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You’ve heard us talk about the Community at seanwes, but this episode is really about engaging in a community of any kind.

If you don’t have time for a community, are considering joining a community, are part of a community, or run a community, this episode is for you!

Time is scarce and we don’t have a lot of it. You may feel like you barely have time to read this sentence, let alone engage in a community.

But a community isn’t a time sink, it’s a time investment.

What you invest in time with a community, you get back in clarity. It’s not that you can’t afford to spend the time, it’s that you can’t afford to spend years heading in the wrong direction!

If you want to be successful, you need to get around people who are successful. These people can help you get where you want to go faster. Find people who are already doing what you want to do and position yourself around them.

Just like you would schedule time to meet with a mentor or a coach, schedule time to interact with a community. This is where you will get clarity and breakthroughs.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • You’ll never have time for a community. You have to make time.
  • A community isn’t a time sink, it’s a time investment.
  • When you join a community of people with experience, you save time you would have wasted heading in the wrong direction.
  • You will get out what you put in to a community.
  • A community is simply a tool: you can use it to your benefit or you can waste time.
  • Start the conversation that you want to be a part of.
  • A community is a place you invest time and get clarity in return.
  • When you share the things you think only you deal with, you’ll realize other people have been there before.
Show Notes
  • 02:28 Sean: A lot of long-time listeners know that we have a Community at seanwes with hundreds of people all across the world in it. We think it’s awesome and we would love to have you, but we’re not here to say our community is the only community you should join, because it’s not. There’s a lot of great communities out there. It doesn’t just have to be online, it could be in person.
  • 02:50 It could be a group of people you meet with regularly in your own town. It could be a Skype group you have. A lot of people that either are members of the seanwes Community, or were, they met their accountability partners here and continue to talk over Skype even though they’re spread across the world or the country.
  • 03:14 We’d love to have you, but we’re here to talk about engaging in a community—any community at all to any degree. The number one hesitation people have, the reason they don’t do this, is they say they don’t have time.

You don’t have time for community, you make time.

  • 03:37 We don’t have time for anything. You don’t have time to workout or watch Netflix, you make time. You make time for the things that are important to you. Community, like having a coach or a mentor, is something you have to make time to for. You’re not just going to look on your calendar one day and see, “This time is available for a mentor.” You won’t see that unless you make that time. you have to set aside that time.

You Get Out What You Put In

  • 04:10 The thing about community is, you can get around people who have been there before and who can lend an alternate perspective. We can easily get inside an echo chamber of sorts, where we can only hear our own thoughts bouncing around inside our heads. We have our limited influences. We listen to certain people, we watch certain things, we listen to certain things and it’s really good to get a fresh perspective.
  • 04:38 It’s really good to get someone on the outside of that to give you advice. That could be anyone; it could be a peer. They don’t even have to have more experience than you. Getting a different perspective is valuable, but especially from someone who has been there before. If you can join a community of people with experience, you’re going to end up saving time.
  • 05:07 We have people listening that are in the Community and they’re listening live because they were sent a push notification, but they don’t normally engage. Maybe you’re not a member and you were a member before, but you let your membership expire. Maybe you’re a member of a community in your town, but you’ve skipped some meetups or hangups. You get the email that they’re meeting and you just want to order takeout and watch the next episode of your favorite show.
  • 05:55 Cory: I think there’s a lot of people that are so entrenched in “I don’t need a community.” I’ve come from a place where I thought I didn’t need other people. I felt like I knew where I was going and had clarity. I’m very introverted, so I don’t feel the need for it often times. I have a plan and I know where I’m going, but you don’t see what the advice of the right kind of people—who have positive mindsets and care about your success—can do for the course you’ve planned for yourself.
  • 06:21 You don’t see the changes that can happen in your plan. You have a place you’re going and you know exactly what you’re going to do, but if someone gives you a piece of advice, that might alter your course for the better, but you don’t see that.
  • 06:57 Sean: There’s a lot of layers of benefit. Cory and I are the same personality type—we have a vision, a goal, and a direction. Sometimes we feel like that’s fine and we don’t need someone else’s input. We’re going to do it anyway and get it done. For other people, they don’t know where they’re going. They don’t know where their focus should be. I think both types of people can benefit from it, because when you engage in a community, you’re investing time. A lot of people think of that as giving up time, or it’s a time-sink. They think, “I don’t have time to chat.”

A community is not a time-sink, a community is a place you invest time.

When you invest time, you get clarity in return.

