Ep 23: Why We Need Community

communityThe one where we talk about why you need communities of people in your life if you hope to achieve your goals.
To view the show notes, ask a question, or leave a comment, visit www.AmyLatta.com/BWLW23.

Episode Show Notes:

We need community. Community not only helps us when terrible things happen, but it’s what keeps us afloat on achieving our goals. When you are on the edge, ready to leap or falling on your way down, remember your sisters will encircle you and protect you. And when fear is close to taking you down, remember that fear fears community. And there is no community like a community of women.

Authors and speakers mentioned:

Jen Hatmaker – http://jenhatmaker.com/
Jon Acuff – https://acuff.me/

Amy’s Favorite Things Giveaway:

Win a box of Amy’s favorite things to set you up for weight loss success in 2018!

Action Item:

Take a few minutes to define your different communities and how they serve you. You may have a business community that is also close personal friends that is also more like family! You may have many, very distinct communities.
For me, I have both online and in person communities, but I have yet to find that super close tribe of a handful of women, who I can go have coffee with in person, who gets my business struggles, who I also hang out with socially, and who also would pick me up from the airport at 11pm.

Take the next step and download The Business Woman’s Quick-Start Guide to Losing Weight:

Building Community:

Bring your question to me! Facebook Live every Friday at 8am central, for discussion and Q&A!

Episode Transcription:

You are listening to Business Women Losing Weight with Amy Latta, episode 23 – The one where we talk about why you need communities of people in your life if you hope to achieve your goals. Let’s Go!(Music) Welcome to Business Women Losing Weight, a community for fabulous women small business owners so laser focused on building their businesses….they have been sacrificing their health! Together we’re going to get back your time, get back your energy, and teach you to live naturally thin.
I’m your host, Amy Latta, and I’m all in! Are you comin’ with me? Let’s take care of you so you can take care of business!

Hello, hello, my sisters! It is so good to talk to you this week! It’s a big week, Thanksgiving!
What are your plans? We have a few directions we are going, hosting some family here at our house, as well as a drive to my in-laws on the Big Turkey Day.
We also spent some time this past weekend with some couple friends, people we love, but don’t normally get to hang out with, and there was ridiculous amounts of laughter and inside jokes created that we will likely be talking about for years to come.

These are good times. And in the face of last week’s episode, When Terrible Things Happen, these are necessary times. And it’s a perfect time to talk about your community. And why you need it. And, the big emotion, that so often dominates our minds, who’s biggest fear is community.
Who. Can you say an emotion is a Who? I dunno.
Community can be the physical area you live in, like your neighborhood or township. But I am speaking more to the idea of community.
The dictionary defines it as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”
Ah. And there’s that word. Goals. Know this: If you want to reach your goals, you’re gonna need Community to get there.

I suspect, however, that too many of you are standing there shocked that community is important to attaining our goals. Yet I feel like so many of us struggle to feel like we fit into a community. I have this conversation with all kinds of women, from all walks of life. So many of us adults are struggling to find our tribe, our people.

And how do we define our people, our tribe? You have communities built around specific goals, for instance a weight watchers community, or a local business chamber, where all members are supporting business goals.
You might think of community to be more about large group goals, for instance, like your local religious community, a church or synagogue, or like the Shriners or Mason? Are there Shriners and Masons for women? Is that I thing? I dunno.
You might think of community to be your personal friends. But even personal friends can be more than one community. You might have those people you hang out with socially. And then there are those people who you can call on to take you to the airport at an ungodly hour. Like in Grey’s Anatomy. Your Person.
Maybe community is all about family to you. Literally, your tribe.

I honestly think all levels of community are necessary. But I know so may of us struggle here. I know because of the small, quiet conversations I have had, where people can feel a part of a community but still feel alone.

There is something about the need for real human connection. And without connection – I believe these common areas are more just groups of people, than true Community.

