The following story is written by Maren Elliot, a member from Edmonton, CA. Maren is a professional musician and singer with a degree in psychology and music. She has over 20 years of performance experience singing in choirs and playing in various classical, roots & jazz ensembles, as well as a background in West African drumming & music.
Starting a business from scratch is hard work. I am still learning, sometimes fumbling, and developing skills as I embark on a journey of self-employment in the arts.
There are a lot of obstacles and barriers to people who create careers in the arts. I have been told by some that it isn’t just worth it- that it would be easier in the long run to pick a path in life that is straight, clean, and clear. Nursing, perhaps? Some other kind of billable vocation wherein I will give up autonomy and find stability? The reasoning is that I can always ‘squeeze my passion in on the side’. I don’t know, perhaps it is just the stage of life I am in but that really doesn’t sit right. To have a calling shoved, between cracks, as an afterthought into the scaffolding of my life.
I am forging a path as an artist and music teacher, and it may be winding and unclear. I am learning more and more. Simbi has been absolutely wonderful way to connect creatively with others in a way that removes barriers to people starting their own business.
I joined Simbi in the spring of 2017 and taught my first Simbi music lesson via Skype to a woman in Quebec (I live in Alberta). It was really fun to connect with someone across the country who was so open and willing to learn, we even talked about brushing up our second languages (her English, my French, since we both speak both). I am looking forward to teaching more like this to students all over.
I have also made some deals with people from various locations all across North America. A graphic designer in Toronto, a writer from L.A., a Chicago-based entrepreneur. Even if members aren’t able to provide exactly what I need, or even if a deal isn’t struck, I have found people are still often willing to share some insights and point me in the right direction if I can. For those who have provided me with services, I feel I have a growing list of people who I can trust and come back to for the future.
I love the friendly atmosphere and the eagerness to be of service to other members that exists within the Simbi community. Everyone is just so nice! It is also really neat to browse services beyond what I know I immediately need. Sometimes I will see one and think ‘hey, that would be really cool!’ As someone who enjoys making connections and experiencing new things, I love being able to build a list of ‘favourites’.
I hope that Simbi continues to exist and grow a network of active members. I have been recommending it to many of my friends who are doing their own thing or starting up a new project.
Simbi helps shift the focus for people like myself- to learn, to connect, to create & to share.
Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.