I am incredibly shy. I get anxiety when I’m surrounded by people, whether I know them or not. I never feel like I’m apart of the conversation, or that I’m even noticed half of the time. I’m an observer and a highly sensitive person, so I can feel when others may be in their “groups” and most of the time I can feel alone or out of place in most social situations.
Yet somehow, I am the founder and leader of a community of entrepreneurs from around the globe. How? I was tired of feeling alone. I was tired of not feeling like I had a voice or opinion that was valuable too.
Since I was a kid, I’ve always had lots of friends, most people probably knew of me, but I always felt like I was my own “clique”, the odd one that didn’t even have a group in high school. I usually had 1 or 2 best friends that truly saw me as who I am when I’m 100% comfortable. The same personality on my immediate family know. When I’m comfortable and feel like I’m noticed I can have all the confidence in the world. When I’m uncomfortable or unsure of my surroundings and the people I’m with…I can get quiet and have a hard time putting myself into conversations.
As an adult, and now a mom of 2 little girls and at 35 years old I’ve had a lot of experiences that have made me stronger and built up my confidence, though I’m still an extremely shy introvert. 2.5 years ago I decided to quit my full-time job working as a designer for a Fortune 300 company and become an entrepreneur. My first act was to attend an entrepreneur conference. I would have a 3 month old by then and I purchased the ticket with the mindset of I can’t go back, it’s how I’m going to put myself out there, push myself to meet people like me, and hopefully feel encouraged and confident enough to be successful in my new journey as a full-time entrepreneur.
It was honestly one of the hardest things I ever did. But I spent a good chunk of money for the event, hotel, travel…and on top of it I was nursing full-time so I had to manage that while I was away and also be away from my new baby and her big sister. So I had to make the time worth what I was giving.
Besides the few friends I became roommates with and met prior to the event on social media…I still felt so alone and scared. I felt silly for feeling that way, but so many people seemed to already know each other and I felt so out of place. Everyone was so bright and full of life and it was intimidating! I wanted to be friends with all of them, I wanted to start conversations, to be interesting to them. But I was too scared and nervous to even introduce myself.
I made a few connections, and some are still friends today. But when I came home…I felt this need to have a community where everyone felt like they belonged the second the walked in. A place where someone who stood alone would only be alone for a few seconds before someone noticed and decided to learn more about them and experience something Together. I wanted to bring all kinds of people together, all types of people, values, styles, men and women, industries from wedding to someone who sells essential oils and everything in between.
I wanted a place where other communities came. A non-exclusive place where we can all gather as a place to support, encourage, and have fun together. A place for all the awkward and uncomfortable people to feel comfortable enough to be themselves without feeling like they don’t belong.
Sometimes the most interesting people you’ll ever meet are the ones who are too shy to even tell you. I know when I go to events or social situations I will sit with the wallflower in the room, try to get to know them…because I feel just as out of place.
I don’t want people to feel like that when they come to the Together Experience, I want them, for the first time ever to walk into a room like our conference and be excited and then immediately feel seen, noticed and comfortable. It can take us all sometime to figure out a space, but it’s even harder when you have to do it alone.
Together is a Community for communities, for the outgoing, the shy, the ones who avoid people at all cost, the ones who encourage and the ones who need encouragement. It’s the one place you can come to and feel like an equal, even to those who are presenting. You will be in workshops with educators as piers, you will attend events and sit next to them. We are all equal, have value and can come together to share all of that in a place where we all belong and feel like we belong.