If you know me pretty well, then it may come off as a huge surprise that I am quite introverted (if you actually do know me well, then you’ll detect my sarcasm on the huge surprise part).
In all seriousness, I find it difficult to break awkward situations and turn them into friendly and meaningful ones. I also tend to keep to myself when it comes to working on projects and I also tend to believe that someone will simply discover and appreciate my work on their own.
In the past 1-2 years though, I’ve realized that people don’t just discover you inside of your cave and give you millions of dollars. Robert Herjavec had the same notions early on as well, which I mentioned in the previous newsletter on self investment.
Thankfully, I’ve almost accidentally been building connections with people both online and in real life, as well as coming across some amazing communities. I’ve found that there is a huge amount of value in this, even moreso than the tangible skills learned in building products.
I still standby being an introvert and don’t see it as a challenge. It simply means that I can detect which connections I see being valuable for me to spend my social energy on. With that said, I’m actually quite social when it comes to talking to people online.
First of all, my two longest friendships started online from a website building community. We’ve since then met in person at CES, but for over a decade we’ve been working on different projects, finding ways to make revenue, playing video games, and making fun of each other.
When it comes to social media though, you have to realize that it is no different than making connections in person. However, I find it a lot easier to join discussions that are not only relevant to me, but ones that I can provide value to online.
Social media and online communities also connect us with people that we normally couldn’t. I am able to talk to people from all around the world, which also means easily expanding my circle of bias.
So where does the “value” aspect come in? Well, it really comes down to just having a network of people that you know got your back.
In terms of social media, this means having an audience that will actually engage with your content, or provide advice when you need outside opinions.
For closer connections, you can even ask for favors. Something such as a peer review of your work or any form of service that you would normally have to pay for.
As a personal example, I’ve been helping Lasha Krikheli with a course that he is working on. Even though it is taking me hours to do a technical review, I know that I am helping a friend out who has already helped me out before. The mutual trust and wanting each other to succeed is actually something that becomes invaluable.
It is definitely hard to find and build one-on-one relationships though. That is where communities come in, which can then be used to build closer connections.
The first one that I recommend to anyone building their own thing is Maker’s Kitchen. I joined this Slack group around the middle of 2018 and it’s a great place to share progress on your projects, find help in skills that you lack, and launch those same projects to a large community. There are various channels for different topics of interest such as coding, design, and project growth.
The second one ties in to Maker’s Kitchen, and is called Makerlog. While it is a task logging tool, it adds in a social and community aspect to the visibility of your projects. This then expands out to the Slack group and Twitter.
The third one is for bloggers and content creators, and is called Blog Mastermind Group. This is actually a new one that was recommended to me recently by Ali Spittel, but knowing some other members of the community and the purpose of it is why I am recommending it.
I’m not entirely sure the purpose of sharing all this, but my intention is that there are people out there like myself who have not yet realized the importance of creating valuable connections. Or perhaps as someone who is also introverted believes it to be a weakness although there are multiple ways of building connections outside of simply being extroverted. Also, we all share a mix of both and it comes down to having empathy towards our differences.
This has been a slow week in terms of content creation for me as I’ve been focused more on work and my side project, IronMic.
With that said, I will be jumping back in with a new episode and article so be on the lookout for that. Have an awesome week! 👋