The Power of Community: How Chris Do Built a Thriving Network

In this episode of Elements of Community Podcast, we dive into the power of community with our guest, Chris Do. Join us as we explore how Chris built a thriving network and the valuable lessons he learned along the way. From the importance of building genuine relationships to the impact of collaboration, this episode is packed with insights that will inspire you to harness the power of community in your own life. 

Don’t miss out on this enlightening conversation – tune in now!


[00:00:00] Welcome to Elements of Community, a podcast about discovering and exploring the elements of community.

and each week we talk with a community leader about what makes their community thrive and bring value to both the leaders and the members. Join me as we unpack the magic of the elements of community.

Lucas Root: Chris, thank you so much for joining me. I'm really excited to share you with our audience. Just a little brief bit of background, you and I connected over an Instagram post you put up where you talked about, and, and I'm really super excited to dive into this deeply. You talked about how finding yourself resulted in you losing your. I guess it's [00:01:00] audience in that case the people who didn't love you didn't come along the journey of finding yourself and just, I, I was in the right moment to, to receive that message and it really hit me and I loved it. So thank you. Welcome to the show. I'm excited to have you here.

Would you like to tell the audience a little bit about yourself in your own words?

Chris Do: Yes. Hi everybody. My name is Chris Do I describe myself as a loud introvert. I'm a middle child. I'm a first-generation immigrant. I'm a serial entrepreneur, and I tell people I'm an above average student, but a first-class troublemaker. I have this really giant dream, which is to teach a billion people how to make a living doing what they love.

Lucas Root: Oh, I love it. Oh yeah. What does it mean to be a first class troublemaker? I think of myself the same way, although I've never used that title.

Chris Do: Well, I, I don't love authority. I don't love dogma and tradition, and so when you go up against those three things, it's very [00:02:00] disruptive. And I've learned this from my, former mentor, he told me, you're allowed to complain one time if you complain more than, than one time. You're just a whiner. And so you have to do something about it or you have to make peace with the things that are making you upset.

So I have this bone to pick with education and I, I have the, I'm the beneficiary of some really expensive first class art education, and I think if I receive the benefits of this. What is the barrier to other people receiving this? It's geography, location. It's mindset. It's parents and it's financial, so they lack the resources to get the kind of education they need to get them into a better state.

This is a broad thing that I think exists in America where we don't have free education, we don't have high quality free education, I should say, and it just creates a greater divide between the haves and the have nots. So if you are a person of means and privilege, you get to have more of those things.

You get the best schools, the best teachers, the classmates, and then you [00:03:00] get into the next best schools and you just keep going down that. And then you get the best jobs, and then you get the best job titles. And so we just keep pushing these two groups of people apart where I. The income inequality that happens between a CEO and A, an average worker is widening in record proportion or scale.

And so if I complain about that, then I need to go do something about it. And so what I do is I make a lot of noise. I say, this is the problem, and I don't stop there. I start working on the solution. And oftentimes it's the antithesis to what they're doing. And so people who feel challenged by this are going to start to say, here goes another loudmouth troublemaker.

And so I. Accept that badge with a degree of pride.

Lucas Root: I love it. And I'm, I'm totally behind your, your quest to make education accessible. I'm there with you. It, it seems to me like the right person with the right following and the right access to an audience and, the right [00:04:00] voice could. You know, go find one Harvard professor and, get their permission to sit in and, audit the class and videotape it.

And then post that, just that one class on YouTube. And YouTube is free for the user and it's free for the poster. And so that, right one person potentially could monetize that channel and now all of a sudden, everybody in the entire world has access to that one lecture. Or that one lecture series.

And when that channel has been monetized, the person who who did the video and posted it to YouTube can share the money with the teacher, and now free education becomes monetized using ad revenue, like an existing structure that's already out there. You and I might have a bone to pick with that structure, but it, it works for this, right? and relatively speaking, that one lecture series, if it's fantastic and if it's well produced should be able to turn into a really high [00:05:00] quality amount of income for both the producer and the lecturer.

Chris Do: Absolutely.

Lucas Root: I bet a similar, like it's not hard to put together a video platform these days. Like we've done a really good job in the technology world making it possible to put together like a learning platform. I imagine a similar approach would be to put it up on Teachable, for example, or and charge a dollar for it. You could get a billion people to take a lecture series for a dollar. Like that's a, that's an accessible amount of money for probably a billion people. And if it's a fantastic lecture series, which again, was really well produced, that should work. I love it.

Chris Do: That


work and it does work. Good news is schools like Harvard do release their lectures for free online so that you can watch them. So there's already


a vehicle for that. The problem here is it's not monetized, so I imagine then if it's free, the professor doesn't make any [00:06:00] money. And what we wanna do is we wanna create an A built-in incentive structure so that the people who create the greatest amounts of transformation receive some percentage of the value that they're able to create in the world.

And I think that's what you're talking about now. It's like if that professor, they don't need a person to videotape it,

They can just do it themselves. They should be the author and the publisher of this. If they need the help, then they can split the revenue with somebody. But I, it's so relatively cheap to hire a videographer to chop the video up and post it for you,


that would be a better play.

I like to see more money go into the hands of content creators

then, then,

then networks


and platforms.

Lucas Root: I agree. Yeah,


let's value that content creator. Yeah.

Chris Do: Mm-Hmm.

