Amplify Your Community
You're the average of five people you spend the most time with. Do you see the people that I put myself around?
That is not an accident, and right now you might be saying, I don't know Jasmine Star, I don't know Chris Guilbault, neither did I, Okay, neither did I. But how did I meet those people? By showing up where I thought they might show up, by showing up the way that I authentically could show up in my own person and not everybody digs it. Just so happened that those handful of people, Debbie, Chris, Jasmine, I called them. Sometimes it wasn't even a phone call, it was a text, like I got a thing, you're the best person in the world to show up for this, would this be something you'd be into? It was like within five seconds, it's blink. But I want to slide into this last segment, and talk about this thing community that a lot of us know in concept but not in practice. We have read about it or we see it in front of us, but we don't understand it. So I want to deconstruct...
a little bit about community, and again this is the amplify section, and the reason I called it amplify was because the communities that we participate in, and that we build ourselves, they have an opportunity to amplify not just our creativity, yeah, that's sure, but they also have the ability to amplify our spirit to share what it is that we have to share with the world, with other people because look at what's this circle of friends that you have, don't count on Facebook. I mean, how many people do you interact with? 1, 3, 10, 20, 18, 110, I don't know what it is, but it's not a thousand, or a hundred thousand, or gasp a million. When you sit here and you think about that the ideas that you have in the world, it doesn't matter that you can affect one person or a million people, but I think it's interesting to understand that it's possible. There are two kinds of communities, and this is a radical simplification because right now you're like, wait, we already heard about the orange sweater club, we already heard about the photography club, you know there's so many communities but there's really they boil that into two buckets. And one bucket is communities that you join. In the book, I talk about becoming a joiner. Now, which is weird because the last thing that I really would identify with is someone's like, I want to be the person that drives across town and shows up and says, "Okay, I'm here for the event." It's just not my natural mode of being, I'm more around and I'm extroverted, in case you couldn't tell. But even then I think like, wow that's not my natural behavior, until you realize that this connection we're talking about, it's not networking, it's actual connection, and that there are communities whatever it is you are interested in, would you tell me what you're interested in right now?
Astrology. I think there's probably a few communities around astrology on the internet, right?
Right. What is it that you are interested there in the green top?
You're interested in music? Seems like there's a few communities around music out there in the internet. Now it's fair to say that all kinds of communities within astrology, right? And there are gonna be communities that are good fits for you and bad fits for you that are down the street in Australia. And so participating either in real life or on the internet, you're gonna have to make some decisions. But how do you make decisions about what kind of foods you like and don't? You try 'em out, right? I like pizza, pizza is nice. I don't like carrots. Carrots are a weird-shaped food. (crowd laughs) The point is that you really have to interact with communities in order to decide if it's a good fit, and also this whole idea of judging a book by the cover, like I think it's a pretty awesome cover myself but you need to get involved. And I think participating is the thing where I see people stumble with communities that they want to join, is that they'll sit back and they will. What's the term on the internet?
Troll or lurk. Yeah, I like lurk better than troll, you have to participate in order to truly understand the community. Otherwise, you're judging from the outside without the context. So the other kind of community, and both of these are critical, we're gonna talk a little bit more about 'em. The community you built and the community you build, this is also something that's massively misunderstood because you're right now probably saying one of two things. Either, oh yeah, I've got a Facebook group and I'm the moderator on this Reddit thread, and you understand what I'm talking about? Yeah, I'm building a community around things I like. Or you're saying like, "Well, me? I gotta build a community." Like, well, that's not my thing. It's like I'm a painter, or I am a programmer, or I am a business owner or a chef. I don't build the community, I do my craft. We're gonna get to that in a second, but I'm just letting you know that every person who I believe has found some sort of fulfillment, which you could also call some sort of success, has a community around them. And I do not have a good example where there is no community. Even if you are a blacksmith in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and you serve the 12 restaurant tours and the two farmers, you shoe the horses' hooves, and you make the knife for the restaurant tours, and your community is twelve deep. That is enough to make a living, that is enough to connect, to feel the sense of human connection that you wouldn't otherwise, but they have to know that you exist. There are two kinds of communities that I want you to join. I want you to join online communities and I want you to join in real life community. How many people traveled to be here? Yeah, in case you were at home and couldn't hear that someone audibly said, "Wow." (audience laughs) 'Cause it was about half the audience. But when you find your people, and you're willing to travel across the state, the country, the world, or just your county in order to connect with them, it's because there's an exchange of value. There's a connection. And this is available to you. And most of us don't believe it until you tap into it. It's hard to ignore the fact that in real life, community eyeball to eyeball is actually different because so much of community is on the internet right now. Of the people who raise their hands is a trick question, so I'm just gonna keep going with it. Who's bummed that they came here today? (audience laughs) You see what I did there, right? Okay the point is that in real life, eyeball to eyeball community is amazing, it's so powerful, you can't do it all the time 'cause it was also expensive to come all this way, right? But what you hope is that if you take a few chances, you travel to Jackson Hole, if you're the blacksmith in the blacksmith community, I'm obviously just making this up on the fly, right? I do not recommend you do this. I do not know if there are any blacksmiths in Jackson Hole. But the point is that you're willing to travel, every once in a while to connect great things to look for. Conferences, meetups, clubs. If you search meetup photography in your city, I would bet that in every city that every single person in this room lives in, that there is a meetup, and I bet it's regular, and I bet you can meet light-minded people in person, tomorrow, overnight, boom, it's happening. And I believe the same about other communities beyond photography. Yes, I chose photography 'cause it's a little bit obvious, but the point is that it's available to us, and we haven't been told to take that community up on joining and are connecting with them because we haven't really understood the value or it's been murky. I'm here to tell you that what you're doing when you're building community is providing yourself a wealth of knowledge. You're learning at a pace that is accelerated because you don't actually have to touch the stove to know it's hot. Someone else can have burned themselves and you can ask them was the stove hot? It's true, right? It's true and the cool thing is, is that is a massive way of accelerating your learning, watching others perform very publicly, watching others share their work. Remember that DEAR system? Deconstructing, emulating, analyzing, and repeating? If you're not in that community, how are you gonna know who to deconstruct and emulate? You have to show up and learn who the people who are already doing it. What do you admire about them? What would you do differently? Those are ways to take in the world, and that's why you would join a community is to get information, to create connection, to share and to learn.