Back in 2009, I hit some pretty low points after my husband had lost his job. Not only was I anxious about our situation, I was in the throes of developing Metromom, and I was watching many other mom entrepreneurs come onto the scene with their own websites and communities. My first reaction was to go to a place of scarcity. I had this awful limiting belief that if they existed, and were doing business, that there wouldn’t be enough left over for me.
As much as that time was very scary for me, I did know two things at that time. First, I knew I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. Second, I knew that to do business in a way that was fun for me, and to stick around, I would have to just focus on doing business in a “Kim” way, and show up as authentically as possible. Some would be attracted to me and follow me, and others wouldn’t. I trusted it would all be fine.
Around the same time, I felt drawn to connect with a particular mom entrepreneur with her own community, Carla Young of MOMeo. On the surface, one would think “competitor” in the yucky sense of the word. But what I sensed from observing her on Twitter was a kind, funny, open woman. I was blessed to discover that she’s even more wonderful. We joked that it’d be great to get some amazing mom entrepreneurs together in Las Vegas in June. Sounded fun, but we didn’t pursue it.
As our circumstances changed, it turned out we were both had separate plans to be in Las Vegas in June and we decided to make that gathering of great entrepreneurial women come together. As a connector, I immediately got to work inviting some women I wanted to meet and who I believed would be interested in creating something bigger as a group than any of us could on our own. Much to my surprise, nine of us ended up coming together – Alexis Martin Neely, Carla Young, Sarah Robinson, Jennifer Haubein, Sandy Grason, Kim Castle, MaryPat Kavanagh, Dorcy Russell and me! Each of us shared what we could offer (our true creative brilliance and what’s fun for us to do) as well as the support we’d love from the rest of the group.
Sitting amongst these amazing women, discussing how we could support each other in business and potentially create something bigger together than any of us could on our own, clarified the power that comes from collaboration.
It’s very easy to assume that anyone who has a similar ideal client to you is a competitor. I beg to differ. Consider those that may be in that space and ask yourself if there’s an opportunity for an important connection where you can both be of service to each other.