[Video] The Importance Of Community

Hi friends, I’m Diana. I’m owner of The Finer Points. I’m a small business consultant. I work with a lot of different clients, but specifically I will work with a lot of artists and creatives in marketing social media. The Rising Tide Society and HoneyBook has generously asked me to talk to you about community. It is a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. So I’m going to try and keep it in 10 minutes under.

I love community. I think it applies to every aspect of our lives even to your business. And so bear with me. I am usually on the other side of the camera. And so this might be a little awkward but thank you for being kind to me anyways. Let’s get started.

Redwood trees is the best example that I can tell you as to why community is important. Redwood trees are those very tall trees that you see in California, that you’ve seen pictures of even if you’ve never been there. They can grow up to 300 feet and they can be as old as 2,000 years and honestly, do you know why that is? It’s because their roots are so interlocked underneath the soil. It’s not by their own strength. It is not by their own roots. Their roots have to interlock with the tree that’s next to theirs and that gives them strength to withstand their own weight and their own community.

Honestly, that’s what this is. That’s the picture of community—they hold each other up. They can live to be 2,000 years old and be one of the best CO2 for-transmitter co-binger things. I don’t-I’m not a scientist. I’m really sorry to every botanist out there, but they are very important for the environment. What I’m trying to say is the roots are interlocked underneath and that’s how they withstand and that’s how they can with-endure everything that nature throws at them everything that mankind throws at them. They can do it because they’re interlocked and you can’t tear them apart. They are-they grow bigger, faster, stronger together. That is community for you and for your business. 

If you are thinking about having a success business and your image of that and your picture of that is by yourself… Let me tell you, you will go far. You will be successful. I have no doubt about it, but I can guarantee you that you will go further, faster and stronger with people on your side. With your community, with a team, and if you don’t have a community, The Rising Tide Society is here. They have so many people ready to be your friend. However, I have some suggestions for you. 

Community Starts With Yourself

So, for me, community starts with yourself. Being your most authentic and real self and that is super scary. I think the biggest risk that any of us take is being our true selves and presenting it to the worldand allowing someone else to see us for exactly that person. To be flawed, to be gracious to ourselves and we’re probably our biggest critic, right? So, that is what’s hindering you to overcome our own insecurities and to say this is who I am. This is what I’m struggling with. This is me, strong, weak, – no matter what – successful, unsuccessful. There, not there yet. But to let another human see that too, that scares me just even talking about it, but it’s worth it. 

I, um, I have just been on the receiving end of so much love and generosity because of community that I can’t stop gushing about it. Even from a small child, I was-I hopped around a lot as a kid. We tried to keep me out of the foster care system. So my extended family took me in. I was malnourished. I was abused in many ways. I didn’t grow up in a stable home. I moved every 9 months and my external family did the best that they could. They provided a roof over my head. They gave me clothes. They fed me. I never, you know, like, I was starved as a child, but not once I was taken in by other people. But I will tell you that I was mostly encouraged by my community.

I’m thriving because of my community and I love my family and they did the best that they could given the situation that we were given. But my community is what has propelled me forward even further. My community, it has been the people to show up day in and day out. My community were the people who left sugar at my front door. I live in Washington DC. This is not you know, your typical movie where people do that on a regular basis. Sugar actually showed up on my front porch today because I needed some stress-baking – #globalpandemic.

We do what we do guys. I deliberately chose to show you this video and film it without any makeup on with me in my room and I considered doing it all gussied up and glamoured up, but I wanted to physically be able to show you what it was like just to show up as yourself.

Show Up For Each Other

There are so many ways that we can show up for each other. I just wanted to offer a few suggestions. For me, we have a weekly dinner. We call it family dinner. It’s amazing. It’s something I never miss. We started at 4 years ago. And this one couple recently had a child and they said we don’t want – we don’t want to miss out. We don’t want you to feel like you can’t come over and so 15 adults and 1 child have dinner together every Sunday night, and more kids have joined the circle since, and spouses – a lot has happened in life since.

But no matter what we show up, we show up with our grump, we show up with our celebratory occasions. We celebrate each other’s successes and we cheer each other on. But we also sit in the weeping and the mourning and in the disappointments of life that has to offer. And I – we’ve never regretted it. I’ve never regret it. My life is deeper because of it. My life is more significant. My business is stronger. I couldn’t tell you where I would be without that. 