  • 08:06 You get clarity on your direction, the projects you’re working on, how you’re approaching things, what your focus is, where you’re going, and how you price things. You think it’s a waste of time to engage in a community, but what if you’re heading in the wrong direction because you don’t have experience or outside perspective? What if you waste years going in the wrong direction because you never sought feedback? That’s the benefit you get.
  • 08:40 No matter where it is or how you engage, you get out what you put in. It’s not just something where you show up and you get stuff, or you subscribe to something and get newsletters. You have to invest into it. What the people in a community know is, the more they give, the more they get in return. You can get advice from people who have been there, done that.
  • 09:32 You can get advice from people who are smarter and have more experience. You can help other people, but even in helping, teaching, and sharing advice, you are benefiting from that. The best way to learn is to teach what you know. You think you know things until you try to teach people.
  • 09:48 Cory: Aaron and I just did this! We’re putting out a course on how to take video with your iPhone, and I learned a lot by telling people what I knew. Reiterating helps you do that and that happens in a community. If you care about whatever you’re pursuing, you’re going to make investments in it, whether it’s equipment or resources. You schedule these investments. You know you’re going to buy something on Amazon and you plan your investments.
  • 10:32 It’s the same with community—you have to schedule that time and it has to be purposeful. Don’t think of a community as just a group of friends to hang out with. Some people probably associate communities with spontaneous hanging out and not really knowing what you’re doing. It’s purposeful. Plan to spend an hour or 30 minutes talking about something you need help on or that you can help someone else with.
  • 11:06 Sean: You’re not going to do it otherwise and there is the very real danger of wasting time. A community is a tool—it can be used for good, to benefit you, and to get clarity, or it can be used to waste time. You can go to a meetup and not make any connections or get any feedback. The same with an online community—you do have to be purposeful about it and schedule that time.
  • 11:41 Cory: You could meet with whoever your biggest influencer is for 30 minutes and you could waste that time. You have to be purposeful about it.

Getting the Most Out of a Community

  • 12:00 Sean: For someone who is an existing member—you’re listening to the podcast or watching the video on your own time. You didn’t catch it live and you don’t really participate in discussion or the chat. I would really encourage you to set aside time regularly to check in, even if it’s a short amount of time on a daily basis. Don’t just check in to see if there’s anything interesting being discussed. Contribute!
  • 12:39 You are the one who creates that environment and that context and it’s going to be amplified by people with the right mindset. You want to get around people who are talking about success, growing big businesses, who are passionate, and are creating great art? Start those conversations. The people with the right mindset are the catalyst, but you still have to invest. You have to plant the seed.

You have to start the conversation that you want to be a part of.

  • 13:26 If you’re sitting on the sidelines and hoping someone else talks about it, it’s not going to happen. Come into a community and start talking about your goals, or whatever topic is important to you right now, and you’re going to find that people will get into it. People respond to passion.
  • 13:45 If you come across a random video and you’re not even interested in the topic, but the person in the video is passionate about it, you almost can’t help but keep watching. You just want to watch someone who’s passionate about something. If you come in and start talking about something, you will attract people. You will get more out of that interaction when you contribute to it.
  • 14:14 Cory: I know Sean and I know the seanwes Community is not about numbers. I can say that with total certainty. Sean has made this show because he wants other people to succeed in their business. That’s why he created this podcast specifically, but also the seanwes network and everything that’s on there.
  • 14:45 We’re saying to join a community that will help you grow. This is not the only place. In my opinion, this is probably the best place, but there are other places. I think you’re making the biggest mistake of your life if you didn’t at least check out seanwes membership and what it has to offer you.
  • 15:12 Sean: If you do want to join, definitely check out seanwes.com, especially by the end of August. It’s a good time to join. I know there are some people who have been members in the past and their membership has expired and I would encourage you to rejoin now. We’ve spent the past year getting our business model right and focusing on our money.
  • 15:45 You have to focus on your money. I get people emailing me complaining, “I feel like the podcast is talking about money so much lately and getting your business stuff right. Where’s the passion? Where’s the creativity and doing the work you love? I miss that.” I understand. I miss that too, but the mistake I made was focusing too much, too soon, only on the passion. You have to make money.
  • 16:19 You simply have to make money to survive. That’s the world we live in and you have to get your money situation right. Passion is the thing that will get you through the tough times. When it’s difficult and you don’t know how you’re going to come out on the other side, passion will see you through. Passion can’t just be this idea you have.
  • 16:43 Everyone has ideas of their passion, but passion is found in the doing. The only way you know you’re passionate about something is if you encounter resistance and you make it through—you overcome that resistance. Passion isn’t just this thing where you do what you love and everything works out and people throw money at you. That’s just not true.
  • 17:17 I’ve talked about the product spectrum before (Related: e275 Creative Ideas to Help You Quickly Get More Products on the Shelf). There’s products and there’s people. There’s products that make money and there’s products that are nice-to-haves. There’s people who have money and there’s people who don’t have money. The reality of it is: the easiest way to make money is to sell things that make money to people who have money. That doens’t mean it’s impossible to sell nice-to-haves.
  • 17:39 It doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sell things to people who don’t have money, it’s just very difficult. It got to where we had 1 month of payroll in the bank and that’s not a great place. People appreciate the show enough to write in and complain that we don’t talk about passion enough, but it was going to get to the point where there was no show because we didn’t have our money situation right.
  • 18:08 I care so much about you being able to pursue your passion and sustainably do work that you love that I focus on the topics that maybe aren’t everyone’s favorite topics. The money part isn’t as fun to talk about as the thing you love to do, but it’s necessary. In the first few chapters of my book, Overlap, I talk about the importance of not just thinking in terms of the ideas of passion, but discovering what you’re actually passionate about doing. That takes exploration, then you have to support that financially. You can get to where the work you do is what supports you financially, but you have to set it up purposefully. You’re not going to get there by accident.