Women business owners especially are a rare breed. We are taking on very non-traditional roles in society. We are not the support person. We are not the person behind the person. We ARE the person.
We still, in 2017, bear the brunt of building the business from the ground while also running the household. Without a doubt our partners play a much larger role, but we still bear the mental load. To this day, my episode 2, I think it was, on Mental Load, get’s tons of “Oh my goodness, Me Too!”
Society may be shifting, but we still have a long way to go.
By the way, as I talk, I feel like I have fell upon quite a few possible new episodes! Right?

Female friendships, adult friendships. And how different they are from when we grew up – both good and bad!
Women business owners navigating a still mostly-male dominated business community.
What makes women business owners tick differently than other women – and how do we come together, rather than remain separate? Are we as far apart from our non-business owning sisters as we sometimes feel?

Oh man. On side note, I would love hear from you if you like those possible show ideas, and how we might address them! And your personal struggles in any of those areas – Let us talk about them!

I have gone crazy off the trail – quite a few times actually, at this point. The intention of this episode of Business Women Losing Weight is to share today why community is so needed. And while it was always in my brainstorm list to do at least one show on community, today’s conversation stems from last week’s conversation about when terrible things happen, and it’s our community of people that help us through.

I mentioned last week a few friends that had some very difficult real life situations going on. One friend in particular, she had the rug pulled out from under her, and she was terrified.
And she very humbly called on her various communities – local moms, a church, online friends.

And those communities? They have rallied for her. I really cannot go into details just yet, its all too fresh and raw, but the entire experience has shown her that even though we can feel so alone in our day to day sometimes, especially when we are building out of the norm, extraordinary things, when you put good out into the world, you will get it all back when needed! You personally still have to do the really hard work, but community will be there to support when the going gets tough.

My friend was sharing part of her gratitude with a group of us on Facebook – and she shared some words that she found copied from another Facebook post. I cannot take credit for these words – and if you know where they are from, please feel free to let me know in the comments of the episode page on the website, or email me or whatever!
Anyway, my friend posted, “Apparently, elephants are very emotional creatures. In the wild when an elephant is injured, wounded or vulnerable they are surrounded by other stronger elephants in their herd to give them a chance to recover. The other elephants act as bodyguards to protect their weak friend. If an enemy tries to get to the hurt one, they have to get through a whole bunch of gigantic creatures first.

I know I have had times in my life when I took my place in the middle and was protected by loving friends and family and I have also spent some time on the outside of the circle doing the protecting.
The love of community is an instinctual thing and allows healing to take place in a safe spot.

If you are hurting today, I hope you are surrounded by your own herd of “elephants,” and if you know someone who is hurting, I hope you show up to be their “elephant”. The world needs more elephants.”

Eek! Right? Oh my goodness, I love this analogy – elephants and why we need our communities.
Even if they are different communities that you lean on for different things, they are important to our wellbeing, because when we struggle, we will need them to rally around us.
And when they need us, we can rally around them.

So another friend – yes, I know I am speaking in generalities, bear with me! – responded to my friend that posted about the elephants with a further explanation. This second friend had just so happened to see a speaker named Jen Hatmaker the night before. If you do not know, Jen Hatmaker is a Christian-based blogger, author, and speaker – and she is hilarious and known for bringing the love of Jesus to the people with amazing wit and insight and lots of spunk.

Now, this past year, Jen and her husband, Brandon, found themselves in the middle of a very big controversy. Jen is a lover of all people, and she publicly came out in support of the LGBTQ community. Not something that is very accepted in many Christian circles, especially the evangelical Christian circles, which is where Jen is most popular.

And she has since shared that the backlash, the Christian bookstores refusing to sell her books, the hate mail, the vilification of her family over taking this stand was devastating. And it was her communities that rallied around her during this time that kept her from drowning from the overwhelm. And my second friend, who saw Jen speak the night before, shared these words from directly from Ms. Hatmaker herself:

“This is what we do, girls. When our sisters are vulnerable, when they are giving birth to new life, new ideas, new ministries, new spaces, when they are under attack, when they need their people to surround them so they can create, deliver, heal, recover…we get in formation. We close ranks and literally have each others’ backs. You want to mess with our sis? Come through us first. Good luck.

