Purpose-Aligned Business Owners Searching for Freedom
A lot of times when people think of communities, they say, "wow, you created this 100,000-person community." But Liana looks beyond the size of her community. Liana's community is unique and extraordinary because it is a tight, small, and intimate community. And what's more amazing about it is she has been keeping the community
Welcome to Elements of Community!
I am your host, Lucas Root, and in this episode, we are going to talk about how a community of business owners can become purpose-aligned in search for freedom. Joining me in this episode is Liana Ling the CEO of Power Up Strategy — a digital marketing agency that helps entrepreneurs reach their goals so they can live a lifestyle they have been dreaming of.
Liana started her professional career as a litigation lawyer. But for the last 10 years, she has been a full-time entrepreneur. One of the things she loves to do is build communities that serve the online business owners— not just engage in them.
Here’s just a taste of our talking points this week:
Looking Beyond a Community’s Size
A lot of times when people think of communities, they say, “wow, you created this 100,000-person community.” But Liana looks beyond the size of her community.
Liana’s community is unique and extraordinary because it is a tight, small, and intimate community. And what’s more amazing about it is she has been keeping the community extremely active through close ties for over a year up to this day.
How do You Define an Effective Community?
An effective community has to have both the participation of the leader or the creator of the community and the engagement among its members. Contribution to the community is vital. It should be a two-way street from all the members of the community.
If a community is just a one-way street then it is not a community — it becomes a lecture or a show. It becomes something else.
Other subjects we covered on the show:
- We talked about Liana’s tagline in her community.
- Liana described what an effective community leader is.
- How does Liana define community engagement? Given that her community is almost 100% active, how does she foster that engagement?
- How does the purpose or the project of the community show up in Liana’s community?
- Ways on how Liana helps people see that they are making progress.
- The intertwined elements of creating transformation for people.
AND MORE TOPICS COVERED IN THE FULL INTERVIEW!!! You can check us out at ElementsOfCommunity.us/innercircle
And if you want to know more about Liana Ling, you may reach out to her at:
Lucas Root 0:01
Welcome to Elements of Community Podcast about discovering and exploring the elements of community. I am Lucas Root, 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 0:39
So, we have with us today Liana Ling. I am so excited to have you with me, Liana, thank you so much for joining me.
Liana Ling 0:46
I’m excited to be here too.
Lucas Root 0:47
Can you tell our guests a little bit about yourself?
Liana Ling 0:50
Sure, so my name is Liana. And I own a digital marketing agency. I started out my professional life as a litigation lawyer. But for about almost the last 10 years, I’ve been a full-time entrepreneur. And one of the things I love to do is not just engage in communities, but build communities and build communities that really serve online business owners who I work with every single day.
Lucas Root 1:15
Amazing. Thank you so much. So you build communities, you know a thing or two about communities. I understand why you’re here on EoC.
Liana Ling 1:24
Lucas Root 1:24
What is the tagline of your current community?
Liana Ling 1:29
We don’t have an official tagline. But the community that I invest most of my time in, serves online business owners who want to grow their business, while also spending less time in it and having it being able to support their lifestyles while still fulfilling their purpose.
Lucas Root 1:49
So purpose aligned online business owners who want freedom.
Liana Ling 1:59
Correct. Yes, that sounds great. Maybe that’s our new tagline.
Lucas Root 2:03
Online business owners who want freedom. That’s awesome. Tell me more.
Liana Ling 2:07
Yes. So I thought this was a really interesting community to talk about. Because I think a lot of times when people think about communities, they think, wow, have you created this 100,000 person community or 20,000 person community, this is a really tight small intimate community that I’ve created. And what I think is amazing about it is I’ve been keeping this community extremely active for over a year now, I would say, like a year and a quarter, which, if you work anywhere online, having anybody do any type of consistent action for maybe more than a month is pretty extraordinary. And so I think that that’s why we built a unique community in that sense. And I’ve been keeping the ties close, and it is still extremely active to this day.
Lucas Root 3:00
Wow. Isn’t that cool? Really active, really engaged, close ties.
Liana Ling 3:05
Almost 100% active. Yeah.
Lucas Root 3:07
Yeah. That’s amazing. I’ve never even been part of a community that’s 100% active. That’s amazing. Wow. How do you define an effective community?
