In January 2018, history was made as Tracey Crouch was appointed Britain’s Minister of Loneliness making her the World’s first loneliness mister
In 2017, former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a “growing health epidemic” in a Harvard Business Review essay, citing a study that said social isolation is “associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”
A comprehensive study carried over 7 years by Birgham Young University researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad, concluded that the top 2 things that reduce the chances of dying the most are:
Social integration [how much you interact with people as you move through the day]
Your close relationships [people you can call on for important issues]
You can get the full gist from the Ted talk by Susan Pinker below, titled: The secret to living longer may be your social life
It’s obvious that loneliness is at an all time high and socializing and networking reduces loneliness and increases lifespan.
Everyone should be able to make friends and socialize easily but this is not the case, especially for introverts.
I set up Skills Tribe, an online platform that teaches introverts to network, because I am an introvert who found it difficult to meet and connect with others, to put myself out there when I had a business and I assumed that a lot of other people struggled with the same thing.
I was proven right as over 350 people signed up to attend my first webinar and in just 2 years, I have over 200 clients across 4 continents and a combined online community of over 6,000 people.
Under the umbrella of Skills Tribe, I have worked with global and local brands like British Council [Nigeria], Global Entrepreneurship Week [GEW], Pan-Atlantic University, Infopreneurs Summit, She Leads Africa and Naija Startups to name a few.
The community grows by about 150 people a month with webinars and 70 people/month without webinars.
It seems like every other day, I come across introverts that say ‘so I’m not doomed’ and I remember when I myself felt doomed. I believe that one of the reasons there’s so much growth and interest in the Skills Tribe community is that other introverts can look at my story and the fact that I’m also an introvert but also a super connector/Networking Expert and know that this is possible for them too.
Being able to help them go from that place of uncertainty, even in their abilities, to meeting and connecting with others in a deeper way, in a very short time, brings me so much joy.
I set out to create something that would have impact because I believe that my purpose in life is simple; to have others say ‘because of her, my life is better’.
I see Skills Tribe being the go-to [online] one stop shop for introverts to learn to network.
I not only want to show introverts that networking can be easy and fun for them but to empower as well, by teaching them how to significantly increase their networking and social skills with speed and ease.
Skills Tribe has grown and helped thousands in the last two years but what most people don’t realize is that I run this entire online community/ Ed-Tech business by myself even though I have never received funding and don’t have a technical background. What I have is a Business Administration Degree from Middlesex University, London and I’ve have had to be resourceful, bootstrap and learn as I go.
Initially, I offered one-to-one consultations over Skype, to members of the community who wanted to work with me, but the demand was so much that all the spots for the entire year were sold out by early March of this year.
Because of the issue of demand being more than supply, I’ve had to create an online course to allow more people get access to me, but with the creation of online courses comes more work and the need for more money.
I realize that Skills Tribe will not become a one-stop shop for introverts to learn to network if I do not have a team to help me execute this vision.
It would be tremendously helpful to have a mentor in the Ed-Tech/Infopreneurship industry, preferably around something unconventional, or something other than sales and marketing [for example, meal planning] that has their courses taken by numerous students in numerous countries.
A mentor who can give me invaluable feedback and guide me through my hiring process to ensure that I pick the right team to help me scale and grow. I am yet to come across any Nigerian woman who fits the bill and it makes me very sad to feel like we are being left behind as the world moves forward.
I have an idea that can change the world.
I have a product that has been validated and proven to work
What I need now is to get help and scale
Creating content for and engaging on social media is by far my most time consuming activity but it cannot be disregarded as 80% of the community comes from there.
I have also noticed that the fastest way to grow the community is through webinars/video content, which is why If I win a Toptal Scholarship for Women, I will use the scholarship winnings to first purchase professional tools such as Freedocast, WebinarJam, a blue yeti Mic and a Logitec camera to help me accommodate a wider audience and collect data when I do webinars and livestreams.
Then take the Step on the Red Dot online course by Soness Stevens, this will help me refine my message in a way that resonates with more people and get a TED talk that will put Skills Tribe in front of a global audience that needs the solution the community provides.
Lastly, I will hire a social media manager with a track record of organically growing an engaged and involved community. This will take a lot of work off my plate as I currently spend a lot of my time on social media, time that could be used to do something only I can do - improve upon my course/curriculum