One small creative business reminds others they can thrive in the Metaverse

Last Thursday, Facebook announced its change of corporate name to “Meta,” a term reflective of its proposed plans to connect users through virtual reality products.

The company has described the metaverse as a 3D virtual space allowing users to create avatars, play video games, gather with friends and more, all while staying within the comfort of their homes.

While Facebook has been a social space for millions of users, it has also helped small businesses grow. This change of landscape can feel daunting for entrepreneurs hoping to conserve their clientele.

Lexi Merritt is the founder of the Pretty Decent Internet Cafe, a small creative business and communal virtual space for small business dreamers and owners to connect and expand their entrepreneurial skill set. She shared an article yesterday with her Instagram followers on how an evolving digital landscape is more familiar than it may seem:

We asked Lexi to share a little bit more about her digital business approaches in a short Q&A.

What is it like navigating a creative business on social media?

Challenging and fulfilling. The hardest part is regulating my relationship with it – it’s hard to differentiate between going on TikTok “for work” and spending 4 hours accidentally scrolling by.

I love how easy it is to make connections with people all over the world and form communities around shared ideas, though.

How do you generally advise your followers and clients in building a healthy, efficient relationship with their media platforms, both for the well-being of themselves as much as their businesses?

Honestly, I haven’t figured this out! I’m mostly learning alongside my clients.

What I’ve noticed people are most receptive to, though, is honesty. I try to show up and tell the truth as often as I can.

One of the biggest creative blocks people deal with in our modern era is around visibility — it’s really hard to let yourself be seen online when you don’t know for sure who’s “in the audience.” Something I do recommend is finding a more private community where you can talk with others who “get it.” That’s why I started the Pretty Decent Internet Café — I just needed people to talk to who wouldn’t think my dreams were weird.

How do you think this evolving digital age is influencing our creativity?

Creativity, to me, is just problem solving within limitations. The social platforms we have now pose interesting limitations — 140 characters, 10 slides, 60 seconds, etc. — and those impact the way we share information.

At the same time, I talk with creative people every day who are having a hard time doing their creative work because they’re trapped in cycles of comparison, self-doubt and lack of focus, all of which I think these platforms have been engineered to exacerbate.

Do you have any other thoughts on running independent creative businesses in this new tech era?

I always say to romanticize the Internet and think of it as another creative tool at your disposal. We don’t have MySpace or Geocities anymore, but it’s still very cool that I can wake up tomorrow and build a website from scratch.

The fact that we can sell things online is incredible to me — the fact that I can say I have an “Internet Café” and people get it and want to be a part of it is very cool. We have the ability to set up shop and connect with other people literally at our fingertips. And, while yes, there are billionaires who are inevitably going to make it weird, that doesn’t mean the average person shouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity.

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