Lucas Root: And I love your,

do I, do you mind me asking, who is this mentor? Because that's gonna become my own personal rule. Like, if I'm gonna complain about something, I get to complain once, right? Like get it off my chest.

but yes, like then [00:07:00] now it's off my chest.

I, I've become a, I've become aware of the problem. I've made it personally in my brain, in my world. Like now I have to either. It's great. Make peace with it or do something about it.

Chris Do: Yeah, my former mentor, he's passed away, but I, his name is Kier McLaren.

When I met him, he was already an older gentleman and I worked with him for 13 years, where I met with him every single week. So he would dispense business advice, communication advice. But the thing that I thought made him really unique, and he would say this to me, it's like, I'm not really interested in working with entrepreneurs for them to make a lot of money, and then for them to destroy their personal lives and their marriages and things like that, or be a foreign person to their own children.

And he always tried to keep that in balance for me so that as we dive deeper and deeper into the work, he would say like, how are we doing in the family front? How are we supporting our partner in life and do we recognize the beautiful things that they do to contribute to what we do? And


it kept me really grounded.

But the [00:08:00] whole idea of you're allowed to complain once is I think a version that's more proactive than the Serenity Prayer. And I hope I can say it correctly 'cause I always mess it up. It's like,

Grant me the ability to be at peace with the things I


can't change, or to accept the things I can't change.

And the power to do the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference. So if you can't make peace with it, go do something about it. And so you have to make a choice. And I think


in a fuzzy gray world, which


I do love, sometimes it becomes very murky for us on what the best path forward is.

So you and I probably know countless numbers of people who complain about stuff day in after day and year after year, and they don't really do anything. So they're both miserable and not making progress. That's like a double negative there. So come to peace, and there's lots of things in the world we can't change.

There are wars going on, there's poverty, there's all kinds of pollution and things. Well, if you can do something about it, do it. If you can't come to peace with it and focus on the things that [00:09:00] you can change.

Lucas Root: Yeah.

a different approach to that,


but similar is for me, it's the preacher story, which I'm sure you've heard. The preacher gets to his end of the end of his life. He's on his deathbed. He is looking at his family and he says, you know. I spent my entire life trying to change the world

and I'm not sure I succeeded at all. But


here on my deathbed, looking back,

I wonder, I had focused on making myself the best person that I can be, even as a preacher, and just focused just on being the best that I can be. And in the vein that would be accepting the things you can't change and focusing on. Being strong, like inside yourself on the things that you can, and he said, maybe then you, my family, you might have taken my lead and become the best person that you can be.

And in a very small way, I would've changed the world.

Chris Do: I love that.

Lucas Root: carry that with me always. And I just, I see it everywhere now I get to add to [00:10:00] it. You get to complain once.

Chris Do: Mm.

Lucas Root: I love it. Can you tell me a story about your journey finding yourself and, the result that, the people you thought were your friends fell off?

Chris Do: Yeah, for sure. I think all of us from the time we are able to formulate thoughts into words and. we, as we go through education, maybe it's like we're 16, 17 years old, we're trying to figure out our identity and go through high school and through middle school. It's a, it's a tough time for a lot of people and if

Lucas Root: you mean? Figure out our identity? When I was 17, I knew everything.

Chris Do: I.

And if you can't join a community, then you just feel ostracized. If you're not one of the popular kids, if you're not the cheerleading squad or the captain of the football team or whatever it is,

the chess champion, who are you? And you're just kind of bumbling about. And I felt that way very much up until about, I would say 18 or 19 years old.

And then I found design and design was like this thing that changed my life, that I could [00:11:00] do something without as much effort and excel beyond what other people were doing.

So I knew that this was one of my core skills or gifts that I was given, that I can see connections and arrange things on a, on a page or a screen and make them look pleasant.

So I started to figure out, oh, this, this must be my identity now. So I get into a prestigious art school and I go there. And then I find that I'm excelling. So, okay, the world is telling me more of this. It's working, and I start to find this thing and I start to find myself in that process and I'll skip over all the, the middle, boring stuff that I'll jump to.

Then I start to make content in when I'm forty-two years old on YouTube, and some of my former friends are like, what's going on with you? Have you changed? I said, no, I don't think I've changed. But you feel and look and act. Very different now. You're very self-assured, and we, we saw you as this very quiet, introverted, shy person.

And now you're on camera talking a lot. And the thing [00:12:00] is there's some version of this, but if you have opinions, if you have a point of view where you're not straddling the fence, trying to please everybody, naturally, a lot of people rally around what you believe and some people will not. And so that's the process that you go through.

I don't think I've lost anybody that truly loved me in the definition of how I describe love. I lost people who didn't really care about me at all. They wanted me to be some version that they had in their mind. And so when I didn't comply to that vision, then they're like, oh, you're not for us. And I said, that's fine.

I don't need to be for everybody. I just need to be for a few people. And I'm, I'm good with that, and I am in this. Position where I get to coach and help other people figure out their own voice in the world. And that's their biggest fear, is that the people who quote unquote love them would not be there at the end of the journey.

And they're so scared of losing those people, so they wind up losing themselves in that process. So that's what that line was all about. It's like, [00:13:00] when I started to find my own identity, find myself, I lost those other people, but I don't think. They really, really loved you because if they did, I think there's a certain amount of unconditional parameters I go into.

