The following insight came from my podcast interview with Lan Phan, where she shared her story of building a community and going from 0 to 80k followers.
What is the minimum viable product you can launch to sell for X amount of money? It’s all about creating the minimum amount of value that people will spend to purchase your product. When I started this community, I threw that out the window, and I thought, how can I bring the most value to people, period.
That paradigm shift was everything. Because I stopped focusing it on how much revenue I can get if I do this, and that, that – because when I try to build a business based on that, I couldn’t do it. My soul was not calling on me to do it. But when I focus on what I wanted to bring to the world and the change that I wanted to bring into the world, it inspired me. I think that is the journey that we go through as entrepreneurs; figure out what your passion is, and try to create something that is uniquely you.
Sometimes the best things that happened to us are the worst things. It gave me introspection because, during that period, I wasn’t working till 10 or 11 p.m., I had some space to think. And then I started thinking, what are my values? And my four core values are my family, friends, chosen family, faith, helping people, and freedom. And none of my jobs in the past gave any of like, aligned with my values. “What would my life look like if I built a business around my values?” My third value, which is helping people, is the center of that. So I thought, how do you live your life with your values? And how do you create a business surrounding that whole notion of how do you help people?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned throughout my career is: don’t focus on your product and your business; focus on how you can help people. So I just focused on how I can help people who follow this page. And it just spiraled from there. I thought, what content will uplift? What content will make their lives better? What do I wish I had learned when I was starting as an executive? As an executive, what do I want that other leaders would know? Being a servant leader is one of my big core; it’s about being of service to folks you lead.
I remember my time at Fortune and how I still communicate to this day with that team that I laid off. My job was not to be their boss; my job was to serve them. It’s that whole notion of what can you provide? When you focus on the consumer, the followers, and create content that will enrich their lives, that content becomes shareable.
The communities based on power are wrong. A lot of these membership-only groups are popping up, and it’s not about the community. It’s about getting close to centers of power. And I think that’s wrong. I feel most comfortable around people who care about me. I feel comfortable around people who have families and parents that they take care of, and we can talk about real conversations. What matters to the people that I select in my core community and me? It’s about how I can change the world and use my influence to change the world for the better. And that’s a different mentality than creating a community based on power. I establish a community of changemakers who are looking to change the world who happen to be successful.