Build Community With Your Clients

On a client side. What can that do for your business? How does this translate? Your clients have hired you because of you – not because of your brand. There are thousands of brands out there. There are thousands of photographers out there. There are thousands of wedding planners and florists and web designers and everyone is equally as good. Okay, that’s not true. Everyone is good. But you’re good too. And what makes your business different from all the other thousands of businesses – you, your personality and your – you know, that “something-something” that’s what makes it different and I would just like to suggest that your personality and the community that you create with your clients is the difference.

There’s no formula for it. This – um, I predominately work in social media. And one of the biggest questions that we always get is, how can I beat the algorithm? The algorithm changes all the time. How do – how do I stay on top of it? How do we keep doing what we do? And for me the answer has been you do what you always do by engaging. We have to engage with our clients and our potential clients. We engage with our community in-person and on-screen and off-screenThere’s no difference and, therefore, if you can have authentic community and an authentic relationship with each person out there, you’re never going to have to worry about what algorithm is. What is Facebook doing now? Because that, at the core, is what they’re trying to get at.

They created Facebook at the very heart of it because they wanted to create connection. They wanted to make the world smaller and if you’re going to manipulate the formula then they’re going to change the algorithm. But if you always show up as yourself, if you always show up as your brand, if you always show up as exactly you – you’re already ahead of the game. You-it doesn’t matter what the algorithm is. You will always win. You will always come out stronger because of it. And you will have weeks where it dips because that is just – that’s life.

Life dips sometimes – we’re in the dip right now in a global pandemic. But check in on your friends online. Know their name, know their brand, know what they do. Know who is following you on social media, and some of you have tens of thousands hundreds of thousands millions of followers and know them. Make lists, make them into groups, do the work because it is worth it.

It is worth it when someone remembers your name. It is worth it when you know a client. Think, all of these people – they are potential dollars for you and your business. And beyond that, you – the value that your clients bring you and the value that you bring to them. It’s priceless. I think that sounds like a commercial but it is. That’s the truth of it.

Build Community With Others

That’s the reality that I’ve never regretted being a part of Rising Tide Society. And I’m glad that was the one of the first things I did when I started my own business was get involved with them and be a part of this community because they have cheered me on, they have propelled me further in my first year of business than I could have ever imagined. I’m celebrating one year this month and I couldn’t have done it without all of you guys. I couldn’t have done it without your encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without your expertise. I couldn’t have done it by the generosity that you guys have shown me by going before me of telling me all your pitfalls and I do my best to get back to all those coming up behind me.

That’s what we’re here for. It’s not about ”Oh, well this person is doing what I’m doing and that’s kind of awkward because we offer the same thing.” It’s more about how do we show up for each other, how do we cheer each other on? There is space for me and the person running next to me. There’s space for me and the person ahead of me and the person behind me. I just want to encourage you on that and I strongly, strongly, strongly believe in it.

People want to be seen, they want to be known, they want to be recognized. There’s a reason why in the wedding industry wedding planners love their brides so much. There’s reason why brides gush over their wedding planner so much and their wedding photographer so much. It’s because they’re able to be seen in that moment and there is a moment for wedding planners when it clicks for the bride and the bride will inevitably go, ”Oh my God, you just did it before I even asked.”

It comes with community. It’s not, you are very good at your job. This is very true but there’s always something extra and it feels like a game at some point, right? It feels like you’re trying to keep on top of something. But if you authentically just want your bride to have an amazing day, if I just do my job and want the very best for my clients and use social media as a megaphone for championing all the things and all the dreams and all the visions that they have and they want we want the world to know it. We use that and we leverage that instead of trying to say, “What’s the formula? What’s the system? What’s the list?” I’m telling you that’s the game changer, you will never ever ever have to question it. They’re hiring you because that’s you showed up as you. You are the person who went the extra mile to get to know them, to be friends with them. 

People that I see that don’t isolate themselves, that don’t make excuses because they’re an introvert, they run farther. And I’ll tell you this – I’m an extreme introvert and people will kind of look at me and go, ”No, you’re not. You’re an extrovert.” My best friend told me I was an extrovert last week. False. I would say I am exhausted after long meetings with my favorite people, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it because for me, I love seeing someone else succeed. I want to run. I want them to run further, harder, faster, because I’m going to run faster, stronger, better.