Liana Ling 3:22
I think an effective community has to have two roles. An effective community has to not just have the participation of the leader or the creator of the community. But the members also have to be engaged and contribute to the community as well. If it’s a one way street, to me, it’s not a community, it’s a lecture or a show, or it’s something else.
Lucas Root 3:50
I love that. You said three different things there that I think are worth highlighting if you don’t mind.
Liana Ling 3:56
Lucas Root 3:57
First, you pointed out that the leader and the creator are not always the same person. I’m not sure if you noticed you doing that, but it’s true. Sometimes somebody will create a community and a leader will emerge in that community and ideally, in service to the community, the creator, will allow the leader to take over and lead.
Liana Ling 4:21
That’s a really good point. Because I think some creators may not realize what that line is, I think what you said was really interesting too about in service to the community. I think some people may not be as sensitive to that and realize that the decisions they make may not always be in alignment with that, that you make decisions based on perhaps your ego or perhaps this is what you actually think is the right thing for the people in the community, rather than in greater service to the actual community and growing it and growing the engagement.
Lucas Root 4:51
You also pointed out that community engagement is an important part of what makes a community effective. So if you have, let’s say 5% engagement maybe not so effective if you have a community like yours with 95 plus percent engagement, maybe you’re really effective.
Liana Ling 5:07
Yes. I really believe it’s a two way street. Because that’s what I think of community, it’s definitely give and take from all the members.
Lucas Root 5:21
Yeah. Can you describe for me what is an effective community leader?
Liana Ling 5:28
I think an effective community leader is what I heard Tony Robbins say, I’ve been to a couple of his events, but I remember he always talks about the six human needs. And those include, things like you want variety everybody has to give, but also everybody has to feel like they’re receiving as well, those are three of the six, for example. And I think that a community leader understands all of those human needs and is able to deliver them. The reason I pulled out the give, the contribution, and the receiving is that I have discovered, and I’ve made this mistake myself when building communities, I think that sometimes leaders want to give so much that they forget how to receive. And when you refuse to receive, you’re actually not allowing community members as well to contribute too and that’s very, very important for people to feel engaged, and I feel like they want to continue in a community. It’s that feeling where, when you give a gift you’re also receiving because you have that great feeling when you’re giving a gift, and you’re taking that away from people. So I think that an effective leader understands and knows also how to receive and know when to allow other community members and enable them too, to contribute it. But it can be very hard because at least I know, in my space, in the business space, there’s a lot of amazing, authentic people, and they’re very good at serving, they’re excellent at serving, all they want to do is give, give, give, but they’re a little bit blind to, they’re giving so much that they’re actually blocking other people from contributing as well. So sometimes you have to step back and allow that to happen. Because I have found that when people do not feel that they can contribute as well, then they will tend to drop out of the group, you may be providing amazing information and value to them. But if they’re not contributing or feeling that their contribution is significant, that’s one of the other human needs, then I think that that means that they’re not going to stick around for a while, they’re not going to make this into a lifelong commitment, into this community.
Lucas Root 7:59
Yeah. I love that. That’s great. And so the leader is the person who both recognizes people who want to contribute and helps them to contribute to the community and feel significant for doing so. And shows by leading the way that receiving is a part of that community.
Liana Ling 8:25
Yes, I also think that it’s up to the leader as well, in a business and in a community to set the tone for the culture. And the leader is the one who has to be the one to make sure that the culture stays on the right track, as well. I mean, I know, sometimes we think a community, they might not all necessarily have a designated leader, but I do think there is that person who needs to keep it on the straight narrow within that culture that was built in the community. Because I think that that’s important as well for the community to grow.
Lucas Root 9:02
So the leader keeps the trains on the tracks.
Liana Ling 9:04
Lucas Root 9:06
Yeah. I love it.
Liana Ling 9:07
I mean, there are so many other little things that I think a leader needs to do. But I think in general that’s really where a leader’s heart needs to be and their focus needs to be, especially because as I interviewed people and I talked to people about joining communities, and what worked for them and what didn’t work for them. One of the things that came through for me is people said, well, I didn’t like this community, because I either felt I was being overlooked. Or I felt that the leader didn’t facilitate it well let other people dominate it. And that seems to be a common theme, at least when I speak with people about why they left communities. And so that’s why I think that’s one of the most important things that a leader can do.
