Easy Fix – The Conflicted African Violet

There is a pressure of emotions that I can’t quite figure out how to identify. I can feel an innate need to release because it all feels so incredibly heavy, but I’m not sure how to do that. I am in a bad mood, but can’t express why. I feel sad, but the tears don’t come. I feel incredibly bitter, but I can’t put words to the rationale behind it.

It’s not just the move, it’s unfinished projects. It’s saying yes to things I do not have any business agreeing to. It’s not stepping into what’s next for me and instead procrastinating with silly energy and time suckers. It’s looking around at my environment and being frustrated by the overwhelm of things not started, to-do lists not completed and tasks that feel like complicated fixes.

I lean over the island in the kitchen, pulling my hair up and back into a twisted and makeshift ponytail. It only stays that way for a second before my curls return to their wild and disheveled state. I realize I haven’t showered in two days, but it doesn’t matter so much since the only thing I’ve been focusing on these days is more purging and packing.

The African Violet sits – on the opposite counter with bright green leaves even though it’s not blooming. It hasn’t bloomed since I transplanted it into a lime green pot. A tiny pot, small enough it can sit on my counter and blend in with the others. The UPC code tag on the pot reads “Citronella”. I killed the citronella plant over 5 months ago. I bought it because I love the smell of citronella, and I loved the color of the pot. I put it outside with our deck furniture and very promptly killed it. So I transplanted the African violet … something I’d brought with me from the Virginia house, except during that move, I broke the pot that it lived in. Interesting that I was able to keep the African Violet alive but not the citronella plant.

Identity Crisis African Violet Naomi Hattaway

Every time I look at the African Violet in the pot with an identify crisis since it obviously calls for a citronella plant, I internally fret about the fact that I planted the damn plant facing the wrong way. The tag that labels it as “citronella” faces the same way that the plant leans … towards the sunshine that filters through the windows about 10 feet away.

I realized tonight that I could do away with the irritation that runs on auto-play by simply repotting the African Violet. The easy fix of shifting the dirt and the roots so that what faces the sunlight and the life giving properties is wholly aligned with the very identity of the plant itself. No label, no sticker claiming its identity. Just an African Violet – straining towards the light.

African Violet Easy Fix

 

What easy fixes are you ignoring? What consistently gets you down or frustrates you?

What could you do today to change your inner dialogue, or your physical surroundings?

Serendipity Conference

Guild F(o)Unders Lounge Recently I attended the Serendipity Conference in San Francisco, created by Anne Cocquyt and the team behind The Guild. Snippets of my takeaways are here for you to soak up! This photo was taken during the Founders Meet Funders session which was like speed dating, but with investors! We had an opportunity to share our pitch for our organization or business and then we received immensely valuable feedback and advice from each of the investors!

Lisa Wang, SheWorx

Meditation is great but you must also visualize. Until you can see exactly what you want to feel and who you want to be, there will always otherwise be a gap if you are only meditating. -Lisa Wang

Lisa Wang SheWorx

My all time favorite thing that Lisa said was in response to a question about how women should dress for a presentation, a pitch or for a meeting. Lisa quickly answered:

Wear what you want and what you feel comfortable and powerful in. You’re going to get judged regardless of what you wear, so make it something you love.

Some more of her nuggets and thoughts:

  • Not all great ideas will be funded. You need a great idea, a great team AND great metrics.
  • If you’re early to the market, you have to show that people want your service or idea.
  • It is always better to have 100 people adore you than 1,000 people KIND of like you.

Takeaways we can all learn from:

If you are pitching, or presenting, know which trigger words make you feel powerful and which trigger words make you feel lesser than. If you are in an interview scenario, be rock solid on your answers so that you can deliver the answer to the question YOU want to answer – regardless of what question they are asking.

Always do the research to find the human connection in those you are meeting with. What sports teams do they like? Did they recently post about a family trip to Bali? Discover how you can make a connection between your legacies, the impact you both desire, how your values and missions align.

We are currently valuing disruption in our industries and not valuing true impact.

When creating a slide presentation or pitch deck, the most important things to remember (and no more than 12 slides!) are your values, your numbers, your view of service and background of the team.


Patti Sanchez, Duarte

Oh my goodness, how I loved Patti’s session! She co-wrote Illuminate which I think is THE Bible for change and leadership inside of organizational and community change. I brought my copy of the book for her to autograph and it is a prized possession and something I reference often. I adore their way of breaking down the concept of innovating the S Curve.

Duarte S Curve

Two key snippets:

  1. Leaders must create the map for the clan.
  2. Stories ALIGN two people and cut out the judgment opportunities.

 

 Patti Sanchez Duarte
One of the things Patti said that really struck me is when she said that leaders (visionaries) are often so focused on the goals, the what’s next and the dreams that they then drop the ball during the final stage. In order to combat that and keep it from happening, she suggests leaders stay focused on the overall mission, and make a point to draw the clan into the big picture goal (or if the recent attempt / mission failed, talk about the WHY with the clan).
Origin stories are critical –  leaders and founders MUST tell how it all began, and tell it often!
Takeaway / Action Tip I plan to implement: If you need buy in and a commitment from your clan, consider launching a challenge or share your story and Origin story in mini-vision versions. Tell your story as a scene, or a thread.

Andy Raskin, AndyRaskin.com

Andy delivered a powerful presentation on storytelling and the importance of the promised land (read on to the bullet points for more on that:
  • Story is a protocol for inserting beliefs into other people’s heads.
  • Create a quiver of stories that relate to adjectives you wish to impart.
  • Create a world where people are telling the right story about  you and your community or business.
  • Don’t have your pitch or story start with a problem (causes defensiveness and a reaction/exposure).
  • Describe the process – who is impacted, describe them.
  • Who can we demonize? What is the old world / past? What is OUR change in the world? What big stakes can we share?

 

When telling your story:

1) Name the undeniable, relevant change in the world
2) Show what’s at stake (define thriving in great detail, what does winning look like, what does losing look like
3) What does the promised land look like? Tease the promise … aim for the “Yes, that’s true” response
4) Position capabilities as “magic” for slaying monsters
5) present evidence so you can make the story come true (showcase success and tell the story of those who reached promised land)
6) Make sure that the promised land gives direction to the team AND provides benefit to the world
The story isn’t just about marketing. The story is the strategy. If you make your story better, you make your strategy better. Ben Horowitz

Mark Reistra and Carrie Kibler, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati

Mark and Carrie presented on “popular ways to screw up your business” – great presentation title! Here are the bullet point takeaways:

  • poorly written business plan
  • ignoring corporate formalities
  • forgetting the importance of vesting
  • screwing up on the assignment of IP rights
  • having a large and disorganized founding team

You need to have  a team that is willing to hold hands and jump in the pool. -Mark Reistra

If you are creating an advisory board, make sure you have a good mix of helpers and important people … but then make sure you load up and then rely on the helpers.

  1. When in doubt, go with a Delaware Corporation
  2. TEAM, TEAM, TEAM (and it doesn’t have to be an equal pie!)
  3. Know the regulations
  4. Be creative with compliance
  5. Know your terms
  6. Maintain employee and consultant documentation
  7. Write down your intentions for each and every person who interacts with your company
  8. IP is your secret sauce – protect it
  9. Surround yourself with an amazing set of cheerleaders
  10. File your paperwork – and on time

When you are asking someone to introduce you, PROVIDE the 1-2 paragraph introduction language / text to make it easy on them.

