I've always been motivated to build relationships and communities. Since childhood I've loved meeting new people and being part of different groups, sports teams & clubs. I even started my career in Human Resources because I was so intrigued by people, teams and communities at work. Furthermore, as an adult I've had the opportunity to move around quite a bit Not to mention I've moved to new cities as an adult and each time I end up in a new city I've made it a point
So if you’re still reading this you probably gathered I like building and being part of a community, and not just for my own experience. I am genuinely fascinated by the power of community to create movements, to shape identity and impact overall experience.
Like many, my idea of connection and community has shifted quite a bit over the last 2.5 years. We've all had to do a lot of adjusting. And for me that was intensified by starting my own business and becoming a 1 woman show.
While I was ecstatic to start my own business, I quickly noticed a gap in my community once I lost my work team that I once spoke to every day. For the first few months I was very heads down powering through things that felt ultra specific to me like my ideal client, my signature offer and my marketing. I missed connecting with a team and collaborating with others, but it also didn't feel like the right time. I was worried about how I would possibly be able to find and hold onto that same sort of community or anything like it.
Luckily, I started to find a new form of community in what felt like just the right time. Over the last few months I've created more connections and contacts both in and out of my focus are than I have in the last 2 years! So what finally changed? Well I did!
I found a new way to look at and define community for myself and that's totally shifted my experience. So today I'm sharing 3 things I've learned about building community over the years and in this new season of life.
Go out and meet people!: Building your community starts with you growing your circle. The role you play in creating and cultivating community is key. That might mean going to virtual or in person events like networking events, book clubs, social sports teams, hiking groups, classes or more. I've done all of these and they've worked for me, but there are lots of options the point is you're not going to build your community by sitting at home and not talking to people! Once I took myself out of my comfort zone and picked my head up from my focused activities I quickly realized how many other amazing business owners & entrepreneurs are out there and their now part of my community. how willing they are to help and provide support.
Be open for connection: Be open to making all kinds of connections wherever you are. This is like the equivalent of wearing an energetic "OPEN" sign. It starts with thinking and believing that you can meet people and create community anywhere. When you adopt this line of thought just watch and see how things unfold in front of you. I've met people who have turned into close friends in virtual programs, as Airbnb hosts at networking events and more!
Trust and allow things to unfold: When you're looking to build or become a part of community a lot of the magic moments actually have to do with your perception around the experience. Rather than coming from a place of need and trying to speed through the process of making connections allow yourself to enjoy it. I know it sounds a little cringe, but just think about how you feel when people come on too strong to you or try to rush getting to know you - it doesn't feel good does it? You can show up with the intention of building community without randomly approaching people and asking if they want to join your cool kids club, you know what I mean? When we let ourselves trust the process and let things unfold, we open up even more possibilities and allow ourselves to be surprised.
Bonus - Show up to serve!: When you meet new people and you start with how they can help you people can feel it. It comes across as graspy and can make others shut down. Rather than asking how can they help you, start with asking how can you help them? Maybe you just listen to them or give them some feedback maybe you form an alliance to solve the existential challenges that plague society. WHO KNOWS!
Reflecting on my experience as I write this I am filled with love and appreciation for the ways that my community has shown up for me. They've taught me new skills, helped me move through my own fears and blocks and gotten excited with me about what's possible in my own life. I can't thank them enough and I'm excited to watch this community grow and flourish.