I felt like a little kid when the plane landed. I was about to step onto Irish soil for the first time in my life! Just the previous year, I set up my first vision board, and in plain view, I glued “I-R-E-L-A-N-D” in big red letters. So I wouldn’t miss it.
In 2015 I started using Periscope to meet other people and find leads for my coaching business. I had a lot of fun, and I worked hard. My friend, Rick Cooper, encouraged me to be more active and introduced me to Blab, a live-streaming platform that allowed up to 4 people to talk to each other on video at the same time. I met so many wonderful people that way. In particular, I remember one Blab in which Rick invited Samantha Kelly, aka the TweetingGoddess, to talk about her success with Twitter. Listening to her, I could only think, “I really need to get to know this lady. She is brilliant.” So we set up a time to meet on Skype and chat. Little did I know that this would begin my journey to the Emerald Isle!
That night on Skype, Sam told me about her start in business. A lonely single mom, she tweeted to promote her Funky Goddess business after her kids went to bed at night. Soon thereafter, she found other people who were also hungry to connect with business folks in Ireland. Samantha is a brilliant woman, and she soon developed a knack for engaging people in just 140 characters. Before long, she started her own Twitter party, #WomensInspire, to help female business owners network and grow their businesses. I’m not sure how many notifications she gets a day, but I’m sure her phone blows up with them.
I had some experience on Twitter, but nothing on a consistent basis. I’d participated in a few Twitter chats, but I could not develop the consistency to receive much benefit. During that late-night conversation, Sam introduced me to her circle in #WomensInspire. Before long, my phone pinged with notifications. “So glad to meet you!” “Any friend of @Tweetinggoddess is a friend of mine.” Likes and retweets lit up my phone as the notifications came in. It was really fun! People seemed genuinely interested in interacting with me! Sam’s genuineness and warmth opened the door for me to meet a number of lovely and engaging entrepreneurs like me who wanted to get to know me. Soon, I became a regular on #WomensInspire. In December, I purchased a calendar with Irish pictures and put Ireland in my sights for a visit on my vision board. In the meantime, I hired Sam as my Twitter coach, and kept on tweeting.
As I got to know more Irish people. I discovered that they didn’t want to know just about my business. They were curious about my family (Did you know I have 7 children?), my hobbies (I have a black belt in TaeKwonDo), and the wedding we held in my back yard. When I shattered my elbow in a fall and was hospitalized for 5 days, many ladies from #WomensInspire tweeted “Get Well” wishes. Through Twitter, I had joined the sisterhood of Irish business women. Stepping out on the stage in Dublin, I could now see real people instead of profiles. We were not just business colleagues, we had become friends! How did it happen?
I’m going back this year. Thank you, Sam, and thank you #WomensInspire for welcoming me to the Emerald Isle.