Expand your network and connections as often as you can and THEN fit the puzzle pieces together.

(Note from Naomi: their session was pretty heavy and deep – if you want to go more in depth on any of their bullet points, I can discuss in the comments …)


Serendipity Conference
Another photo from the conference I’m spotted in (my back!). What do you think after reading my notes? Are there any pieces of the presentations that stand out to you more than others? Which ones resonate with you?  (If you want to learn more about Serendipity, read their piece on Medium.)

Najwa Zebian

The drum line stands at the ready near the back of the theater. The beautiful opener of Legendary Lane begins. Each speaker dictates the entrance they embrace, and determines the energy they bring to the stage. Throughout the Summit of Greatness conference, I watched as some individuals danced their way onto the stage, and others bounded and leaped their way to the stairs.

Najwa was different.

I could barely see her as the drummers made their way down the aisles. Her stature was slight and with the lights, the drums, the music, I only saw her as she took her first step onto the stage.

She stood in the middle of the stage, while the drummers continued welcoming her. She placed her palms together, and drew them to her heart.

She stood that way for quite some time. Then, she spoke.

Everyone sat enraptured, still and quiet. Nearly 1,000 attendees all glued to her every word. The only phones out and utilized were to snap photos or to quickly scramble to capture her words in the Notes app. No one breathed, moved or shifted in their seats.

We build “home” in other people. We invest in others like we do when investing money. Instead, value, dignity and worth needs to live with you and in you – not in others. -Najwa Zebian

After Najwa was finished, Lewis pulled up chairs so he could chat with her, and so the audience could ask questions. After being asked how to forgive and move on with a relationship, Najwa had this to say:

Thank you Najwa for your voice, your bravery, your vulnerability and your willingness to give words to those who feel they cannot speak. To learn more about Najwa, to order her books, or read the work she shares online, visit her website.

 

Najwa Zebain Signing

Brendon Burchard, Summit of Greatness

Success is the result of practices. -Brendon Burchard

Brendon Burchard

At the Summit of Greatness, attendees asked on repeat, “Who are you most excited to hear speak?” Many would rattle of their top names, but for me – I was unable to name just one. Some of the speakers I had never heard of before, and many I had been following for years.

Brendon Burchard was a speaker whom I was very familiar with as many of my friends and business buddies really loved him. I had never really connected though, as I wasn’t a big fan of his presence on the videos on his YouTube channel (silly me!).

However, my lack of connection with him wasn’t for not being successful or having an amazing story, journey and impact! Brendon is no joke. He’s consulted for and shared a stage with all of the big names: Oprah, Arianna Huffington, Dave Ramsey, Deepak Chopra, Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson, Steve Forbes, Tony Robbins, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to name just a few. Larry King named him “one of the world’s most successful motivation and marketing trainers.”

Brendon was the closing keynote speaker for the conference and as with the others, was ushered in with a ramped up version of Legendary Lane and the amazing drum line. But Brendon … unlike ANY of the other speakers, brought an energy, an excitement and a ridiculous amount of passion to his entrance. He jumped and danced and high-fived his way down the aisle. He approached the stage and paused for just a second – with his arms raised high above his head, soaking up the audience. Closed his eyes … and then danced for a full 60 seconds … using the entire width of the stage to jive with the drummers. In a full suit, I must add.

As I watched him, I kept thinking to myself – boy, was I wrong about him.

He captivated the stage and the audience for 45 minutes – and when I say captivated, I mean it to all definitions of the word. He told the story of love lost, heart break, a near death experience as a teenager, and with humor and passion – the story of a skydiving experience.

His new book, High Performance Habits : How Extraordinary People Become That Way has just come out and he gave us a sneak peek to the six top habits that high performing individuals master (the book released after the conference).

This – my friends – is a game changing book. It isn’t about high performance in business, or high performance in your entrepreneur life, or high performance in corporate or … any of that. It’s about high performance in the ONE life you’ve been gifted with living.

Seek Clarity Brendon Burchard

Make your goals an agenda item. Look at them EVERY day. Common sense is NOT common practice. Who do you want to BE? After Brendon’s life changing car accident, he realized that he wanted to be able to answer three questions every day. (1) Did I live? (2) Did I love? (3) Did I matter?

He went on to say that seeking clarity means asking yourself consistently, “Who do I want to BE in this specific situation?” The next question he posed to us on the topic of seeking clarity as a habit of success is “What skills must I master to hit the next level?”  Interestingly enough, Brendon said that in the massive study and research project he conducted for the book, they realized that strengths alone do nothing. Nothing! It’s about skills and master of those skills. Fascinating!

The final question he posed was pointed: “How do I serve?”

KEY TIP / CHALLENGE: Choose three words you want to be known for. If you don’t already know them, sit quietly for a few minutes – hand on heart. Think about those you have in your life, and the legacy you want to leave. What three words come to mind? Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself throughout the day of those three values / traits.

Brendon Burchard Generate Energy

“Don’t wait for the energy, you have to summon it.” This goes back to the way Brendon entered the theater for his speech. He didn’t ask permission, he didn’t wait for it. He literally and physically summoned the energy that he wanted / needed. Interestingly enough, I discovered that he was REALLY sick the week of this speech — you wouldn’t have known it. He summoned the energy he needed and said (in a separate interview): “You don’t get to choose how you feel when you are in a leadership position, you have to summon the energy necessary for the job.”

This next statement he made at Summit of Greatness was powerful:

please be responsible Brendon Burchard

Brendon shared several examples of high performing individuals and their ability to release tension and instead set intentions. Those that are the most successful in their day, he said, are focusing on mastering energetic transitions. Between events, meetings, projects, intentionally release tension and set intentions for whatever is next.

KEY TIP/CHALLENGE: Next time you are leaving one meeting and about to enter the next, take time to go for a 5 minute walk or drink a glass of water. Stand up and close your eyes for one minute. Or, try Brendon’s RELEASE meditation technique (he starts on the “how” at the 6:03 mark, but the beginning of the video is gold).

Brendon Burchard Raise Necessity

Success IS required. He again went back to basics and reminded us that his message had nothing to do with business aspirations or entrepreneurial projects but our LIVES. When we go back to step #1 where we realize and seek clarity, we can begin to understand the answer to the question “When is it important to show up?”

KEY TIP / CHALLENGE: Success is required, not an option. It’s an absolute must. Suggested read: How Good People Make Hard Decisions by Rushwood Kitter.

Brendon Burchard Increase PQO

PQO = Prolific Quality Output. The definition of prolific is to be present in large numbers or quantities, plentiful, abundant, bountiful, profuse, copius. What is your primary field of interest? What matters the MOST to you? Decide to be ALL IN with that primary field of interest and ALIGN YOUR DAYS TO IT.

[Tweet “Holding yourself back serves absolutely no one. @Brendon Burchard via @naomihattaway”]

Brendon Burchard PQO
KEY TIP/CHALLENGE: KNOW what your field of interest is and align your DAYS to it.

