Playing sports while growing up allowed me to feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself. Sixteen years of playing finally came to an end after my last collegiate football game. As my time in sports came to an end, I started to lose that feeling. The sacrifice, blood, sweat, tears and oneness of a group working towards a common goal. Working as an accountant for a handful of years brought on its own struggles. I was challenged to find a purpose, for the first time, without having a true commitment to a team/community. Everything felt very siloed. I can attribute some of that to myself, but the corporate environment felt very non-committal for me. The work that was accomplished and the conversations that were had lacked meaning, like the one I had being apart of my sports teams.
Fast forward a handful of years later and we pick up where I am today. My life has transitioned many times over. From accountant to strength intern to now wearing multiple hats as a full-time strength coach, business owner, consultant and non-profit employee. The shifts from job to job have created their own challenges, but ones that caused me to lean into my community to continue to learn and sharpen my skills.
With all that going on, my favorite thing that I am currently working towards is building a community.
My pursuits are vast, and my vision is big, but I know it can’t be accomplished alone. That is why I am looking to build a community. This importance of community was first displayed within my job as a strength coach. Every year we take on a new set of interns. As many have experienced, an internship is just doing the “bitch” work. To me, I saw an opportunity to teach and build. One of my favorite things I get to do is teach. As I learned in “Mastery,” by Robert Greene, there are three stages of Mastery. 1. Learning. 2. Doing. 3. Teaching. By no means am I a master, but having the ability to teach some of the lessons I was once an apprentice on brings me such joy. My goal is to make the road for those who come after me easier than the road Ive taken.. There are multiple phases of life where I am still at phase 1 & 2. Quickly I’ve learned that I don’t have all the answers; sometime the interns are doing the teaching. Then it dawned on me, for all of us to succeed, we need each other.
The past few years I have made a conscious effort to continue to expand that community and my impact on it. Expanding my community, has led to exponential growth in so many dimensions of life.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” – Hellen Keller
- Collective wisdom – the ability to learn from others more experienced. As I have mentioned I don’t have all the answers, no one does. Having a community that you can tap into will benefit you when needing expert advise. More likely than not, someone in your community will know someone who can help you.
- New ideas – Working within a community eliminates group think and expands possibilities. When you are having conversation with the same group all the time your perspective is near sighted. When communicating with an expanded community the ideas are plentiful and diverse.
- Accountability – Having others count on you and vice versa. This has been one I have really leaned into being in the fitness community. My monthly challenges have started to gain more of a following. As silly as it may sound to some it has helped hold myself and others accountable. It has also helped grow the community.
- Support – Having others there to help/push you when you think you’ve reached your limit. Most recently I helped organize a community of ½ and full marathoners. The training for races likes this can be daunting but having the support of the community working towards a common goal helped a lot of them get to the finish line.
- Elevating network – Engaging with others in your community leads to a expanded network. Within your community you never know who you will meet. Personally speaking, my network has grown exponentially. I have sat in rooms with people I have no business sitting with. I have engaged in conversations way above my pay grade, and saw visions turn into realities.
At times when I thought I could do this all by myself I reflect and realize I’ve never done anything alone. It has always been through the help of a community. As I work to grow and expand my own community, I extend the invite to you to join mine.
Let’s rock this world together!