Something’s happening right now. You can name it, see it, feel it, and for the most part, you definitely don’t like it! Obviously, I’m talking about the pandemic. And it’s turned our lives inside out. Or maybe that’s outside in?
But there’s something else happening too. It’s something you can kind of feel but can’t name or see. Or maybe you haven’t felt it at all because you’re so busy trying to navigate buying groceries, keeping the kids busy, staying sane, and ensuring all your loved ones are safe.
I think I see it because of the work I do. And, because I had a group coaching program running as we entered the world of “stay home to stay safe”. This meant I already had an online community with meaningful connections, something most people have had to create from scratch.
It was natural for me to apply my online group coaching format to other parts of my life. I knew it would be fun and easy to connect with people this way but I’ve been surprised by just how fulfilling it’s become. It goes beyond virtual happy hours and quick video-chats with friends and family (though these are fulfilling too).
It’s become apparent to me that the something else that’s happening has to do with how disruption creates opportunity. Right now we’re being forced to connect in new ways, but those new ways of connecting can go beyond the use of technology, it can change what we talk about, what we think about, and how deep our conversations can go.
This is about community building.
We all need to feel part of something, and often that’s defined by where we’re physically located. Work, gym, school, home, all these locations are community locations. But now we’re just home. Which means now you get to create whatever communities you want.
Virtual communities can help you build resilience which is something we could all use a bit more of right now. But, they can also take you far beyond resilience where you build stronger bonds with people, cultivate and advance ideas, entertain theories and what-ifs, and create something entirely new.
To build resilience, create a community that helps you with whatever you’re struggling with most. Whether you just feel alone and down, lack motivation, are struggling with parenting while working from home, or just feel anxious and worried about your job and finances, you’re not alone. Find your people and connect, share, and support each other.
To hold that resilience in place and make it stronger, create communities around things that bring you joy. Enjoy cooking? Create a cooking community and share recipes or just jump online and cook together. Love movies? Meetup with other movie lovers and share your favorites or watch one online together.
Go beyond resilience and thrive by venturing into new territory. Have a maybe-someday idea? Maybe that time is now and you just need to gather the right people together. Been thinking about a side-hustle? Get other side-hustlers together and explore your idea further. Have big ideas about leadership you want to develop and expand on? Gather up other like-minded leaders and start sharing ideas and developing new ones.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can do with virtual communities. Think big, but start small. It only takes two people to create a meaningful exchange of ideas, and three to turn it into a virtual community (well, by my definition anyhow).
I truly believe if we focus on this new way of connecting, build our virtual communities, and do it well, it will lead us to new heights and enable us to create something more enduring in our relationships, our ideas, our careers, our beliefs, and our life experience.
I don’t claim to have all the answers on this, I’m just learning as I go. But, I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to start your own virtual community. So, I put what I’ve learned into a free guide which you can download by clicking below.
Now get out there and make a difference with your virtual communities!