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How are things in your world?
A friend asked
How are things in your world? — a dear friend asked.
I cannot answer these questions without getting some answers from inside first. I cannot just say “Oh, good” / “You know, so and so”.
And this answer came:
things are as they are, sometimes really good, sometimes less so, sometimes I’m blind from seeing how good they are and I let expectations ruin them for me
and I think it is really like this.
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One expectation I had at the beginning of 2023 was that SUUNA, the Romanian women's community I helped co-create together with 4 amazing women: Laura, Dana, Mălina, and Ligia - will grow to become a much-needed private social network for Romanian women, an uncensored space, clean from advertising and crappy content, a place where women would find the serenity and safety to reconnect deep with themselves and with each other.
Turns out it’s really hard to create a community. Turns out that resistance to using new platforms/apps does exist.
Even if the community has and always will have a big part of it that is 100% FREE, when turning on a paid option — that gives access to 4 live workshops each month and recordings of all previous workshops, workshops facilitated by the now 4 SUUNA Guides, women who have walked long enough on the clarity of purpose path and have clear gifts that create exquisite containers for other women — most community members forget that they have access to a bunch of FREE spaces and consider SUUNA to be just a commercial product.
It’s all part of learning how to better serve a community. And it’s normal that some of the energy and time invested in building a community comes back to its creators in a monetary form.
Tomorrow we celebrate 6 months from launching Founding Daughters, the 22 euro/month paid membership on SUUNA. We celebrate by hosting an Open Sharing Circle on Zoom, a 3h virtual circle where we invite all women to join and share about themselves, their victories, their struggles, and their needs.
If you are a Romanian woman, feel free to join SUUNA and participate. All the details are inside.
You can join for free or by subscribing to a free trial of the Founding Daughters membership. We are about to disable this plan in its current form but we want to give a final chance for people who resonate with SUUNA to stay on this plan forever.
Building communities has always been one of my passions. In high school, I created a community for the fans of the Romanian legendary rock band Phoenix. I remember teaching Nicu Covaci, the leader of the band how to hang out with fans each Friday on Yahoo Messenger.
At Oracle, I created a newsletter where employees can share funny memes and connect with each other. When I became a parent I created a positive parenting community that became a love brand in Romania - UrbanKID.
At Getlokal, I created one of the most downloaded and used going-out apps in Central in Eastern Europe, an app that was helping people choose a place to go out to by reading community reviews. A real competitor of Yelp & Foursquare back then.
As I started to uncover the path to knowing myself better, I created Romania Healing a curator and amplifier of events, workshops, and retreats that helped people find those workshops and facilitators that would help them get to know themselves a little better, workshops that promoted a better mental/physical/emotional/spiritual state. This road ended abruptly in 2019 for reasons I will expand upon in another post.
Joining 2Performant I helped create a community for its ecosystem that enabled new successful collaborations and a deeper learning both for Affiliates and Advertisers.
2023 was definitely a community year for me, as I also joined PAUA - a gathering of conscious entrepreneurs, a beautiful community that is developing beautifully. Feel free to subscribe to, written by yours truly.
As a marketer, I understood that community and storytelling are the only tools that bring people together in a way that respects individual needs but beyond any marketing strategy, life is meant to be lived in community, so as I am searching for my communities, I will never stop building community.
In a world where we are bombarded by notifications and spam, finding safe containers that allow us to be ourselves, to access things that are buried deep inside of us like when a close friend really listens to you - it’s quite a unique opportunity to DO LESS and BE MORE.
What other communities are you participating in?
I am really keen to develop Respira into a valuable resource for community builders. Some new things here - a Tools page where I will group tools I’ve discovered and used extensively, an About page where you will see how this build-in-public project develops itself — and a Book me link if you want to chat about your projects.
Thank you for being here 🙏