I find myself deep in the work of community at the present time. From the books that I am reading to the talks I am giving to the projects which are lighting me up from the inside, everything is rooted into my core beliefs that we are better together and that understanding how we can better facilitate belonging and connection is the very best way to heal what we believe to be broken in the world as well as being the very best way to build for the future. But the deeper I go the more work I crave. Does this ever happen to you? That feeling of “I want more, more, more of this…” What is it that you want more, more, more of right now and how can you make one step to bring it into your life?
While you muse on that, let's get on with the Notes...
1) Using social media for good
Social media gets a lot of bad press these days. From complaints about that lack of authenticity online to the amount of time we spend on it, opinions on social media can get starkly divided. Here’s what I know to be true, without social media, and specifically Facebook, there is no way that I could have built Amsterdam Mamas so rapidly or so effectively. When we began nearly nine years ago social media was just starting to rise in Europe and while there are many reasons that Amsterdam Mamas is a successful, sustainable community, social media has played a large and positive role. When I look at other communities I admire, Humans of New York or HONY to its community members, is definitely one of them. The founder, Branden, was just a man with a camera in the beginning, now he connects millions through the stories he tells. There is no doubt that through his philanthropic work with his community he has changes lives. This is an excellent podcast episode in which Branden talks about his motivations, his beliefs and what it is like building a community from the other side of the camera.
2) Peek behind the scenes
Of all the work I do, curating Notes for the Curious is one of the activities I love best. In a post-GDPR world with an increasing wave of dislike for the noise and clutter that clogs up our inboxes on a daily basis, making a commitment to continue producing the Notes and crafting something I believe to be of genuine value every time I hit send is not a small undertaking. I am frequently asked if every business should have a mailing list and, against conventional wisdom, I don’t believe that they should. I truly believe that if you are going to take up space in someone’s inbox then you must have something of value to offer them (which is not your latest sales pitch). If you don’t, then you need to find a different way to connect. If you do want to cultivate a mailing list though, the you will need to do it intentionally with a solid strategy in place. This article on how the Seattle Times revitalised their newsletter strategy has a lot of key learning points in it. You shouldn’t copy it (unless you run a newspaper) but it is fun to think about how you could adapt some of their learnings into your own strategy.
3) declutter your phone
I wouldn’t call myself an app junkie but I do seem to have a lot of apps on my phone. In addition to having had notifications turned off for years now, I also like to keep my phone clutter free. For me this means not having all the apps on the home screen, organising apps into folders and regularly cleaning them up. Here are some more ways that you can declutter your phone.
4) detoxifying the internet
I don’t spend much time on Reddit. It’s never felt like my kind of place, too wild, too unruly. Which is exactly what it was designed to be. However, with that Wild West of the Internet reputation has come huge struggles over the years as they define where to place some limits and boundaries for the good of the community as a whole. Which has naturally caused some problems with their freedom of speech base. This is a long read, but a worthwhile one and there is an audio version at the top of the article if you prefer that format, about how Reddit is evolving to address where we draw lines on the internet and what happens when we do. For me, maintaining boundaries is vital to healthy community growth. I have been working on defining my key practices for building community recently and maintaining boundaries is one of the key practices I do firmly believe in but also one of the hardest to hold strong to as your boundaries will always be the thing that people want to cross.
5) what do you really want to say?
Last year I was working on a talk for a conference that just wasn’t flowing. I could not get it to work no matter how hard I tried. In a panic I called my speaking coach who gave me this piece of advice, “stop over complicating things, you’re trying to be too clever. What do you really want to say? Say that.” So simple. Not so easy. But she was absolutely right, whenever I stumble over my words and the language isn’t flowing, it’s because I am not saying what I truly deeply want to say. We need to tell the truth, as we see it, even when it scares us. Sometimes especially when it scares us and every time I do, I am reminded how much more of a powerful message it conveys. This is such an interesting look into why public speaking scares us and what we can do to overcome that fear, both physically and by saying what we really want to say.
Until the next Notes,
P.S. The first live sessions of the Change Maker Programme for emerging businesses and the Change Maker Collective for established businesses will begin next week. If you want my support in your business between now and the end of the year, this is the best and possibly the only way that we will be able to work together in the coming months outside of VIP days. If you know you want to make a change in your business, if you want to reach for that next goal and want to be in the company of others who are doing the same then I need to hear from you as soon as possible. Are you in?
Who am I and who do I help? I’m Emmy McCarthy and I make small businesses better and help people create leadership in their communities.
If you would like my help to get get clear, get focused and take action to reach your business goals, these are the ways we can work together.
The Change Maker Programme - A 5 month group learning + mentoring programme to work through the structure, systems and strategy of your business and move you from overwhelmed at all the things to confident leader of your business alongside a small group of peers. The next cohort begins in September 2018 and we are almost full.
The Change Maker Collective - For established business owners who thrive in the support of their peers and are ready to make more impact, income and influence with what they do. New cohorts start every three months with a maximum of 8 people per group.
1:1 Mentoring - For business owners who are ready to transform their business with personal, actionable strategies to achieve their goals. I have a very limited number of available slots for business brainstorms or more intensive mentoring programmes. Next available programme start date = October 2018.
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