Like I tell my children this, I love you unconditionally without condition. You can be a bad person. You can commit a crime, you can hurt people. I'll still love you. I don't love that part of you, but that's something you did and not who you are. And so I always want you to feel that. There's always a safe place for you to come home to in your heart and your mind and physically, and I need them to know that.

That to me is love. So everything else is some perverted version of love that's not real.

Lucas Root: I completely agree. I 100% agree. So just to, to reiterate exactly what you said, if it's not unconditional, it's not really love. I love that. And yeah, I mean, there are other things that we do. With people that we love or for [00:14:00] people that we love, and those things can be conditional. For example, my presence can be conditional.

Even if my love for you is not, my attention can be conditional. Even if my love for you is not my access to my money, access to my experience, my time, my, the value that I carry around inside my head, my Rolodex, right, my audience. Those things can be conditional, even if my love for you is not. So if you, a person that I love commit a crime, you end up in jail.

Now, my presence is conditional. It's not even a condition that I've created, right? But my presence in your life is now conditional because I have to follow rules inside. The structure around which you've put yourself. My presence is conditional. My love for you has not become conditional, right? If it's not unconditional, it's not love.

That was beautiful. Thank you.

Chris Do: I also think about this, like, for me to love you without conditions means you don't have to do anything for me. It doesn't mean I get to do everything for you, but it means you can [00:15:00] show up, broken show up, winning life, and I will love you the exact same amount. And so you don't have to do anything. The part that gets really tricky, and sometimes parents do this, is they say, I love you if you do these things.

They don't say it so explicitly, but if you get good grades, I love you more. If you get bad grades, I love you less. If you marry this person, I love you more. So it's like it's a. Dispensing of what they think is love in a, in a way to manipulate and control the people in their, in their orbit or their circle.

And, and that's a, a thing that I think people need to recognize when that's happening to them, so that they can wake up and say, I see all of this is just some game of manipulation. And you can choose to stay in it if you want, if that serves you. And if you don't like it, you have to ask yourself, why am I still here?

How has it served me? And what is better for me and, and my future? And make a different decision.

Lucas Root: I love that too. And you bring up another point that manipulation. So I think I think people pay [00:16:00] attention to manipulation only from a negative perspective, but manipulation isn't necessarily. Negative. It's just a tool like a hammer. You can use a hammer to build a house or to smack somebody on the head.

And in one case that tool is wonderful. And in the other case, that tool is terrible, manipulations the same. I don't know about you, but when I start my coaching sessions, typically on my very first session, the first thing that I do is I say inside this container, we have to agree that part of my job, part of what you're showing up here, and part of what I'm showing up here for is for me to manipulate you. I'll always be upfront about it and straightforward about it, so you know what I'm doing, how I'm doing it, and why I'm doing it. But, but this is manipulation.

Chris Do: I agree with you. I've had the same debate with people. 'cause people ask me, Chris, do you think you're being manipulative? And I said, yes, if I'm doing my job well, yes, because you're here to go some other place you've not been able to get to. And the way I look at, it's like when you go to a chiropractor, what is the term that they use?

They manipulate your joints. You're [00:17:00] okay there. When you go to a tennis coach, what are they doing? They're manipulating how you stand, how you swing. You're good there too. So it's about the intention behind it. So I like to describe it as there is malicious manipulation and there's benevolent manipulation.

Of course, we have to like move towards one and away from the other.

Lucas Root: yeah.


How do people take it? I've,

I've had clients that sat back and they're like, I don't want it. And I'm like, okay, then this isn't the right relationship. I'll refund you your money and we're done.

Chris Do: Yeah. You know, I start to realize something that people who show up for a coaching session, they don't always want want what you think they want. Sometimes they want companionship, and I'm okay with that too. It's like we just need to be clear what the expectations are, and if you want to pay me a lot of money to sit here and listen to your story without giving you any advice, I can do that.

Because if that's therapeutic for you, I'm not here to tell you that it's, it's [00:18:00] something different. But if we're here to grow and change, then we need to have an agreement. We need to be committed to something. And I say then if that's the case, then you should do a little less talking and I'm gonna tell you to do things that you're not going to like.

But that's the point. 'cause change is on the other side of discomfort. And if you want that change, then we're gonna have to do something different. In my coaching communities, we recently are using a new rule. It's the one question rule, which is you have to be committed to doing what the answer is before you're allowed to ask the question.

So you're making an agreement within yourself before you ask the question, because we can become question-Holics where we just want to ask questions and receive more information, but they never do anything, so they don't have any transformation. And then I feel like why are we all wasting our time? So they just become addicted to wanting to know more and more, and they're stuck in a state of paralysis and they won't take action.

If I knew another way for people to [00:19:00] get transformation without taking action, I would prescribe that. But that's the only way I know how to change your life. You have to take action. So we say be committed to the answer before you're allowed to ask the question. 'cause naturally what they do is they ask the question.

You tell them something that in all likelihood, it's going to be the opposite of what they're doing now, because what they're doing now is getting them the wrong result, and so it'll feel horribly confrontational. It'll feel like they're being called out. It'll feel like all kinds of bad, and I recognize that.

So their first reaction is to fight it and just say like, that's not going to work. Why would this work and I believe this should work. Then my response is, well, why did you ask this question? Do you remember? Our covenant here, we've made this agreement that if you ask a question, you must be committed to doing the work, otherwise you're not ready.

