My story

Inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger

I’ve always liked people. Talking to them, organizing events for them, involving them in activities. Providing them with food (and later wine).

„I have observed that people often think they can't move forward in life, can't achieve their goals because they are not capable enough, not disciplined enough, have little knowledge or skills. I believe they lack community support.”

My fondest childhood memories are of going on a long hike with friends. In the evening we would talk, eat and have fun around the campfire. I saw a certain magic in it. I enjoyed observing the connections that could happen, what people could create together when they came together in a warm and stimulating environment. (I even loved pioneer camps as a child of communism for this reason!)

To this day I am fascinated by people who meet „around the campfire“. I’ve made my (third!) profession as a community builder out of what fascinates me (by the way, there is a methodology called „campfire principles“ in community building).

My inspiration is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s had 3 career changes in his life. He was a bodybuilder, a movie star, and at 54 he became governor of California, supposedly a good one. He succeeded in all 3 careers because of his hard work and teamwork.

My third career is actually not entirely new, it’s more of an elaboration and utilization of everything I’ve learned in the previous two.

My first career:

I studied economics and marketing. I had been working in the field of communications, event organization, PR and media relations since I was 20 years old, at the time in the second largest PR agency in Slovakia. I loved my job. Even when I was very young I had the opportunity to work for global clients. From the agency I went to the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family, where I was in charge of the state campaign for the introduction of the second pillar of the pension reform in Slovakia, financed by the World Bank.

My second profession:

In 2006 I started a restaurant business with my then husband. We were running 2 business restaurants and managing 50 people, which was new. I discovered my love for food and wine. I understood that sharing food and wine is a powerful ritual that can bring people together. And it confirmed that the invention of fire is the most important invention in the history of mankind, because it not only brings people together, but also greatly expands the variety of what we can eat. I created our customer community in the restaurants, with whom I communicated on a daily basis, mainly through newsletters (now called content creation), and organized regular steak and wine clubs for them.

Then my family arrangement changed, which resulted (the pandemic precipitated it) I stopped working in the restaurants. (I can still appreciate good food and wine, though).

My third profession:

In 2020, together with my friends, we founded Beelong Community & Networking. It was a very spontaneous and intuitive decision. I started and still run this community because I need it myself. We are a community of women who help each other move forward in our professional and personal lives. We do this in a variety of ways – support, sharing stories, upskilling, events together, which gives us a lot of strength (as the illustration suggests). It brings us empowerment – gaining inner strength and the belief that we can create the life we want.

Community building & belonging

Then I discovered that COMMUNITY BUILDING is a relatively new, but respected and sought after profession in the world.

To this I added the study of BELONGING – how real connections and a sense of trust are developed. I read the books, I took the courses, and I understood: I want to do this for a living!

Mark Twain said: „The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.“

I know for sure that I want to dedicate myself to community building, belonging (what a coincidence that I named our community Be(e)long 4 years ago) and event organizing.

I have observed that people often think they can’t move forward in life, can’t achieve their goals because they are not capable enough, not disciplined enough, have little knowledge or skills. I believe they lack community support.

But you do not have to lack anything. If you want to start a community – workplace, customer, ecosystem, whatever – I’d be happy to roll up my sleeves and help you do it.