I’m naturally an introvert so this may seem counterintuitive, but I forced myself to meet new people and it is changing my life for the better.
Last year I started hosting weekly meetups and I want to share 10 insights about building a community that you have to understand:
- It’s 10 times harder than you expect. People are busy, distracted, and sometimes need a reason to get out of bed. Don’t be afraid to double text.
- You become more productive. When you know you have to share your progress with someone, you’re more likely to at least take action on one of your desires.
- You build confidence. You learn that you’re actually capable of creating something that other people take an interest in. And you see that they’re not much different than you.
- It replenishes the soul. After a tough week of dealing with life, it’s good to know that there are people you can be vulnerable with and that they have the same issues. Just be careful not to trauma bond.
- People will support you. When people see you show up consistently, they will offer you free space, products, and even outreach to help you grow.
- Other entities will want access. Companies know how hard it is to build an authentic community so they will be willing to pay or give in-kind donations to be in the room.
- It can financially support you. Similar people tend to do similar things. I volunteered to be the first client of one of my community members and another one referred me new business yesterday.
- It teaches you how to trust. Your community members will start to volunteer to host things and give input. Empower them to take an active role if they choose to.
- It teaches you to be agile. You start to learn that the original plan for the community may need to be shifted to accommodate the needs of the people. Maintain your north star, but be flexible on the path.
- It gives people a reason for living. An idle mind can be dangerous and sometimes people just need something to look forward to. It’s important that people feel like they matter to something greater than themselves.
I have one ask for everyone who sees this…
Regardless of your industry, interest, or status — try to build your own form of consistent community. You can gather in person, or you can take up your own corner of the internet on Twitter, Discord, etc. Either way, find people who think similarly to you and that you can build with. During times of uncertainty, it can be lifesaving to have people in your sphere of influence that understand and support you, and vice versa.
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