So let someone else who's ready to do the work, ask their question instead.

Lucas Root: That's powerful. Wow, that brings up so much. On the one side I am a self, like [00:20:00] very openly. My wife recently discovered this term that I'm not a bookworm, I'm a book dragon. I like to hoard the books. So when you talk about people who are addicted to asking questions, I totally resonate with that.

I am addicted to asking questions. I will ask all the questions forever. I also have no problem taking action, like I will seek out information obsessively 'cause it's just so much fun to consume information and I like, I get that in me. but when I stumble across a question that was really important, the answer to which should change my life I like to think that I'm the kind of person who does take action on the answers. And maybe that's not entirely true. Like I'm, I'm open to that. But yeah. What a powerful framework. If you ask the question, you have to be committed to, to taking action on the answer.

Chris Do: There is a wonderful thing that I love to reference a lot and it's, it's [00:21:00] strange because I'm a fan of pop culture from cinema art and to comics, stories, whatever, and there's this, I don't know if you know if people recall, but there's a scene in the Karate Kid, part one. When Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso is just getting his butt kicked 'cause he is new in town and Johnny and the Cobra Kai are just kicking his ass all the time.

And he's terrified, right? And he's trying to just get through high school and he's chased down. He is beaten up. And then Mr. Miyagi jumps out of the darkness and takes care of business for him. And he said, how'd you know how to do that? I need to learn from you guys. No, he just disappears. So Daniel gets the courage to knock on the door and says, Mr.

Miyagi, I need you to teach me this. He goes, no, I'm not going to teach you this. And he goes, please, I'm so desperate. Please, please. He goes, well, I have one rule. He goes, what is that? I'll do anything, Mr. Miyagi. And he says, you must do everything I tell you to do without question. And of course, Daniel's so desperate.

The alternative is [00:22:00] get your butt kicked and don't get the girl of your dreams, or just follow what Mr. Miyagi says. And he goes, yes, yes. And he's like this kind of impatient. Kid. And he's like, yes. So Mr. Miyagi sends him off to paint the fence and wax the car and he gets so frustrated by the kind of whatever, he hits his breaking point.

He is like, I thought you were gonna teach me karate. All you've been doing is not paying me to do like really dumb work. And he goes, I want you to wax the fence or wax the car. And he goes, what? And he hits him and he, but he can't hit him 'cause he is waxing the fence. So there's something there. I think some ancient wisdom is packed in a.

Piece of pop culture that you probably have missed just flew right over your head. But I zero in on these moments, and there's many moments in stories like this, and I think the writers of these stories, the directors, the people who craft these stories are sending you messages encapsulated inside a piece of entertainment that many of us aren't able to read.

The message, the messages here is, you know, when you are ready to change, pick your [00:23:00] master and do whatever it is your master tells you to do because you will transform. But there are countless people who have watched that movie, probably didn't get that lesson, are not applying that today. So I tell everybody who I coach, I don't need to be your master, find someone else, find a teacher that you love, a mentor who speaks the language that you speak and, and does it in the way that you want it to be done.

And just be committed 100% heart, body, mind, and soul to doing what they tell you to do. And your life will change. And sadly, I think culturally, we're kind of anti being told what to do. We're very independent and so we, we seek this information, this kind of coaching, and then we don't do anything with it.

Lucas Root: Yeah I've done that too. I've worked with coaches where the relationship wasn't great and, and it's not 'cause there was anything wrong with the coach and really it's not so much that there was anything wrong with me, but you're right. I wasn't committed in that moment to that advice.

Chris Do: There's a, one of my people in my community, 'cause we're we're talking about [00:24:00] community earlier, he said, Chris, I, I think your whole philosophy is really built around this Japanese concept of Shuhari I'm like, what is that? So he explains to me, this's a very deeply Japanese thing and, and it relates to martial arts, but it applies to other things.

The Shu part is. You must protect. I think it means to protect. So whatever it is that your master is teaching you, you must hold onto that without modifying it. You must do your best to master that, and it takes a long time for you to get to that stage. Then the HA stages, you question everything. You go out into the world and you learn from different masters, and then the RI part is you make your own martial art.

You combine what works for you. People want to get to that last part, which is the combination invention of things in American culture especially. It's like we're, we're anti authority. We just wanna do it our way We were born from, or this nation was born from a bunch of pirates and mavericks who didn't wanna follow rules, right?

Lucas Root: Yes,

Chris Do: We think about this and the way that I can explain it is I hired a personal trainer early last [00:25:00] year and he told me what to eat, what to drink, how often to exercise, and how many reps of what kind of weight. And immediately my, my wife is like, why do you just don't eat that? Eat this instead, it's the same.

I'm like, honey, it's not the same. I know what works. He knows what works. I need to just do what he says for as long as I can until I say, okay, now I've learned the system. Now I can make modifications or things like that. And I find that, especially when I was teaching design, you basically have a bunch of pirates in the room.

They're, they're really children in, in the skin of adults. And you tell 'em to do certain things and you try to teach 'em a very specific way and they're like, no, I'm gonna do it my way. Then 10, 12 weeks go by and then they learn that lesson that you try to teach 'em in week one. So they're stubborn and that's what they do.

