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  • The Open Mind Space

Ep 31: Building a Community

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

If you're starting a community or service-based business, or looking to find and connect with your tribe, this is for you: we're talking about what it takes to build a community.

But first...

What's on in May:

  • 13th May: Yin Chakra Bath - join Jacqui Rose for this beautiful and relaxing event, and leave feeling balanced and at ease after aligning your Chakras with a soothing Yin Yoga practice and Holy Fire Reiki Healing.

  • 20th May: Back 2 Breath - in Murray's monthly breathwork experiences, release emotions, shift perspective, regulate your nervous system, and reset your being with the power of breath.

  • 27th May: Self-Heal Event - the follow-on from last month's Self-Soothe Event, discover the tools to re-awaken the inner healer within in this 3-hour interactive workshop that seamlessly integrates Jess's truly holistic wisdom as an occupational therapist, and esoteric reiki + yoga practitioner.

This a reminder that if your heart is set on something, please book in quickly! We don't want you to miss out, and our events fill up really fast!

In his younger years, Murray was given the nickname 'Lego'. For some time he ignored it, and never asked why - but it was inevitably because he's so connected, and always has been; he has always had a knack for meeting people at the right time for the right reason.

And Renee agrees, observing his integrity, authenticity, ability to say it as it is (without being blunt...usually!), and comfort in leading, guiding and leaning into uncomfortable conversations. In fact, even on the first day they'd met, Murray shared his truth, and, in doing so, gave Renee the permission to step into that space of honesty and truth by removing their facades.

All of these are beautiful and important qualities for both building and leading a community. But what about your intention: why are you choosing to build a community?

Renee loves the man on the hill video - a fun, visual example of human psychology and hierarchy. Ultimately, we are all communal beings, and, in order to function well, there are multiple roles within a community that must be fulfilled for that community to work. It's an important reminder to keep this in mind when you are looking to gather humans in a business or organisational sense - that all of the roles in a community are of equal importance. If your idea of becoming the leader of a community comes with an idea of self-importance or "I'm above you and better", you're setting up a really interesting dynamic, and you'll often attract the same back.

It's also important to acknowledge and allow space for the roles within your community to shift and change as people (and, with them, their skills, passion, and the space they can both hold and take up) grow and evolve. And this applies to all types of community - business, and even friendships.

When Renee first moved back to Newcastle, her intention behind her desire to build a community wasn't to build a business; she just wanted to connect with a group of like-minded people. At first, she couldn't find that group, so she put the pin in the map for full moon meditations on the beach and attracted a community of people who all had this as common ground and who could each offer something. This has ended up being the foundation for what Renee and Murray have built since.

In this sense, the idea of building a community in order to then build your business (and some business structures will naturally allow for this, while some don't) can provide an excellent foundation. John Marsh spoke about this really well: when your best offering is for free (at least in the beginning - like the full moon meditations, which Renee and Murray would have been doing themselves anyway), you are able to build a relationship of trust and a strong sense of community before expanding your offers and attaching that monetary component, and therefore attract less hesitation in your clients and customers around spending money.

And social media has really enabled this, as it allows so much accessibility and ease for building a community.

Build your community, and then your business off the back of it.

So integrity and authenticity for trustworthy leadership in the community are important. And then authentically showing up and offering to build that community is important. What about maintaining that community?

Renee speaks of the importance of quashing the story that you, in some sense, own your community. Renee and Murray have both witnessed this story in action and, as they say, there's a big need in these cases for some shadow work! Particularly around scarcity mindset, fear of abandonment, and self-importance.

You shouldn't have a fear of someone leaving your community. In fact, Murray really embraces it as a sign that people are moving to their next level, which is such a magical thing. And, as Renee says, why would you want to keep and hold onto people who might no longer resonate with you or what you're doing?

Again, people have free will and naturally grow and evolve. And people will always do what is convenient, but will also always make the effort for something they see value in. For example, people might go to their closest yoga studio for convenience, but also so often travel further afield to practise with, and follow, that certain teacher they really resonate with. Give permission for change - stagnation attracts frustration.

There is more than enough. In the physical world, the online world, the etheric world, and the Universe. So there's zero need for competition (or at least the type that's unhealthy - because some healthy competition can be inspiring, motivating, driving, and encouraging alignment and honing your skills and offerings).

Finally, Renee and Murray share their advice and thoughts on leading a community:

Murray loves that there are always opportunities in a leadership role to hear feedback. He's able to discern whether or not he takes it on - he knows that he's not here (or even able) to please everyone, but there are times when he is now able to take on constructive feedback, without taking it to heart.

And Renee believes that what is super important in maintaining the core of the community is the values and morals on which it's based. As a leader, it's pivotal to both embody these but also to have the courage to step up and lead when they are not being embodied in your community.

Go forth, and find and build your community!


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