Brendon Burchard Develop Influence

This was the most powerful part of Brendon’s time with us at Summit of Greatness. He asked us to put our phones down, close our notebooks and place our hands over our heart. “Close your eyes”, he said “Think of the ONE person who has been most influential to you in your life.”

Go ahead, try this for yourself! Close your eyes, wherever you are – and think of that one person.

Brendon then told us to open our eyes and said, “That person – undoubtedly – taught you how to think, challenged you and your character, and role-modeled the behaviors and showed you the way.”

KEY TIP/CHALLENGE: How consistently are you teaching others how to think? How consistently are you challenging others on their character, their connections? How are you role-modeling for others?

Brendon Burchard Demonstrate Courage

Oh, if only you could have seen Brendon share his story on courage. His version of a sky-diving experience had us roaring with laughter, crying and on the edge of our seats.

Courage means implementing, not intending. He spoke about intentions and the value of them, but real courage comes during the implementation OF the intentions. Impact not intentions. High performers act, they speak up for others, themselves and their beliefs.

KEY TIP/CHALLENGE: Showcase your life … don’t show it off.


After his speech, when I had the opportunity to have Life’s Golden Ticket ($1.99 on Kindle!) signed by Brendon, and the honor of a quick chat, I told him that while I’d known about him for years, I felt badly that I had dismissed his greatness. I went on to add that weirdly, I hadn’t resonated with him on video (his primary medium/platform I was aware of). I said “I just can’t believe I made that bad call, and missed out on so much, just because I didn’t allow myself to connect with you and your message early on.”  His reply?

“I’m glad we’ve connected now. You likely didn’t need all of the previous content. I’m really glad you were here today, and heard my message TODAY. We don’t always connect with each other early on and that’s ok.” He then added, “SO many people tell me I’m remarkably different in person. It’s hard to really be ME on video. I much prefer the stage.”

Thanks for the lessons, Brendon.

(If you want to see a sneak peek behind the “stage” of Brendon and his tour/speaking style, watch this)

((So fun to find myself at the end of Brendon’s backstage/tour video, can you find me below? Watch Here))

Brendon Burchard Summit of Greatness

 

September Snippets

gratitude day Lina Trochez

Image credit: Lina Trochez

September 21 is Gratitude Day (it’s also the International Day of Peace) and inside our I Am A Triangle community, an online social network for those living abroad (or who have in the past), we’re talking about peace and gratitude. Over the summer, I’ve taken on a gratitude challenge with one of my best friends. We are both using the Rituals For Living DreamBook system to help organize our days, and make sure our life goals are actually being accomplished … one week at a time.

Every day, I capture my gratitude. Some of the past entries for me have been: new connections, sleep, music by The XX, piano lessons, my brain’s capacity, new suitcases, local wine shops, Jeep bikini tops, a roof over our heads, changing habits, hot coffee and the space to drink it all *while* it’s hot, Haplo Groups, Todd being home this summer, Farnoosh, truth-tellers, colored highlighters, alarm clocks, Indian food, curly hair, Brene Brown, golf, having guts, zebra pants, distractions, my ability to negotiate, business boss colleagues, do-overs ….

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.  John F. Kennedy

The key to capturing gratitude is that you don’t have to search your brain for the big ticket items. It’s the small things, the little items, the unglamorous and the mundane. One thing I have learned this summer is … CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.


Cate Brubaker Webinar I Am A Triangle Most Triangles find going “home” after living abroad is – much to their surprise – the most difficult part of their entire abroad journey.

But re-entry (or repatriation) doesn’t have to be a terrible experience!

With the right approach, your return “home” can actually be a positive and growth-filled experience that launches you into even bigger and better things.

I am excited to announce a collaboration with Dr. Cate Brubaker for a free LIVE webinar on September 25th, 2017. In the webinar, you will learn:

1. The #1 mistake returnees make in re-entry (and how to avoid making it yourself).

2. Five tips for turning re-entry into a positive, growth-focused experience that you actually benefit from.

Whether you’re planning your return, have recently returned or have been “home” for several months or even years, this free webinar is for you. If this doesn’t resonate with you, perhaps you have a friend or loved one who might be in this situation?

CLICK HERE: REGISTER FOR THE FREE WEBINAR + REPLAY


Dr. Cate Brubaker is the founder of Small Planet Studio, LLC, the author of the Re-Entry Roadmap creative workbook and the Study Abroad Re-entry Toolkit, host of the RELAUNCH! virtual summit, and leader of the Re-entry Roadmap Mastermind.


 

Inc. Naomi Hattaway Getty Images

Image Credit: Getty

When a journalist from Inc. contacts you and asks to write an article for the amazing online resource, you of course say yes! Suzanne and I had a long and amazing conversation and we talked about all things I Am A Triangle, Facebook Groups and what the future holds for our community. When we hung up the phone, I got a little pit in my stomach, because you never know what will actually MAKE an article! I am super pleased with this article and want to give mad props to Suzanne Lucas for honoring our community, my leadership decision and the reason for our move to Mighty Networks. Take a read and let me know what you think: CLICK TO READ: This Woman Built a Successful Facebook Community and then Shut It Down. Here’s Why


I’ll be writing soon about my experience at Summit of Greatness this past week where I had the absolute honor to listen to individuals like Tim Storey, Mel Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Esther Perel, Najwa Perel and more. It was ridiculously inspiring and was a needed reset for me as I go into the last quarter of the year. I also had the pleasure of meeting all of these productivity and mindfulness greats in person, as well as Laura Bretan – the amazing singer from America’s Got Talent, remember her? I can’t wait to download the things I learned and share them with you!

Until then, here’s one of my favorite songs playing on repeat:

I’m only human
I make mistakes
I’m only human
That’s all it takes
To put the blame on me
Don’t put the blame on me

 

What’s happening in your neck of the woods?

Live Your Brand

Buzz words have a shelf life. They cycle in and out of popularity and the frequency of which you hear them rolled off the tongues of those in business, from entrepreneurs and in social media, can be a bit numbing. We talk about our brands, but do we commit to honing in our the act of being beholden to them? It’s time to live your brand.

We’re nearing the end – if I may say so myself – of the use of the word community, as it is becoming a bit overused and diluted. Collaboration is likely soon to be on the clearance rack. Adding to the rotation of buzz are the words “authenticity” “thought leader” and “influencer.” Those words will likely also soon be blue light specials, if I do dare say.

One of the more loudly shouted buzz words over the past two years is branding. In the United States, in some locations more than others, business owners use their vehicles as a form of advertisement. Company names become abbreviated onto license plates, awkward square magnets that often don’t match the color of the vehicle proclaim the industry of the driver of said car. Recently, window vinyls have gained in popularity. When you’re trying to stand out in a sea of businesses who are doing the same thing you are, it’s imperative that you get creative with your marketing and advertisement choices. I’ll admit that it’s brilliant to use your vehicle as a way to let people know what you do and what you can offer them.

I happen to be a slightly aggressive driver. I blame it 100% on three factors. My grandfather, who taught me how to drive, instilled a really solid sense of confidence behind the wheel. While I sat on his lap, he pressed the gas pedal and I learned to work the steering wheel, how to signal with my blinker and look over my left shoulder.

