Last week, I wrote about the importance of finding a tribe — a peer group of like-minded creators to learn and grow with. I had more replies to that story than almost any other, asking for more on how to go about building a community. This topic goes pretty deep and is something I will explore and share in a few upcoming articles. For now, I want to share a specific framework to jump-start your brain on how to begin building a group.
Plus / Minus / Equal
Plus / Minus / Equal is a training technique developed by one of the world’s most famous mixed martial arts fighter and trainer, Frank Shamrock. His approach is simple: When a fighter comes to him for training, he assigns them three training partners to help them reach the next level.
The first person is your Plus. This is someone who is just a few steps ahead. It’s true that success leaves clues, but modeling our heroes or only listening to those who have reached the top of the mountain isn’t always the best strategy. Often times, the roads our heroes took to get where they have changed. Not to mention, time and success make it difficult for them to have a clear view of what really happened to get them there.
Our PLUS is someone whose footprints are still fresh. They should be easy to reach via email. These are the people who have already accomplished some of our immediate goals. Think of your plus as someone you look up to, yet is still in striking distance.
We learn by teaching. And when we share what we know, we step into our knowledge in a way that propels us forward while giving back to others. Your MINUS is someone who is still poking around a few paces back. This is someone you can help guide on their journey — someone you can take under your wing. If you’re just starting out and don’t think you have a someone like this, don’t worry, you will soon enough.
Besides the intrinsic value of being generous with your time and attention, this is an effective strategy for developing long-lasting friendships and the potential for collaboration.
There’s a great line that’s usually attributed to the movie business that comes to mind: “Be nice to people on your way up. You never know who you’ll need on the way down.”
Maybe the most important of them all. This is someone who’s right there with you. Head to head in the trenches of resistance, uncertainty, and unabashed creativity. They are searching for the same wins and dealing with the same loses. These are the people who can be your rivals, your collaborators, and your accountability buddies.
Now I know what you’re thinking… “Corey, this is great information, but where do I find these people and how do I go about reaching out to them?”
The strategies and tools I’ve used to build my network and reach the next level of creative freedom are part of a new mentorship program I’ve designed.
If you’ve enjoyed my newsletter and other articles, but are anxious to reach your highest potential and access higher-level thought-processes and strategies, the mentorship program might be a great fit.
Because of limited space, I’m not advertising this new program anywhere but on Medium and through my email list. If you’re at all interested in a more one-on-one approach to growing an audience and inspiring more people with your work, please send me an email with the subject line, mentorship.
Email address is email@example.com