Today’s guest introduction is written by Amanda Munday, founder of The Workaround and author of Day Nine: A Postpartum Depression Memoir. (You may also remember her from our most recent Chairman Mom Preach!)

Before I left for San Francisco a couple weeks ago, my heart and head were filled with anxiety. For the first leg of my international book tour, I picked San Francisco. And for the launch itself, I picked an event with Chairman Mom, because this is the community who has been so supportive of me as I brought my business baby and book baby into the world.

Although Toronto likes to refer to itself as “Silicon Valley North,” the real SV is pretty far from my core network of readers and supporters. So I worried. I worried about four days away from my children for events that no one would show up to. I worried that I’d packed a suitcase full of books and inevitably would be on my return flight struggling to lift my still-full bag overhead. But that’s the furthest from what actually happened.

Those of you who met me at Flee last year know that the event took place the weekend before I opened The Workaround (!!), one of North America’s few coworking spaces with high-quality childcare onsite. Some of the women who were on the lux coach bus with me looked at me with raised eyebrows…

“You’re opening your very first location of your brand new business ON MONDAY, and you’re here with us this weekend?”

Yup. That’s right. I left for Flee because by the time we hit the week before launch, everything that needed to be complete was complete. And if there were small things to finish up, I had to trust that my staff team would handle it.

It was the best decision I could have made. I spent days in the woods of Pulga with POWERHOUSE women like Preeti Mistry and Michelle Dauber and Sallie Krawcheck, and made real, genuine friendships with Liz Curtis, Courtney Brodus, Katie Carlin, Jill Walker and Catherine Conners (to name only a few), women I still connect with daily on social feeds and Chairman Mom threads.

If I really thought deeply about it, my anxiety about no one showing up to my U.S. book launch was a bit unnecessary. The women I met at Flee and chatted with for the last year on Chairman Mom showed up, and I mean SHOWED UP. You challenged me (and my marriage!), gave the biggest hugs and cried real tears. You bought me lunch (and drinks, hello!), hosted me for yoga class, and invited me into corporate partnerships.

You are my real community, even if you’re on the other side of a totally different country.

My whole life I’ve been a part of online communities. I was one of Apple’s first e-World members. I spent too many early teenage years in AOL chat rooms. Because I’ve worked for SaaS companies for years, I’ve grown sick of all those people who talk about building online communities who are going to “connect! people! in new ways!” It’s all posturing.

Chairman Mom isn’t posturing. The relationships I’ve made in those forums and at Flee translated to real valuable friendships that are returning in positive business growth, a fan base for my book, and people who understand what I’m trying to do back home in Toronto.

Thanks Chairman Mom community for showing up, see you at Flee!

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

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