And that's fine. Everybody can arrive at the solution. But I always wonder, what if you just listen? What if you just trusted the professor that you've chosen to teach you what it is that need to teach you? [00:26:00] How far off would you be? And I think that's like a a life hack in terms of education. Pick somebody doesn't have to be a perfect person, do everything they tell you to do unless it's gonna harm you, do it.

And then after a period of time, evaluate if you wanna continue doing this, if you've, if you're getting the results that you want.

Lucas Root: I love that brings to mind. So if you're open to it, bear, bear with me a little. my journey into community has imploded and exploded my world at the same time. It's been quite something. And one of the things that this helped me see is that we don't have any idea what it means to be an adult.

Most people, if you ask them what is, what is an adult, what they'll answer is either 18 or 21 which is weird to me. Like when you think about that from the natural world perspective. We know what an adult lion is. We know what an adult, you know, springbok or, or horse or cow is. How is it that we think that an [00:27:00] adult human is 18?

What is 18? Just, just allow yourself to think about that for a second. Like, what is 18? It's just a number. It's, it's not actually even an a, an age, although it refers to it. It's just a number and it's entirely arbitrary, and it's based on whether or not we're allowed to show up at the voting booths. And I was like, okay.

So we don't know what it is to be an adult. We have no idea. And outside of the paradigm of community or tribe or like, being connected to people and showing up for people and expecting them to do the same thing, the notion of adulthood actually falls apart. Like there's no reason to be an adult if you don't have people that depend on you and upon whom you depend. Think about that for a second. So I, I took a moment to, to really think about the human animal and to come up with a definition, and it's a working definition, but to come up with a definition of what it means to be an adult. What is an adult human I think you'll love this 'cause it really strengthens what you just said. [00:28:00] We as an animal, humans as an animal, we are a skills and tools based animal. So think about that for a second. If you want to eat your primary food source, which is a bison or a rhinoceros, or you know, a spring dock. All alone with no weapons. You can't, you can't eat it. Like I can't punch out a bison, even if it holds still for me.

I never succeed at punching out a bison. Like there is no path. We are a skills and tools based animal, so our understanding of what it means to be an adult, it has to be a skills based definition, not age. Not size, but skills. And so I, so I sat back, I was like, okay, like I, I'm, I'm moving somewhere. I'm going somewhere.

This might work. And so I took a look at what are the skills that it takes in order for me to be a successful human animal? Turns out there are, there are five sort of high level skill group skills, [00:29:00] complex communication. Fluid leadership. So you have to be able to seize leadership in the moment when you are the best person to move us forward and release leadership.

So it's fluid when you are not the best person to move us forward. So complex communication, fluid leadership, teamwork. People need to be able to depend on you and you need to be able to depend on them. strategy. So as a professional strategist, this one kind of hit me in the gut. I was like, oh, interesting.

I'm just an adult, like as a professional strategist doing this. People are paying me good money to be a strategist and, and all I am is an adult. And that kind of suggests that all the people who they're not paying are not adults. Like, oh, interesting. I'm not really that special. I'm just showing up with an adult human skill in a world that other people don't have it.

So complex communication, fluid leadership, teamwork, strategy, and the final one is actually coaching. [00:30:00] If we are a skills-based animal, then our survival depends on us being able to receive skills and pass on skills.

Chris Do: That's a complex and nuanced understanding of adulthood. As you asked that question, I was searching my feelings. About what it means to be an adult. And I wrote down some other things that don't sound anything like what you said, but I, I really like what you, what you just said. Obviously you put thought into it and I'm just freestyling here, but I think, 'cause I'm looking at my children, like when are they an adult?

Right? So I think one, they have to be self-sufficient. That is a criteria for you to be an adult. You can take care of yourself, you can feed yourself, you can pay your bills, you know how to move about the world. So that requires a degree of autonomy and to be able to make decisions. And so the rest of it gets into like decision, which is you have impulse control, meaning you want [00:31:00] something.

Now that's what children do, but adults know to, we can wait. So there's something about delayed gratification, the ability to make a sacrifice for something you want today, for something you want tomorrow. I don't think children have impulse control. They don't understand sacrifice. And the other thing is to be accountable.

Accountable to yourself and to honor the commitments that you've made professionally and personally if you can do all that stuff. Because children tend to like not brush their teeth, not to take out the garbage. They don't honor their commitments the same way as adults do. So I kind of look at these sort of the tests.

To see if you're an adult, kind of like in Blade Runner, if they can test if you're a replicant or a human.

Lucas Root: I love it. Those are great accountability, impulse control, like delayed gratification. That's really powerful. I'm wondering if I need to expand my definition or if those actually fit into the skills I'm gonna get. You've given me a gift. I get to think about this. I love it. Thank you. May I invite you to tell me a story about your community?


Chris Do: Sure. [00:32:00] What would you like to know? I.

Lucas Root: We had a, we had a nice little chat in the green room before we started up. We talked about my, my framework for what it means to be a community, and you were just like, you just did, you were, you were running through the list as I talked through it. I, I love watching you process. It's, it's really cool.

And, and I'm wondering if you'd like to tell a story of how the community shows up as a, as a fully functional, engaged community.

Chris Do: Mm. I, I wanna disclose that by nature. I'm an in, I am an introvert. I'm pretty socially awkward and probably anti-social. I've taken tests on, on what I prefer to do and almost always answers me by myself, read a book and stare at the computer screen. So hanging out with people really drains me or used to, and then I started to grow into this.

