Sometimes we all just need a little validation, encouragement or advice. And although our loved ones often try, if they aren’t in the same situation it is hard for them to relate. Which is why finding a community of like-minded individuals is so important for success … and mental health. We learned the importance of this first hand at the RVE Summit (a gathering of current or wannabe full-time RVers who are also entrepreneurs or digital nomads).
Although our new tribe is pretty specific to us, there are options like this out there no matter what your interests are. Whether you are a business owner, parent or collector of rare gems, everyone can benefit from connecting with similar people.
Where to Look
We have had great success with Meetup Groups, continued learning classes, clubs, associates, volunteer organizations and social media. (Facebook groups can be an amazing resource). Just don’t get discouraged if it takes a few tries to find the right match! When you do, it will be totally worth it.
And if your interests vary, join multiple communities! We have found a great group of fellow animal lovers by volunteering at local rescues. And joining the Denver Bloggers Club was key to stepping up my game as a blogger.
However, our recent experience at the RV Entrepreneur Summit was by far the most valuable to us. We can not thank Heath & Alyssa Padgett enough for putting this together! Not only did we make about 100 new friends (many of which are already Facebook official), we had the opportunity to learn from each other, share our stories, and connect with people on a level we hadn’t experienced with many others in our life.
Top 4 Benefits
Finding a “tribe,” as many people now call it, is a new idea to me. I’ve been blessed with supportive friends and family my entire life. Why would I need to go search out other people? Because it can make all the difference. I had no idea how many advantages there were to joining this type of community!
1. Realizing You Aren’t Alone
I think I said, “Us too!” about a hundred times during the 3-day weekend at the summit. Although it is important to have the opportunity to hear multiple viewpoints on life, realizing there are actually people in the same boat as you is amazing. Someone else is going through the exact same struggles as you.
A few months ago when we decided to start the process of selling 80% of our belongings, quitting our “real” jobs and finding an RV to live in full-time, we soon realized that this new lifestyle would involve a lot of explaining. Although we were excited to follow our passions (writing, photography, travel & outdoor adventures), our plan disrupted the idea of life that many people have.
Luckily, even though some still don’t completely understand, most of our family and friends are at least supportive. However, there are definitely a few that think we are being ridiculous or are extremely worried. Even though they don’t say it outright, the sideways looks and critical comments give them away.
We never really let others influence our choices, but the negativity is frustrating. So, getting to hang out with people who can relate to this frustration and who really understand our reasoning was a breath of fresh air. And seeing their eyes sparkle with excitement like ours do was rejuvenating.
We met dozens of people in our exact same circumstances. And even those who weren’t, have either been there or plan to. We may indeed still be a little crazy. But at least now we know there are others on this unique life path with us!
2. Learning from the Experts
When people with zero experience with what you are going through try to push their advice on you it is hard to see it as valuable. Which is why I never give my friends parenting advice. My only child is a fluffy cat, I can not relate! Of course you appreciate it when someone is trying to help you. But in these situations you take their advice with the whole damn salt shaker.
We have had all sorts of advice thrown our way since deciding to be full-time RVers and digital nomads. However, it is rarely from people who have actual experience doing it. Until the summit.
None of the speakers held back. They told their stories with complete transparency. And knowledge just poured from them as we all did our best to soak it up. They talked about how to stay focused on your goals on the road, saving money, creating a better business, overcoming fear and so much more. (If you are interested in watching the sessions from the summit, they are available for free over on Heath & Alyssa’s site: click here for the entire list.)
But the biggest take-away for us was the type of people this lifestyle creates. From extremely successful to just figuring it out as they go, they all have giant smiles on their faces and are eager to share why they love this way of life. It made it even clearer that we are making the right choice. I cried tears of joy at least twice.
3. Unlimited Help & Inspiration
There is this “if you win, we all win” mentality that comes with a positive community environment. And everyone we met at the summit was 100% willing to lend a helping hand or offer some advice. Receiving that kind of support makes you want to reciprocate!
We are far from pros, but we were eager to share anything we have learned that may help someone else forego the struggles we’ve encountered. And since we are all keeping in touch, we know that we will have the opportunity to continue to champion one another.
Talking about common struggles together is also a great way to brainstorm solutions. Maybe something that didn’t work for us is the fix a friend is looking for, or vice versa! We left the summit with pages of ideas that popped into our heads as we listened to the speakers and chatted with our peers. I don’t remember the last time I felt so inspired!
4. Lasting Connections
A common reason to join a community is networking. And if you are part of a group that is focused on helping each other succeed, why not partner up on mutually beneficial opportunities? We all have different skill sets to offer which makes this type of environment the perfect place to figure out how to work together for continued success.
However, even just making a commitment to encourage each other can make a huge difference! We look forward to joining mini-mastermind groups with people in our same niche or with similar interests to help each other further our goals and stay on track.
But the right community can provide more than just new business contacts. The best thing about finding like-minded people, is that it allows you to be yourself. You can enter the space with no fear of judgment. And this kind of transparency breeds amazing friendships.
Getting to discuss dreams, goals, tragedies and triumphs was a welcome change from the monotony of every day conversations. When you have the opportunity to connect on a deeper level, you are able to truly appreciate each other.
Knowing that there are so many amazing, intelligent, creative, strong people in the community we have chosen to align ourselves with has allowed us to let go of any doubt that we had about this new venture. We can’t wait to buy our home on wheels and meet our new friends out on the road!