Connection over everything.
When you write, when you take the time to share your view of the world, when you listen to understand how people respond, when you continue to show up with greater and greater clarity, you are creating an opportunity for people to connect.
We are storytelling animals. So many of our actions are to build out, change, and reinforce the stories that allow us to find community. We do this through the things we buy, the food we eat, and through the apps we use. We do this consciously and unconsciously every single day.
We seek out connection in every corner of our lives. We are hungry for it. And while social media would have us believe that the goal should be thousands and thousands of followers, we don’t need that many connections to feel seen and fulfilled in the work that we do.
Kevin Kelly speaks to this in his article 1,000 True Fans. What he proposes is simple. All anyone needs to make a living is 1,000 people willing to offer $100 per year for whatever is on offer. It might not be the glitz and glamour of a million fans but there’s space with 1,000 to do work that you care about.
A thousand people is not so many that you can’t maintain a fairly human connection with all of them. You can create a community around what it is you have to offer. Which is what they want. And probably what you want too. I know that this is what I want.
The challenge I see in so many of my clients is the struggle to begin to create something worth connecting over. Whether it’s a blog or a social media feed or something else, there can be an unspoken desire that it works right out of the box. That when you hit publish, there are people there to read and respond to everything you’ve written.
In reality, this isn’t how relationship building works. One of the many reasons I quit marketing for other coaches was because there was an expectation that these things would happen overnight. Or within the span of a few months. In reality, this can take years.
The best thing you can do on your way to prioritizing connection in the work that you do is start small and start now. It can be a blog post a week. One thoughtful post on Instagram every few days. An article written and submitted once a month. If the big idea you’re wrestling with is overwhelming you into inaction, shave off a part of that bigger goal so you can begin.
I promise you that people are looking for ways to connect. To you. To each other. And if you can offer them that, you won’t want for money or work that is satisfying in its ability to have an impact. Plus, just by getting into action, by hitting publish, you’re putting yourself far ahead of everyone else who is longing for community but not actively building it.
So how can you create opportunities for people to connect?