Chris Boardman Music Blog: 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Googled your name lately?

Do you pay attention to your online presence? And, why would that be important?

Some of us assume that everything being said about us online is funny, true or complimentary. Some of us are worried about what others think and what is being said online. Still others post online without thinking about the potential consequences. Regardless of your opinion it is important to remember that everything you post online is data that is used to identify your likes, dislikes, attributes and weaknesses. And, with big data now a daily part of your life that silly selfie you took in a compromising situation may come back to haunt you…without you even knowing it.

Today your online presence shapes public perception about you. And, like or not, we are all public personalities. There is no way to avoid this (unless you become a hermit). However, there are a few simple things you can do:
·          •     Accept that you have public presence
·          •     Freedom of expression comes with responsibility
·          •     You can’t control what people say about you
·          •     Posting online is serious business and can have negative consequences.

Everyone is now a brand.

In the past, conventional wisdom said that “branding” was the exclusive domain of advertisers and corporations because what we saw and heard was controlled by a select few. Today over 2 Billion people a day create “content” on social media. Rather than passively receiving branded messages roles have been changed: we are now the brand. We are now responsible for our online persona. We are now judged based on our online messaging.

Have you ever stopped to consider why you post what you do and what the long-term impact may be?

Taking the time to understand who you are and what you want to do will enable you to create a messaging strategy based on you…not what others say about you. It’s not as hard as it sounds. It only takes a few minutes to understand the basics (more).

This is crucial for musicians. Without having an identifiable online presence you may confuse your audience or, worse yet, drive fans away.

Humans use stories to communicate with one another. Don’t you think it about time you thought about the story you are telling?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Right vs. Wrong: does it matter?

Let’s face it: creative work is hard. If you care deeply about the result there has to be some level of anxiety and apprehension. Being creative is not about following rules. It is about breaking rules in a way that is pleasant or acceptable for our fans, employers or friends. We have to invest ourselves emotionally to put our stamp on the work to achieve great results and accept the risks that come with it (failure, rejection, etc).

Trendsetters accept the risks in large part because they do not need nor crave acceptance or rejection. They have no choice.  They just do what they do.

The rest of us have to wrestle with how much risk to absorb. Everyone handles it differently but almost all of us will ask the question: “how do I make the right choice?” Here are some concepts that have worked for me.

Step One: Define your purpose

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Without a firm grasp on what outcome you want to achieve your chances of success are reduced to chance. A well-defined plan with clear objectives will become a roadmap enabling you to successfully complete your task.

Step Two: Listen and learn

A successful plan includes taking the time to learn how to effectively communicate with your collaborators. Listen to them. Understand their needs. Be a team player. Again, your plan and purpose will help you see where the subtle opportunities lie.

Step Three:  Look for the best choice

Remove the word “right” from the process. Being right implies there is a wrong. Instead of focusing on approval, analyze the situation to find the best choice. This will help eliminate any fear you may have and create an environment for you to do your best work.

Step Four: Execute

At this point you will have an idea or two. You will be judged by how well you execute. If you can’t execute your idea fantastically reevaluate your idea to fit within your capabilites. Unrealized execution will not add value and may inadvertently sabotage your success.

Step Five: Get to the end

Commit to an idea and get to the end. This could be a song, a phrase, a chord progression anything. Once you have gotten to a stopping point it now becomes something real in the world. Then, and only then, can you be objective about the work. (Remember it’s not you that is being judged, it is the work).

Step Six: Keep your standards high

There is opportunity to improve your work in every project you do. Be honest when appraising your own work. Resist comparing yourself to others. You are you and this is your journey. If your standards are higher than what is expected of you your chances of success will increase dramatically.

The biggest problem most of us face is having confidence in ourselves. If you take the time to understand the problem, know your role and be honest about your capabilities you will add value not only to the work, but to yourself as well. As your self-worth grows so will your confidence.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Process vs. One and Done

Sure. We would all love to win the lottery. Becoming an instant millionaire is certainly seductive especially for those who love a game of chance (odds of winning the Mega Millions Jackpot is 1 in 258,890,850). But would you stake your life on those types of odds?  Would you be prepared for the unintended consequences that a windfall brings?

