Nurturing a Community

Find the original write-up + my newsletter — HERE.

Do you know an ambitious woman who wants to make an impact and would thrive being a part of a community of kindred spirits?

Someone who questions the way things work and believes the future of tomorrow is ours to shape?

Please change one person’s life and forward them this email.

Fellowship Applications are due this Sunday — here.

When I left my job at Expert360 three years ago, I packed my bags, sent them home to Austria and went on a soul searching mission around the world. Leaving an epic rocketship ride from Series A to B with Expert360, I didn’t know where to go or what to do next. After months of pondering I distilled my life goal down to a simple concept.

Pay it forward.

I wanted to help as many people as possible.

Why work on one startup, when you can help dozens at the same time?
Which is how my journey led me to Startmate.

I also know that no matter how efficient I am, nor how much time I spend helping people, I will never be able to help everyone. I have a natural affinity to extend myself and am constantly tormenting myself — how can I do more to help? Once you hit that wall of physically not being able to do more nor work more hours, you start to see things differently.

How can you 10x the magic without being the constraint yourself?

One answer to the conundrum is building a community.

Community helps people help each other.

Growing a community is like growing a tree.

You plant a seed in fertile soil, expose it to water and sun, shelter the vulnerable seedling and eventually let the sapling blossom to unknown heights.

1. 🌰 Plant a Seed

At first, the seed of a community is just a fleeting idea — fragile, vulnerable, often misunderstood. Eclipsed in the split seconds between thoughts. Once you spot a tiny blip of a concept on the far spectrum of your vision, it’s something you can’t unsee. It grows on you. You want to share it with others. It hits fertile ground.

The truth is, when you bring the right group of people together into a shared space, with the right purpose, it’s almost impossible for magic to not happen.

- David Spinks

Communities rally around a shared belief, concept or interest. Startmate started with the idea of Founders helping Founders. The simple concept was so powerful it became the foundation of a community of 131 startups, 250+ founders and is still thriving since 2011.

Shoutout to Goodthnx and Mass Dynamics, part of the MEL20 cohort.

The Startmate Fellowship is an extension of that belief. A branch of the same tree if you will. A community of kindred operators helping each other with the desire to have a bigger impact and join a founder on their journey to change the world.

2. 🌱 Shelter the Seedling

When the seedling pops its head out of the soil on a warm spring afternoon, it is vulnerable to the elements. Whilst the most powerful seedlings will survive to foster an explosive community you want to provide a scaffold. Even if it’s just a simple stick for it to latch onto to get off the ground.

Give the community a platform to engage. Share the rules of engagement, mechanisms to help each other and outlets of communication. Create psychological safety with a warm welcome, accepting everyone the way they are and reassuring them they are in the right space.

The highest form a civilization can reach is a seamless web of deserved trust.

- Charlie Munger

The Fellowship is that seedling.

A little bit of green, barely visible to the eye emerging from the soil. The upcoming fourth cohort now has ten incredible sponsors and Sophia leading the charge on a full-time basis. It will launch through the ultimate Slack “Operator Network” bringing together Australia and New Zealand’s best operators in one place. The scene for an unfolding and seamless web of deserved trust is set.

The scaffold is in place.

3. 🌳 Let the Sapling blossom

Provided all the conditions are right the tree will quickly outgrow its scaffold. In the same way, a healthy community will always outgrow you. If you remain the supporting pillar for too long you stifle its growth. Like a parent at some stage, you have to sit back and hope the values and structures you’ve instilled lead your child down a path of a satisfying future and the tree blossoms to new heights.

Letting a community create its own magic is like having a child move out of home or removing that scaffold the tree was holding onto. It’s the real test if what you’ve been growing is truly a magnificent tree or a parasite.

You will never be able to help everyone.
Instead, plant and nurture a seed and watch the magic unfold.

Community helps people help each other.

💫 The Startmate Fellowship

The Fellowship is that community of kindred operators which connects you to amazing opportunities in startups and builds your network along the way.

Still in its infancy, the seedling is now ready to sprout with a fourth cohort of 50–100 women with intersectionality at its forefront.

Share this with someone ready to take a leap!

👩‍🔬 Ops Job of the Month

👆 let me know if you have a job you’d like to go in here in the future.

🔦 Operator Spotlight — Natalie Fernandes

Each edition, I’ll also share one awesome operator, who is looking for a role in a startup — hit me up if you’d like an intro.

Natalie is an awesome Fellowship cohort 3 alumnus 💫

🤓 Life Journey

With a background in law, my career, in a nutshell, is the go-to problem solver for client’s issues from the large multi-million $ acquisitions to the raw bread and butter of the day-to-day internal workings of a company.

I started my career fresh out of law school at London’s magic circle firm and became a qualified corporate M&A lawyer. It was high demand, fast-paced and I worked on everything from global acquisitions to IPOs.

Since then, my career has been truly international. In 2017 I was seconded to Madrid as a legal relationship manager building deal flow channels between my London firm and the top law firm in Spain. In 2018 I decided to jump across the pond to Sydney and have been working in the ANZ market as a corporate M&A lawyer. I have now been in legal private practice for 5 years.

🧳 Role

I am looking to sidestep out of a purely legal career and couple my background in law with another function within the engine room of a company.

I am very open to what that looks like but the key outcome for me is that I have a value-adding role that identifies a pain point of a company, unpacks it, and finds solutions.

This could look like anything from legal + operations, partnerships, strategy etc.

👩‍💻 Industry

I’m industry-agnostic.

I am a strong believer that energy creates energy and for that reason, rather than choosing an industry, I want to choose a team dynamic. I am after high energy and high achieving people that are hungry to solve a real issue.

> Let me know if you’d like an intro to Natalie.

Original write-up + my newsletter >> HERE.

👇My Newsletter — SUBSCRIBE HERE👇

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