From exile to leader: The human need for community

Community and friends makes business fun (Love your work Garry Hannam)

Community and friends makes business fun (Love your work Garry Hannam)

I had a dream to write this blog between 5 – 7 AM as I was *trying* to sleep in (which never happens).

During this short 2 hour burst of my sleep, the dream felt like I took place over several months and it was very involved with lots of loneliness and finding my own way through various different places, social groups and people searching for belonging. I think it was almost an emotional summary of what I have been through over the past 10 years of coming to Sydney.

I originally came here feeling like an exile from where I was from (as things didn’t work out with my life) and there were many periods of loneliness and wandering from different place to place to find where I fit in. I found some great environments and then I created my own community where I am so grateful to have such incredible people join us.

As I woke up and had an extra-long shower (which is my thing on Sunday’s), I thought it through from more of a survival mechanism in terms of how we are wired as human beings. We are a ‘tribal’ type of ‘group’ being that isn’t designed to operate on our own for extended periods of time.

Sure we are built to let’s say leave the Camp, hunt for resources and then return to base. We are built to have leaders, structure, rules and norms which is obviously part of our innate survival sensibilities. A lion attacks? I would much rather be in a squad of 12, than by myself with a sharp stick.

The point of this all being and bringing it back to business; this is how we naturally think as humans. Many businesses I see out there clearly have a ‘community’ element to them and an obvious sample if your morning coffee shop.

For many of us reading this article, there may be even more than 10 options for you to choose from in walking distance from your house or work. In these cases the crazy cafes that I see with massive turnover has great quality and the like; however, it’s a hustling and bustling where people find connection, enjoy themselves and engage in the environment.

Whether people consciously get it or not, the camaraderie, friendly people, the vibe naturally meets our meet for community.

My advice and thinking? My dream was obviously promoting something and I think it’s do with business and how we operate. Depending on the nature of what you do, I invite you to think about how ‘community’ plays into it. Sure you may sell a physical good, but how do you actually bring people together or even give them great information so they feel like part of a community?

Facebook Groups, Email Newsletters, Great Blogs, Free Events, Open Nights, LinkedIn Groups and the like are all examples of how we can enhance our own businesses. For me and many of our awesome members it’s very profitable to behave this way.

An obvious one is running free events. You bring people together, they love you, you get more clients, done! There are heaps of way to play this one, but here is the point; think about how you can enhance the ‘community’ angle of what you do far beyond what you sell.

Love your work, thank you for the read, stay awesome and god bless you wonderful people.

P.S. A nod to my fine pal Garry Hannam. You rock.