Lucas Root 9:47
I mean, I get it, I love it. Yeah. Exactly that. Wow. Thank you. How do you define community engagement and we talked about yours being near 100%, how do you define community engagement? And how have you fostered that? So that yours has gotten to your 100%?
Liana Ling 10:09
I think it depends on what the community is. The community that I’ve created is a hybrid of live versus online components. I mean, I may mainly do a lot of things online, as I’m sure a lot of people do nowadays. But there is a component where we do meet regularly every single week live. So that, to me, that’s part of the engagement is showing up. That’s what you said to me when we first met, you said, I would like you to show up, so that’s one level of engagement. But I think another deeper level of engagement in each of the members in there is active participants. Like you’re not just passively letting everything go by you. One of the definitions that I read about a mastermind, which I think aligns with the community is that it’s that every member in a mastermind, is 100%, invested in the success of every one of the members. And I think that in a utopia community, every member would care that much about the community and about each of the members in a community for it to be an extremely strong community.
Lucas Root 11:17
So a definition of engagement is that everybody cares about the member, each person cares about each other person and the success of that person in the community?
Liana Ling 11:30
Yes, because I think if that part is aligned, then the other parts, again, depending on what your community is, you’ll have different things that you’ll define engagement, like logging in, or posting or whatever things like that. I think that that comes from people being focused and being invested in the success of each person because to me, it’s that’s a side effect. I could make a list of here’s what defines engagement, but I think that those are all side effects that people like genuinely caring.
Lucas Root 12:04
Hmm, I get you. So what you’re saying is the metrics that people measure for engagement are those are the effect of having created a community? Is that true?
Liana Ling 12:20
Yes, I think so, one of the metrics we could talk about is, if you have a Facebook community, for example, you’ll get metrics about how many people probably post a comment or like, or, just showing up and online in there. And I’ll give example, in the community that I’ve created, for example, one of the things we talked about is, we know that if somebody posts something on social media, like if I post a TikTok video, we know that, hey, somebody’s watching it and sharing it and commenting on it is going to help that person. So the people in my community care enough about me and want to see me be successful that when I post something, they will go over there and do all those three things, they will engage with my video, because they care so much about me and want to support me in that way. So I think that’s an example of how this engagement comes about because they care. And, again, like, if you care, and one of the ways that you communicate is through an online platform, like we talk a lot inside of Slack, inside of a Slack group. That’s where you’re going to communicate because you care about somebody, Oh, I thought about James the other day, because I saw something that I know is really going to be helpful to him. So I’m going to post in there. And because I care about the community, I’m thinking about it every single day. So the engagement to me is a natural side effect of that.
Lucas Root 13:42
I got you.
Liana Ling 13:44
Lucas Root 13:45
Um, so we have the five elements of community, we had a chance to talk about them before we kicked off in the green room. And we talked about maybe talking about how purpose or the project of the community shows up in your community?
Liana Ling 14:02
Yeah, for sure. And I think that actually connects with I didn’t answer the second part of your question, which was, how do you create the type of engagement and I know, I went a little bit esoteric there. But one of the things I did purposefully when I created this community is after when I launched it, obviously, you’re talking to people, hey, do you think this is interesting, great. But when they actually step into it, I created a pledge. And the pledge is just an online form. But it includes things like obviously, what we talk about is confidential, but it also says I promise that I am going to show up, and I’m not just going to show up, I’m going to show up prepared, I’m going to show up prepared to be an active participant, share what I need in my business, and I am actually going to be thoughtful and give back so I put those types of values inside of that pledge and I didn’t just do a checkoff, I made each person under each pledge you had to write I promise. And then you then there’s like an electronic signature. And then they get back. Even though they said they want it in, I did not allow anybody into the Slack group, you were not into it until you kind of passed this initiation. And I’m actually going to, and this was a suggestion from the community is I am going to have them sign this pledge every single year. Because it’s a reminder of how you show up in the community. I actually got this idea when I used to work with the INC Business Owners Council with Louis Schiff. I helped him run this masterclass, and he created a pledge like this. And in fact, the first day, when we get there, we print it all up, and everybody would have to read it again and sign it and I’d make copies of it, and they’d get it back. And that makes people really take it very seriously. And I think sets the tone. And also, I have had discussions and asked people to leave the community, because they could not commit to what they pledged. And it wasn’t an uncomfortable conversation. In fact, every single time it was the person coming forward saying I can’t live up to this commitment. And so, do you want me to still be in here? And it was one of those, we still love you. But we need to serve the community. So you can take a break. And if you want to come back, you can apply to come back in again, and they’re still going to have to sign the pledge again. But I took that very seriously, I think that that is something that is really helped us. Because when anybody else is starting to come off the rails and say, I’m kind of feeling like, I can’t do this anymore. All of us because we remember that pledge. That’s our Bible, we go back to the pledge. We actually had a conversation with a member recently. And we all kind of surrounded the member and said, like, how can we help you live up to the pledge? And sometimes those are our conversations, too, is feeling vulnerable enough. Because as a leader, I think it’s my job too to make sure people feel it’s a safe environment to fail in, especially in the business world. And I think if they feel comfortable enough also to say I’m failing at being a good community member, and then having the community members say, well, okay, how can we help you? Because we want you to stay because we genuinely care about you.
