My Super Power: Creating Communities by Tai Goodwin
Back in 2009 I started Launch While Working, a site for people who were launching a business while working full-time. My main purpose in launching the site and Facebook group of the same name, was because I needed a community to connect to. When I would tell full-time entrepreneurs that I still had a day job, a few of them would turn their nose up at me. According to them I wasn’t a real entrepreneur. Others, a bit wiser, would tell me that launching while working was smart thing to do – something they wished they had done. Regardless of what I was hearing from other people, I knew that there were others like me: they had a family to take care of AND a burning desire to step into their calling as an entrepreneur. The small but powerful community I created allowed them to connect and be understood as employedpreneurs – employed entrepreneurs.
When I finally stepped away from the paycheck in 2012, I found myself in need of another community. I wanted to connect with other women who had similar values when it came to purpose and passion. I wanted a space to help more women step boldly into their purpose while supporting each other. Leveraging what I learned from the Launch While Working group, I created Brilliant Business Girlfriends. At first it was slow getting started, for the first four months there were just under 50 members. Now after 12 months of growing and nurturing that community, there are almost 1600 brilliant women connecting with the purpose of increasing their impact, influence, and income.
Starting a leading both of these groups has helped me see that one of the ways I serve is through building communities. Not everyone has the patience required to organize and run groups – it take a special kind of energy and passion. You also have to have vision and a commitment to lead. Making a commitment to lead was something I had to give a lot of thought to. Stepping out and positioning yourself as a leader puts lots of eyes on you, along with a responsibility to ensure that you are serving the people of your group. I’ve been a part of enough groups with leaders that primarily seek to serve themselves, so I really wanted to create a space that delivered high value to the participants.
One of the things that has helped me stay committed to the Brilliant Business Girlfriends group is the vision I have for the community. It extends beyond just Facebook and into live events and opportunities for women to connect locally. As much as I love Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – there is so much more power in making real live connections. When I think about the energy and strength of relationships that can be forged when we take our connections off-line I truly get excited about the future of Brilliant Business Girlfriends.
If there is one lesson that’s had huge impact on the growth of my career and professional network, it’s this: Never be afraid to create the community you need.