We’re going to thrive together. It is that saying like when you thrive, I thrive; when one of us succeeds, we all succeed. How do we adopt that mentality on a day-to-day basis? How do you adopt that mentality from your own? Let’s just say family for now. Okay, how do you adopt that with your family? How do you say, “Okay, we’re in it together?” I think that is a natural instinct. We all adopt that. We all say, ”Okay, of course, you’re my family. You’re my people. Of course. I’m going to do that for you.”

But what if you could go one step further, what if you were honest? What if you were saying this is what I’m struggling with and you allowed for your family to ask the hard questions and you allowed them to hold you up during those hard moments. What would your family look like? Would it be a stronger unit? I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes. I’m also not a therapist, so consult a counselor. Translate that to your friendships. What does it look like for you to be with your friends and for you to have hard conversations and for you to say? I’m here for you, but this is where-where I’m at. This is what my season looks like right now. This is where this is what life currently looks like.

For me, it looked like that when I had to run away from an abusive home. It looked like that when I had to when I was being physically abused a lot as a child and someone showed up at my doorstep every Sunday, and knocked on the door, and honked on a car and sat in the car until they let me out, until my parents let me out to-to be with my family and friends. To be with my friends. Sorry. That was very confusing. But that was my respite. That was my saving grace. It is the people who looked out for me to make sure that I had lunch every day.

When I moved abroad, as an adult, I really didn’t have, I didn’t know anyone. I was working for a foster care and adoption agency and I didn’t know a soul, but it was my community that sent me my favorite mug to make it homier. It was my community that showed up for me physically every week on FaceTime. It was my community who made sure that my birthdays were never forgotten. To made me feel seen and known and asked me hard questions and ask me what is my dream and when I didn’t have an answer they wouldn’t accept it and I felt- I felt a little nuts at the time and I was so frustrated, but when I came back from moving abroad, from living abroad, it was my community that pushed me to start my own business.

I wouldn’t even have thought of starting my own business had my friends not dreamed of it first for me and they dreamed of it for years, for years before I would even grab hold of this dream. What does that look like for you? What does that look like for you? For me, when I’m interacting with my clients – that’s how we know it’s going to work. Think back on your favorite clients, think back on the relationships that have worked the best for you. I can guarantee you it was the ones where you felt like you just clicked and you’re able to show up as your authentic self and you were able to just ask the hard questions and in this season, if you don’t have anyone to ask those hard questions, I will ask you hard questions. DM me.

If you need someone to sit with you and to be with you as you figure out, what’s next for your community, and what’s next for your business, what’s next for your family, I don’t have all the answers, but I have a listening ear. I’m sure that you will find a Rising Tide chapter near you that also has that. I can’t stress this enough. You need people with you and I-I wouldn’t be sitting here. I truly wouldn’t be sitting here without my people.

I hope that this was helpful. I hope that you got something out of it. I hope that I hope you know that we’re all for you, that were for your business, that it’s a crazy time out there, and if you ever need someone you can find me on Instagram. However, there comes with a caveat. I’m willing to listen and I want to be your friend, and I’m here for you, and I’m going to cheer for you, I want the very best for your business, but get ready because if you reach out to me, I’m going to be asking hard questions and if you’re not willing to show up and to answer those hard questions, and if you’re not willing to get in the ring with me, to be vulnerable, and to celebrate successes and to weep when I’m in the depths of it, because I will definitely do that for you, but if you’re not willing to do that for me, it was nice, it’s good to know, I’ll look at your website, but you gotta get in it.

Think – I hope that you just take this week to think about who’s in your life, who is your people, who are your people, sorry, that wasn’t English, who are your people and-and what can you say to them? Just thank them. Find your people. Rising Tide Society chapters everywhere. TuesdaysTogether. And or me, I’m happy to be your friend. Thank you.

Want more content like this? Join the watch parties on The Rising Tide Facebook page and check our Coronavirus Resource Hub for Small Businesses. You can learn more and grow you business with HoneyBook’s all-in-one crm for consultants.

Diana Wei Fang

Diana is owner of The Finer Points, small business consulting for creatives. She believes firmly in community and that we are better together.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This