A vast majority of us succumb to the notion that “if I only had more” then life would be less stressful. In a sense we buy in to the idea that “grabbing the brass ring” is our only way out- our sole ticket to success. Too many times those who are lucky enough to win the lottery are unprepared for what comes next....sometimes squandering their winnings and ending up right back where they started.

Learning to grow

A farmer learns patience because he is a supporter of a process rather than being in control. Seeds are planted in the spring. He nurtures the crop through the year. Along the way he cannot “game the system” or speed it up. He has to allow the process to step at a time. In addition he has to accept and be content with what he has control over and what he does not. If he does his job well there will most likely be a crop ready for harvest in the fall. 

And, because they understand the process they can focus their attention on inadvertent events that may sabotage the outcome (weather, disease, resources). Their livelihood is dependent upon being prepared for any unforeseen challenge or situation.

Incremental Success

Steve Jobs is an interesting example. Apple Inc. was famously founded in a garage with an initial order of just 500 hand built computers. The most important part of the Apple story was Jobs was aware of the opportunity that existed and was able to take advantage of it. His view was on the horizon- beyond what was physically before him at the time. Apple then dealt with each challenge as it presented itself to incrementally build Apple into the company it is today. 

If you want to reach any objective define your goal and create a strategy that will enable you to achieve your goal. 

Then- it is up to you to tend the fields and keep your eyes open.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Curse of Indecision

Do you struggle with making a decisions? Do you drift off into “what if...?” Do you worry about being wrong? About being perfect?

Seems to me that it is all too easy to base decisions on our perception of reality. This makes our decisions susceptible to a variety of influences that can distort the decision making process. When we are faced with making a choice under these circumstances our biases and beliefs can distort the quality of the decisions we make...sometimes with disastrous results...sometimes with more pleasant outcomes. Some times your choices may be well thought out and have no effect on the outcome at all! Choices work or they don’t. Moving forward is about not stopping...not letting fear prevent progress.

When you approach a fork in the road you are forced to make a decision. Right or left. stop or go back. Obviously your choice will send you down a path, each with a different potential outcome.
But how can you decide which road to take?

Clarity of purpose

The best we can do in this situation is to remind ourselves of the purpose we wish to achieve and make our choices accordingly. Without knowing where you want to go and having the commitment to stay the course, chances of success become exactly that: chance. Or in other words: your probability of success becomes random at best. Not good odds at all.
However, once you have made the decision to go in a specific direction, then, and only then can you figure out how to get there and have any chance at success.

Take an architect for example:
An architect is trained to take ideas (for buildings) and make them real. They aren’t in the business of fantasy or “what if”. They apply their craft to execute their ideas using the tools and skills in their personal arsenal.

I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with making music? Well, the short answer is: EVERYTHING. 

Writing music is a constant decision making process. The choices are endless. 

So, where to begin? 

You won’t get anywhere if you don’t start walking. 

Commit to your purpose and get going. Move past the fork in the road and see where you end up. Soon enough you’ll find out if you have made a good choice or not. Don’t be afraid of falling off the horse or being ridiculed. Just get back on the horse...and carry on. Just like mastering an instrument or skill, the more you practice the better you’ll become.

Music is art...not open heart surgery. Remember, no one will die if you use one reverb over another. This instrument or that. There is no right is entirely subjective. And, you can’t control whether or not anyone else will like your work so why worry? 

Being comfortable with the decision making process is the path to releasing your artistic voice. 

This is about your journey and no one else’s. Work with purpose. Be conscious of your choices. Be willing to make mistakes. If you can’t make it past the fork in the’ll never know what you are capable of nor will anyone else.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Vital Collaborations Pt. 4 Create value

(This is an excerpt from a speech I gave at the VizualNow Event July 27th).

Create Value
Great artists spend their lives developing their craft. It is a personal, internal intrinsic pursuit of expertise and competency. 

But what if your expertise is not the real value you bring to a collaborative environment?

Preparing for this talk I did an informal poll of music supervisors and filmmakers. 