Lucas Root 17:27
Wow, I love it. And I love that I call it a pledge and not a contract.
Liana Ling 17:32
Lucas Root 17:29
You know, we live in this world where contracts are negotiable. And the terms of the contract are negotiable. But when you make a pledge, not to say that it’s not negotiable. But it means something different to us, right? I love that. Also, when I picture a pledge, I don’t picture a document that’s 100 pages long and size eight font. I think It’s something they can read.
Liana Ling 17:33
Yeah, it’s just five questions. And one of them was a fun gift. I think, also, I didn’t call it a contract because again, my legal background, I’m thinking I’m very sensitive to not making things down to legalese. Because when you do that’s a big turnoff, I mean, we’re still talking about humans here. So I think it has to be fun. I have a theme, and I kind of went all into the theme. And I changed it because as our language evolved, we changed it. But the initial theme was actually around Darth Vader. And again, that also kind of goes I think, to the language that we were going to talk about because it meant something about being part of the dark side, which is actually the good side type of thing. But I made the whole pledge, it was like it had Darth Vader and I had that and you got it. It actually went to a video where I explained the meaning and the purpose and introduce the language. And then you get in and I had some fun things happen to you once you get into Slack that was very, Darth Vader Star Wars stuff. So I think I wanted it to feel immersive as much as I could with it just being a Slack group kind of thing, but I wanted people to feel like they were being transported to another place. Which I mean, maybe you don’t want to go into it at this point. But I feel like sometimes with some communities you need to be especially with virtual ones, you need to feel like you’re literally in a different place so that your brain can think okay, I’m here I’m active. It made me think of the first time I went to Disney World when we took the ferry. I don’t know if you’ve been there, but I’m sure you have. And they say, well, Disney wanted it to be that you felt transported into another world. So it’s not connected, you have to take the ferry, you have to take the train, you have to take something and I wanted people to feel like they were coming when we had to meet, when we got meaner meanings of they’re coming to this other island here. That is different from everywhere else. That’s also I did build it on Facebook because I think you can create some amazing communities on Facebook, but I didn’t want it to be a place where you’re hanging on Facebook and then okay, I’m just going to drop a comment, like a drop by comments, keep going. Because it’s an intimate community. I wanted it to be very purposeful like I’m coming in here. I’m coming here for the purpose, and we’re fulfilling the project. And so it’s very intentional in terms of our participation. And to me, that’s actually what’s driven the high engagement and participation in the group as well.
Lucas Root 20:33
I love it. Yeah, I 100% get exactly what you’re saying there. Like, go somewhere else be somewhere else. Even like, we’re stuck in our offices. We’ve been home for two years. We’re boxed in like, literally, but you’re giving your people the gift of not even escaping, this isn’t escapism, you’re not getting drunk, you’re not taking drugs, you’re not going deep into a video game. You’re giving them the opportunity to travel. Oh, that’s beautiful. And to do it together, that’s so nice. I like it. Cool. And how does that tie in with the purpose of the community?