And when delivery comes, when new life makes its entrance, when healing finally begins, when the night has passed and our sister is ready to rise back up, we sound our trumpets because we saw it through together. We celebrate! We cheer! We raise our glasses and give thanks.

If you are closing ranks around a vulnerable sister, or if your girls have you surrounded while you are tender, this is how we do it.

There is no community like a community of women.”

Mmmm, hmmmm, hmmmm! Can I get an Amen! Wave your white hankies, ladies, cause Jen Hatmaker is a-preachin’!
There is no community like a community of women. Someone put that on a t-shirt!
I could not agree more. We are gentle when need be, bur fierce at our core, and when our sisters are being attacked, the world better watch out.

Now one thing not noted in either of those stories is that our communities can also cheer for us – they are not just needed in times of trouble! They will be there when you absolutely KILL IT! Your communities will be there to throw the celebration party, to share with the world all the awesome stuff you are accomplishing.
I have never been to a Weight Watchers meeting, but it sounds like the rockets red glare when someone hits a goal weight!
So it is not just when it feels like Life is trying to take us down, but also when it feels like everything is turning up roses.

That’s the beauty of our communities. Good and bad, through thick and thin.

How have you experienced the importance of community? I have so many times.
When I was still a stay home mom, and my momma friends would be there with meals or free babysitting or just an ear when we were really struggling. These ladies brought me two months of meals when my Ryan was born, and rallied around me again when my dad died back in 2012. Just this past month, two of those mommas have had life-changing events and even though this community has moved on as our kids have gotten older, we still rallied to send love and support – and meals – as needed.

I really grasped what community was capable of when I joined an online community back in 2013. I cannot believe it has been this long, but I wrote about it on my blog back in 2015, before I officially launched Amy Latta Coaching. I’ll share the link in the show notes, or just google “Amy Latta community Jon Acuff.”
Because it was this fans of Jon Acuff community that I became a part of – the Dreamers and Builders – that literally changed the course of my life.
I was health coaching already, but with a direct sales product. Advocare. I still technically am an Advisor, buying some of their products for the family, and I might have a client or two from back in the day that still places an order every once in awhile, but I no longer actively sell it. It was at an Advocate convention that I heard about Jon Acuff and his book, Start. It sounded pretty good, I started following him on social media and realized he was extremely funny and witty. If you have never heard his name, I highly recommend you check out his various business motivation books – he is a blogger, speaker, and a New York Times best selling author, who has written business books such as “Quitter,” “Start,” “Do Over,” and his most recent, “Finish.” He’s actually, not unlike Jen Hatmaker – a Christian background, huge sense of humor.

Part of Jon’s Start book was building an online community – I responded to his social media post stating “adventurers wanted,” and thus became part of an online experiment to kick start – get it, START – a crazy, audacious dream.

I wasn’t 100% sure what mine was at the time – I thought it was Advocare, but it’s become an altogether different adventure – but one thing that I learned from Jon – and yes, I can call him Jon – we are not social friends, but he actually knows who I am, I promise I am not a stalker – anyway, one thing I learned from Jon is this quote that I have repeated over and over again. And that is “Fear fears one thing. Fear fears community.” What scares the shit out of fear is when a whole bunch of us gather to tackle our big dreams, together.

Because community reminds you of what is possible, even in the face of fear. Community will hold your hand as you stand on the edge, ready to jump. And whether you are launching a new program or are finally losing the weight, once and for all, so many of us are hanging out on that edge, right?
Community will be there to lift you up, when fear has gotten all up in your head and it’s taking you down.

Remember that bravery and courage is not the absence of fear. But rather bravery and courage is facing what scares the shit out of you and doing it anyway. And self-belief is ultimately what makes us leap, but much of that belief is borrowed from our community!

The reason I have built a coaching practice from the ground up, as opposed to still selling a direct sales product like I used to, or going back to work for someone else, is that I saw what people in my Dreamers and Builders community could do. I knew that through this community, I was watching others take on the world in a way that I did not realize people – just normal, everyday people – could do.

That community showed me what was possible.

