co storm(elements)
One of my favorite CRAVE’s in life is building deeper personal connections with people.
Earlier this year a friend and I decided to commit a whole day to catching each other up on our current business projects. Our day started out rocky because my friend was in a low mood and felt defeated. Usually conversation over coffee, then a long walk works well for me.

Let’s back up a bit first.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 10.59.42 AMI’m known as a “connecter,” it seems to be my gift and mission to bring people together. But there’s times, fairly often actually, when I feel alone trying to figure out my own business/life strategy.
Your inner circle of friends isn’t necessarily your best brainstorming team, and/or you shouldn’t be constantly pressuring them for advice. Who’s out there to run ideas by, to connect with to make things happen?
On this day, my friend and I made a commitment to give time and attention to how we could help each other move forward. From the start it felt special…experimental.

She was having trouble with her business.
I said:  “We’re going to change that today, let’s go!”

The first hour was spent catching up with each other’s current projects – taking notes as we went.   
She took out a large stack of papers for a program she was writing content for.  She felt she couldn’t launch it until she cracked the code for the perfect content.  I’m not a perfectionist. She had most of it cooked, why wasn’t she already marketing it?
As she explained the program to me, I just blurted out what I would do.  
A lightbulb went off and she launched it the next week.

co-storm7MY TURN!  

She has a web development and graphic design background, and I was just about to launch my new website after being hacked.  She went through my site page by page, and I wrote notes as fast as I could with her suggestions.  

I’m continually amazed how much we’re able to see for each other that we don’t see for ourselves.  

We get so close to what we’re working on we often can’t see the obvious… can’t see the forest for the trees. Fresh eyes help us clarify.  We need each other!  
We went home feeling pumped to move our projects forward.

This daylong brainstorming mash-up had been such a positive experience, I wanted to try it again.  

Was this first encounter just a fluke, lucky chemistry? Was I on to something?

Of course, me being me,  I thought it would be fun to give these meet ups a name, so I mashed up “together and brainstorming ” into Co-Storming…and the tagline “connections that make things happen.

Over the next 10 days I scheduled co-storms with five women who had different businesses and backgrounds.

They were all curious about the concept and motivated to spend the day together.  
I met with a graphic designer who wanted to rebrand, a business consultant who wanted to start a family, an accountant/lawyer who wanted a side hustle in the fashion business, a big thinking entrepreneur with 20 retail locations wanting to add a 0 to that number, and a woman who wants to change the conversation about menopause.

The ideas were flowing, pain points addressed.  At the end of each session we created an accountability timeline for each other, and have been following up ever since.
I put the same project out to each of them, to expand my perspective on a mastermind program I was starting.  By the end of those sessions I had my project nailed.

Hiring business coaches is an unavailable luxury for me, and frankly, getting perspectives from this variety of smart experienced women seems like a better strategy.

Also, we were mutually committed to moving each other forward.

I’ve been talking and sharing about my Co-Storming adventures on social media, and each time many of you have reached out…wanting to play.  Ok, now you can!
(Have I reinvented the wheel here? No! Could you do this on your own? Yes… but will you?)

co-storm5Bring your idea or project, a journal, sticky pads, colored pens and be prepared to have your world rocked and to rock your fellow participants.   
You will get new perspectives and confidence to move forward with your project…or, you might ditch your plans and go in a totally different direction!  
No matter the outcome,  I guarantee you will be walking out the door already taking steps in the right direction.