Community: The importance of your Near Five

Career Satisfaction Manifesto Part 6, here’s Part 1.

There’s an adage I’ve read in multiple places, that says you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with i.e. your “near five.” This is the motivation behind MasterMind groups — people who come together to support each other as they each work towards a goal.

This is one of the reasons knowing how to network effectively can have such outsized impacts on people’s lives. Meeting and developing relationships with people who have similar ambitions to your own, and who are willing to offer support and guidance, is a key component to achieving your goals. Developing a support network and having mentors is absolutely crucial. Simply spending time around people who are living the type of life you want to lead can help you move in that direction. If you want to learn more about fine cuisine, try to meet and spend time with people who love to cook, go to gourmet restaurants, etc.

To that end, I’ll be attending the World Domination Summit this summer to surround myself with like-minded people. Just the act of registering for this conference, inspired me to implement plans that had been swirling around in my head, for one example see below, for another: posting this very series you’re reading. All of a sudden I was part of that group and people like us, do things like this. We’re social creatures and are strongly influenced by the people we associate with, including those we associate with virtually.

I didn’t have the near-five I wanted, so I put this call out on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and email to certain groups of people earlier this year:

Wanna join me?
Have you ever heard of the World Domination Summit held in Portland Oregon every summer? This is an example of one person pulling together a group of like-minded people to offer support, guidance and community.
I’d like to do something similar, on a much smaller scale to start with, in DC. And not solely with bloggers, or web-designers, or other tech-adjacent people, but with other policy wonks, advocates, aspiring executives, etc..
There won’t be an App for this and probably no Facebook page, but there might be a Twitter hashtag.
The way I see it: we have all these smart, well-intentioned people in DC who want to help create a genuinely better world for everyone; not just the young, the pretty, the hip, the well-off, or the well-connected. We want to connect to each other and do impactful work, and we have to figure out how and feel empowered to march forward with concrete ideas, concrete plans. We need a community to hold us accountable, to reassure and support us, to remind us that we’re not alone, and that rubbing shoulders with the movers and shakers isn’t the goal.
Other groups I’ve tapped into are all about raising money for self-maintenance or a worthy cause. I want to build something different. I want to convene a small, close-knit community that’s committed to helping each other in whatever ways we can.
Whether your goal is to build a side business, change job or career, start a project or artistic enterprise, start blogging, develop a new skill, read more books, whatever it is, the idea is that this will basically be your professional development support group i.e. life coaching as a group exercise.
The initial commitment I’d like to request of interested people is 1.5 hours every Monday from 6pm for the next 6 weeks, starting March 7. During our time together we’ll discuss our respective challenges, make commitments, and starting on Week 2, give status reports.
Where’s all of this coming from? Well, I know that I tend to have great insights about other people’s career trajectories and the professional development they should undertake to contribute to their success, but I draw a blank when it comes to my own career or I can’t figure out how to hold myself accountable or how to make meaningful progress. I’m guessing other people have similar challenges, so I want to bring us together so that we can try to help each other fill our potential.
The first iteration of the group will max out at 6 (including me) and is clearly not for everyone I’m sharing this with, so no hard feelings at all if you’re not interested. If you have any feedback for me or plan to participate, I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you very much!

If you’d like to do something similar feel free to use this as a template for your own call to gather.

Thanks for reading!

If this series has been helpful, I’d be honored if you’d share it with others:

Career Satisfaction Manifesto: Part 1: Living a Meaningful Life | Part 2: We’re Not All Entrepreneurs | Part 3: A Self-Directed Career | Part 4: Towards a Meaningful Career | Part 5: The Role of Passive Income | Part 6: Community — The Importance of your near 5 | Part 7: Self-Care How to Nurture Yourself and Your Dreams | Part 8: The Importance of Service | Part 9/9: Concrete Steps

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