601. Creating Community for Expats
Naomi knew about being an outsider. As a home-schooled child of a bi-racial couple—before it was socially acceptable—she had to learn how to make connections, form communities and discover the unique gifts and talents she could offer.
Naomi Hattaway is the founder of I Am a Triangle, an online community with thousands of globally located members with one thing in common: they’ve lived around the world away from their passport countries. Offering in-person gatherings in over 80 cities around the globe, I Am a Triangle also exists as a one-stop-shop for resources, whether you are pondering a move abroad, currently are living the expat adventure, or are repatriating back home. She also owns 8th & Home Real Estate and Relocation, a nationwide referral network matching families on the move with real estate professionals who chase communities and not commissions.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
As a child of a white mother and African-American father in the corn fields of Nebraska, Naomi learned the value of finding and creating community wherever she went. With an adopted African-American brother, the children learned to navigate through stares, questioning looks and bullying. Home schooled throughout her youth, she immersed herself in books and learning, becoming adept at teaching herself whatever she needed to know. Early on, she learned the value of finding others who were in the same boat, connecting, and creating communities of support.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“While living overseas in Singapore and India for four years, I had an opportunity to look back at the traits and talents I had been taught, mostly by my grandfather. He taught me about kindness, patience and listening. I translated that into volunteer work. I found that I love collaborating and connecting with people, and growing networks of relationships. When we came back to the United States, I complained often about the relocation industry, that they don’t seem to care about the families they are moving. My husband kept saying to me, why don’t you do something about it?” So, she did. She formed a new kind of relocation service, chasing communities, not commissions.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“There is tremendous power in designing your own life and taking ownership of your choices. You can be in charge of the greatness you offer to the rest of the world. Then, live your life as a role model so that others can come behind or alongside you, mirror you or take from your example what they can benefit from themselves.”
Steps to Success from Naomi Hattaway
1. Get active in community volunteerism and service. You learn about yourself when you are in the service of others.
2. What you give freely of yourself comes back to you tenfold.
3. Find and work with a mentor.
4. Ask five friends you trust to tell you the strengths and talents they see in you.
Connecting With Naomi Hattaway
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