The room went dark, and the heat shut off. We were certain that everyone who came to our house for our community meeting would leave.
My friends and I had a bar napkin idea- a nonprofit pay-what-you-want bicycle repair shop…in Atlanta, which at that time was known as one of America’s worst cities for cycling.
We posted flyers around town, at record stores, coffee shops, and natural food markets, inviting anyone who was interested in helping to our house on a Sunday night in December 2004.
Our idea was bold. Some people said it would never work.
But our house filled up with community members who were so devoted to our wild idea that-
Even when the room went dark and the temperature dropped, they stayed.
They put on their jackets to keep warm and lit the room with their bicycle blinkie lights.
Something magical was happening.
And so I became a Cofounder and the Executive Director of Sopo Bicycle Co-op, Atlanta’s first nonprofit bicycle repair shop.
I also launched a successful DJ career.
And I’ve helped
Plus I’m a member of Facebook’s invitation only Power Admin Community.
That’s why they call me the Tribe Queen.
As in “Member of the Tribe.” I grew up in a tight knit Jewish neighborhood in South Florida where KKK rallies were a common occurrence. Culturally speaking, community is a big part of our daily life, but sticking together as a community was also a matter of safety.
It’s not just childhood conditioning! I studied this stuff, too.
I majored in Cultural Anthropology at Emory University where I was a Kenneth Cole Fellow in Community Building and Social Change.
And I earned a Master of Social Work degree from Georgia State University. The program focused on community partnerships rather than clinical practice. During my graduate fieldwork, I helped a Title I school start a recycling program by getting bins and dumpsters donated.
How did I do all of this?
Through the power of community! Every. Single. Time.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead famously said
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
This is my mantra.
We’re in a new era of business now where consumers want to be part of a movement.
They want to be those thoughtful, committed citizens who can change the world.
Responsible businesses can lead the way.
Now here’s where it gets really interesting.
Taking a community-based approach to your business saves time and makes money.
Building your digital community supercharges your branding, marketing, and sales.
It cuts down on content creation because it’s all about creating dialogue rather than monologue.
Protip: consumers don’t want to be lectured by advertisers.
They want to be a part of the conversation.
They’re having conversations on social media with or without you.
The smart thing to do is to lead the conversation and provide the platform where it takes place…
Where you can gather data about your tribe so your business can serve them better.
Where you can rally your army of marketers who will spread the word about your business so you don’t have to.
Where your business will become known as THE go-to source in your industry.
And did I mention it’s fun?
Community is the future of business. Don’t be tardy to the party.
Are you ready to rock?