So when I first make content. It's just me transmitting to the world. Here's what I think I, I hope this is a value to you. And after a number of years [00:33:00] and 500 videos later, a community starts to form and they're like, we like the way you teach, the way that you speak, and how you break complex concepts down and how direct and matter of fact, you do this.

And how do we engage? What do we do? And so then now I have to like, what is the next step? Okay. So I want them to be able to have a dialogue with me and with each, with each other. So we create a Facebook group and that's how this thing begins. And. Just like let's create a space virtually or in real life where we can gather and you can have independent conversations.

So it's not me to you, it's a you to you kind of thing. And they can have conversations with each other. And at first the group was free, and so that means free means anybody can get in. There was a few questions you had to ask answer, but it wasn't. It wasn't really discerning enough to say like, you're a good fit for our community.

So we create a paywall, and the paywall is a barrier. So people are committed to this and they want to get involved in the community, and so then they jump in. [00:34:00] And so now it, it is a community of over 500 people that are engaging with each other with me. And there are all the things that you talked about when you were sharing the common language, the purpose, the projects, the shared values.

You gotta give and get. So there's a not, no one is taking too much, no one's giving too much. The social contract and the emotional engagement you talked about, there's a book, it's written by Patrick Hamlin, I believe that's his name. It's called Primal Branding. And he, he has very similar concepts. 'cause I'm coming from a branding space, not a community or a strategist point of view.

I'm just. Looking at from a branding point of view. So he talks about it like when you say common language, he calls it the secret language. And cults have some similarities. I mean, a cult is a community. You cultivate a group of people. And so the secret language, and he, he talks about Starbucks. When Starbucks wants you to learn how to speak a different language, and they force you to do that by ordering half this tall that.

Whatever [00:35:00] way easy ice, whatever it is, and you feel like you are more enrolled in the community that you belong by using their language. So I watch a series on Netflix called how to Be a Cult Leader. It's quite interesting. So one of the things is you make them speak your language and not their language.

So there's both good and bad to this. There's so that we feel we're different and sometimes better than the people who don't speak the language. There's a kinship there that's built, so the secret language, so we, we don't have a secret language. We, we just wanna use language that's clear, but it's, I, I prefer clear jargon-free language to understand complex things rather than to invent new words.


Lucas Root: You do, you do have, it's, it's not so much secret, but you do have a common language, right? 'cause you have the one question.

Chris Do: Well, that I put into the, the social contract. We have codes of conduct. Right? So, so [00:36:00] when you were talking about that, I was like, check mark there. Okay. So we are a community of creative entrepreneurs. So that's the defining factor. And many of them are quite. Probably most of 'em, I would say are introverts.

So whenever you get a bunch of introverts collected together and there are a few extroverts, the extroverts jump the line. They're very vocal, and it, it creates this space where the introverts are always gonna stay quiet in the back of the room. So we have to sometimes reinforce this idea, this commitment that we wanna create space for everyone to have a voice.

To know that there are a lot of people here with powerful, smart questions, intelligent ideas and resources, and we don't honor them if we don't give them an opportunity to figure out their thoughts. So I ask all the extroverted, ADHD people to, to take a breath, to really think through their question to and to make sure it's contributing to the conversation that they're gonna create space for others to speak.

So we have to work a little extra hard for on this because it's not a bunch of [00:37:00] alpha folks jumping in and just piling on top of each other. So we wanna make sure, 'cause it's always the, the same 6 or 7% of the people that always raise their hand and take up most of the oxygen in the room. So we have to like everybody, let's make sure the purpose, there's a clear purpose.

Like I think you join a community, you join our community. 'cause you want to, you wanna scale your business, you wanna learn things about marketing. Creating and engaging content on social media. You need to learn how to price, you need, how to manage and delegate work. And so we invite those kinds of people.

If this is what you'd like to do, we can help you. We don't call 'em projects. We, we call 'em learning paths. So if you want to focus on niching or writing a proposal, there are different things that you can do. And if you go through that, the idea is the curriculum helps you achieve a specific outcome.

Lucas Root: Mm-Hmm.


I love it. They, the, I agree. Those are projects you can call 'em learning paths that I, [00:38:00] that's great.


and by the way, by calling them something, even if it's standard language, but it's unique and niched inside your community, that's also common language. I.

Chris Do: that's right. You're right. You know, we don't, we don't call the, the person we used to call 'em Peak Performance Partners, which is a term I picked up from Darren Hardy in his book, the Compound Effect. But we call him an account of buddies now. So you need some accountability and you need a buddy in this life to make your, your journey as an entrepreneur as lonely.

So there your account of buddies. So there we are. There's your secret language.

Lucas Root: There you go. I love it. Thank you, Chris. Have you noticed, 'cause you built this from the ground up have you noticed as it was sort of growing into something that was more than just a group, right? You moved it outside of the Facebook group and into behind a paywall, so there's commitment and there's engagement.

Did you notice that people started to create some of these elements naturally as they were engaging more?

Chris Do: Yes. [00:39:00] And there's a point, and I, I don't know what that number is, as you were talking about earlier, where I. They start to take ownership of the group and to say like, we should call it this and we should do these things. And I think that's a healthy community where the participants start to feel they're as much in charge as you are.

