There’s a line in the movie, A Field of Dreams, that I’m sure you’ve heard. “If you build it, he will come” is what Kevin Costner keeps hearing in his head as he contemplates turning his corn fields into a baseball field for people his daughter assures him will travel from all over to come see.
To me, the movie is about stepping out in faith, even when you have no idea of what it will look like. Over a year into my Swedish life, where I had taken step after step of faith, I realized one of the biggest things I needed was to connect with other women in business.
But, no matter where I looked, there just wasn’t a group for women in business that fit my needs.
What were those needs?
- English speaking
- International Experience
- Intercultural Acceptance/Competence
- Forward Moving-Action Oriented
- Warm, Supportive, Inspiring and FUN!
That’s not to say Sweden doesn’t have several networking groups and clubs, because they do. Some of them look very active and seem to work very well for those who have found a way to master the language faster than me.
But, I needed something more and no matter how many after-work gatherings I went to our how many ladies groups I joined (which I adore for making new friends), when it came down to having a tribe of women I could connect with professionally, I wasn’t having any luck.
Maybe some of it had to do with the ridiculous sense of cultural insecurity I had developed since living overseas (no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn’t able to be Swedish), or maybe it was my need to make sure I didn’t come across as stereotypical American, but I realized that to keep waiting and looking for someone else to create what I needed was a bit stupid. Almost as stupid as trying to hold myself back from expressing the truth of who I am in order to not ruffle any feathers in this country I so love.
Floating the idea at an international cocktail event, every woman I spoke with responded with such enthusiasm that I realized maybe I wasn’t the only one who needed this.
I decided to put my big girl panties on and start my own group.
Within one week, I had fifteen members from fourteen countries signed up. That same week, I created a last minute event that six of the fifteen members were able to attend.
And this is what I learned:
If you build it, they will come. Maybe not everyone and maybe not exactly in the way you expected, but if you’ve identified a pain point in your own life, chances are it’s a shared need for others.
And if you get over your fears and insecurities long enough to share yourself with others authentically, you’ll find your tribe.
Hint: This transfers across sectors and industries, by the way. If you’re in business and looking for something that you can’t seem to find, chances are, you’re probably the one that needs to create it.
Whether that means you need new clients and increased sales or whether that means you want to find a way to take what you’re already doing and improve upon it, if you build it, they will come.
Contact me to learn more. I’m happy to help show you some ideas for creating exactly what your business needs.