As it’s our first blog, it’s only right that we start with our story. How Thrive Collective came about. Oh, by the way, it’s Sam here…founder of Thrive.
I’ve been running my own businesses since 2014 but it wasn’t until my two boys got a little older that I started ‘getting out there’ with my networking. I think my youngest was about 12 months old.
I threw myself into in-person networking – attending groups that I could.
The groups on my radar were mostly split into three:
- Ones you could bring kids and babies to.
- Early morning networking events.
- Lock-out and annual memberships with lunches.
I tried them all.
Before I go any further, I want to say that isn’t it wonderful that we have so many options to expand our network, our contacts, our business, our tribe.
Call me a fussy bugger (it has been known), there was always something not quite right. I loved the fact I could bring my baby, but in reality I found it stressful, and the meaningful business chats I craved just didn’t happen.
The times I made the early morning 7am Meet Ups (gosh that was a logistical nightmare), I realised my ideal client actually wasn’t in the same room as me. Mostly men, who perhaps didn’t have said logistical nightmares to overcome. I’m not great at 7am either!
And then there was the lock outs / membership groups. I was most keen on these groups. However, at the time had ‘coaching’ in my biz title and I found I was mostly ‘locked ou’t. “Sorry Sam, we’d love to have you as our Marketing & Business coach (as I was then) but we’ve got a life coach in our group and so there’s a clash”.
SERIOUS FOMO KICKED IN
Eventually, remaining persistent, I got into a few of these groups. Attending monthly, eating lunches I wasn’t that fond of, but paid for. I realised I wanted to meet fellow business coaches, coaches, consultants and people from the Marketing world. Even a social media consultant (I don’t ‘do’ social media), but because of the lock-outs (which I know many love), it of course wasn’t happening.
Even the phrase made me shudder. ‘Locked out’…not very ’empowered women’ is it?
I quickly realised as my memberships came to an end that what I had was JOMO rather than FOMO. The joy of missing out. I no longer wanted to be a part of these groups.
But where or how was I going to grow my network? It’s important right? But where will I hangout?
So, moving to a brand new area (from Buckhurst Hill to Bishop’s Stortford), I thought I’d find a venue (thank you Twisted Cellar), and I’d launch my first Thrive Collective networking event in January 2019. 2 hours for women to connect, collaborate, learn and thrive together. Ticket price included a cuppa and cake. Every woman welcome. Guiding principle, ‘community over competition’.
I wanted to create a flexible space for women to comfortably network. I’d seen the shaky 60 seconds delivered, the sweaty palms and calm women turn into a jibbering wreck. Sometimes it was even me!
LOOK OUT LONDON
Within a few weeks of launching, all 25 tickets sold out. It was a huge success…so I did it again. And again. And again. And thought about my second venue. This time a little further afield. London Liverpool Street.
THEN CAME THE MEMBERSHIP
I’d built this experience, this community and was always thinking of ways to additionally support women in business – both locally and nationally. A Membership, Thrive Collective, seemed the next best step. To keep those conversations continuing, providing additional live & monthly training and an opportunity to enhance the support at the Meet Ups.
After opening the Membership, which attracted women from further afield, I was increasingly asked “when are you opening a Meet Up near me?”. So I went ahead and increased the number of Meet Ups. Alongside Bishop’s Stortford and London, we now have Chelmsford, Southend and South Woodford and of course Virtually too. Hosted by our wonderful Meet Up owners who totally believe and get the Thrive vibe. And I’m in conversations with many other women who want to run their own Thrive Collective group locally.
We are so truly fortunate that we have so many options to support us in business. We’ve all created our own businesses to suit our own personal needs and it’s so important that we have the right team around us. To be part of the same team. Here at Thrive we are hugely motivated by own our successes and equally motivated by the success of others.
I’ve bought the Membership & The Meet Ups closer together. There will always be flexible options – a pic n mix of Thrive. But whatever support or network you need in your business, Thrive I believe has you covered. Unless you’re a fan of lock outs and have a belief that the only way to do business is to be the only person to choose from. Then Thrive isn’t for you.
Any questions, drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thrive is a community of business women supporting each other to connect, collaborate, learn and thrive together in business.We’re women who are energised by other women’s successes and equally motivated by our own.Thrive Collective is the combination of both the Thrive Collective Meet Ups and Thrive Collective Online Membership, whatever help you need, we’ve got you covered!