For years, all the work you've done seemed for naught, but you never let the dream go. I'm really impressed with everything you're doing
and that you've found the right 'formula' that seems to have brought out folks again. Great job, Tony.
That means a lot to me, coming from you, Mark.
I wish that you had been at Sunday's cigar event. It was as if there were dozens of copies of YOU in a big crowd... Those men were secure, comfortable, satisfied and serene, surrounded by equals that they trusted and liked on a deep level.
Nobody was an outsider, unless their shyness prevented them from merging with the group. That's a temporary condition, though, in most cases.
The thought that occurred to me, as I looked over the crowd, was that these men had nearly all been shy newbies such a short time ago, and now they had what their hearts desired:
A Tribe. And a secure place in it.
Running the group involves:
- Deep thinking, which I then share with friends so that I can hone the newest concepts.
- "Social Grease"; having meals, coffees or conversations with team-members. This allows us to find our level of cooperation and mutual trust. Planning is important at this point, but not as important as the bonding.
- Making plans, and getting the news out. The two parts are pretty much simultaneous. By the time we get to the point of publicity, the concept is complete, and just needs to be written down and sent out.
That's it. No money spent (other than for the website hosting and domain name). I'm really strict about that. I spent waaaay too much of the household finances on public work in the past, and won't do that again.
The group is blossoming so beautifully because the people involved always keep our word. That credibility is not common in The Age of Internet Flakes, and it sets us apart. Word of mouth from satisfied men to their buddies is doing the rest. I know this for a fact, since I talk to all of the newbies at each event.
Plus, to be honest, FMSD is built upon a REALLY BIG DREAM. Our distinctive premise is exciting and attention-grabbing. It's like watching a circus high-wire act... You can't tear your eyes away. Risk and surprise are built-in, because new growth only comes from taking chances.
There are plans coming up that I can't express in words yet - it's all just information-gathering and open possibilities at this point. I'm pondering BIG events that will still be around and successful, decades from now.
All that I consciously know is that when the time is right, our Tribe will arrive and fill the space available, men will be high on the endorphins of communal joy, and everybody will go home satisfied afterward.
The scale of any event is not as important as the harmony and the long-term credibility we've built up. I still want new, big, annual events for San Diego, though.