Build a community, I mean.
Individuals want to do it. To support their project, get a job, find clients, to build their reputation, to sell their book, to connect with like minds and find new friends.
Companies and organizations want to do it. To find their advocates and fans, to find new talent, to raise money, to showcase their innovation, to improve their products, to connect their work to a greater cause or purpose or affinity group.
If you’re trying to build community, whether online or off, the very best thing you can do is the most analog, straightforward thing on earth.
Read and learn about everything you can get your hands on. Things in your industry, things not. Hobbies, interests, passions. History. Psychology. Pop culture. Food. Wine. Cars. Music.
Because a having a diverse base of knowledge and interest, a fully dimensional point of view that’s well-curated and dynamic, gives you a broad base of interest and always gives you a little spark that helps you find that first, all-important connection with someone new.
I don’t care what business you’re in, what products you sell, what services you provide.
If you can relate to people in their language, share a little something personal and interesting with each other, find a common ground that you can meet on, you’ll always have a cornerstone that can help you build an amazing, personal, and very human relationship.
“Being human” isn’t about co-opting and trying to mechanize human behaviors.
Being human means being a more interesting person, welcoming others’ interests, and being willing to share both with others. Whether you’re an individual doing your own thing or an individual representing a company, the same truth applies.
So pick up a new book this weekend. Or several. Read constantly. Read blogs and articles. Listen to podcasts (reading with your ears) Disagree. Find a new passion. Think critically. Discover something that you never knew.
But learn a little about a lot of things, and you’ll find that you always have something to share.