Liana Ling 21:23
Right. I think because we all know that this is what our purpose is. And what’s interesting is, I think at the beginning, we all felt okay, we’re in it, but obviously, it’s in it to help us grow our business. But like I said, a lot of the time in the online world and the people that I know, we’re all here giving people. So I think also people felt it was a way to give back. And recently, I’ve reminded them that the purpose is to build our business. So we have to be selfish in a positive way, not a negative way. And that’s the purpose. And when we look at the purpose, everything that I’ve talked about serves that purpose. So if the purpose is to selfishly build our businesses and to fulfill our own purpose. What do we need to do about that? Well, we need everybody in the group to participate, we need everybody to show up at whichever group I call them, cohorts, whichever cohorts they belong in. And we need people to show up and be active, and to be actively thinking about themselves and other people in the group so that they can provide value as well, and also that they’re able to receive value. I think one of the toughest things actually, just in our business groups is how can you ask really good questions of the group that is going to help you grow, that’s going to serve you, that takes some thinking, you don’t just show up and blurt out something, you really have to think about it. And if you’re not thinking about it, you’re not serving the purpose of the group. And you’re also not fulfilling the steps in the project, as you called it to fulfill that community. So I think that’s what maybe my roundabout way of saying that’s how I think that it serves it.
Lucas Root 23:09
Yeah. I love it. So you have a defined purpose. In this case, the purpose is to help the member’s businesses grow, right?
Liana Ling 23:18
Lucas Root 23:20
Does everybody know that that’s the purpose?
Liana Ling 23:23
Yes. And it’s specific too because it’s not just about growing, it’s about growing in a way that also helps you fulfill your authentic purpose in the world, and it’s not about taking up 100% of your time. I mean, it sounds trite, because everybody says this. But you’re working on your business, not in your business, how can you want to have one that supports your lifestyle as well, and some people are in it, not just to build a lifestyle business, some people in our group are building a business where they will be selling the business. So it’s not just a lifestyle, one, but yet, they’ve achieved it in a way that they have a very balanced lifestyle, they have family time, they can take off for a month, if they want to travel, or if they get sick, or something else happens and that the business keeps running. That’s what the dream is, is of everybody joining this community. And we talk about it too. I think it’s important to remind your community too why you’re there. Don’t just assume that everybody remembers all the time. I think it’s important to have it and to have maybe some real discussions about it too about are we failing, how well are we getting to that goal? Things like that.
Lucas Root 24:45
Awesome. And so you frequently bring up the purpose and talk about it and remind people?
Liana Ling 24:50
Yes, it comes up almost all the time, because that purpose is I think, so prevalent in the community. Again, everything we’re talking about serves that. So if we’re talking about hey, here’s a way that you can create, or maybe I’m sharing a win in terms of how I created a new way of my SOPs, like in my documentation and how to things so that my team can do it. So I’m saying, hey, and this is like saving my time. And because I’m able to do this, my team can actually do this, and then I can go off and do whatever I want to do have podcast interviews, and things like that. I think that’s also a reminder, it’s all going towards that purpose, and showing people I’m getting closer and closer to that. And that’s how we all talk about the things that we’re doing. Because we have that in our brains. And we’re sharing things within that context, whether we do it consciously or not.
Lucas Root 25:47
But you do it consciously, it sounds like
Liana Ling 25:50
I do, because I’m the creator and the leader of the group. So I think that I do have to spend more time thinking about the group. It’s like my baby. But I think that that’s part of my responsibility as well, to the group and my commitment and service to the group.
Lucas Root 26:09
Yeah. Do you think that it continues to foster going back to what we talked about continues to foster engagement, circling back to the purpose and bringing it back to the surface and putting it there in front of people’s eyes, like the care that they’re all working towards?
Liana Ling 26:25
Yeah, I think it does. But I think you have to be careful about how you do it. I think and again, going back to the six human needs, when I think about people want to feel progress, and people want to feel like they can contribute. I see this a lot in groups too where, when you take a look at the purpose, I think you have to think as a leader too how you can share about the purpose in ways that help people feel like they are also having momentum as well and almost like giving people hope. So I’ll just give you another example. I’ve been to the community where the purpose is to help people post a short video every single day for 30 days, that’s it. Nice and simple, right? But what happens is people get very discouraged in there. So what I’ll do is I’ll share tips, and I’ll share a little mini wins. If I shared the big purpose all the time, oh, post in 30 days, it’s going to discourage a lot of people, because a lot of people there can’t get to that 30 days all in a row, it’s really, really hard for them. So if I keep saying that, it’s just going to make them feel worse. And then if you feel bad, you don’t want to show up. So I want to talk about tiny wins, and helping them get tiny wins, but also celebrating tiny wins as well. So that they feel wow, I not only feel good about this group, but I feel like I’m making little momentum towards that big goal that may feel like it’s not achievable for me right now. And so that’s how I remind the group about that purpose. And then I’ll bring in some really wow stories about, hey, this is what happened after 30 days, cuz you have to build that bright future that will just pull people towards it. That’s another thing I learned from Tony Robbins is that that’s so much stronger than pushing people. Having this huge, bright future, what will pull people so much stronger than you just behind them just keep pushing, pushing, pushing every step of the way. So I think that that’s at least I found that that’s a better way to communicate the purpose and foster engagement. Otherwise, you’re just hitting people over the head all the time. And some people will stay because I like it and they need it. But most people will just like, I don’t feel good coming in here. I don’t even want to come like they have to feel good.
Lucas Root 28:43
So is it like there’s a mini purpose that leads towards the grander purpose?
Liana Ling 28:52
Yeah, I guess you could call that maybe have a big purpose. And then you have the smaller goals or the smaller milestones that go towards that purpose, which I think as a leader, or maybe it’s the community manager, who’s the leader, I think they need to be aware of that. And I’ve seen it work in other groups, too. We have Ben Atkins, who I mentioned, who I met, I let you know, I met a common friend of ours, I love that he did this in a group where he assigned to colors and as you got to each little mini-milestone, you completed that and then you’re now in that color group like you’ve achieved a win. You’ve gotten to the next level in Jumanji. So and that really helped because people are like yeah, white level was super easy to do. And when you get to orange level here and then like the elite level, which I’m in is the black level and it’s by invite only and you create all these different things and they all serve the greater purpose but broke it down to these little mini wins again, so you don’t feel discouraged when you’re like I’m never gonna get there. Oh, wow, I got to orange. Great. Can I get to Red? Can I get here? Or can I get to Yellow? Can I? Right?
Lucas Root 30:04
That sounds very similar to like martial arts training.
Liana Ling 30:09
Yes, that’s where he got it from, he belts.
Lucas Root 30:11
Common Element. Yeah.
Liana Ling 30:12
Mm hmm. And it sounds simple, but it was incredibly effective. And I think also, the simpler it is, at least in business, I know, gaming is a bit different because you really want to get into the details. But I find in business, the simpler you make it, the better. So you might think, wow, it’s just colors. It doesn’t mean anything to people. But it does. It’s a simple concept to grasp. So you don’t have to work and understand it. And then you can just focus, I think, on how I can achieve that level. So it doesn’t have to be complicated at all. In fact, I think sometimes people make it too complicated. So again, it’s too much work to figure out what the reward system is. So I’m not even going to participate. Right?
Lucas Root 30:52
Got it. So the purpose not only needs to be something that’s strong and powerful and pulling people towards it, but it also needs to be able to be broken down into small steps that people can achieve and understand. And each step needs to be simple.
Liana Ling 31:09
I think so, yeah.
Lucas Root 31:09
Is that right?
Liana Ling 31:10
Yes. And people have to feel progress. When they get to each step. I think that’s really key, you have to feel momentum.
Lucas Root 31:22
So it’s not just a rubber stamp.
Liana Ling 31:24
Lucas Root 31:25
Hmm. Cool. How do you help people see that they are making progress?