So who are your communities? What groups of people do you lean on to keep you lifted up?
I hope that we are building a community here. Now, I have some ideas on how to build a literally community – in person events, online memberships, etc – all ideas I’m pondering, but this Business Women Losing Weight community is growing.
We are all in the unique circumstance of being women, building businesses from the ground up, doing our best to take care of us so we can take care of business. It can be lonely, it can seem overwhelming.

But you are not alone. And you do not have to be overwhelmed.

And for this week’s action item, take a few minutes to define your different communities and how they serve you. You may have a business community that is also close personal friends that is also more like family! You may have many, very distinct communities.
For me, I have both online and in person communities, but I have yet to find that super close tribe of a handful of women, who I can go have coffee with in person, who gets my business struggles, who I also hang out with socially, and who also would pick me up from the airport at 11pm.

Maybe that’s something I need, maybe not, but I will spend some time this week, along with you guys, thinking about who my people are, how I would like them to be – maybe some of my grown ass women don’t want all of that in one tribe! And I think the real action point, now that I think about it – how we can better serve our communities? How can we be a better part of that elephant circle?

OK – now I want to share with you someone I have been working on for you guys! You can still get that free download on my website – The Business Woman’s Jump Start to Weight Loss! That’s not going anywhere. At least not now!
But I am putting together a big gift for you – a box of Amy’s Favorite Things – totally channeling Oprah! Things that any business woman trying to lose weight might need. A box of self-love. It’s like a FabFitFun box, but this one is curated by yours truly, of products I love, most of which are items from other badass women business owners such as yourself!
And – there will be only one box! Yes, only one box!
And you can win it! Here’s the deal. Right now, it is November 2017, and I have 30 or so podcast reviews, and no Facebook or LinkedIn ratings or recommendations. Fact is, you gotta ask for them!
So I am asking! My goal is to hit 100 reviews by the end of the year. Is that too audacious? I don’t think so.
Would you like to win a surprise gift box full of all the Amy’s Favorite Things you need to start 2018 right?
Here’s what you do! I am tracking all the reviews I get for the podcast on iTunes and for my business on Facebook and Linkedin, from now until January 1st – and every review gets you an entry into the drawing!
But I think I can sweeten that pot!
If you leave two reviews – you will get five entires.
If you leave reviews in all three places, you will get 10 entries!
WHAT!? I know! I am super excited about what is going into this box already, and I’m not even done collecting all the products I am including! There are delectable treats, and practical tools, and it’s just a giant box of self-love and compassion. Right? Ah-mazing!
I will leave the links to leave reviews in the show notes to make it easy, but you can easily knock this out in just a few minutes! I don’t ask for money, my friends, and I’m keeping this how advertising-free! So show me some LOVE!
Leave a review here on iTunes, right from your iPhone.
And look up my Amy Latta business page on both Facebook and LinkedIn. I do believe you will need to connect with me on LinkedIn.
Please email me at amy@amylatta.com with your entires – your name, your review titles, email address – so I can keep track of entries. I have my spreadsheet all ready to go.
If you have already left an iTunes review, you already have one out of the three done, baby! Just email me so I can credit your entires.
So get your entires in! I will draw a winner on New Year’s Day, 2018.

My special holiday gift to you for being awesome. Because I am your elephant, sister!

Alright, my Grown Ass Women! I believe in you. Who do you know that needs to hear this episode? I am serious. Don’t keep this awesomeness to yourself. Share this podcast with other women who need to hear it.
Let them know that there is help, there’s another way, and we are a growing tribe of Grown Ass Women who have their back.

Alright, you have been listening to Business Women Losing Weight with life and weight coach Amy Latta. And until Next Week…let’s go do Epic Stuff.

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About Amy Latta

Amy Latta is a life coach helping female entrepreneurs lose weight. Some entrepreneurs struggle with not enough time and not enough energy, and are so laser focused on growing their businesses, they sacrifice their health - not realizing their personal health is imperative to the health of their business. Women hire Amy to help them get an extra hour or two back in their day while figureing out why they don't do what they say they're going to do. The result being more time, more energy, and weight loss. When she's not building her own business, you can usually find Amy on her yoga mat or experimenting in the kitchen. When in doubt, bring her guacamole.

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