If you’re ever thinking about starting an online community or membership site then you need to understand that your Why is a shared purpose that everyone shares.
Have you ever joined a Facebook Group that was supposed to be helpful but it just seemed like everyone focused on themselves?
Eventually, the group becomes nothing more than an affiliate link promotions club for certain things that help one person.
Without a shared purpose, there is no unity. Without unity, you don’t really have a community.
You simply have a single place where people happen to meet up from time to time.
A shared purpose means that everyone in the community understands that helping others also helps them.
For example, in Odd Noodle (our company), if you truly believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to create the lifestyle that they want, then that means you should feel compelled to help others when you can.
We see that happen daily in our Slack community.
If you don’t really believe that then what happens? You pop in from time to time and only talk about yourself and leave when you’re done talking about yourself.
And here is the amazing thing.
When you believe in the Why and follow it through with action, you become more recognizable in the community which in turn builds up your own Authority which in turn leads to more opportunities.
Because people see that you’re truly part of the shared purpose so they view you more favorably and they begin to believe that you can also help them get from Point A to Point B.
A perfect example is within Odd Noodle itself.
Marybeth, the Community Maestro
Spend 5 minutes in one of our communities and you’ll see that Marybeth is awesome. She’s always around to help and has no problem helping every person she can.
She’s the epitome of the Odd Noodle Why.
You might be thinking that she’s the Community Manager so this is what she’s supposed to do, but that wasn’t always the case.
Before she became the Community Manager she was a regular member and she was doing the EXACT SAME THING that she now gets paid to do.
I saw her helping people for months.
I didn’t ask her to do it.
Nobody else asked her to do it.
She just did it because she was drawn in by the Why.
She believed (and still believes) in it.
Hiring her was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make with regard to this company.
When you can consistently live your Why, people are attracted to you. It’s a gravity pulling force that can’t be ignored.
A Shared Purpose
Having a shared purpose makes it a lot easier to run a community. It almost creates the guidelines for you.
It becomes this unspoken rule that people follow, but it only works if you’re consistent with your actions.
If you begin to do stuff that goes against the Why then other people will wonder if the Why is even real.
There is no Shared Purpose when the leader doesn’t follow it themselves.
Later we will talk about how you can ensure that your Why gets clearly communicated with your audience but if you want to know the secret then it’s all about living it.