To a one they said: Productive working relationships are of equal if not greater value to them than talent or expertise. ... of equal if not greater value than talent or expertise.

At a certain point....expertise is a commodity. There may be tens, hundreds if not thousands of people vying for the same opportunity...with similar expertise. What will make you stand out?

Perhaps... the greatest value you can offer in a collaboration is your ability to work well with others and enhance the performance of those around you?

Making media is a team sport can’t do it alone. 
The great ones are happy to be team player - if the team wins ....they win. 
They leave their ego at the door, roll up their sleeves and just get on with it.


Am I saying that successful collaborations always run smoothly, without problems? Of course not. Strong willed people have strong opinions. There will be disagreements. It’s to be expected....especially in stressful situations.

Am I saying that to be an effective collaborator you should sublimate your opinion, tiptoe through the politics and speak when spoken to? Not at all. You are there because you will add value...because you DO have expertise that is needed.

What I am saying is this:

Those who realize that their self-worth is not dependent upon the words of others...

recognize the value of positive working relationships,  how they enhance the quality of communication...

and vigilantly strive to add value, not only for yourself, but for everyone involved ...

three things will happen:

1- Most likely you will have a positive collaborative experience which will enhance your reputation.

2- You will differentiate yourself from your competition- there is only one of you. 

And finally-

3- you will create a pathway and process that will lead you to a successful, sustainable career.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Vital Collaborations Part 3: Making connections

(This is an excerpt from a speech I gave at the VizualNow Event July 27th).

What is this thing: “charisma” Why is it some people are more popular than others? We’ve all known someone who is a people magnet....people can’t seem to get enough of them. So why is it easy for some  and so difficult for others?

In my experience it all revolves around the ability to connect with others in a deeply personal way. 

Some years back I met Oprah Winfrey. We had a short conversation about both of us working on the Color Purple. What we talked about is not that important. What I remember most about that encounter was the intensity of her attention. When she looked me in the eye I was speechless...she was focusing her entire being on me and it was overwhelming. Honestly, I had to look away....I wasn’t prepared for that. 

We’ve all met intense people...people with a personal agenda who never hesitate to push themselves onto us.

Oprah WAS intense...but it was different. It was as if she was searching, scanning absorb as much about me as she could. She was focusing her ENTIRE see what was in my heart.

Connecting in a conversation is basically an exercise in empathy...listening not with the intent to reply but to absorb everything about the other person....trying to understand what is REALLY being said....not what you THINK is being said.

Most of us listen, waiting for the moment when we can blurt out what we are thinking....when we do we can easily miss the subtext of what is really being said.

It doesn’t matter if you are in line at Starbucks or in this room. 

Looking the person you are speaking with right in the them respect by actively paying attention sends a huge message: 

At that moment they are more important than you...the most important thing to you is the next word they say...

This simple yet profound act of connection will pay enormous dividends by creating trust and intimacy.

And Trust...

 is the foundation of ALL sustaining relationships. 

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vital Collaborations Part 2: Managing your fear

(This is an excerpt from a speech I gave at the VizualNow Event July 27th).

Part 2.

For thousands of years humans have used stories and story-telling to help them accept what they don’t understand. 

We all make up and tell stories about ourselves...which ends up creating a large part of our identity.
And when we perceive our “identity” is under attack we will defend the illusion rather than the reality.

If we are afraid, or uncomfortable it is next to impossible to hide. It will show itself in the words you choose, your facial reactions and your body language. What’s worse is: in a collaborative situation your fear can become the 800 lb. gorilla in the room. Your fear accompanies you wherever you go. And even though you may think you can hide it, those around you will sense it-making accommodations be they subtle or overt. Best case scenario is that the people you are working with will accept your peccadilloes...because what you contribute is of great value. Worst case: you will be let go because you are perceived to be too much trouble.

What is it about my list of successful people that helps them deal with their fears. What is that “gold dust” I was looking for?

It’s not’s confidence.

Successful people work hard not only on their craft but also on themselves. They practice their interpersonal skills...they meticulously prepare for meetings and collaborations and they understand that without effective communication failure is almost certain.