Another reason I happen to be a bit snarky behind the wheel is due to my driving habits in Singapore. The kiasu method of life is a bit mind-blowing and it is definitely a get ahead or fall behind mentality. I refused to be the foreigner who got inched out of the spot I had rightfully earned. The third factor is simply because I believe when driving (as I do with most things in life) that when you hesitate on a decision, often that thing passes you by.

I say all of this to bring you to the reality that I readily admit I am an aggressive driver. I know it. I own it and I am quietly a bit proud of it.

Having said that.

My children also are very aware of this reality. Back in 2014, as I began perusing my opportunities to market my new real estate and relocation business, I started asking my daughter her opinion on window vinyls. She has been my biggest cheerleader all along the way and her opinion is highly valued as I go through this journey. She was instrumental in the creation of my logo, and gave thumbs down on several website designs before the final version. When I asked what she thought about advertising my business on my rear window, she tilted her head to the side and said “Well, I guess it’s ok, but you know that you’re going to always, always have to be nice when you’re driving, right?”

I didn’t quite get what she meant right away, but later it sunk in.

She was forewarning me that as soon as I place my business name and website on the back of my car, I would be judged accordingly, based on the brand that I lived out when behind the wheel of my car.

I would forever be holding myself accountable EACH and every time I sat in the driver’s seat. No texting while driving, no applying lip gloss in the rear-view mirror. No reckless driving. No aggressive driving. No rude parking maneuvering.

EVERY time I got behind the wheel of the vehicle that proudly sported my business name on the back window, I was careful to appropriately represent and live out the brand that I wanted others to adopt.


Along the same line of discussion, there’s another brand that I’m adopting for myself. That is the strange thing called Jeep culture. I didn’t know what it was when I chose my beautiful red Jeep Wrangler. We had to order it, because I was insistent on RED. The used dealership transported it to us and as I drove home that first day, I had the oddest of experiences. People kept waving at me. Two fingers up, lifted from their place on the steering wheel.

Jeep Harley Naomi Hattaway

Later that night, I told my Husb, “Babe, it was the weirdest thing, people kept waving to me as I drove home from the car lot today.”  Being a Harley guy himself (another vehicle type deeply rooted in a very specific culture), he knew immediately what I was talking about and said “Ah! The Jeep Wave.”

There’s a belonging, a sense of community with fellow Jeepers. Simply by virtue of selecting the same vehicle, we’ve beholden ourselves to each other. We will likely never meet … and our only connection will be that of belonging to a greater community.

(to my fellow Jeepers, did you know there’s a Jeep Wave Calculator? My score was a 27 “Jeep Trail Rider”)

To the points brought up in this video, to what do we owe each other when it comes to our personal beliefs?  If we’ve found our tribe, do we expect them to tow the line, or simply come up for air after the fact?

Relocation Assistance: I think you should do this

I think you should do this relocation assistance thing, she said.

I know, but I’m … for some reason, I’m scared to just say yes.

You’re scared to say yes? You don’t strike me as the type that’s scared to say yes.

I’m not scared, I’m more … afraid, I think?

What are you afraid of?

I mean, I don’t have a leg to stand on, you know? I’m so super new to all of this.

But what are you afraid of?

Well, I feel like I need to have my feet a bit more soaked and entrenched before I jump into the foray of people living overseas and relocation. Or maybe that I need to work with just one family here locally with traditional real estate before I tackle something so big.

But what are you afraid of?

I’m scared of changing my every day so quickly and leaving my family in a tail-spin.

Ahhhh. They know you should do this, and I think you should do this.


This conversation was had over two years ago in January of 2015. One of my fellow networking friends had recognized something shifting in me and was willing to spend some extra time to really push (sweetly and gently) to get to the heart of the matter.

During our conversation, I realized that I was afraid that I would alter – negatively – the safe space that I created in our home. I was afraid that by stepping outside of what I had created, I would remove the availability that I currently offered my children. I would let things slip and certain habits would slide. I was afraid that making this leap towards actively pursuing a career in relocation assistance was going to really be big and impactful and I wouldn’t stay the same person. I was afraid I would intimidate my husband. I was afraid something would end up impacting our roots and we’d end up moving again.


In spending some time recently working on my business goals for 8th and Home and I Am A Triangle, I recalled this conversation.  The past two years have been incredibly challenging. Challenging doesn’t always mean negative, however, and a large portion of what I experienced over the last two years was hugely inspiring!

relocation assistance naomi hattaway

I was first licensed as a real estate agent in September of 2014 and I made a big leap in February of 2015 to join a new brokerage. It was an eye-opening experience as I learned about authenticity, promises that weren’t kept and what it meant to feel free in beginning to reach for my business goals.

When I first decided to pursue real estate, I always knew I wanted to wrap in a relocation component as well. I seek out my connections through a relationship based system and nurture those relationships in a very real and natural way. I do not accept paid leads and I feel strongly about not partnering with any large relocation companies. Having those agreements in place water down my ability to best serve my clients. Each and every time I talk with colleagues who practice in traditional real estate about my aspirations to also serve international / relocation clients, I am met with a quizzical responses.

I know in my heart that there is a big hole in the relocation industry and I know in my head that I can fill it.

The fear and struggle that I felt during that conversation two years ago came from a combination of the knowledge that I can do something big in this space, as well as the honest fear of what that success will mean for my family. I have watched my I Am A Triangle community continue to grow by leaps and bounds, and I watch the same conversations come up on repeat

The first thing that needs to be addressed is the fact that individuals moving with a corporate package of any type, when it comes with relocation assistance, have the right to choose their own real estate agent.

The second thing that needs to be addressed is that relocating a family overseas is a much bigger process than simply a look-see visit and a quick drive to point out the nearby hospital and dog park. It’s also a bigger commitment than assigning a relocation agent to a family who has themselves never left their postal code.

Remembering back to that conversation, where I doubted my abilities and skill set to truly hold court in this space, I turned to my LinkedIn profile to make some adjustments. As I listed out my past volunteerism, board roles and job information, and soon realized that every thing I have signed up for, had a part of, or committed to in my life – in one way or another – matched up to create a vast experience, a beautiful tapestry that says I am indeed qualified.

I have a big goal to assist 50 families in a beautiful match with vetted and tried-and-true Realtors as they make moves to new locations. I have amassed an amazing network of Realtors all over the United States and in some specific locations around the world as well (with that network growing every day). I quickly became known as “the Relocation Expert” and the “Community Builder” in Loudoun County, Virginia and it’s time to ramp that up to a national level, and international past that!

There are three ways you can help me achieve my goals and I would love your assistance!

  1. If you know someone who is moving in the next 4-6 months, I would love a personal introduction to them. If they are located in Northern Virginia, I have an amazing team in place to take good care of them.  If they are located outside the Northern Virginia area, I have a short list of amazing Realtors that will help them achieve their real estate / relocation goals, help them actually enjoy the process, and have amazing representation to boot.
  2. If you know a stellar Realtor (someone that exceeds expectations, is client-first focused and actually listens to client needs), please let me know! We have room for 2-3 names in each major city or town.
  3. If you know of an individual or family who is in the middle of a life “overseas” or in transition from culture to culture, please tell them about the I Am A Triangle community and have them navigate to the Join Our Community page! We’ve recently left Facebook for an amazing platform called Mighty Networks and it’s magical!

Let’s do this!

I Am A Triangle Movement

I Am A Triangle MOTTO

Manifesto - I Am a Triangle

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We seek out “stretch” opportunities, we don’t flinch at the sound of change. We look at relocation as an opportunity to expand our horizons. We know that everything feels hard before it becomes our norm. We are used to change. We are experts at managing the chaos that comes with the sometimes scary bits of our lives. We have the answers and wisdom not even Google has! We are the masters of what is to come. It’s our super power!  – Naomi Hattaway

 

As we lead up to the big reveal of the website and new community platform (we’re packing up our proverbial boxes from Facebook and moving to a new platform called Mighty Networks), it was important that I take an opportunity to share transparently and openly about all of the reasons for this move and what the future of I Am A Triangle looks like – from my vision and desires for the community.

To learn more about the details and rationale behind this decision: read the FAQ post

I have long been in love with the concept of community. I realized that my mother instilled this desire in me when she modeled the concept for our family early on in our lives in rural Nebraska. I was born to a black father and a white mother in the early 1970s when it wasn’t quite as accepted as it is now. Add to that, we were homeschooling (before it was legal to do so). To say that we needed community is an understatement.

Definition of Community I Am A Triangle

Today, ‘community’ has become a bit of a buzz word and may be considered to be overused, however that doesn’t change the way I feel about it. When it’s being experienced, it feels like a cozy blanket, a warm hug, a cuppa of your favorite bevvy. It feels like you belong, that you are welcome and supported. If you do NOT have it, it’s a noticeable void in your life. Community can take hold in different ways (online, in person, etc.) and can be geographical in nature, found because of similar or common identities and often takes shape when shared affinities or activities takes place.

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In each place I have lived, I have quickly latched onto community (in various forms) and then also intentionally sought out ways to give back to my communities. In Omaha, Nebraska, I volunteered heavily with Habitat For Humanity. In Cleveland, Ohio, I created Rock-N-Tot (a family dance party!), a mom’s only running club, and a Global PlayDate.

In India, I joined a small group of ladies to create Make a Difference in Delhi, and kickstarted a project to allow incoming families access to the American Embassy School when the grounds were otherwise closed for the summer and created a buddy program to help those new students feel a bit less alone. In Singapore, I led the charge to create a safe crosswalk for our neighborhood children to reach school as well as brought Senior Spirit to Singapore American School (a carryover from what other moms of Seniors had done in other international schools). In Northern Virginia, I assisted with the birth of Ladies of Lucketts, a thriving group for local ladies to come together for fellowship, support and to support local businesses.

These examples are not just initiatives I joined or started, but were in fact, community being created. Friendships were born, problems were solved, children and adults alike were positively impacted and — in each and every case, I was incredibly moved and inspired by the sheer beauty of watching a community come together. (Side note: have you seen Derek Siver’s Tedx Talk on how to start a movement?)

In the middle of this, our family moved back to the United States after four years overseas and I found myself deep in the cavern of no longer fitting in. I felt alone, confused and without any motivation or drive to do what comes naturally to me – create and seek out community. When we prepared for all of our past moves, I incessantly researched our new home. I pored over books at the library to learn all I could about our upcoming relocation. However, for the repatriation (or reentry as the process has been called) journey, I assumed I had it covered and didn’t need to spend any time learning about the reverse process of returning “home.”

My mom had since moved to Kenya to serve as a missionary and in a debrief session delivered by Mission Training International, she learned of the triangle analogy. When the same was shared with me, and when I allowed the concept to sink in, it immediately made sense. I wrote a blog post in September of 2013, I Am a Triangle and Other Thoughts on Repatriation, and as of today, it’s been viewed over 118,000 times. As a result of that concept resonating with other individuals, my email inbox began filling up with stories. Those who identified with the Triangle concept wanted to share that they too, felt those same feelings of abandonment, struggle, isolation and assumed they were the only one.

Facebook had just recently launched its Group Products (primarily for the purpose of families connecting or groups of friends to stay connected) and I jumped on the opportunity to create a place for those individuals to meet each other, share and offer support and to provide a virtual community for those who felt they had lost theirs due to recurring relocations or being the “Stayer” when everyone else close to you leaves.

What you see today when you visit the I Am A Triangle Facebook group is 16,000+ individuals who show up on a regular basis to offer support, share laughs, commiserate together, hold each other up through messy family situations, even help to secure employment, the list goes on and on. It has been a beautiful journey of growth and is an amazing example of what happens when a group of people has trust and faith in each other. It is also a stunning representation of what happens when commonalities are the initial introduction, but the differences in all of us becomes what holds us together.

I Am A Triangle, a home for global nomads where everyone fits

The stewardship of this community began as a very simple desire to get everyone “in the same room” and over the past four years has turned into a full-time job (albeit, one that is unpaid) that has required leadership, personal growth and a flexing of some serious empathy and kindness muscles. The fact that our community is a beautiful, kind and responsive online community is due to two factors. First and foremost, because of the contribution of the members and their willingness to keep coming back into the community to ask questions, be vulnerable, and support each other on a 24/7, 365 basis. Second to that, the community has become what it is today because of the consistent and constant care-taking and watchful eye that I have given to it. I do not say this to be egotistical or to diminish the reality that without individuals IN a community, one does not exist. I state this because often I feel challenged and restricted with the features and administrative help that Facebook lends to its Group owners, but I have dedicated myself to work around those limitations and seek out ways for the community to flourish, expand and be a place that has been quote as saying “the kindest place on the Internet.”

As our movement currently exists in Facebook, we are not able to move forward in any logical way that makes sense for our members, and it feels as though one hand is tied behind our backs. Last year at about this time, the decision was made to begin creating a resource website. Simultaneously, a search was commenced to seek out alternatives for our community so that we would not be required to stay committed to Facebook. Several iterations of options and LOADS of research later, I had resigned myself to using a clunky interface called BuddyPress, a WordPress plugin. It would operate like an old school forum and while it wasn’t ideal, it was the only option.

Building an app was what I most wanted to do, but the cost was prohibitive. This was how that conversation went.

Me: “How much would it cost to build an app that would do [insert 15 features, including a conversation forum]?”

Developer: “Could be between $10,000 – $25,000, give or take … depends on how robust you need it to be.”

Me: “Are you serious? That’s way out of any budget I could ever comprehend.”

Developer: “Well, that’s just for iOS and would probably would only cover v1.0”

Me: “Well, Version 1.0 would be a good start right? I mean, it would at least get us going?”

Developer: “No, that’s more likely what you’ll want to start testing on and getting beta users on. If you want to actually have it be useful for your community, that’s more like $100,000 + once you go through enough versions to get it right.”

Massively disappointed, I decided to continue maintaining a strong focus on working on the resource website and continued my work with the community inside the Facebook group. We launched TriCONNECTs which were widely requested by members and saw a handful of them really take off and have massive success gathering members together in cities all over the world. We expanded our TriCONNECT concept to serve other groups for our members, including our LGTBQIA+ population, those who serve in the military (all branches, worldwide!), our solo / single members, etc.

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What began as an obvious need for a community in one big open “room” was quickly turning into a desire by our members to have specific support, and in a smaller group environment than speaking “out loud” to an extremely large community. The psychologists and therapists in the group were starting to reach out to me to ask why I thought our members – who are veritable strangers to each other – had such trust in our community, and had such ease in being vulnerable with each other.

I truly believe it is because of the culture I have developed and insisted on, the stick-to-it-ness of our leaders who have volunteered their time and energy, the evolution of our community policies, our standards of care with each other, and our refusal to allow bullying, bashing or otherwise being unkind.  I’d love to learn of any other truly international online community that has such impact, such kindness and such devotion from its members.

In addition, our community is as strong as it is because of our leadership — individuals who all volunteer of their time to help run the TriCONNECTs. Scheduling events, showing up to help members in their locations, facilitating engagement in their subgroups. This system though, became quickly too heavy of a burden as Facebook did not provide resources or tools for a Group owner to effectively manage multiple subgroups like this, and again, I turned to hours and hours of research to attempt to find something that would better suit my energy/effort as well as the forward growth and long term sustenance of the community.

It takes actual humans to organize a community, whether that’s to schedule gatherings or events, or to organize dialogue and  conversation. It takes effort and energy to help to guide and encourage engagement, and facilitate the growth and expansion of our talents, minds and opportunities. In addition to human beings, it also takes a robust software and platform that allows us human beings to work smarter, not harder. The struggle to find something that would respect and honor the massive needs of our community – for future growth, and to welcome innovation – was growing larger than life and became a frustration.

In addition to humans and software, it also takes TIME. I have been a full-time Realtor in Northern Virginia since 2014 and put a lot of energy and effort into it. I adore my clients and our tagline is “Community Chasers, not Commission Chasers.” I realized earlier this year that I was no longer able to devote the right amount of time and energy to both my real estate clients AND to the I Am A Triangle community. I made the decision to intentionally create a process by which I can act as a consultant to my real estate team, and train new agents, but step way back from the daily interaction with the real estate industry and instead give all of that energy and focus to I Am A Triangle.

Fast forward to April of this year while listening to a podcast with Tara Gentile on the power of meaningful communities. Gina Bianchini was launching her new community platform, called Mighty Networks, and as I listened to her, I realized she had built the very thing I had wanted for our community but couldn’t afford to put out into the world. To hear that podcast, click The Power of Dedicated Social Networks.

The people who don’t already know each other is the next chapter in how the world is going to create new relationships and a better future. The reality is that it doesn’t take a lot of people to make you feel like you’re in it together. At the same time, being in it together should be able to scale to larger numbers. Where the real magic and power comes from is from people who have shared interests being able to connect and share in many, multiple ways.

– Gina Bianchini

Gina went on to say, “The Facebook newsfeed was invented to allow you to consume updates from people you know. It was a phenomenal way to stay connected to the people that were important to you based on your life. It is NOT built for meeting new people who share a deep interest and are people you WANT to meet because they will help you grow or expand your horizons or because they share a life circumstance like moving your family on repeat around the world. What’s needed in networks like these is to support finding, meeting and breaking the ice, it’s not a newsfeed whizzing by you that gives no context to what you actually need.”

I concur! To me, Facebook is like a speed train going from point A to point B — with the Facebook engineers at the helm holding all of the controls — but it doesn’t stop along the way to let anyone else on the train. We need an experience like a HoHo Bus!

I’ve been asked why on earth would I intentionally “mess with” an audience of 16,000 people when I’ve worked so hard to build a very meaningful community over the span of four years. I’ve been admonished that I will end up breaking up a community and that I will likely lose members because of this vision and decision to migrate our community to a platform that can better support our needs. I’ve been told that I am “going small” and perhaps limiting our community to those who are willing to leave Facebook.

Let me be completely honest. Facebook IS making some attempts towards streamlining the task of moderating (the “admin” duties) a large group on their platform. They jumped to attention in May of this year and have made quick moves towards some positive changes – Mark Zuckerburg has gone so far as to change the mission statement for Facebook as it relates to large communities using his platform. As I discuss in more detail in our FAQs, many of those changes continue to benefit Facebook’s bottom line and their advertising game, but I wanted to at least acknowledge that there are some efforts being made – but for our community, it’s a ‘day late and a dollar short’. The Mighty Networks platform is ready now, they have listened to the needs of those at the helm of the movements, and our community is busting at the seams. In order for us to continue to deliver value and make strides towards powerful impact, the answers that I began seeking over 12 months ago all lie in the Mighty Networks platform.

Our community is changing the world that we live in. I am a firm believer in that, and I also strongly believe in the collective power of our community to continue changing the world in the future. Our members have the willpower, the guts, the talent and the support to do big things and impact future generations.

Changing the world is always disruptive. – Rachel Gutter

The value of our community and network becomes MORE and more valuable, the more intentional we are about how we steward the community. That is no longer possible on Facebook. The more people we gain in our community on Facebook, the more diluted your experience becomes as a member, and the more difficult it becomes to manage the safe corner of the Internet that our members are accustomed to. For more information about the details of the migration, the future of the I Am A Triangle movement, it’s new platform and why we’re leaving Facebook (and the future of Groups on Facebook) please read here: I Am A Triangle FAQ.

When you build strong communities that have at their core a shared mission or interest, what comes out of that can be simply magical. – Gina Bianchini

To the I Am A Triangle community, you are simply magical.

I am thankful that you’ve been along for this journey and am massively impressed by your beautiful stories, your amazing experiences and your willingness to come along for the ride. I am excited for my vision for this community to come to fruition with the next steps of this adventure!

We’ll be discussing the future of our community and I Am A Triangle “2.0” over in our new community home, but it will include philanthropy, better ways to connect, the ability for our children and older members of our immediate families to be supported, a one-of-a-kind relocation professional directory with realtors and agents who actually put the family first, a platform to provide amazing collaboration opportunities for those creating wonderful resources, and much, much more.

To join, visit: I Am A Triangle on the new community platform and request an invite!

Cheers to being a part of a global community where everyone belongs,

∆ – Naomi Hattaway

Learn more about the I Am A Triangle story —-> CLICK HERE

I Am A Triangle FAQ

If you have yet to read my thoughts on this new version of the I Am A Triangle community, please take a moment to do so:

∞ I Am A Triangle Movement ∞

 

Image Credit: Emily Morter Unsplash

Image Credit: Emily Morter Unsplash

Here are the answers for some of the frequently asked questions on the topic of our new community platform.

Q: Why is I Am A Triangle moving to a new community platform?

Your daily interaction with Facebook is managed by an ever-changing set of algorithms that dictates what it allows its users to see and do. It also impacts how a group is allowed to interact with each other. With our group being so large, often very important (and sometimes sensitive) questions which are posted in the group, are quickly buried due to the sheer number of new posts that are added. The members who are in need of assistance and support are not getting the help they so desperately need because they are not being heard. When this happens, we as a community are letting them down.

Facebook has now started utilizing those same algorithms inside of their Groups Product, which means that each one of our members has a different experience inside our community based on which posts they have previously liked or commented on, or who their friends are inside the community. In a community that thrives on being open-minded and diverse, the fact that algorithms design our experience is opposite to our goals and aspirations in offering support to each other.

We have nearly four years of amazing resources, support, answers and intel however Facebook has recently adjusted their search function, which means that searching for a topic near and dear to you will provide very limited results, only a few months into the past – as opposed to providing the entire search results for a total of 48 months.

Facebook recently held a Community Summit in June (Chicago, IL, USA) and invited 100 admins of “large and meaningful” groups to a think tank. One of the announcements made during that Summit was that Facebook would introduce several new features to help admins “grow their communities.” But what about the communities that do not WISH to grow – except by word of mouth and their own members’ invitations? In the past two months, Facebook has aggressively added the I Am A Triangle group to their “Suggested Groups” and we are being placed almost as an ad would be, inside other relevant or similar groups. As a result, we are getting bombarded with new member requests from individuals who have no plans to ever live abroad, but sure do love getting postcards, traveling once every couple of years, or going on a once-in-a-lifetime short-term missions trip. While there is nothing wrong with those types of scenarios, those individuals do not closely match the individuals that our community serves and the future culture of our community is impacted by these efforts on Facebook’s part.

In addition, Facebook has recently started moving very quickly towards Groups existing with paid advertising being added to our user experience. I have spent an incredible amount of time with my ear to the ground, and many hours upon hours researching what’s next for Facebook Groups. The future of paid advertising presence in Groups means that based on the Recommendations our  members suggest, Facebook can then directly court those same businesses with advertising opportunities. Currently in our Facebook personal feeds, every FIFTH post that you see is a PAID advert. That same experience is JUST around the corner for Groups. Facebook launched Groups back in 2010 and Mark Zuckerburg was quoted then as saying:

Facebook Groups will be as simple as inviting your best friends over for dinner. Facebook experimented with algorithmic solutions to understand which friends and information users care about the most, but that those could go badly wrong if, for example, it decided that a tradesman who you had emailed daily over a work project must therefore be a close friend. The conclusion was that algorithms were OK for news feeds and lists of friends for chat, but not groups of friends.

That statement and value has clearly changed as the product has evolved. Facebook will continue to make changes that benefit them, as they are an advertising and media company, without any say from their users. I am forecasting the needs of this community by migrating us to a different platform while we still have the ability to do so with minimal invasion for you – our members. This migration means forward steps are being taken to ensure the future of your community, as well as allowing the continued support and encouragement of future I Am A Triangle members – without interference from advertisers, engineers and a top down company structure.

Facebook owns the content in our group (that means your posts, photos, comments, etc.), and as we intend to utilize the topics of those previous posts to generate long-lasting resources for our community, we will absolutely abide by their policies as it relates to the four years of content and will also not violate any terms of use or copyright issues as it relates to individual members.

 

Q: Why is the new platform so much better than Facebook for our community?

Our new platform is provided by Mighty Networks. It’s been carefully and thoughtfully created by Gina Bianchini and her amazing team, Rachel, Audra, Katherine, Brian and many more brains, for the purpose of promoting community and deep and impactful groups. It is available to you via an app (both for Android and iOS) AND a web interface that you can access via your laptop, phone or handheld device.

Some of the most meaningful features are:

  • Not interested in travel destinations or recommendations for Airbnb homes in Bhutan? Simply unfollow Topics that are not of importance to you, and design your own feed.
  • More easily and seamlessly locate TriCONNECT groups that are near you, or are in locations you are soon to relocate to.
  • Connect simply with other members who have experiences that you are interested in (Mercy Ships, teaching in China, homeschooling abroad, etc.)
  • Find and help create groups that cover the wide array of interests that apply to our members. Missionaries, military personnel, entrepreneurs, parents of special needs children, solo travelers, international educators, the list goes on and on!
  • Robust search function to isolate the content that is most important to you.
  • Find members near you. Whether you are traveling for work – or a holiday – and have a long layover, or you’re on a look-see trip and would like to get together with other Triangles, this feature makes that super simple!
  • Streamlined Ambassador program allowing you to invite your friends and family with one click, and you can earn discounts on our Shop!

Coming soon to the Mighty Networks platform:

  • Language localization (read the content in our community in YOUR native tongue)
  • Job Board
  • Courses and e-learning
  • And more!

Features of an online community that remain:

  • Chat with other members, privately
  • RSVP for local events in your location
  • Follow conversations that are important
  • Show support with a “cheer!”

In addition to the above reasons, our community will be free from any corporate decisions on advertising, our members will be more enabled to speak openly and share the nuances of their private lives and truly reach out for support when it’s needed. We also have frequent requests to “let us know when you’re not on Facebook” as many individuals are not using it for various reasons. This new migration allows us to be truly inclusive and allow the greatness of our community be accessible for everyone.

 

Q: Do we have to pay now for something that has previously been free?

The I Am A Triangle Facebook group was originally simply created to be a place of support and encouragement for people who had read and resonated with the I Am A Triangle, and Other Thoughts on Repatriation blog post, published in September of 2013. It has since grown by leaps and bounds to become the thriving group it is today. As of the writing of this post, we are over 16,000 members. The group originally was moderated by a small group of four volunteers, then it became two, and for the last year or so, I have solely moderated the main group. We also have an amazing team of leaders for our TriCONNECT groups and they have been generous with their time to moderate their subgroups and that has been wildly helpful. Each time the group swells and continues to grow, it became increasingly difficult to manage the hours required to moderate the group (duties include ensuring new member requests are legitimate, approving new members, welcoming, reviewing posts, responding to inappropriate language or behavior, protecting the group from constant spam, advertising and political posts, etc.). It has been suggested we simply add more administrators/moderators to share the load, but that is simply a temporary solution to a larger challenge.

The feedback received from IAAT members has shown that Facebook no longer supports the larger issues our group face on a daily basis. Our community has outgrown what Facebook allows the success of the group to be, and that, combined with feedback, suggestions and ideas received from a large number of members, led to the decision to go to new community platform. This migration will continue to offer free access to the community and TriCONNECT groups.

Managing the community on Facebook — while there is no cost charged by Facebook to have a Group — has cost resources, as the time spent moderating and growing the community results in time being taken away from my full time job – as the owner of 8th & Home, a real estate company. In addition, Facebook doesn’t allow for any institutional information to be captured, collected or created. The creation of the website and new community platform levels the amazing expertise, advice and information that is shared across the whole of the I Am A Triangle group, offers an opportunity to earn a small amount of money from affiliate relationships (more on that down below) and efficiently streamlines the task of stewardship, which will allow me to better focus my time and efforts on things that will bring value to you.

Q: So this is free for members, how are you going to make money?

Originally we intended to create a paid membership site so that website costs, trademarking costs, bringing on team members to help moderate the group and other costs of doing business would be covered, however …

Along this journey of creating the website and researching platforms, I have since realized that this community — and access to the resources we can provide — need to be offered at NO cost to our members. I do believe in the value offered by various membership sites, but believe MORE in the power OF our community. We are stronger and more able to serve if access to I Am A Triangle is offered FREE to members.

The funds raised during the crowdfunding campaign have been used to design, build and create the website, and to partially pay for the cost of trademarking both the logo and name of I Am A Triangle. The remaining trademarking costs not covered by the crowdfunding campaign were borne by me personally as were the costs for the creation of the logo, etc.

The new platform subscription fee is currently being paid for out of my own funds. Those costs and any future costs will be paid for by the I Am A Triangle organization, once money begins trickling in. This monetization will be accomplished by onboarding partners who align with our values and ethics who will be sponsors for our community. Additionally, we have also created a shop, where we will earn a small (keyword: small!) affiliate commission when members purchase items showcased. I aim to be transparent in this regard and hope the value and benefits are appreciated by the I Am a Triangle community. In addition to those two streams of potential revenue, various products, courses and training will be offered at a nominal cost to members, and a portion of those proceeds will be captured by the I Am A Triangle organization.

Launching in mid-2018 will be a philanthropic arm of the I Am A Triangle community. A portion of all profits will be donated to various humanitarian non-governmental organizations around the world, with a spotlight on a different organization each month. I am committed to ensuring that the I Am a Triangle community will meet the needs of our members for years to come.

Q: If I supported the IndieGoGo campaign because I thought I would have to pay for membership anyway, can I request a refund?

The campaign was an invitation to participate in supporting the creation of the resource website and some of our support levels matched the membership prices we originally thought we would be providing. As the membership fees have been removed, and our community remains free to you, all Indiegogo backers will receive a $25 “store credit” to our I Am a Triangle shop, valid when selecting any of our “swag” items (t-shirts, mugs, etc.). When the website launches, I will send out another message with that code so you can shop away! To the backers who contributed $50 or more to the campaign, in addition to the store credit code, a separate email will be coming soon to get correct spellings of your name, along with any tribute message you’d like included, for the Founding Members page.

Q: Is I Am A Triangle now a business?

A: I Am A Triangle was incorporated as a business in October of 2016, doing business in the State of Ohio. The logo and name are nearing the final steps for having trademarks in place to afford protection worldwide. The Articles of Incorporation are on file with the State of Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

Q: Why is there a website AND a community platform?

Imagine two buckets. One bucket holds our community platform. This is where we converse with each other, find events near us, ask for advice and support each other. The community platform is our gathering place where we can come and go from our time together as we need to get filled up, spend time with each other, or ask questions.

The second bucket holds our resource website. In order to best offer the resources that our members – and future members – will find valuable, we needed a smart place to “store” them, and as such, the resource website exists. It is not a final or perfect product – it will be an ongoing project to always bend with the needs of our growing community.  You can find expert’s articles, our blog contributors, the shop, a fun collection of Triangle related songs, relevant videos and more on the resource website.

Q: What does the website and community platform look like?

Please see these sneak peek images of the website. The website is very streamlined, user friendly with a simple and classy interface.  The community platform is available both in an app as well as a website interface. Both work seamlessly together, so you can pick and choose in which way you engage with the community.

the resource website:

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the community platform (web interface):

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the community platform (app):

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Q: Will the TriCONNECT groups have the same feel on the new website?

Even better! The new platform will have location and group/topic forums and your conversations exist in a better format! You can immediately join a TriCONNECT group (no waiting on leadership approval any longer!) based on groups near you, or based on interests that you have! You will then have access to events that are planned, contribute to a lively discussion on the best place for sushi, or which parks are dog-friendly around town. If your TriCONNECT is topic or group specific, there may not be events, but the forum will better serve meaningful and purposeful discussions, instead of a disappearing thread.

Q: So who will provide courses, workshops, e-learning, etc?

A Review Committee will take the responsibility for interviewing and choosing our course leaders, workshop leaders, etc. A submission document will be placed on the website for interested parties to submit their work, credentials and other pertinent information.

Q: How will advertising and the services directory work? Are we going to be bombarded by adverts and annoying pop-ups?

All business and service providers interested in either ad space or listed in our directory will be vetted by the IAAT Advisory Board. If approved, they will need to consistently be in accordance with our community guidelines. Advertising will be restricted to a dedicated page that the members can choose to visit if they desire. We will not have any pop-up ads on the website. Any businesses or organizations offering advertising will be vetted by the advisory board.

Q: What happens to the Facebook group, and how long will it continue to exist?

I fully recognize the familiarity and convenience that Facebook offers (I’ll stop short of calling it addictive), and know that this will feel like a big change for those of you who wish to keep your social life in one online location. For some of our members, the new platform will not be worth the step of opening the Mighty Networks app or clicking the bookmarked website on their laptops. For those members, we sincerely appreciate your contribution to the community and we are thankful you’ve been a part of the journey!

As of the writing of this blog post, the main Facebook group has been archived. Facebook provides three options when a Group will not be continuing in the future. One is to *CLOSE* a group, which means each member needs to be removed from the group, one at a time, with the admins being last to remove themselves from the group. As you will likely agree, that does not feel like a great option for more than one reason, and we will not be going that route. In addition to members being removed from the group, the content is no longer accessible. A second option is to opt to leave the content “As Is” and change the settings to be “Admin Must Approve All Posts” which mean that any future posts would be held for approval, which also doesn’t feel like a good solution. The final opportunity is to *ARCHIVE*, which means the content remains as it is today, Facebook no longer promotes the community to other Facebook users and you are free to revisit the community to search for past posts, look up a fellow member whom you’d previously connected with, etc.

Have questions that weren’t covered or discussed? Jump over to the new platform and send me a chat message! Can’t wait to see you there!

To join, visit: I Am A Triangle on the new community platform and request an invite!

∆,

Naomi Hattaway, Founder

I Am A Triangle

Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence

It has been forever since I’ve written! I have so many things to say and share, but when I sit down to write a blog post, I get so easily sidetracked. You too?

Something I want more of here in this space is the sharing of some really awesome things that I find. Whether it’s music, products, books, projects, apps or anything in between, I love collecting and curating and learning about amazing people doing really wonderful things.

I am always on the lookout for unique ways to teach children about legends, heroes, those who we can learn from. The Marie Curie Alumni Association has created a super great book series called My Super Science Heroes and first up, is Marie Curie! Read on to learn more about this cool crowdfunding campaign that starts TODAY! Spread the word and help bring this project to life!

Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence

Helping Kids Discover Their Persistence: A New Children’s Book About Marie Curie

My Super Science Heroes is a new illustrated book series for kids between the ages of 5-9 by the Marie Curie Alumni Association

 

The first book in the series, Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence, uses a novel storytelling approach—written and illustrated as a dynamic superhero story—this book introduces children to important scientists and their key accomplishments in a fun and engaging way.

Unlike any other children’s book about historical figures as it focuses not on the achievements of the two-time Nobel Laureate but instead on her personality traits that are inherent in all young children—persistence.

In Marie’s life story, she relies on her superpower during her ongoing battle with her arch nemesis, Mr. Opposition. In the late 1800s, women were seen as not capable of complex scientific thought and forbidden from attending university in Poland. Throughout her life, society and institutional limitations threatened to block her progress and achievements. However, Marie was determined to become educated and successful at any cost, and she persisted.

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Marie Curie represents a strong-willed role model for both girls and boys as the first person to ever win two Nobel Prizes and the only person to win Nobel Prizes in two different sciences. This book demystifies her complex discoveries using language that early readers can understand, and parents and teachers alike will find it a joy to read aloud.
 
Children love epic adventures complete with heroes, villains, and incredible superpowers and this book delivers all of that with dynamic and infectious energy.
Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence
 
The Marie Curie Alumni Association is dedicated to inspiring and empowering the next generation of scientific thinkers through the power of storytelling.
 
 
Help bring science to life for our youngest heroes by supporting the book.