Friday, October 12, 2012

First Ever Success Squad Meeting at Makeshift Society

Woohoo! Lisa and I are still super happy with our first ever Success Squad meeting at the Makeshift Society that happened this past Wednesday night. We had a packed table of wonderful folks who were generous with their suggestions, collaborative and full of advice and suggestions for our two presenters. I have to give props to the women that presented their ideas to the group - you were brave and I hope that you got a lot out of the experience. You see, we set up this Success Squad to be more of a drop-in style of group where you can bring a product you're trying to launch or you can talk about an aspect of your business that just isn't working and we offer help from our various professional backgrounds. There was a great mix of experience and expertise in the room that night - we had two photographers, a student, a furniture designer, a few entrepreneurs, an accessories designer, a social media/branding consultant, a graphic designer, a product designer and an art curator. We are really looking forward to the November meeting, which is for members only and it is the second Wednesday of the month. If you'd like to present to the group - send me an email - sarahderagon@gmail.com and we will put you on the agenda.
I'd like to thank Christina for helping me set up the mood for the Success Squad meeting by creating our adorable table tents and lighting tea lights. I love mood lighting! Other things I'd like to say about the Success Squad are more easily communicated in bullet points. I wrote down a bunch of stuff yesterday while I was on a break from a big office gig eating alone at a Thai restaurant. I love dining alone, it makes me feel so adult. Anyway, here's a few more thoughts that I had:

  • Lisa and I were very intention with how we could create a "safe" space for Makeshift Society members to share their ideas with a group of complete strangers and I think we did a good job. Our two presenters were very nervous in the beginning (duh, right?) but at the end they were both smiling and their to do lists had drastically expanded. Sometimes when you're trying to make something new and you've been thinking about it or looking at it for 6 months or so without sharing it with others, you lose perspective. We're here to help you see it differently and we aren't your best friends who tell you that it looks fabulous and you're going to make a million dollars from it, etc... We are honest in a compassionate way and will extend empathy as long as you grasp that it is going to be a lot of work to get to where you probably want to be.
  • I was delighted to see how each member asserted her expertise! We all have different levels of experience with running our businesses and sometimes we forget how much we know until we see someone struggling. It feels GREAT to give back and the more you share about what you know, the more you could revolutionize someone else's business and that is some powerful shit. One of my favorite things about leading these Success Squad meeting is seeing the growth that each members has from month to month - we can do more when compassionately supported by other women! 
  • As these meetings continue I'm excited to see how people will begin to collaborate. Lisa and I firmly believe in hiring out your weaknesses, so if someone in the group is a graphic designer and you like her work - talk to her about working together. If you need a new headshot for your website, send me an email - let's make this happen. We are fooling ourselves if we think we're wonderful at everything. I really really really think that women do dynamic jobs of collaborating with one another, so if you're sitting across the table from a Makeshift Society member that you think is really cool, ask her out to lunch or grab a coffee and start the conversation about working together on something. It might not work out, but it just might and it could be amazing!
  • Be inspired by new work! I think that what our two presenters shared with the group energized the rest of us because we know what it feels like to be working on a new project that takes up all of your energy and thoughts and resources and the build up to the release of it into the world is unlike any other feeling. 
  • Gain new followers/friends in these meetings. Don't ever come to a Makeshift Society Success Squad without your business cards because it could be a missed opportunity. I have a stack of business cards from the women that I met on Wednesday night and I can't wait to get some free time to go on to their FB business pages and like them and I'll definitely start following them on Twitter too!
  • For those of you concerned that you'll have nothing to say at these meetings, so you're just not going to come? You are missing out and totally fooling yourself that you have nothing to give. Think about a time in your life where you worked on a project - aren't you full of "I wish I knew then, what I know now?" If so, come to the group and see what you have to offer - you might surprise yourself with the level of expertise you have to share and how it could help another Makeshift Society member. 
In closing, I'd like to send a big huge virtual hug to Rena, Victoria and everyone else behind getting the Makeshift Society open. Every single time I walk in there, I feel like I am part of something special and it is hard to capture that in a physical space, but you did it. Bravo!

xo
Sarah

2 comments:

  1. So sorry I wasn't able to join you, sounds like a great meeting!! I'll definitely be there next month.

    Sarah, you're rocking the business group facilitator role.

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