Think of it this way: 
Filmmakers think and speak in terms of visuals and angles, lighting, lenses, blocking costumes etc. Composers think in musical terms: melody, rhythm, harmony, sound. If you speak from your expertise you will be speaking a foreign language and the quality of the communication will be poor.

Better to be prepared to establish a common language as a basis for your communications. 

Identifying, understanding and acknowledging what you are afraid of combined with superior preparation will give you the confidence to participate successfully. 

This won’t be lost on your collaborators....because 

confidence is a sign of strength...

and instinctively people will are drawn to strong, positive personalities. 

coming soon:

Part 3 Making connections

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Vital Collaborations Part 1

(This is an excerpt from a speech I gave at the VizualNow Event July 27th).

Part One

It is easy to see successful working relationships. They seem effortless, almost magical.  Have you ever really wondered what makes them work? 

Have you ever been in a situation that didn’t end well? If so, have you ever asked yourself the question: “What did I do to contribute to a less than positive outcome?

All too often we are afraid to address our failures because we won’t like what we see.

When I started doing films I had already established myself as something of a hotshot arranger/orchestrator so I walked in the door with an attitude...self-confident about my musical expertise. Everything seemed to be working fine until I failed miserably on a show and had no idea why or where to turn? And then, I failed again, and again.

This was quite a blow to my that I considered myself to be. 

I quickly realized that I had a big problem. 

Failure was not an option so I had to address why I was failing and figure out what I had to do to turn the ship around.

Truth was: I had no idea what I was doing. 

I thought that everyone would just love my music and I would be done. I was the expert. Right?


In desperation I decided I need to know as much as I could about making movies... that I had to become an expert in moviemaking to continue working....My approach was based on what had worked for me in the past....become the expert and everything would work out fine.  What I didn’t realize was that I was replacing one widget with another. 

What I missed completely was my glaring lack of interpersonal skills.

I would get defensive if criticized
I had no idea how to articulate my position.
I had no conflict management skills. 

I was the expert right?....

Creating media is a collaborative exercise....You need not be the smartest person in the room to be a successful collaborator.
And those that have succeeded have much more than personal expertise to offer. 

I looked to my heroes for guidance.

When I studied the icons of film music, John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer, it appeared that they were all truly gifted collaborators as well as being musical giants.

If I ever wanted to reach that level of success I had to find out how get some of that “gold dust”....that something special that my idols seemed to exude effortlessly.

What was it they had that I didn’t?

It was obvious these guys had mastered the art of collaboration....but there seemed to be something more that I was missing. 

It was pointed out to me that: 

“we unconsciously sabotage our relationships because we are not aware of how our subconscious behavior affects our actions. In addition, we can be confused about who are and why we do what we do."

Taking an objective personal inventory I discovered that:

I was an expert musician but...

I was terribly insecure
I had no idea how to resolve an argument
I needed constant validation for my work....(the curse of the artist-to have everyone love them).

In this moment of awareness three different topics emerged:

1- Embrace your fear....

2- Focus your attention 

3- Add value 

What does this mean?

Part Two coming soon:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

White Oak Sessions #6: "Sunset At The Beach"

There is something magical about sunset at the beach. It always puts me in a reflective mood.


More music to come soon.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

White Oak Sessions #5

We used to take long walks on the far side of Leo Carillo Beach. Now that I live in Nashville I wistfully recall the beauty and peace found in that simple spot.

Working on my record I came across this snapshot taken the last time I was there.

Today I wrote this piece thinking of those times.

More posts soon!


Monday, July 7, 2014

Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines! What's the big deal?

Why is it we cringe, if not freeze up, when a deadline approaches? All of us can lapse into self-doubt or lack of confidence...especially when we are challenged. Having an understanding of the use and importance of deadlines will help move you past your fear and indecision.

Deadlines have a purpose. 

A deadline creates an expectation between the consumer of your product/service and you, the creator of that product/service. This is essential for the creative person. Without a deadline (with consequences) there is a good chance you won't complete your project...let alone complete it on time. 

