CSW 181: On Building Communities with Emmy McCarthy & Naomi HattawayEmmy McCarthy has been building communities across Europe since Y2K. Before we liked each other on Facebook, before we became a number on someone’s mailing list, Emmy was helping humans connect to humans.

She sees patterns where others see chaos. She uses those patterns to connect the dots and develop strengths-based solutions that grow communities and help small businesses thrive.

By getting clear, getting focused and taking action, she knows that together we can make small changes to create big impact. She believes that we all have the ability to build the business we truly want to run and to create the communities we want to live in while still making the impact (and income) we deserve.

Naomi Hattaway is the founder of I Am A Triangle, an international social network with thousands of global members who share in common a life lived away from their passport countries. IAAT offers in-person gatherings in 70+ international cities and is a one-stop-shop for resources, expert advice and more.

She also owns 8th & Home Relocation, a nation-wide network matching families on the move with relocation professionals. After living in several locations in the United States, her family moved to India where she learned to thrive in the midst of chaos. Following one year in Singapore, they moved back to the United States, and traipsed from Florida to Virginia to Ohio and now, Nebraska. Naomi is passionate about community building and empowering others to thrive, not just survive, in the places they call home.

I brought these two powerhouses onto the podcast because we share a passion for communities and community-building. Have a listen to our conversation and let me know what resonates most for you!

In this episode we talked about:

  • What got Naomi interested in community and community building
  • The basic human need of belonging
  • The three types of community and what the differences are between them
  • The most important aspect of community
  • Why communities stay insular
  • How Emmy & Naomi have built & grown their engaged online community
  • Why engagement is more important than number of members
  • The role of moderators in a group
  • Cultivating a culture within your community
  • The Power of Onlyness and how it plays into community
  • Melissa, Emmy, & Naomi’s something cool

Mentioned In This Episode:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown (aff link, or click here for a non-aff link)

Medium Article: “3 Types of Community”

Laura McKowen Quote

The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World by Nilofer Merchant (aff link, or click here for a non-aff link)

Stephanie Ward of Firefly Coaching

Scriptnotes Podcast

The Garden in Every Sense and Season by Tovah Martin (aff link, or click here for a non-aff link)

Naomi’s Something Cool: Gottman Card Decks

Emmy’s Somethings Cool: Correctbook and Bloomon

Melissa’s Something Cool: Adcase, a smartphone case coming soon to Kickstarter (or possibly already  on Kickstarter by the time this episode airs) that actively protects your display by popping out little legs if your phone goes into a free-fall.

Connect with Emmy McCarthy:

Website | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

Connect with Naomi Hataway:

Website | I Am a Triangle | 8th and Home | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook


“I’m not the person you would think would be out there connecting people together, but I am a traveller.” – Emmy McCarthy

“If you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, after we cover the basic essentials, so food, water, and shelter, you need belonging. It’s a basic survival need as a human.” – Emmy McCarthy

“It’s very easy to identify people that look like they’re in the middle, like me who are mixed race, but then you bring into it religion and culture and all the different ways that you can be brought up and many of us are in the middle.” – Naomi Hattaway

“I think that’s such an important thing to realize is how many different types of communities we all belong to because traditionally people would say your community is where you live, it’s the space you inhabit, but then you have to layer in all the other communities that you belong to.” – Emmy McCarthy

“A community is a self sustaining group of individuals who, number 1, share a concern for each other, number 2, take action to actively support each other, and the individuals in a community take the knowledge and encouragement that they receive from their community out into the world.” – Naomi Hattaway

“My members take what they learn, what we learn from each other, and apply it in our day to day lives, and that’s why I started the community.” – Melissa Dinwiddie

“When you get to your art, it makes everything in your life go better and it allows you to step out onto a bigger stage in so many ways, it allows you to inhabit your biggest self.” – Melissa Dinwiddie

“People often forget that we are forever in practice, we are never at the end point & we have to get comfortable with uncomfortable.” – Emmy McCarthy

“If we don’t create with a little bit of discomfort then are we ever going to achieve the pearl?” – Emmy McCarthy

“It’s important to look at engagement and impact as opposed to numbers.” – Naomi Hattaway

“I believe for communities to really work they need leadership but it has to be “our” community it can’t be one person’s community.” – Emmy McCarthy

“We all just need someone to hear and listen in order for us to access our clearest and most brilliant thinking.” – Melissa Dinwiddie


Listeners Wanted!

Has the Creative Sandbox Way™ podcast made a difference in your life? Would you like to be featured on the podcast?

I love sharing listener stories, so if you have a story of how listening to the podcast has changed your life for the better in some way — big or small — I want to feature you in a Listener Spotlight.

Here’s how it works:

1. Just log into iTunes and leave a rating and review. (If you don’t know how to do that, you’ll find step-by-step instructions at creativesandboxway.com/itunes-review).

2. Then copy and paste what you wrote in your review into an email, and send it to me, along with why you want to be featured in a Listener Spotlight, and how the podcast has made a difference in your life. You can email me at creativesandboxway.com/contact.

That’s it!

If I pick you for a Listener Spotlight, we’ll have a relaxed, fun conversation, and the recording of our conversation will be part of a future episode! How cool is that?

Want a creative kick start?
Check out my book!

The Creative Sandbox Way: Your Path to a Full-Color Life, by Melissa Dinwiddie

What would change for you if you could totally revel in the joy of creating? You CAN, with The Creative Sandbox Way!

You’ll learn:

  • Melissa’s 10 fool-proof guideposts that have helped thousands get joyfully creating.
  • 5 reasons why creative play is good for you, AND for the world (it’s neuroscience, baby!)
  • Why “I’m not creative” is always a lie, and how to bust it.
  • How to turn creative blocks into friends.

AND you’ll get creating right in the book itself. 

ChrisGuillebeau“It’s one part field guide, one part creative practice—and I loved it. The Creative Sandbox Way is an adventure packaged as a book.”

~Chris Guillebeau
NYT best-selling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup

Buy The Creative Sandbox Way by Melissa Dinwiddie - checkout with Amazon


Hear ye, hear ye! This is to serve as official notice that all links to anything for sale, be it books or courses, are likely to be affiliate links. What this means is that if you click through said links and make a purchase, although it won’t affect the price that you pay, a few coins will jangle into my coffers, enabling me to buy a packet of hard gluten-free biscuits to feed myself and my husband for another day, or perhaps a pen with which to create some artwork. Or perhaps they will contribute toward paying a fraction of my web hosting bill, so that this blog and podcast can continue to exist. Thank you kindly for your attention.

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Now go get creating!

xo, Melissa <3

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