Community

After setting up my new email address, several things happened at the same time.  One of those things was deciding to start bonding with other women who had similar interests.  So I got to work on finding a community of women who shared my interests but who would also guide me, give me constructive criticism, and really, just a community of women to talk to sometimes.

I really, really wanted to join some kind of local club, to be physically part of a group because I think face-to-face interaction is the best way to communicate but I realized quickly that there was no way I could do that right now.  My children still need me so that was out of the question.  Doing a little research, however, I did find a wealth of clubs and groups locally that I was wishing I could join.  Book clubs at the local library (corny, I know), sewing classes (we all need a little refresher course once in a while), volunteering at different organizations (the stories old folks tell!), sewing costumes for local schools for different events, and so forth.

So I turned to online communities.  They are not face-to-face (even with Skype) but it works for now.  There are probably more causes, interests, and organizations you can lend your time to or just join to be a part of but I really had to do a lot of research to see what was right for me.

Here are my little rules of the road that I took to find the communities I joined:

Research!  I can’t stress this enough:  whether online or in person, you have to research the company, organization, or event.  You have to know what you are getting into.  Make sure that it is right for you!  Find out everything about it, know how it works.  Smart rule #1!

Commitment!  If  you find something that you are interested in, make sure that you can commit.  This is where the research comes in handy.  If you join a community online, for example, what are the costs if any?, how much time do  you have to devote to it?, do you have the time for it?, etc.  Joining a community doesn’t necessarily require money or time exactly because it should be a fun thing to do, interesting, something you love.  It shouldn’t be a chore.  The points above are just in case your area of interest requires those things and if it is worth it to you.  The same thing goes for a physical activity, although you might get roped into an activity if you go to a group or club event, for example.  Make sure you can do it!

Sorority!  You don’t have to join a community that is specifically in line with what you do.  The main focus should be that you will enjoy being a part of a group of women who love what they do.  Because of this, the group, organization, or club more than likely will be related to what you do anyway, so that is why I looked for places that had to do with my interests more than with what I want to do but it ended up going hand-in-hand.  I shot two birds with one stone without even really trying!  There is this great website called Dreamers Into Doers (http://dreamers.marthastewart.com/) and I joined it because it is a community of women from all walks of life who have their own businesses.  When I read the amazing things these women do, it was so inspiring and motivating!  I found the website because I like Martha Stewart and subscribed to a couple of her newsletters and that led me to the sight.  At first, I just read the weekly profiles via email of the women featured that week.  It is an AMAZING group of women just like you and me.  Regular women, not celebrities, no one super rich and they are so down to earth.  Well, at least that has been like that for me so far.  It’s a place to showcase your business and receive encouragement from women just like you.  Then I applied to be a dreamer and I was accepted.  My page is http://dreamers.marthastewart.com/profile/MonicaLGardea in case you are interested.  It costs nothing and you can interact with your friends or other ladies as much as you want or can.  It is perfect for me!  I did join another online community about books.  I love books so I also joined http://www.lhj.com/community/books/ on the Ladies Home Journal site, which by the way is a great site and magazine.  Maybe you’ll check it out.  That particular community has a book-of-the month type of forum where you can talk about that particular book.  I like it because it gives me suggestions for new books to read.

Last Thought.  Being online is tricky.  Protect yourself.  Also, make sure you know what your priorities are.  I say this because like me, for example, my children still take up about 97% of my time so all this has to be in the passenger seat and I know that (they sit in the back on two car seats which takes up most of the space!).  Gradual progression is the key to success.  I’m the type of person that likes things handed to me right away, I like that instant satisfaction, but there are just some things that have to run slow like molasses.  This is one of those things.  When things get kicked into high gear, that is when I will have to do some serious re-arranging but I also know that is when a lot of things will change.  I mean, my children won’t be 2 and 4 forever and they will eventually be going to school, right?  More time for me!  And last thing, choose something that you will enjoy.  If you don’t then you will get bored quickly and be discouraged easily.  Talking to other women helps because they understand me because, well…they are me too!

I hope this helps!

Till next time!

www.dreamers.marthastewart.com

 

 

%d bloggers like this: