This is a little late but a huge happy birthday to San Francisco female-power space The Assembly, which turned two in January! I absolutely adore The Assembly and its founder Molly Goodson.
She recently wrote a newsletter about the journey and has posted some amazing before and afters on Instagram.
She wrote about the work it takes to build a true community, and it really resonated with me. Such a large part of my work day is spent in the Chairman Mom community. I reply to every email sent in response to these newsletters, and I sit down with hundreds of Chairman Mom members every year.
Caterina Fake did an amazing podcast with Reid Hoffman where she talked about how in the Flickr days, founders spent the bulk of their time being present within online communities. That changed with Facebook, she argued, where social media began to adopt an “us vs them” approach to users, and maintained more groomed and restricted presences on the site.
I agree with Caterina that the art of building community got lost. And that’s one reason I think physical spaces for underrepresented groups has had such a surge of interest and investing.
Here’s what Molly wrote: “I often get asked what I’ve learned since opening The Assembly. While I could list a million things, there’s one that stands out the most: building community takes intention, work, and consistency. It is something we actively build together. The perfect alchemy of all us has been born of our individual decisions to make a difference in this way for each other. This is our team, our instructors, our practitioners, and every single one of you as members.”
She also opened her newsletter with this amazing quote: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
I love that so much. I know so many people in Silicon Valley who argue they aren’t immoral as much as “amoral.” They throw up their hands and say “We’re just a platform!” On an individual scale, I know so many incredibly successful and prominent women in the Valley who have told me they admire the battles I’ve fought here and swear that one day when they’ve had a little more success, they’ll start to fight for others too.
That Goodall quote makes a point more delicately than I have in the past: Don’t kid yourself. No matter what you do, you are having an impact on the world around you. You might as well choose to make it a positive one.
(More about private clubs and female co-working spaces on the thread below!)
Check out a few of our favorite Chairman Mom threads about finding and building community as well as supporting your friends:
- How to support a friend going through separation/divorce?
- Private Clubs — Worth the money? What’s your Why for joining?
- How to build a physical tribe?
- A friend just mentioned in passing that she recently attempted suicide. What do I do now?
- How do full time working moms make & keep friends?