community is everything - the search for greatness
There is an old African saying; "One tree does not a forrest make". African is in italics because I've encountered this saying elsewhere outside Africa. It's a universal truth, and is one of the bases of our humanity. We are meant to be in a community, not alone.
In an older post, becoming truly great - hiatus interrupted, I mentioned "hard work" as one of the ways to be great. In the time I have been looking into this greatness concept, I have found another to be community. The adage "Your network is your net worth" speaks of that power of community.
I'm quite the loner myself. I like to do things alone - photography and other things - without seeking help or participating in groups. I don't really like team sports or games that rely on other people to play a part in the plight for collective glory. Like many, I probably exhibit some social awkwardness when in a large group.
Well, change is here. I attended my first ever meetup this weekend. It was the World Wide Instagram Meet 13 and I met up with the group Instagramers London. Over a hundred photography enthusiasts stormed North London, starting at Alexander Palace and walking all the way to Finsbury Park via some paths I didn't even know existed. I was glad to see I wasn't the only one with a film camera - The Olympus 35RC. There was an ancient polaroid, a Canon AE-1 and an Olympus OM-10 in the mix.
More than the photography itself, it was the sense of community that I most enjoyed. I met some very nice people and chatted about photography and cameras, of course, but about many other things too. It was a wonderful day spent with like-minded people. Needless to say, I also made some great contacts and grew my Instagram following quite significantly.
So what has all this got to do with greatness or success? Well, I did mention that I grew my Instagram following didn't I? While I'm nowhere near great, yet, :), I can see a clear path to it via community. Many of the so called "influencers" on Social Media with hundreds of thousands of followers have done so by leveraging the power of the community around them. They have basically served their community, consistently delivering value. In return, the community has made them great.