On 2 September 2023, my fellow co-authors and I successfully hosted a community learning event where we shared our stories of being professional migrant women in Australia.
This project was the culmination of 6 months of conversations and planning and seed-planting.
I started off by inviting a number of the co-authors to a coffee chat, one at a time, posing the question of how we could get the message of our book more widely known in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
One conversation led to another, and over a few months, five of us committed to getting this intiative off the ground, momentum started to build, and doors started opening.
We reached out to a contact at our local Council, and learned about all the different initiatives already available and where we could fit in.
Next, I started showing up to as many community events and networking nights as my introverted energy could manage.
After a while, I kept bumping into the same familiar faces and started to be recognized, which made it easier to share my idea and ask if they knew who else I could talk to.
Which is how I just happened to get introduced to one of the key persons in charge of the community learning festival, who said our idea of an authors talk was actually perfect for their program. She then helped us through the registration process as we were complete newbies.
I discovered to my delight that most people really love to help, and that someone always knows someone who just happens to be in a position to offer advice or point me in the right direction.
Everything new begins with planting a seed, putting your idea out there.
Next comes watering the seed: sharing one idea, having one conversation, involving one person at a time.
There is never a guarantee of success, only the certainty that if not you, then who? If not now, then when?
As an introvert, I am sometimes reluctant to voice my ideas, and to ask for help and feedback.
This year, I decided I would be different.
I would voice my ideas before I lost them to overthinking and perfectionism.
I would ask for help and feedback from my networks instead of trying to do everything myself, relying on my limited knowledge and resources.
Here’s the magic that happened…
Each time I stepped out and took action, another door opened, and another door.
Just these two tweaks alone have made it possible to successfully transform a vague idea into an event that benefitted and inspired the local community.
The day the authors talk took place, I was astounded to see who turned up.
Friends and family.
People we had connected with on LinkedIn.
People we had collaborated with on other projects.
People we had met at other networking events.
And most wonderful of all: people who had travelled a significant distance to learn about our stories and connect with us because they value personal and professional growth as much as, or even more than, we do.
We are truly more interconnected than we think.
If you are starting something new and feeling a bit daunted, I am cheering for you.
The road ahead may be uncertain and risky, and there are no guarantees that you will succeed.
Maybe it is one of the bravest things you have attempted so far, and maybe it will change you.
And that alone, I thiink, makes the adventure worth it.
Reach out if you need some coaching support around this.