So we're all in charge of this community and we're all trying to maintain certain things. They also help to regulate people who come in to start to, to be too scammy and promote things. with their help, we identify who they are and we. Say, please don't do this. If you do this, we'll have to remove you.

There are people within the community in real life events that have acted in a way that's not in agreement with our core values, so we have to remove them. And it's like we have to be vigilant at removing people because they will destroy the community. And then naturally subgroups form. And now there's are threads for just women only.

So there they're female entrepreneurs in the group or people who are marketers or coaches and they need specialized [00:40:00] attention and language and things like that. So they're, they form inside the group and we create space for them as well.

Lucas Root: That's really cool. That must have been so much fun.

Chris Do: It is.

Lucas Root: does it make you feel connected? Does it help energizing as you, you show up? Did it help you step into, at least in this community, step into being an extrovert?

Chris Do: I am not sure, but it, it does require you to become that regardless if you want it or not. Right. To share with you how painful painfully, socially awkward I am even in addressing my staff at a staff meeting. I was all nerves. Like I have notes and I have to like read my three by five note cards.

And I remember one time my executive producer at that time was like, Chris, really for this? You really have to read. I'm like, yeah, you know, you do your way. Don't judge me. 'cause I'm not gonna accept it if you do anyway. So I'm gonna do my thing. And I remember how tense I was in just hosting a small group of people at the [00:41:00] office where I'm conducting an interview with someone that I know really well.

Then I have to sit there and like repeat in my mind, like, how is this gonna be begin? And where, where is this conversation going to go? How do I shape this? And just remembering like, oh, I gotta shake off the nerves quite literally, physically to do that. And now I, I walk into a room of a hundred strangers.

I'm like, I'm okay with this. And I think it's just a matter of exposure therapy. The more you're exposed to things, the less those things scare you, and the more you become familiar and accustomed to handling these situations. And so it, it is, I think, a wonderful opportunity for anyone who feels what I felt, the anxiety, the nerves, the insecurity of having a lot of people around you to continue to expose yourself to doses in which you can handle that won't totally break you, but will challenge you, and that you can just keep doing this.

Within fairly rapid intervals so that it becomes familiar. 'cause if you do a meeting once a year, it's minus where you haven't done anything. [00:42:00] If you do it once every six months, it's probably not gonna help you. But if you're doing them weekly, bi-weekly, something like that, once a month, I think you can form the habit and the muscle memory to be able to do this.

Lucas Root: All of a sudden, six people in a room is okay, and now you can try 10.

Chris Do: That's right.

Lucas Root: That's fantastic. Thank you for sharing that. Can we, can we talk to the, the introverts out there for a minute and, help them see that community really is the path forward to opening themselves up.

Chris Do: Sure. I'd love that.

Lucas Root: Hmm. I am not an introvert, although certainly their engagements that, you know, personal interactions or, or some groups where I walk away feeling drained like that absolutely happens.

Even expert extroverts will walk away feeling drained from time to time. But I don't have any problem showing up with people if people are gathering, I want to be there. I've never had to approach the world in a way that has, I've never had to, I choose to, but I've never had to approach the world in a way that has [00:43:00] grace for the painful introverts. Now, the ones that are in my life, I'm very soft-gloved. 'cause they're important. They're people I have chosen to love, and love is unconditional. And if that's the way they need to show up, then I put on my soft gloves and that's okay. But that's not my experience and it is yours. Can you talk about how loving somebody so much, a person or a community, people that are showing up for you, people who have discovered you over time and have started reaching out to you, saying the way that you speak to me feeds me.

The way that you speak to me is helping me to enter into the world in a, new and glorious and beautiful way. Through your YouTube videos, how that turned into something that was so deep and so powerful that you. I challenged your, you got me go.

Chris Do: There's something I say when I, when I go up on stage is I say something like, I'm an introvert. I'm, I'm awkward socially, and I say, my goal in life [00:44:00] is to make content so good. I don't have to develop social skills, which gets a laugh from people. And then what I try to do is explain what I mean. I don't think introverts are afraid of people.

They're afraid of strangers. They don't like to be around strangers because they just feel like I don't belong. There's that sense of the default is I do not belong. So when I make content, I. I'm warming up strangers to get to know who I am so that I don't have to get to know who they are at the jump.

'cause it's very difficult for me to walk into a room full of strangers that someone looking at you, some aren't, and you're like, what am I doing here? I don't have those skills to be able to walk into a crowd and say, Hey, what, what, what are you guys talking about? It's fascinating to me. You know, I can't do that, so I'll just stand there.

And so if. My content is good enough and I'm prolific and consistent enough in the delivery of this stuff, then the people will say, oh, hey Chris. We love your videos. What are, what are you doing here? Like, come over here, join us. We wanna talk to you about something. Can we ask you a few questions? And so I'm doing that [00:45:00] pre-work, so I don't, 'cause I don't have the skills to do the, the work while I'm in the room.

If I contrast that with a friend of mine, her name's Anna Lee, she can literally get into a cab full of strangers and by the time the cab ride is over exchanging phone numbers with people, me, I'd be sitting there in silence, like kind of tense. 'cause I don't where, where does our conversation go? So I, I think for the introverts that might be listening to this, what can you do so that you can remove that, that frame of mind, that these are strangers.

Because if there was a, an anniversary or a reunion party and you walked into the room, you wouldn't feel anxious if those were your friends that were showing up and your relatives and everybody that you've ever cared about and they're happy to see you. That's a very different feeling than walking to a networking event of 500 strangers that you don't know a single person and you don't know where to begin.

