Find your tribe and never feel like an outsider again – well, this is the story of how I found my tribe, how I found a group of people that I could connect with, interact with, learn from and maybe, just maybe I could help and inspire someone too.
There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics – all you have to do is find them.
~ Malcolm Gladwell
In July 2017 I made three decisions that were to have a dramatic impact on my life, work and personal.
At the beginning of August I had accomplished the first two goals and tickets had been purchased to attend SMMW18 (Social Media Marketing World) along with my airfare to San Diego – there was no backing out now!
Well, Yesterday, I returned from THE most amazing, life changing two weeks of my life and despite coming home to a flood damaged home (pipes froze in the cold weather – thanks to the Beast from the East and had decided to splosh water like a gushing waterfall throughout, meaning I’ve come home to an empty shell and living with a friend for the next few weeks) nothing has dampened (excuse the pun) my spirits, my excitement for the future or my drive to succeed at what I want from my life, personal and business.
July 2017 was the toughest month I’d ever experienced being in business – Even starting a business, (and a brand new concept at that) at the beginning of a recession was nothing compared to what I was struggling with – at least with financial issues you could solve those by various means if you had to. No, what I was struggling with was myself and my thought processes and I didn’t know how fix some stuff – there were lots of outside contributing factors that I won’t go into here – I had three major issues and they were all giving me pounding headaches!
Two of the problems I could not do anything about – so, after a couple of “Duvet Days” I gave myself a good talking to and told myself that wasting valuable time and energy was, pretty much, a bloody useless exercise – it would accomplish absolutely nothing and I’d just end up going around and around in circles.
The third problem I could do something about – I just didn’t know the how, or the what… Until this day…. Jack Sh*t Done – Most. Productive. Day. Ever
28th July 2017 – That was the day The Kiwi Social was born.
Surprisingly, the idea and concept of The Kiwi Social pretty much sorted the other two issues out too – it certainly gave me focus and a determination to carry on and not be beaten. A close friend of mine said to me at the time “Lee, one thing I admire about you is your ability to move on, move forward and when life throws you lemons you just find the strength to pick yourself up and find a way to make it work and come up with a different approach that no one else can replicate” and it’s true – give me a problem or an issue that you can’t solve and I’m ya Gal!
How I found My Tribe
What the conception of The Kiwi Social did not solve, my announcement and declaration that I was going to the BIGGEST & BEST Social Media Conference in 2018 certainly would – I didn’t even know WHAT there was available – or where it was – or, if there even was such an event… I was just going to go to one. That’s where my tribe comes in – I asked my fellow “Social Media Passionate Peeps” in the loving, caring, knowledgeable and sharing community that is known as “The Inner Circle” the question and it was a resounding unanimous reply – “Lee, You have to go to Social Media Marketing World in San Diego”.
The Inner Circle is a group of passionate business people who use Social Media in some way shape or form for their business – all held together by the inspirational Mari Smith – One of the top seven Facebook Experts in the World according to Forbes. Mari believes content is King but engagement is Queen and is always actively encouraging us to learn, help, share and engage – not only with each other but with our own communities and the people we are serving.
Now, without a doubt, Welshot is my passion, it is my baby and that will never change but it is the role I play within Welshot which I love to do, it is the best job I have ever had and brings with it the many rewards I enjoy – being with people, seeing them grow and develop their love of photography and watching them fly. It was my dream and ambition to help Women (and Men) in business to do the same but being under the Welshot umbrella was just not working as effectively and efficiently as I had hoped for – hence The Kiwi Social.
However, I wanted something for me, for the personal me, not the Welshot Lee, not The Kiwi Social Lee but for Lee, Lee… I love to learn and I soak stuff up like a sponge – never satisfied and always wanting more and more – while I love photography, it was and is, Social Media that I am passionate about. The ability Social Media has to bring people together, to bring the world closer, to be able to learn from and with each other no matter the geographic issues, Social Media fascinates me and in the right hands it has the ability to change the World. Social Media gives everyone a voice. Social Media has been instrumental in giving me the life I love – Welshot, nor The Kiwi Social would not have happened if it was not for the Digital Age or Social Media and I most certainly would not have met the people that are now in my life on a daily basis.
Mix social media with my love of writing, reading, learning, people and photography and I am in my element and I can most certainly say I have found my “Happy Place” – I have been able to bring an element of this into Welshot and now, even more with The Kiwi Social – but still, I needed more…
That is, until I walked into the San Diego Convention Centre and found the place I, the personal Lee, the Lee, Lee, finally, I felt like I belonged – the place that just got me, my tribe, my people, my crowd that were just as passionate as I am about Social Media and the good it could do to change the World – the place that understood me and what it is I am trying to do. I, almost immediately, signed up to join the Social Media Marketing Society – I even had a pinning ceremony.
Those close to me knew I was extremely nervous and anxious about attending this event – not helped that I’d been severely ill and on steroids which amplified those feelings to the max but I need not have worried – from the moment I walked through the doors into the registration hall (as big as an aircraft hanger) I was made to feel nothing but welcome and people everywhere on the many tables were genuinely interested in me and what I did – this, was the same experience for everyone – other than a Welshot event I can honestly say I have never felt more comfortable or such a sense of belonging that I felt on that, and the coming, days.
And I was with a Tribe that LOVED Selfies and Selfie Sticks as much as I do 😉
For three days it was non-stop – I’d be at the Convention Center at 7.30am for breakfast and networking. It was then full on and into as many as 7 learning sessions and one/two keynotes a day and then there were the after functions – one of which was on the USS Middway – an American Aircraft carrier that was active during the Vietnam War. I don’t think I ever stopped smiling and everyone I met was there to learn, interact and engage.
To say this whole experience has had a pivotal effect and has been life changing seems so cliche but it has and it is my intention to share it with those who want to grow their business through Social Media – you are very welcome to join me on the journey…
What did I learn? Well, You will just have to wait for the next instalment – because this blog – this blog was about the time I met my tribe. And EVERYONE needs a tribe.