There were so many times where I wanted to just give up and wondered whether it was the right job for me.
Looking back I would have loved to have had a friend in the wedding industry. Whether it was makeup, hair or even photography. I think it would have helped me a lot. I always thought the best thing to do was build this imaginary wall and pretend none of them existed. I didn’t want to know what they were up to and how well they were doing. Don’t get me wrong, competition can be healthy, between friends and strangers. It pushes you to do bigger things. But too much can stir up our insecurities and make us doubt ourselves. And sends us slightly crazy of course!
Over the past year I have learnt that kindness encourages kindness and you'd be surprised how many lovely people there are behind those imaginary walls you decided to build.
A few reasons why it’s great to have friends in the same industry
- You have the same job, which means you have something huge in common, chances are you’ll get along great.
- When you need to complain about your job (I love my job so I don’t complain to much aha) they’ll understand what you're going on about and probably have similar complaints.
- If you need advice they are more likely to have the answers.
- If you're booked up you can recommend them, or if you need help on a huge wedding you thought you could manage by yourself you can ask for help.
- Having someone to step in for you if you get ill. Friends do that for each other.
So, is it okay to be friends with your competition? I say yes! Definitely yes! Some of my best friends are in the wedding or makeup industry and I wish I had met them sooner.