Liana Ling 31:32
I think that’s a really good question. And I think it depends on the group and also how the steps are defined. It’s something I struggle within the current group that I’m running this mastermind group that I run, because a lot of what we talk about can be, it’s not measurable in terms of, I got this many widgets, I did this, I made this much money. So I think that that can be hard to measure, actually. So one of the things that we do, and I make it a voluntary thing is, one of the things we do is you share your goals, and you see how well you hit your goals. But it’s not mandatory, because the purpose of the group isn’t countability, I run another group like the short video group I run, that’s more accountability. And that is much more measurable. In terms of I did this, I did this, we’ve got a tracker for people to fill in. So it’s very easy to see, I think when it’s more of a smaller community than this very tight-knit community I’m doing I think it’s just harder to measure. So great question, I haven’t solved it yet in there. But it is people sharing their wins, people coming up with their own ways of measuring it, which maybe is more sophisticated, as opposed to having like a huge community where like I said, with a short video, it’s literally like, are you posting every day? So yeah, that’s what really what we’re doing right now it’s on each person to measure what success means to them, and then just start sharing that in the group, I do have a channel inside of Slack that isn’t about business, it’s about life. And I post it every day because that’s one of my goals. I was diagnosed with diabetes at the end of the summer. And I’m not on meds, I changed my lifestyle so that I would not have to be on meds and I’m trying to hit that magic, whatever number of months when it’s reversed. But that’s one of my goals. And it’s in service of my business. Because if I take care of my health, it’s going to help my business, etc. But that’s one of the things there and all the members know, that’s one of my goals. And they will tap me on the shoulder sometimes and just give me some encouragement and like, yeah, you’re doing it, you’re doing great. But that’s one of the ways that I measure it. It may not be what they measure, because they don’t have diabetes like they’re not in my situation. But I put it forward, as a way that’s part of my success, and so, therefore, everybody knows, that’s how I’m measuring it, and they’re giving me kudos when I reach things, and similarly, other people in the group too have different ways that they’re measuring things as well, and they’re sharing it. So it’s not very scientific, I guess. And I think it’s an organic process. But that’s the way that community operates. And that’s the way that community is growing and thriving.
Lucas Root 34:29
Sounds very scientific to me. You’re testing things and adjusting and testing new things and adjusting. You just did three things that I think are absolutely beautiful that I’d like to call some attention to it, if that’s okay?
Liana Ling 34:41
Lucas Root 34:42
The first is that you shared with deep vulnerability, something that’s very internal, very personal to you. You share it here with our community, and you share it with your community, and I think people are playing around with the idea of what is vulnerability and what does it mean to me, and very publicly, the conversation of vulnerability is going on pretty publicly. And you just gave us an example. True leadership, you gave us an example of what vulnerability is to you, and how you use the vulnerability to serve you. You also showed something else that I think is amazing. You showed 100% internal credibility when you shared what you said, I haven’t really figured that out yet. I love it. I love it when people share that this is something that we’re working on. This is something we’re trying to figure out. And I don’t have the answer yet. I think a leader who pretends infallibility is not going to be a leader for very long and what you just did, Liana was phenomenal. Like you said, here’s what we’re working on. Here’s where we’re at. And I don’t know what the answer is. But we’re working on that. That was beautiful.
Liana Ling 36:00
Oh, thank you.
Lucas Root 36:02
Yeah. Wow, so cool. Big question. What question have I not asked that I probably should have?
Liana Ling 36:18
That’s a good question. I think one of the questions that I wish people asked more about community is I think, how can you foster a community with engagement that also results in transformation? I mean, I think at the end of the day, when you’re talking about purpose, and projects, and, people working towards that, that part of your definition of a community, at the end of the day, what they’re really trying to do, is I think they’re trying to help this group of people create a transformation. And I think as community leaders, we’re always struggling with that because we’re always trying to get people to engage, why? Because we know when they engage, they will create a transformation in some way. Now, through our conversation, I think I’ve realized that that’s really at the heart of why we founders and creators love to create communities, and we want to foster them. And it’s definitely something that I think that we definitely have not figured this all out, we do know that there is a correlation between taking action and getting that transformation. But I think it’s also about the type of action that gets created the order in which the actions are taken. And as you mentioned too like, how do you measure it to know when you’re getting closer to that transformation? So I think it’s a good question to ask, just because there isn’t one answer to that. So I think it’d be really interesting to learn all the different people around the world, creating communities, how they’re actually using it to effect the desire transformation in the members, because that’s really what I’d love to do. How can I help somebody be better and transform in the long term? It’s not about, it’s gonna make me feel good for a minute, we’re really trying to make the world a better place. Sounds sappy. But that’s really what I think most of us are trying to do.
Lucas Root 38:31
Yeah, I agree. Certainly, entrepreneurs, you don’t give up a steady job and really predictable hours to go work 24/7 for often, far less money. Unless you’re doing it in service. And entrepreneurs, if you’re doing it in service, if you’re there to change people’s lives, and that’s what most of us are. Yeah, I agree. Well said, thank you. And how do you create transformation? How do you make that happen?
