Our Innate Need for Connection
We weren’t meant to live in isolation, we were made for community.
I’ve been reading Donald Miller’s marketing book titled Building a Storybrand. Actually, I was listening to it on a recent road trip and bookmarked so many clips that I decided to buy it so I could highlight them to reference later! If you haven’t heard of Donald Miller, I recommend listening to his podcasts or read his book. You are in for a treat; I believe he is an absolute marketing wizard. He’ll definitely have you thinking, “well, of course, that’s why my message gets muddled!”
His message reminds us that every business, every company, every nonprofit cannot be the hero in the story. The customer is always the hero, and we are their guide!
Your organization can’t be the hero that swoops in and rescues NICU parents and their babies from the dangerous clutches of medical complications. No, your organization is the guide that gently leads your families (through your services & programs) to discover that the confidence and strength they have inside will see them through their darkest days.
He points out that we don’t buy products or enlist the services of a professional because the company is great, we buy products and services because they will provide a solution to a problem we have.
You are there to empower them, not to save them.
So if you were asked to identify a central problem facing the families needing your assistance, wouldn’t you agree that the ultimate solution is for them to know that they are not alone? Isn’t that their central internal problem, that they feel isolated and alone?
I’m going to guess that this may be your central internal problem as well. It may be the very problem to which you were seeking an answer when you first sought out an organization like the Preemie Parent Alliance.
When we polled our members last fall about what they wanted most out of their PPA membership, community and connection were the resounding answers. The feedback was very encouraging because that is what we have tried to build over the last several years! That was the reason PPA came together in the first place. We wanted to create a collaborative platform that brings like-minded NICU Parent Leaders together to build a unified, collective voice for NICU parents.
Community and Connection
I believe this need comes from an innate desire we all have to be a part of something, to be understood, and to find “our tribe” so to speak. This desire is also why peer-to-peer support works so well for NICU families. A bond is quickly formed with a mentor because they’ve shared your experience and understand on a deeply personal level. That desire for connection and community is why you have, from time to time, used a version of the phrase “you are not alone” in marketing materials, during a presentation, or at a bedside consult with a family.
I want to share something with you, my dear friend. You are not alone either.
You may have felt alone during your NICU stay or when you had to say goodbye to that beautiful baby that you wanted so much. You may feel alone on days when the pressures of running a business on top of being a full-time parent seem unsustainable. You may feel alone when you have critical decisions to make that rest solely on your shoulders for the longevity of your organization. Those moments can undoubtedly be isolating and draining.
I want to remind you that you are not alone.
Your tribe is right here.
We are committed to going all in with you! Are you ready?This year we are going to embark together on a journey of discovery where you will deepen current relationships, explore relationships with new members of our tribe, and uncover the clarity and confidence that already exists within as you strive for excellence in your work as a NICU Parent Leader. I am eager to see what we will do together this year!