Today’s weekly guest contributor is my friend and go-to tech-genius, Glen Stansberry. Glen is the co-founder of the LifeRemix blog network (which I am incredibly grateful to be a part of), he writes about helping creative people create at LifeDev and Tweets regularly. Today, Glen shares some killer wisdom on the importance of community.
Can you believe the nerve of this guy?
While Jonathan’s lazily propping his feet in a hammock, we’re here slaving away for him. He’s sipping drinks with tiny umbrellas and playing with his family while we’re grunting away at our own jobs. I mean, it’s bad enough that he keeps rubbing it in that he’s in a tropical paradise, but what really chaps me is that he’s taking a vacation and asking others (like myself) to do his work for him.
It’s easy to be a little really jealous of Jonathan, but the truth is that we’d all be in Bali right now if we could. Vacations and breaking out of our normal routines are like espresso shots for our creativity. I expect some high-caliber stuff out of Mr. Fields once he returns.
It takes a lot of work to be able to relocate for a month to a somewhat-remote place, and the fact that Jonathan is pulling it off is pretty impressive. What’s most interesting about Jonathan’s trip is that he was able to effectively use “peersourcing” to help him get away.
This is a fantastic example of how community is pivotal to the success of an entrepreneur.
Or in Jonathan’s case, how to slack off more. (Ok, seriously… I love Jonathan. I’d gladly drop everything to help him out, as he’s helped me out so many times before. Just don’t tell him, ok? I’d never hear the end of it.)
I was fortunate enough to co-found the blog network LifeRemix a few years back. The network has some amazing people, with serious skills in many different fields. Bestselling authors, awesome programmers, marketing geniuses, financial wizards… we’ve got it all. (I’m quite lucky that I was a founder, otherwise I wouldn’t have made the cut!)
We’ve managed to help each other out with our writing and other pursuits of life. In fact, we’re a pretty close little community. We all have unique skills and knowledge about different topics, so really the network is like a massive pool of knowledge. Someone will ask a question in our email list, and usually four to five really smart people will chime in, offering help and advice. So it’s no surprise that when Jonathan told the network he was going on vacation and needed a hand with guest posts, we gladly answered the call.
Here’s the secret to being a successful entrepreneur: You need community.
You need help from other people. People who will challenge you and lend you a hand when needed. People who will expand your horizons with their expertise or particular walks of life. Thanks to this thing called The Internet, you can find people and groups to help you in almost any field and variety.
Forums, Google groups, open source projects… there are literally limitless options for finding a community.
Or maybe it makes more sense to find a local, offline community. There are plenty of options for finding groups of people in your area. Churches, business organizations and memberships, neighbors, etc. Just because someone isn’t in your exact niche–or even know the definition of the term “niche”–doesn’t mean they can’t provide you with valuable support and feedback.
Community helps us fill in those little cracks in our life that we can’t fill ourselves.
I’ll often ask our crew for marketing ideas or feedback. I’m a designer by trade, but my marketing chops are “meh” at best. Guys like Jonathan or Chris have saved my bacon many a-time.
Community also gives us a chance to give back.
I love this. I love the fact that I’ve got a chance to help Jonathan because he’s helped me so many times before. There’s nothing better than receiving and giving. It’s important to note that asking for help is just as important as giving. Oftentimes people feel like they’re being a burden by asking for help. But other people need a way to give back their talents and resources too.
At LifeRemix we’ll ask each other for help all the time. In fact, it’s encouraged. I dare you to find a successful person that did it “all on their own”. Everyone (yes, even Steve Jobs) has had people in their lives that bring the best out of them, both professionally and personally. Finding and surrounding yourself with these people is going to be critical to your success.
So if you really want to skyrocket your career, find a community to be a part of.
If you can’t find one, then start one within your niche. (All you have to do is ask.) There’s always something you can provide. If anything, you can be encouraging and supportive. (Sometimes the thing a community needs most is more cheerleaders.) The important thing is to just get involved. No man is an island. (Though certain renegades do go and live on one for a month or so…)
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