This past summer, somewhat unexpectedly, I lost a close friend. Marc was more than just a friend; he was the Executive Director and Pastor of our school, a pillar of the community, and a family man.
When we received the call that morning, we were in shock. Because it was unexpected, we found ourselves asking questions like “How?” and “Why?”—trying to make sense of what just happened.
Marc’s wake was standing room only. The line for expressing condolences to the family was nearly a mile long, and it took more than six hours for friends and family to pass through. His wife Jennifer embraced and spoke with every person that was there. It was truly an evening of love, laughter, and sorrow.
Before he passed, Marc affected our family and me in so many ways. He fostered a sense of pride in our school, which was fitting since we are the Lions. He also instilled a sense of community, suggesting we take care of one another, and that life is done best together—that we were “better together”—and those were words he lived by.
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This past weekend, I traveled down to Nashville to attend WordCamp US. It’s been a number of years since I have attended one—a trend I’m hoping to change. While I was there, I had the pleasure of meeting new folks, as well as catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in quite a while. One thing I know, it all felt right.
Aside from showing support for, and learning from, members of the greater WordPress community, the primary reason I went was to engage deeper with the Genesis community. I knew there was going to be many customers, designers, and developers there, so I wanted to be present.
Over the course of those three days, I enjoyed meals, conversations, handshakes, high-fives, and hugs with people I knew, and people I just had met. It was good because we all had something in common.
On Saturday night, more than a hundred people showed up to our Genesis meetup, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I was thankful that folks chose to be there, that they decide to use our products, and that they trust us enough to build their businesses around them.
. . .
Four years ago, I was sitting up in my office with an itch to do something fun—something that involved friends and adventure—so I got permission from my wife and reached out to a group of guys who I thought might be interested. So we went. And went again. And once more.
The first year there were four of us, and this year there will be eight. All of us are creative entrepreneurs, who make our living online, and enjoy skiing and snowboarding. We also have wives who love us and support an event—unofficial, mind you—where men get to “do their thing” in the wild.
Next week I am getting on a plane and flying to Denver, Colorado. Once there, I’ll be renting a car and driving up to the mountains—but I won’t be doing it alone. I’ll be doing it with seven other guys; we call it Brocation.
We will make jokes, and we will have fun. We will laugh at each other when we fall, and we will encourage one another as we help each other back up. We will share stories of failure, and stories of success. We will be together.
. . .
There is something special that happens when people share something in common and unite. For some, it might be religion or attending the same school. For others, it might be a job or software that we use. And for others, it might be the love of the mountains and renting a cabin in the woods.
I belong to many communities, but these are three windows into my life. Three sets of people who matter to me, and three sets of people who I matter to. Three sets of people where I believe that community is done “better together.”
But there’s always room for more, as I have a canyon-deep passion for being around people—especially creative entrepreneurs.
A few weeks ago, I sent a survey asking for help with something I’m building. Your responses blew me away. Hundreds of you took time to reply—many of you with incredibly thoughtful answers—and I’m so glad you did.
I carefully reviewed everything you shared with me. Weighed every detail. Thought hard about what would help you build an honest, profitable, and Authentik brand and business.
Why am I doing this?
Because if my years building StudioPress and No Sidebar and helping to grow Copyblogger have taught me anything, it’s that entrepreneurship is an epic journey filled with endless ups, downs, and in-betweens.
In my opinion, we shouldn’t do it alone. We need allies along the road, and I would be honored to be that ally for you.
I want to give you the help and support you need to make huge strides towards the big vision you’re really after in your business (not just an idea some phony guru told you to reach for) because I believe that’s how the best stuff in the world gets made and sold.
I believe in doing life with one another, and I want to do it with you.
I’ll be welcoming a select group of creative entrepreneurs into Authentik early in 2018 as founding members, and I’d love to have you among them.
Come as you are. Bring your talents, your knowledge gaps, your brilliance, your frustrations, fascinations, and struggles—and let’s turn them into something awesome.
You deserve to create a business with meaning and purpose. You deserve to be just as amped up about your work today as you were the day you began as an entrepreneur.
I’ll leave you with these words from Sonia Simone:
“If you want to go fast, get some damned help. If you want to go far, find a community…and also get some damned help.”
So there’s just one question left: Are you ready?
. . .