We’ve hosted a monthly Meetup for over 10 years now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. Much of what we discuss is around the world of WordPress, the community there is amazing. When asked to describe the Meetup, I tell people “The group is full of our competitors, but we share all of our secrets with them, and they all share theirs back, and we all leave the event smarter than when we entered.“
In many communities, that might be crazy, like I shared last year in my comparison of friendly versus ruthless rivalries. For whatever reason, anyone I meet from the WordPress community immediately falls into the “friendly” category, whereas many other marketing folks make sure it’s clear that they’re “ruthless”.
In recently re-reading the book “The Go-Giver“, the author shares a few insights that tie into this nicely. The first is a rather simple statement:
“Actually, successful people do this all the time. Typically, the more successful they are, the more willing they are to share their secrets with others.”
The second deals more with human nature. Years ago, I had a friend that got into car accidents quite frequently and blamed “all of these crazy drivers”. You won’t be surprised to know that they were actually the cause of most of them. The world is what you see it to be. From the book:
Go looking for people to take advantage of you, and they generally will. See the world as a dog-eat-dog place, and you’ll always find a bigger dog looking at you as if you’re his next meal. Go looking for the best in people, and you’ll be amazed at how much talent, ingenuity, empathy and goodwill you’ll find. Ultimately, the world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated.
There’s certainly a degree of giving and sharing that can lead to being taken advantage of, but that degree is far beyond what most of us are willing to do.
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