Moving to a new country where you know no one is already a giant leap, but throw on a global pandemic and start a one-person business. It can become quite lonely quickly.
I felt like a shell of my former self. My community was nonexistent. I had nothing I felt connected to, nothing that was bigger than myself.
One day, I realized that what I was missing was connection, connection to people, but also connection with something bigger than myself. I had no idea what that would look like or how it would manifest in my life. But I knew that this, connection, was what I wanted to invite into my life.
A few weeks later, I stumbled upon a networking drinks for “Female Ventures.” I was intrigued, so I committed to attending.
This would be my first network event in 2 years. Was I nervous? Yes. Did I change my outfit a couple of times? Most definitely. But then I looked myself in the mirror, put my lipstick on, took a deep breath, and walked out the door.
Once my bike was parked, I walked into the beautifully unique Bunk Restaurant, where I was directed up the winding staircase to a table of five women sipping wine and sharing about themselves.
I settled in and immediately felt warmth and welcoming energy. Throughout the evening, turns were taken to share stories, goals, and struggles. All were listened to intently, and if someone had support to offer, it was offered.
For myself, the outcome of the 3 hour drinks evening could not have been more successful. Three women, each exceptional and high achieving in their own right, offered introductions, inspiration, and friendship. This night started a chain reaction of virtual coffees, interviews, and opportunities, which is still in motion.
Thanks to one evening (and a little follow-up)…
- I was launched into the Dutch entrepreneurial community, meeting other remarkable women making an impact.
- I met my first friend in the city I now call my home.
- And I was inspired to join the Female Ventures Utrecht Team.
I realized I had created a protective bubble over the past two years. This protective bubble was a comfort during a time of extreme ambiguity and isolation, but it was no longer needed.
By stepping out, I found the beginnings of what I’ve been seeking— connection to a beautiful tribe of women and a connection with something bigger than myself.
If you feel a tinge of relation to this story, I encourage you to check out Female Ventures! Female Ventures is a cross-generation community for all people looking to grow, connect, and be empowered.
Female Ventures offers many opportunities:
- Recurring networking drinks on the 3rd Thursday of every month– remember, all it takes is one connection to start your own chain reaction!
- Quarterly Community panels & workshops to educate and inspire.
- An online community of 500+ extraordinary women obsessed with helping each other succeed.
- A Mentor/Mentee program to connect and empower on a deeper level.
- Get involved and lead through volunteering opportunities on the Female Ventures team and local chapters.
Whatever you seek, we want to help you get there!
Jessica Hollinger is the FV Utrecht’s Partnerships Director. Connect with Jessica for coaching on sales, product-market fit, and go-to-market strategy.