It happened one night back in 2010.
Sitting alone in my PJ’s, in my “office” that doubled as a closet, I made a decision that changed the course of not just my own life, but the lives of (as of today) more than 8,000 other people.
That single decision (and the action I took because of it) has been partly responsible for helping thousands of people grow their businesses, pursue their artistic dreams, make connections with people they might never have met, and more.
Before I tell you about it (and why it matters to you), let me rewind to a day several weeks earlier.
I was a baby coach, having just received my coaching certification. I didn’t have a website. I didn’t have business know-how. And in fact, I didn’t even realize that being a coach meant that I was going to have to also learn to be a business owner. Yikes.
No one I knew was doing anything even remotely similar. And no one in my life understood what I was trying to create.
All I had was a tool belt full of new tools, and a dream and a vision to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
And that day, a few weeks prior to my Big Important Decision, I made a different one. I decided to enroll as one of the very first students in a brand-new marketing training program called “Rich, Happy & Hot B-School”.
I’d enrolled in B-School primarily to learn how to market my new business, but as the program came to an end on this fateful night in 2010…
I was sad.
Because for the first time, I had found my people.
People who were ambitious. And interesting. Who had a mission in the world. Who believed in something bigger than themselves. Who knew they were meant to do big things.
I met photographers from Toronto. Web designers from Quebec. Filmmakers from Los Angeles. Coaches from all over the world.
And I was not ready to let them go.
So that night in 2010, I thought, “What if I started a Facebook group so we could all keep in touch?”
And within minutes, sitting there in my little “cloffice” (because, you know… “closet/office”), I’d created a Facebook group called “B-School Babes.”
Next, I invited anyone in B-School to join the group if they wanted to connect with other B-School “babes” and keep in touch.
One member turned into 50, which turned into 200. Which within a year had turned into over 1,000. And today, the group sits at 8,175 smart, engaged, interesting members.
Many have said that this Facebook group is one of their favorite parts of the whole program.
People have sold out programs, grown their email lists, hired people, been hired, and even built their businesses solely from connections they made within this group.
And these past four years, I’ve watched it evolve. Watched it grow. Watched all of us change.
I’ve watched many people start from nothing and go on to build beautiful things (books, websites, products, entire businesses).
And over the course of it all, I learned a lot about community.
Why it’s important. How to nurture it so that it will feed you, fill you, and last. How to manage it so that serves the purpose you intended for it to serve.
In an age where we are simultaneously so connected to each other (constantly checking email and social media) and also often devoid of real live connection… I find community to be a kind of lifeblood.
I think community is the lifeblood of anyone who wants to do great things in the world.
As we all know…life is FULL of unpredictable situations. Of ups and downs.
And finding your people, your tribe (even if they’re mostly online), can help catch you when you fall and push you along when you doubt yourself.
Because, even though we like to think of the “lone ranger” type who makes it on their own with sheer grit and determination, I believe Thomas Merton said it best:
“No person is an island.”
(Oh, did he say “man”? I’m sure he would have said person in 2014.)
So today, I want to share with you 3 ways to find your own community, in case you’re feeling a bit lonely out there creating your dreams, or like the people around you don’t understand you.
If that’s you, let’s rock n roll.
1) Create your own tribe
Start paying attention to who you resonate with, who have similar interests, who are interesting to you, and then gather them together in a consistent manner.
This can be in the form of a Facebook group, a meetup in real life, a book club, a retreat, you name it.
The point here is to find the PEOPLE you want to be around first, and gather them together in an organized and consistent way (“consistent” being 24/7 on Facebook, every Tuesday at the local coffee shop, once a year in Bali, or whatever floats your tribal boat).
Tribes thrive on regularity (and no, I’m not talking about the fiber-assisted kind… unless that’s your perfect tribe!).
What I mean is, they need to know where to go and when, which events are coming up, and what to expect.
If you know that your Facebook group will ALWAYS be there, for instance, you’re likely to ask a question when you have it, rather than try to struggle through on your own. If you know you’re meeting your peeps at 7PM on Thursdays, you might handle things differently.
Either way, structure and consistency are key.
2) Find people you resonate with and join their tribe
Google is your friend.
(And what better way to find a community than through a friend?)
If you’re into something, it’s likely that a lot more people are too, and that there are probably people already talking about it.
Let’s say you’re a health coach who lives in Australia and you’re looking for people to connect with.
Google “health coaches in Australia” and keep clicking until you find one (or more) that resonates with you.
Then, stalk them relentlessly.
I mean… do the modern version of (safe, non-creepy) stalking.
Join their newsletters. Connect with them on Facebook. Join groups they lead or belong to. Buy their books. Say hi to them on Twitter.
The possibilities are endless with the kind of global access we have to each other.
NOTE: I was REALLY kidding about the stalking part. Remember to be cool about it when you’re approaching new people. They don’t know you yet, so be casual and let the relationship develop on its own time, just like in real life.
But I didn’t need to tell you that, did I? ;)
3) Rally around an idea
If you are looking to create your own tribe, a shared idea or passion is a great starting point.
Let’s say you’re a female hunter and wanting to find other females who are interested in hunting with you.
One easy way to find these people is to get vocal about the fact that you are a female hunter.
Talk about it. Write about it. Start your own blog where you discuss the issues involved with being a female hunter.
(Hint: Those who are interested are likely to do #2 and Google the topic. And BAM! You just made a new like-hearted friend.)
The point is, the more you are SHOWING UP to do, talk about, or even teach your idea or passion, the more people will notice.
That’s how I created the WIldheart Revolution.
It started out as a personal mission for me to take risks, jump out of my comfort zone and do things that were fulfilling, inspiring, and scary to me.
The more I did that—the more I #wildhearted in my own life—the more people were inspired to bring that quality into their own life.
What started out as me fumbling through life, creating adventures and sharing my experiences…
Is now an engaged, dynamic tribe of ambitious, edgy, vulnerable, and incredibly interesting Wildhearts who are bravely venturing out onto the skinny branches of life.
And in doing so, they’re shaping their lives and their businesses into what THEY want them to be (whatever that looks like for each one of them).
So, if you’re doing something in your life that takes bravery or maybe even a liiiitle bit of Wildheart-endorsed insanity…
Take a page from my (humble) book and get out there and find your people!
(The ones who will help support you, cheerlead you, cry with you when things are tough and jump up and down in joy with you when things are great.)
And if you’re pickin up what I’m layin down and you like the idea of joining a tribe that’s already rockin it… you just might be a Wildheart.
In which case I and the rest of the Wildheart tribe would welcome you with open arms!
No matter what, though, I encourage you to find the support and community you need to pursue your heart’s desire.
Because life is way too long to spend it going after anyone’s dream but your own.
Your Wildhearted Partner In crime,
P.S. I almost forgot… there’s a sweeeet Wildheart deal coming up! So if you ARE interested in joining our tight-knit group, make sure your put you name in the box below to get on the list, so you’re the first to hear all about it.