The word ‘Community’ stems from the Latin phrase meaning “things shared by many or all.” For those people looking to transition away from their regular jobs, and steer more towards a new life and career online, it can be tough. This is why you may need some shared wisdom and support.
Whether it’s a tribe, clan, group or clique, communities are a powerful force for all businesses, no matter how big or small.
Jason Moore is the founder, travel ambassador, and host of the hugely popular Zero To Travel Podcast. He’s also the co-founder of LocationIndie.com, a company base that sees the key to business success is all about having a like-minded community of friends and acquaintances to lean on for support, advice and mentorship.
Why Community Matters
No matter where you look, independent businesses and entrepreneurs the world over are building valuable communities. They know that going it solo can undoubtedly be a lonely business.
So, what is a community exactly? “It’s a support system, and a group of people that you feel comfortable with, that you can be vulnerable with, that won’t judge you and that you feel safe with,” explains Jason. “It’s a feeling, I think.”
Hitting business roadblocks? Striving to boost your business online? Suddenly feel overwhelmed and need some advice to keep you on track?
According to a recent study of global startups, 71% of entrepreneurs in Seoul, and 67% in Tel Aviv, found their business launch process difficult. However, this trend is not unique to just these locations, with London, China and New York showing similar stats.
So, why is the advice of peers and mentors still so important?
Groups and networks of like-minded people can offer assistance, guidance, support and sometimes a little tough love right when you need it the most.
“You lean on other people. That’s what community is,” says Jason. “The sooner you get yourself in the circle of the industry that you’re either building as a side hustle, that you want to be in, the sooner you can start building relationships and the faster things will happen,” Jason says.
How To Find The Right Community
Okay, so you’re now convinced getting into the community spirit is a good thing. But how do we actually find the right one for us?
Nowadays, with the internet and social media on our side, communities aren’t that hard to come by. Still, finding the right one for you may take some time.
“If you’re looking for a business type of community, I would say finding either groups, or in-person through meetup.com or something like that. Or, an online community that’s specific to your industry,” explains Jason.
“If you’re in eCommerce, and you wanted to get around a bunch of other eCommerce people because you want to build an eCommerce store, and that’s your jam,” says Jason, “You probably want to find a group of eCommerce people.”
If your business is particularly unique, these types of communities may not come to light at first glance. You have to do a bit of community digging. Keep an eye open for any sub-communities within larger community groups and networking events.
“If you have trouble finding your peeps,” says Jason, “find people that are kind of working towards the same goals, have shared values, are doing the same things, because a lot of magical things happen when you put yourself in that situation.”
You want to be finding the community that not only shares your values but also has similar goals, because as the old saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Can’t Find A Community? Start One Yourself
Let’s face it, sometimes when we’re looking for something to fulfill our specific business needs, we can’t always find it.
There are the lucky few who find their Holy Grail of a community right from the get-go. They’re locked in there, sharing ideas, learning and even guiding others.
But then there are the not so lucky ones. They enter into something that just isn’t quite their jam. It’s in this instance that you have to be honest with yourself. Some people stay within communities purely because of their sheer determination, taking on an “I’m here, therefore I stay,” stance.
Unfortunately, what then tends to happen is you end up selling yourself short. It is a massive hurdle in you finding something much better over the horizon.
If it’s not working for you, leave and either invest yourself within a new group of similarly focused people, or even start a group yourself! The more effort you put into the right community the more you’ll get out of it.
Struggling To Find Your Tribe?
Start one up yourself. “Be a leader,” says Jason, “you can start something up and just see how many people show up. Just start doing it, give it a try.”
“If you can find a way to provide some value to people,” says Jason, “that’s contagious.” Not only will your new clan start to recognize you as a prominent person of value, but you’re also kick-starting something that can become bigger than your business. You might be surprised how many other people will start chiming in and helping.
Being in a resourceful and valuable community can certainly take you where you want to go. But you have to put yourself out there. You have to take that first step. Remember, a community is not going to come to you; you have to go to the community. If you can’t find one that fits with you, start your own!