Description: In this episode, Kelli interviews Natalie Franke. Natalie is the Co-Founder of The Rising Tide Society which is a community of over 75,000 creative entrepreneurs based on the idea of community over competition and she’s the author of the book Built to Belong. In this conversation, Natalie reminds us that community is essential to thrive as business owners, mothers and humans. She empowers us to take action and create the community we are looking for in our lives.
Natalie was a full-time wedding photographer and had reached a point in her career where things were better than they had ever been. But amidst all of the success, she felt alone and isolated. She felt that nobody would understand what it’s like to be a small business owner or a female entrepreneur, except for other people that were doing that too. The other people doing so are often viewed as competitors. She decided that if she was going to continue to be a small business owner, she needed a community. She couldn’t do it alone. That’s where the hashtag #communityovercompetition was born. She challenged people to cheer for, and highlight other businesses and to celebrate their successes instead of being in competition with them. The hashtag went viral. “Collaboration will take you places that competition can’t.”
Competition can create a scarcity mindset. Natalie isn’t referring to healthy competition, she is talking about unhealthy competition. This idea that if someone else succeeds, there won’t be enough for you. The idea of abundance is that there is more than enough to go around. The idea that it’s possible for each of us to be able to carve out our own space for greatness. With this mindset, we can cheer each other on, because we know that there is enough room for all of us. We have the opportunity to change our mindset.
Loneliness isn’t just a matter of joining a community. We have to first shift how we think and feel about ourselves. We need to walk into a space feeling like we belong, and feel like we have value to contribute. When we switch the spotlight from ourselves to the community, it takes some of that pressure off.
Natalie shares how she built the Rising Tide Society. Rising Tide was built one person at a time. Natalie needed a community as an entrepreneur, but she wasn’t finding a group that felt just right to her. She was wanting something more all encompassing for creatives. It started out as a coffee shop meet up for business owners in her hometown in 2015. From there, it was a spark that caught fire. These groups started to be created in other cities. After a meetup, Natalie received a call from a leader who shared that a group member had reached a really dark point, and the community had saved her life. There is so much value in being seen and heard. We all have the opportunity to have that kind of impact.
Natalie’s community has stepped up for her in the times she needed it most. Community can carry us even in our darkest moments. It makes all the difference. We often view community as a bonus or something that we will get to later. We don’t prioritize it. We are wired to do life with others and we can’t thrive without it. Our world is now set up in a way that causes us to be increasingly isolated, where technology is outpacing our neural wiring, where we are raising kids on our own, while having careers and being partners and friends. We were never meant to do all of this alone. We aren’t meant to do these things in isolation. We were meant to have a village. We can do it all, with support. Lacking human connection and community hurts us physically and emotionally.
Creating a community can feel overwhelming. The simplest way is to start one relationship at a time. Take an audit of your life. Look at what’s already in your life or what gaps are in your life. Reach out to people. Stop the scroll of consumption on social media. Lean back into the social element. Find someplace to meet and take action. Sometimes we feel like an outsider. Step into your power instead of being a victim. Don’t sit back and wait for permission, create it for yourself.
We all feel anxious and socially awkward sometimes, especially after two years of being in a pandemic. First you need to build a confidence boosting ritual. This ritual helps you feel worthy and step through the doors knowing you belong. Second, she recommends bringing a friend to an event. Having someone you know in the room can change anything. Also, ask good questions. Plan out some questions ahead of time. Remember people’s names and start with what you have in common. Create a way to stay connected and create a plan before you leave.
Natalie talks to herself the way she would talk to her kids, like a little girl. With that kind of compassion. We are often far more encouraging and empowering to others than we are to ourselves. So flipping that perspective can change anything. Our mindsets are so powerful.
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Thank you so much for listening to this episode! I’m honored and excited to be on this journey toward personal growth and greater confidence with you. If you enjoyed the podcast, I’d love to ask you to take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review on your podcast app, that way we can help even more women to join us as we #dropkickyourinnermenagirl together.
P.S. If you’re looking for ways to increase your confidence and silence your inner mean-girl, download my free workbook, 6 Ways to Dropkick Your Inner Mean Girl.