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Anika Horn

Good things take time

Published 2 months ago • 5 min read

Welcome to the 78th issue of Impact Curator! I curate this fortnightly newsletter for all of you who believe in transforming their community by amplifying the impact of the change makers around them.
Was this newsletter forwarded to you? You deserve your own, sign up here!

Hello Reader,

I took two months off from this newsletter. Snow days (weeks!?), sickness and a long weekend on top of regular work and personal life left me feeling like I was swimming upstream. Every time I started to think about writing a newsletter - which I typically enjoy tremendously - a wise voice in my head said, "not yet".

Anika-from-two-years-ago would have outright forced it. My discipline and commitment tend to overwrite (steamroll!?) my intuition.

But I've learned over the last two years that good things take time. In season one Michelle Arevalo-Carpenter said,

"An ecosystem is like a wild plant. If you ask a wild plant to give you flowers when it's not its time, you don't hate it. You don't take it personal. You understand that that plant is also in a process."

So instead of forcing things that my ambitious brain wants to see happen, I'm growing more comfortable with waiting for the right time to do them. My whiteboard that I typically use for quarterly planning has been blank since mid-December. I feel a lot less stressed at work over deadlines and projects because - miraculously - they still get done. I just lose a lot less sleep over it!

As I look at our local efforts in the Shenandoah Valley, I am astonished by the activity and level of collaboration I see - all of which would have been unthinkable two years ago.

When I first started in this role, we were trying to host events for entrepreneurs but it felt like pulling teeth at times. We tried to work with higher education partners but processes was painfully slow, until it stalled. We were looking for grants to support our work but sometimes, we came up empty-handed.

None of it was devastating by any means - sometimes you have to try things in order to decide whether or not the tie is right.

But fast forward to today and it feels like we're finally hitting out stride. Opportunities seem to find us and we are well equipped to seize them. We are hosting regular events that have a great turnout, we have several collaborations with colleges in the area and we will be hosting a national conference for entrepreneurial ecosystem builders at the end of April.

Read on to hear more about what's working right now and what life looks like outside of work:


Between my ears

Life, most recently: Things I'm excited about, pondering and trying out:

  • I just finished my three week sugar cleanse with Shelly Rose. I love resetting my taste buds and dietary habits after the holidays, and this program is an excellent way to get some accountability, education and guidance on a healthy lifestyle (that doesn't kill your joy). Shelly also writes a great newsletter with recipes and tips on mindfulness, sleep and all things that support a healthy lifestyle.
  • The first time I put skis on was last year. The second (and third) time were two weekends ago. We spent two days in Snowshoe in West Virginia learning a new skill while spending all day outside chasing down ski slopes.
  • I've been reading A LOT and I've been itching to share my recommendations with you:
  • One of our local bookshops, Bluebird & Co. is hosting an author event with Elle Cosimano and Jo Piazza. I've never been to an author event but I trust Chelsea and Flannery at Bluebird to put on a good show so I ordered both authors' books to be in the know for the event. If the books are worth reading, I'll share them in an upcoming newsletter. If not, we shall never mention it again.
  • We celebrated the first anniversary of CreativeMornings Shenandoah Valley and are gearing up for an exciting year with fabulous speakers throughout the Shenandoah Valley! In honor of this event, I shared the outtakes from our pitch video if you need a laugh today! You're welcome.

On my desk

What I'm working on right now:

  • Just before Christmas I wrapped up a two-year Ecosystem Development pilot project here in the Valley. You can read about our approach and impact here.
  • I am launching two event series in the Valley to help build the community of entrepreneurs and small business owners! We kicked things off with a series of marketing workshops and are adding women entrepreneur meetups in March. Giving the community a space to spend quality time and have meaningful conversations is key. And it gives me and my team an excuse to hang out with the awesome people we're hoping to serve while keeping our finger on the pulse of what's working and what isn't.
  • I updated Anika Lives with my favorite places to eat, drink, shop and visit in the Shenandoah Valley:
  • We are less than three months from hosting the Startup Champions Network Summit here in the Valley. If you're an ecosystem builder who wants to see how we do what we do locally, come join us for 2.5 days of live case studies, camaraderie and collaborative problem-solving!
  • As you're reading this, I'm in Portland, Oregon, to welcome our newest team member Gabrielle Cash! We are one of 65 host organizations of the Economic Recovery Corps to work with a Fellow over the next 30 months. I couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Gabrielle to our ecosystem team!

Featured Episode

On patience

Before Michelle Arevalo-Carpenter joined the SOCAP team, she was on the show to talk about her experiences in ecosystem building. I still draw on her wisdom:


On my radar

I come across a lot of resources that I want to share with fellow ecosystem builders and changemakers. If we're connected on LinkedIn or Instagram, they might already show up in your feed! In case you missed any, here's my curated list from the last two weeks:

During the pandemic, I was fortunate to participate in a week-long workshop called Personal Mastery by Learning as Leadership (LaL). It was a deep and hard look at self-sabotaging thought patterns, fears, my inner critic(s) - and a journey into how to change these behaviors. LaL is currently accepting scholarship applications for this program and I recommend it highly. If you're interested and ready for this deep dive, learn more here and apply here.

Mark your calendars for 2024:


I will be back in your inbox in two weeks!

In camaraderie,

Anika

Anika Horn

I'm an ecosystem builder for social change. I love telling the stories of systemic changemakers around the world who make their communities a better place to live, work and play.

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