seanwes membership

  • 19:17 People have heard about the Community a lot, but we wanted to not just bring together the people and tell them, “Do what you love!” That doesn’t give anyone anything practical to do or steps to follow. There’s a comic of someone sitting on the side of the road with a sign that says, “I followed my passion,” and they’re begging for money. It’s a joke but it’s also kind of true. That person went out and did whatever they wanted to do.
  • 20:17 They thought, “If I follow my passion, everything’s going to be fine,” and that’s just not the case. I wasn’t satisfied with that. My desire is to help people, not just give you want to hear. If it was, I would speak very differently. A lot of the things I say aren’t fun to hear and they make people upset. I’m willing to be the bad guy who says the things that aren’t so fun, but that you need to hear.
  • 20:50 I’m not emotionally attached to you. I’m not your parent. The problem with the advice your parents give to you is that it’s riddled with a kind of scarcity. They want you to be safe. No one would encourage their child to go to a dangerous place or do something risky, yet that is the very thing that is required. You’re not going to get anything great without some risk. Don’t be foolish or reckless, but take calculated risks.
  • 21:35 Your parents end up telling you the safe route that’s a sure deal. It might be a path to mediocrity, but at least you can be sure it’s mediocrity. The known that is mediocrity is often better in the eyes of a parent than the unknown that could be great, but might be risky. I don’t have that stigma with you. I don’t mind upsetting you or giving you the advice that’s tough that’s going to be in your best interest.
  • 22:14 Sometimes that means talking about money and business. That’s necessary if you want to do anything you’re passionate about. That’s what we’ve tried to build here at seanwes. With seanwes membership, you get the resources. You get learning paths. Everything is laid out of you. We’re growing and we have a vision for the future. If people could just see what we have planned for the next five years, it would blow them away that we’re allowing them to sign up and get that at the current rate. If you sign up now, we’ll lock in the current rate and we won’t change that for you in the future. You’ll get everything we add in the future.
  • 23:00 Even if there was one thing we don’t have right now, it’s coming. I’m excited for the future and to start rolling out the learning paths and mini courses. This episode is really just to underscore the importance of community. If you have been a seanwes member in the past, now is the time to get back in. The resources have never been better and they’re only going to improve, but you also get access to incredible people. That’s the biggest thing to me. I know not everyone sees the value in that, but I wish they would try it.

Community Helps You Grow

  • 23:45 I wish that introverts listening to this podcast would take a step out. I want to remind you that I’m as introverted as they come. All you hear is me talking, so you might not think that’s introverted, but I am. I’ve been inside for 12 days straight before. That’s not so normal anymore because I’ve been running now and taking better care of myself. I’m going outside now.
  • 25:19 Cory: You enjoy your alone time.
  • 25:23 Sean: I do and it doesn’t come natural to me to come outside that element. Like you said, Cory, we have our own plans and we do our own thing, but you can’t grow that way. You have to get around people, even when it’s uncomfortable. I started getting around people by going to local meetups or driving to Austin to meet other people. Find other artists, designers, photographers, or videographers. Whatever you do, get around those people. Get outside your shell. We have so many people that are so introverted that they’ll become a member and sit on the sidelines.
  • 26:11 They’re online, but they won’t say anything. They’re that introverted that they’re scared to say anything online. Just try it if you’re an introvert. Stick your neck out there and share. You’re going to find that a lot of people can relate to you. You’re going to feel a lot better. All of the uncertainties and doubts that you live with, a lot of other people can help you with that. You’re going to feel less awkward and weird.

When you share the things you think only you deal with, you’ll realize other people have been there before and they can help.

  • 27:01 Cory: I was hired at seanwes in 2014 and Sean said, “As a seanwes employee, you get access to the Community!” and I didn’t think I would use it. I didn’t engage much back then, but gradually I started saying more and people could relate to what I was saying. Then, Sean got me a mic to chime in on podcasts and I didn’t think I would use it either. I thought it was a waste.
  • 28:15 Over time, I started seeing the value of engaging with these people. When people would ask, “What do you do?” and I said, “I don’t know what I do,” that helped me figure out what I want to do. You have to put yourself in that situation, even if you’re uncomfortable. At least try it. Stick your neck out there and give it a shot. The future version of yourself will change tremendously if you start engaging with people. I’ve seen it in my own life.