First off, a little housekeeping.
Then, I’m going to share with you one of the best tweets I’ve ever seen about building community.
Last week, this week, and the near future
I want to start by apologizing for not sending out a new piece of content last week.
I live in Frisco, Texas, where we were hit pretty hard by last week’s winter storm. Unfortunately, between rolling power outages and white-knuckle drives on icy roads to my wife’s pregnancy check-ups, writing a new Primility piece was one of the items on my to-do list that didn’t get done.
Writing and sending these pieces to you each one is one of that activities I enjoy the most, so I really missed the opportunity to connect with you around a topic we’re both passionate about.
And I will miss it over the next few weeks as well … but for a much better reason.
Last night, my wife and I headed into the hospital to prepare for the birth of our second child, a son. For my wife’s sake, I’m hoping his arrival coincides with this post being published. We’ll see.
We still don’t have a name picked out yet, so we may need any extra time we get. 😉
Regardless, this will be the last Primility email I’m going to send for a little while — at least a few weeks. I want to lighten my load for a little while to be fully present with the family and our new addition.
But as soon as we find some sense of new-normalcy around here, I’ll get back to thinking and writing about community. It’s what I do. I won’t be able to stay away for long.
So thank you for your understanding.
In the meantime, feel free to comment on this post with any questions you have or topics you’d like to see me address when I get back. I always love getting your feedback and learning how you think about building community.
But before I go, I want to leave you with one thought to ponder in my absence.
The power of helping people help each other
This is one of the best tweets about community I’ve seen come across my timeline.
It perfectly sums up the crucial difference between what it means to build an audience and what it means to build a community.
I know how easy it can be to confuse this difference. It’s subtle, but profound.
When you build an audience, you help people. But when you build a community, you help people help each other.
For example, right now I’m building an audience here at Primility. I’m trying to help you build better and more profitable communities. But someday I will turn this into a community, where we can all help each other build better and more profitable communities.
I was reminded of this difference last week in the Unemployable Initiative. A new member posted in our accountability thread, and one of our longtime members, Kelly, popped in to offer him thoughtful advice. A back-and-forth exchange ensued, and he got an important question answered.
I did nothing in that moment, but the community that I helped to build provided the infrastructure and scaffolding for community members to help each other.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud as a community leader.
This is what we should strive for.
Helping people is awesome. It’s how you build an audience, which is a necessary precursor to any community building initiative. But please don’t make the mistake of believing you have a real community if you’re the only one helping members.
Real community blossoms when members care about one another, help each other, and become invested in each other’s success.
David Spinks’ tweet sums this idea up perfectly. And Kelly’s actions in the Unemployable Initiative provided a quintessential example of it happening in real life.
It’s a beautiful thing.
Almost as beautiful as a brand new baby boy. 😉
So now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dive head-first into my two most important roles on this earth: dad and husband. Two roles I’m so lucky to have!
Then I’ll be back soon to indulging in one of my other most important roles, being a community leader and builder.
You have to take pride in helping as many people as you can on your way to building the audience that will seed your community. It’s the only way.
But you also must have enough humility to realize that your community will only ever truly blossom when the helping transcends you.
Thank you for reading this issue of Primility.
Please consider forwarding it to a friend who wants to be a better servant leader and build a strong online community.
I’ll be back in a few weeks!