Monday, June 21, 2010

Who Is In Your Community?

I just got off the phone with NYP Speakers community. Since New Year Publishing launched NYP Speakers earlier this year, we have hosted a monthly conference call with the authors and speakers who are part of our group. The idea of the call is that the business of writing and speaking professionally can be a lonely way to earn a living, and having a group of friends to share "best practices" and inspiring success stories makes everyone better.

The calls are short (less than an hour), but often powerful in the ideas discussed. While I lead the call, I still learn something new about promoting books, social media, list building, digital media, newsletter tips, the speaking business, etc....

The idea of community is important. I wrote earlier this week about the power of belonging to your industry trade associations and actively participating. Being connected to others who are working in the same trenches as you is a bonus that pays off in countless ways. I find that knowing others in your line of work makes the path to success more visible.

I shared with a friend by email that I am rarely wary about competitors, as every deal I do as a keynote speaker (Emcee, facilitator, discussion leader, Conference Networking Catalyst, breakout speaker, etc... ) involves competition. I win some, I lose some.... but most meeting planners and other potential clients talk with more than one professional speaker before making a hiring decision (this is true for most vendor selections - regardless of industry). Never twice have I competed with the same person for a speaking gig. The country (world) is too big and there are too many conventions, meetings and seminars in need of professional speakers. Thus I have found I get more from sharing business practices with other speakers than I would if I saw them as the competition.

I spend a lot of time consulting with clients about the power of a community. Belonging to (and participating in) organizations in your industry and local geographic area is key. While it is easy to get busy and rationalize a million reasons not to participate, most people seem to desire to be more connected. Being part of a community is a basic human ritual that has existed as long as we have walked the earth. Do not avoid the pull of belonging. Find a community.

If you cannot find the right community, create one!

Who is your community? You should have social communities, business communities, spiritual communities, family communities, neighborhood communities, special interest communities (hobbies), etc....

Have A Great Day.


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