From the introvert's point of view, from [00:46:00] our lens, it always feels like everybody knows everybody and everybody's comfortable. So I, I just don't know how to like, I dunno how to step into this. I, and I feel like I'm not welcome. And so that's, that's one of the things that I would say if you, if you can create that sense of familiarity in real ways or in your mind, then it should work.

And the other thing I would say that if you practice small social engagements. It becomes a little less intimidating. It's something I learned from my older brother. He went through a pretty bad divorce and he had been married a long time. And so when he was back out in the singles market, he's a software engineer.

He just doesn't know what to do. So one of the things he was taught, 'cause he joined a group about like, Hey, it's a support group. It's a community for, for men who are learning how to get back into the dating game. He practiced small conversations with everybody in the elevator. At a cafe, at the park, just find one thing about that person that you can start a conversation with.

Like, very [00:47:00] interesting shoes. I love your shoes. Or What's this all about? Or Where are you heading? Can I help you with this? So I learned that from him and I started to practice that. So it made it a lot easier for me to then have slightly bigger conversations, those bigger groups of people.

Lucas Root: I like it. Find the one thing. There's so many ways. Find the one thing. Well, we did the same thing at the beginning of our conversation. I saw your hat. I said, D squared. That's fantastic. And we talked about it. Interesting. I love it. Chris, thank you so much. You have been a, a gift and a joy and I'm really delighted that you were willing to come on this show and, and share your time with me and with us.

I love what we covered. I, I had no expectation that we were gonna talk about unconditional love. What a nice surprise. I like to wrap up my interview at the end with three questions. Two of them are the obvious questions that, that everybody expects. The third is a little bit of a [00:48:00] curveball.

Chris Do: Okay.

Lucas Root: First one is for everybody who has heard you and and wants to check you out, wants to dive in more deeply. What's the one best way for them to get access to your pre-work?

Chris Do: I would ask them to find me on social media TheChrisDo And Do is spelled D-O. I'm on all the social platforms, so you'll be able to find me. I only have one profile, so if you find some funny ones, they're scam accounts, and then all roads would then lead to our website at some point, if you're interested.

Lucas Root: Love it. Yeah. the Chris Do And of course you'll also do that in the show notes.

Chris Do: Thank you.


Lucas Root: second question, this one's the curve ball. Is there any one question that you wish I had asked you but have not?

Chris Do: I, I get asked that question. It's a trick question, right? Because that would require me to have expectations or an agenda. So if I wanted to promote a book or a thing, then I'm like, ah, I wish you asked me about my book. But I'm mostly interested in human [00:49:00] conversation and not having any expectations. This had its own shape and life and I enjoyed where it went.

So I don't think there's anything that we talked about where I like, I wish it would follow up on that you're a good listener and you summarize and synthesize really quickly, and so I appreciate that.

Lucas Root: Thank you, Chris. Appreciate that. Yeah. And then the final one of course is is there something that we can promote for you? Is there something you'd like to leave our listeners with?

Chris Do: Yes, that would be fantastic if I, I know you run your own coaching things and I, I, I do as well. So we, we both were talking about community and I run this community called the Pro Group, the Future Pro Group. And it's for creative entrepreneurs who are. A couple of years into their business who've done a hundred thousand dollars or more in annual recurring revenue who are looking to get to the next stage.

If that sounds like that's something of interest to you, I I would encourage you to check it out.

Lucas Root: I'm gonna add to that 'cause I love [00:50:00] it. There are a lot of people out there that are looking to serve entrepreneurs who have hit a million 7 figures. Right. And, and I, I get it. I totally understand. People who have hit a million have hit a level where they're ready to change in specific ways and they can afford to put money into being ready to change.

There are a lot of people out there that are really working hard to get people to their first hundred thousand. And I get it. A lot of times before you move into entrepreneurship, you actually still have a little bit of space on your credit card and you can afford to buy some coaching and, and buy into a program.

So the beginning of the market is fairly well served. There are a lot of really good programs out there, and the top end of the market is really well served. There are some amazing executive coaches, truly top-notch, extraordinary. The middle of the market is not well served. You're gonna have a hard time finding really, truly top-notch.

Great advice. Serving a hundred thousand to, let's say three or 400,000 and that [00:51:00] you're in that space, Chris is, is awesome. Thank you.

Chris Do: Thanks. It's probably not a good business decision because we're in that bell curve, and you're absolutely right. From zero to a hundred K. there's lots of options from a million on, and there's good reason why you should serve those people. They have systems in place. They're entrepreneur. They know to spend money, to make money.

They invest a lot in development, and they've overcome all the first five-year hurdle of running a business, and they have a skill set. They've proven it time and time again, we're probably getting slaughtered in the middle, but we're we're happy here. That's our sweet spot.

Lucas Root: Well, it's, it's also in alignment with what you started out with. Like you wanna make education available to the people who need it in the way that they need to consume it. And you're doing the same thing right there in the middle of that bell curve. Like, I love it. You, I, I see the threads. I, I like it.

Thank you, Chris.

Chris Do: Thank you. Thanks Lucas.

Lucas Root: I appreciate you very much.

Narrator: Thanks for joining us this week on Elements of [00:52:00] Community.

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