On Community: the unsung power of Internet communication

my office assistant is cute but not helpful

Like many people who run a home-based business, I do most of my work alone in my office save for an office assistant whose main contribution is to sit on the Caps Lock key.  As a person who thrives on the company of others–and who needs the input and perspective only other people can provide to do my best work– one might assume this arrangement is a recipe for disaster.

Actually, it would be, save for one very important technological advancement:  the Internet.

Sure, I rely on it to connect with potential clients, and I teach those clients to use it to connect with their clients, customers, and donors, but that’s just the most obvious benefit.

The Internet also provides me the one thing I need to stay sane, productive and creative while working on my own:  access to other humans.

Thanks to Twitter, I am connected to a huge community of theatre artists and administrators through the #2amt hashtag and some of the most dedicated nonprofit professionals you’ll ever meet though #smNPchat.  Twitter is also the place I “hang out” with some of the smartest and most generous consultants I know including Erica, Pamela, Jenny, and Shoshana.  (I’ve linked to their twitter profiles, but be sure to visit their websites as well!)

Thanks to the Society of the Secret Play Date, I (usually) remember to incorporate a sense of wonder and play into my everyday work.  I also have the pleasure of cheering the accomplishments of other play-daters (and receiving encouragement myself) when we meet in our secret hideout.

Thanks to the Remarkable Marketing Blueprint, I now count some of the internet’s best “third tribe” style marketers among my friends.  I  also have a place to go to test new ideas, get advice, and blow off steam when I worry I’ll never have another good idea.  (Thanks to the blueprint, I’m also just one Kevin Bacon-style step removed from Seth Godin, but I’ll spare you the fan girl moment.)

Finally, thanks to Facebook, I have a way to stay connected to my “real life” communities made up of family, friends, teachers, students, neighbors and colleagues scattered across the United States–and increasingly, the world.

So while my physical space offers only 3 cats and one engineer for company, the Internet provides me a variety of spaces, some public, some private, where I can go to hone my skills, get advice and encouragement, ask silly questions, build relationships and, of course, procrastinate.  Thanks to those communities, and the amazing people who are a part of them, I’m able to pursue a dream that would not have been possible for me 10 years ago.

A New Place to Build Community

Because these online communities have been so crucial to my work, (and because the world will be better when more people start pursuing their dreams) I am building a new private space where smart, kind, generous, and driven people can take the ideas about which they usually only whisper, and give those ideas the nourishment, protection, support, and care they need to grow.

Click here to learn more about the LHF Greenhouse.

In many ways, the greenhouse itself is the “seedling” project I intend to grow along side the seedling projects of other greenhouse members, so those of you who choose to become charter members will play a major role in helping it grow.  If you like the idea of shaping the greenhouse for future members, or just like the idea of getting in for an insanely good price, you should go check it out now.

I hope to see you inside.

You Are Not Alone

Candle

I know it can be hard to remember.

You may not be able to see them, or hear them, but there are people around you who love you and want you to be happy.

There are people from your past thinking of you and wishing  you well.

There are new people about to come into your life.  People who will help make your journey a little easier and a little more rewarding.

No matter where you live, no matter what your passion, no matter what you have been called to do, there are people out there who want–who need– what you have been called to create.

There are people who want to help make your dreams come true.

There are people who are waiting for you to let your light shine.

There are people who will listen.

There are people who will understand.

There are people who are waiting for you to ask.

All you have to do is hang on until you find them.  Keep working on your ideas, keep the light in your heart burning.

Find your people.  Do your work.


If you’d like a little more company, come check out the LHF Greenhouse, and meet other passionate people like you looking for nourishment, support, protection and care.

The Wait Is Over

photo credit: flickr user Marvin Kuo

The wait is over.

After six month’s of hints and vague references,  I’m done beating around the bush regarding “the new thing I’ll be unveiling soon.”  Today is the day I tell you what it is.

I’m creating a new online community called the Low Hanging Fruit (LHF) Greenhouse where people with creative, world-changing* ideas will connect with like-minded people and grow their dreams together.

Click here to view your invitation to the LHF Greenhouse.

Watch this space for future blog posts about the greenhouse and how it can help you get where you are going.

In the meantime, I wish you a joyous and peaceful holiday season, and am looking forward to our time together in 2012!

*ideas that change your corner of the world totally count.

Hiking Your Creative Path

visual representation of my creative path

One of the best parts about owning a business called “Low Hanging Fruit Communications” is I get to work with people and organizations who are just starting out.  People at the beginning of their journey are optimistic, joyful, and vibrant.  Often they put off so much positive energy it’s possible to start feeling more hopeful just by standing next to them.  It’s a joy.

Eventually, that first burst of enthusiasm and inspiration wears off and fear and doubt seep in.  Plans that seemed obvious now are riddled with difficulty.  The money doesn’t flow.  No one seems to “get” what you are trying to accomplish.  It’s here that most people start to worry that they’ve “wandered off the path”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading

The Problem with “Busy”

If this image could represent your brain, you may have a busy problem

Image by Daniel Morris via Flickr

We have a great infatuation with busyness in western culture.  Calling someone “busy” is one of the highest complements we pay (If you want something done, ask a busy person);  it’s also a rock solid excuse for saying no to things you don’t want to do. (Oh, I’d love to help you but I’m just so busy!) In fact, “Busy” is such a popular state, it has replaced “fine” as the standard response to the question “How are you?”

I’m Not Saying Busyness is All Bad

It provides a great adreniline rush. It is incredibly satisfying to look back on a full day and feel  like you’ve really earned your TV or rest-time.   Then there is that deep sense of satisfaction that comes from a completed to-do list.

It’s no wonder so many of us are addicted to the rush of too much to do in too little time. Continue reading