Liana Ling 39:08
Yeah, well, it’s interesting, because I think it’s not linear. I think, when I listened to and I’ve learned from you what the elements are of a community, it also doesn’t sound to me linear. They all intertwine. So, I think that at the high level, it’s definitely about people being engaged, actively participating. We know that that level has to be there. And then you have to have some type of accountability, because we know that, in general, most people will not do stuff on their own. You need to have that peer pressure, be part of a community, and feel like you’re part of a movement. So I know that and I know that if you can do that in a way in long-term consistent way. I’m a big person on consistency. I think that consistency actually trumps out talent many times, where you just keep doing it, doing it. So if your community can help you towards that, then you’re going to get that transformation. There are always exceptions, of people just, wow, they did it overnight, it’s great. Or it seems they did it overnight. But that’s been my experience. And that’s something that I’m always struggling with and trying to figure out, how can I do that? And how can I help them because you can help people get active, then they gotta stick with it? That’s why I’m so proud of this community because we’ve been so active for over a year, like, I mean, I was hoping it would be that way. And I’m just so happy that we are that way, and it’s still so active, and everybody still wants to be in it. I feel like it’s something that everybody’s like, I want this for the rest of my life type of thing. And looking back, we’ve kind of put in place all these different mechanisms, as we were talking about today, which contributes to having that level of participation. And therefore, you’re tracking all the different types of transformations that have happened, because people have definitely transformed quite a lot, if you kind of look back over the year, and there’s still quite a ways to grow.
Lucas Root 41:13
Yeah. Amazing. Wow, thank you.
Liana Ling 41:17
Lucas Root 41:18
I can understand from what I’ve heard over the last half hour, why people want to be involved, you have worked hard, and it seems like it’s very, very successful, like, the people are in it, and they love it, and they love each other. And they’re showing up, and you’re helping that happen. And you’re doing it in a way that is open and vulnerable and transparent. Not just for the tag of those titles, but really, you’re showing up in the best way, you know how.
Liana Ling 41:48
Lucas Root 41:50
Wow. I love it. Well, thank you on behalf of them. Thank you. And also thank you for being here and for sharing with us.
Liana Ling 41:58
Lucas Root 41:59
Do you have any parting thoughts?
Liana Ling 42:02
I would just like to encourage everybody, whether you’re a leader or a participant, to make yourself feel a little bit vulnerable, and take a look at the communities that you’re in. And how can you be active in and especially as a participant, I can tell you that what makes the people running the communities just makes their day is that all you have to do is show up and participate a little bit just every single day, and you will make somebody’s day, maybe even you’ll make their week just by doing that. And I would just love it if everybody will just be more aware of that. And I think that that’ll help build them and grow some amazing communities around the world.
Lucas Root 42:45
Amazing. Beautiful. Where can people find you?
Liana Ling 42:51
Sure. So you can find me on Instagram @TheLeadGenQueen. You can DM me there. If you want some more information, or you have questions for me. And my website is PowerUpStrategy.com.
Lucas Root 43:08
PowerUpStrategy.com. Love it. Thank you so much for joining us. Liana.
Liana Ling 43:12
It’s a pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Lucas Root 43:17
Thank you for joining us this week on Elements of Community. Make sure to visit our website www.ElementsOfCommunity.com, where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or via RSS so you’ll never miss a show. If you found value in the show, we’d appreciate a rating on iTunes. Or if you’d simply tell a friend about the show that would help us out too. If you like the show, you might want to check out our EOC inner circle where we deep dive with each guest on the inner workings of their community. We cover things like community model, profitability and engagement strategies. You can join the inner circle at EementsOfCommunity.com/inner circle. Be sure to tune in next week for our next episode.
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Lucas is the host of Elements of Community. He is a community growth strategist and works with mega companies like The Pokemon Company to help build and foster community. This podcast is Lucas' way of giving back what he has learned about the magic of building and growing community.
Join Our Inner Circle
Like what you hear on the podcast? We have more secret recordings from every guest. We keep the microphone rolling after the podcast is done and get our guest to spill the beans on the best tactics for growing their communities profitably. You don't wanna miss this.