Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Aria Leighty. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Aria, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – walk us through the story?
We took a major risk in March of 2021. After dreaming for years of creating our own platform for our members- we took the leap to do it. The vision of MOBsocial was to create a space that was our own- not owned by social media giants. A space where we got to 100% curate the experience, the culture, and the energy of the group. The culture and community of The MOB Nation is a very unique one that we fiercely protect.
The decision to create our own platform had been a big picture dream for years. In 2020 and the beginning of 2021 we experienced things inside the community that did not line up with our values or what our community culture stands for. We wanted to burn down the old platforms and groups (including a Facebook group of over 11,000 members!), in order to create a safer space for our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ community. The micro-agressions, racist attacks, and harmful interactions in the community we worked so hard to build made us need to push forward sooner than later.
We made the biggest investment (up to that point) and went all in. Boy did it come with a lot of setbacks, pushbacks from our community, hard lessons, and additional investments.
I never anticipated how many of the people in our community would be so passionately averse to change. I have taken a lot of risks before, and I have dealt with people who don’t always see the vision- but not at this level. It was a very hard time to go through as a leader, business owner, and human. When you are in the hard times it can be so overwhelming and you can feel helpless. A few loud, mean, negative voices can have potential to drown out all the positive voices.
In addition to the push back from some of the community, we also were faced with many tech issues that led to financial losses. There were people that we brought on board for this project that led us off course, and we had to invest more to have a new team member come in and clean some items up. A 30k budgeted investment turned into over a six figure project.
There were many times I wanted to give up or that I thought this was maybe going to be the end. I held on tight. Kept showing up regardless of the adversity and naysayers. After owning this business for ten years I did not want to give up on it with out a major fight.
Now in April 2022 we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Although we are months behind schedule and a bit battered- we are seeing why things happened the way that they did. The lessons I learned and the internal growth we went through during this project will last a life time.
Looking at the new platform as it is being improved- I can see the vision again. Thinking of thousands of Mom-Owned Businesses engaging, networking intentionally, and passing referrals in this unique way makes it all worth it. Thinking of how we can go from 3.5 million dollars passes through our community to 35 million with this new platform keeps the vision alive in my heart.
Aria, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I am the Founder and CEO of The MOB Nation, the National Alliance of Mom-Owned Businesses. We are the leading platform for Mom-owned Businesses providing resources, education, connection, referrals, and motivation.
For ten years we have been the go-to community for those that identify as mothers and own any sized business. We focus on community and collaboration over competition.
Our goal is to get more money into the hands of more moms because we know that is how we change the world. We do this by providing a unique community experience, weekly networking opportunities, personal development talks, referrals, and marketing through the largest Mom-Owned Directory in the Nation.
Join us on a virtual Meetup, become a member and join the conversation, or meet us all in San Diego for MOBCON 2022 9/23-25
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
Continuing to show up when so many were betting on my downfall, discouraging the major changes, and sending harmful messages was tough. It is hard to keep a brave face on and lead your community in the face of all of this heartache and let down. It was hard to keep going through 2020, then to face the racist attacks, remove a big portion of our paid membership in order to make the space safe, and THEN go through the platform issues….it was almost too much for one person to deal with.
But I continued to show up. I continued to invest in this project and into myself. I continued to show my face and be visible even in times I wanted to crawl up in a ball and hide.
How did you build your audience on social media?
I built a group to 11,000 on Facebook and have a solid community on other platforms as well. I will say that lead with your heart, pour into your community, and speak AUTHENTICALLY! You want to find your real people. don’t only do what you see others in your industry do, do not be afraid to be real and DIFFERENT. The world needs what you have to say in a way that is unique to you. Showcasing your unique magic and authentic voice will help your people find you faster and KNOW that you are for them!
- Website: themobnation.com
- Instagram: @arialeighty @the.mobnation