The importance of community
Updated: Mar 23, 2022
I am a huge believer in having you people around you. It can be really hard to push yourself without a good support network behind you.
Now, I think family, friends and loved ones are great to support you and your dreams. However, what you are doing (or are trying to do something) may be something that they know nothing about. It is important to have other people to talk to about these things too.
How to find your community
I was desperate to find something to guide me when I first started. I looked up accounts on Instagram, searched for events I could go to and found Facebook groups to join.
I found Sapphire, founder of The Coven Girlgang after I followed her floristry business when looking for my wedding flowers. It was the first time I saw someone talking about businesses and being self employed in a way that showed both the ups and the downs. I read #Girlboss and thought it was incredibly empowering at the time. However, the whole "girl boss" culture can be incredibly toxic. You don't want to consume too much content that tells you about "having is all" and being a "boss bitch". It was refreshing to find a community of women that spoke about the good side, the bad side and the boring side of doing your own thing.
I went to a meet up in Shoreditch and it was incredibly daunting walking into a bar to meet a group of women I had never met. After years of experiences where girls can be bitchy and rude, I found myself feeling nervous to be around people I didn't know. It could not have been a different scenario. We were all in the same boat, wanting to connect with people that had similar points of view. It was there that I met people I still speak to now, including Elizabeth Stiles who I recently did a Instagram Live with all about getting out of a sales slump.
I went to so many panel events, networking and social events. I found it hard to initially speak to people but again, everyone is there for the same reason you are - to connect. It is a lot less scary when you think about it in this way.
Sliding into DMs
Now, the phrase "sliding into someone's DMs" makes you think of creepy men sending messages you did not ask for. However, it is time to empower the phrase. I sent messages to people I followed and admired, or someone who seemed like I could be pals with! It meant I spoke to people about what I was trying to achieve with Women Will Create as well as finding people who understood the journey I was on.
The Community I Built
I am incredibly proud of the community I have built. It echoes through every event we do. It is something you will see when looking at our presence online and our events in person. Our markets are full of women who are kind, compassionate and supportive to one another, even if they have only just met!
I believe that community is so important when doing your own thing, whatever the medium is. Friends, family, other people doing the same thing - they are all so important. Bounce ideas off them, ask for advice, show them what you believe in. They will be the ones that can be your cheerleader and give you the confidence you need.