To get an idea of how people were feeling, Sheena touched base with the people who were already on her waiting list. “Throughout the month of April, I just sectioned off small groups of people and did these listening sessions. I asked them, ‘How are you doing? How can I help you right now? And if I launch something virtual, would you be interested?’”
As it turned out, people were very, very keen on the idea of a virtual community and the opportunity to connect with their peers. Sheena knew going digital was the path forward, but she also wanted to give herself the chance to work out a couple of kinks. After all, she was going to be kicking off her new community way ahead of schedule.
So she compromised: Instead of waiting a year to launch, she would get started in July and open up Boston While Black to 100 founding members.
That way, she would be able to experiment her way to a robust, thriving community created alongside her initial members. And when she was ready to open it up to a wider audience, she would have a better idea of how to keep the community running smoothly.