Meeting deadlines requires organization and focus

Being organized will bring clarity to your process. The first step is to articulate (write down) your goals. It doesn't matter if you work alone or in a large group, taking the time to be specific about your responsibilities and intentions will pay great dividends by creating better communications between team members and yourself..

After determining the scope of a project what has worked well for me time and time again is to segment the process (and the resulting fear) into smaller parts

Once I have a good idea of what my role is, how I fit into the whole and what is expected of me I can segment my process into smaller, manageable parts. I then estimate how long it will take to accomplish each one. This creates a schedule that will ensure I complete my project on time (provided I am disciplined enough to keep to my schedule). 

Time to be creative.

Once you have a timeline in place with clear objectives the fun begins. You can always find a way to be creative "inside" your project and thus satisfy your creative urges.  If you have faith in your schedule and organization you can let go and immerse yourself, giving each part your full attention because you have the comfort and confidence that you will finish on time. 

The benefits of organization are:

1- less anxiety means better focus and productivity
2- being able to manage client relationships (staying on schedule and being able to account for your time generates confidence)
3- effectively dealing with distraction (knowing where you are in the process at any moment will help bring you back to the same state of mind)

Skin in the game

Reputation is EVERYTHING. Reputation is more valuable than money because it can't be bought. Like it or not, we are judged by the perception of our reputation...and not the actual product we deliver. Not delivering on time will have severe negative consequences to the perceived quality of your work. Once that genie is out of the is impossible to contain.

Understanding your role, your responsibilities and your process are the tools you need to be able to work under deadline pressure and maintain the integrity of your work. Mastering these simple tools will enable you to call up your creative muses on demand and be in charge of the process instead of letting the process be in charge of you. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Getting past the dreamer stage

In some shape or form our fears will appear when we begin a project. It's inevitable and everyone goes through it. Even Frank Sinatra was terrified before every show.  If you wish to achieve ANY goal you have to know if you are you a dreamer or a doer?

Dreamers fantasize. Don't get me wrong, having dreams is a good thing. Dreams can lead to action or can paralyze you...keeping you in a perpetual state of "what if". On the other hand doers seem to magically be able to make their dreams a reality.

To do is a choice. Why is that easier for some than others?

Doers are capable of, and comfortable with, looking at themselves with a critical eye regardless of the joy or pain it may cause. Doers learn that being honest about themselves and their abilities enable replicable results.  Do I feed my ego? Or, do I grow?  Do I wait for a happy accident to occur (the dreamer's mentality) or do I make a conscious choice to improve?  It is a choice to make. Over the years these seemingly simply (but daunting) ideas have served me well...especially when I try something new.

1- What are you afraid of?

Fear has been used to motivate and control people for thousands of years.  Fear sabotages our relationships, pushes nations into war and most importantly for the artist, can lead to self-doubt.

Self-doubt may well be the most common obstacle you face and prevent you from moving forward.  Our fears become palpable whenever we venture outside of our comfort zone. But, truthfully, unless you are dealing with hand grenades and bullets, what is the worst that could happen?

2- Examine-

Acknowledging your discomfort, that you are actually uncomfortable, will enable you to move past the invisible walls that are preventing you from achieving your goals.

3- Articulate-

Take time to understand exactly what it is you are afraid of. Is it rejection? Is it money? Once you have identified and can articulate what specifically makes you uncomfortable write it down on a piece of paper and shove it in a drawer. In the future whenever you start to feel afraid you can a) remind yourself that you have dealt with the fear and b) your fear has a home- in your desk drawer. Leave it where it belongs.

4- Understand the word no.

The fact is the older you live the more you realize that some things work out and others do not.  It has taken me years to come to this conclusion but I now believe that "no" is a good thing and only a starting point towards achieving my goals.

Now when someone says no I  assume I am talking to a person who either isn't interested in what I am asking or can't help me. In neither case does the word no a judgment about the worth of what I am proposing nor is it a reflection of the value of the person I am talking to. It only means that there isn't an opportunity with this person for what I am offering. In fact- hearing the word no is a good thing. You won't waste your time...or theirs.

Get used to hearing the word no. You'll hear it a lot.

If you are an artist it is impossible to avoid butting up against your comfort zone. It is unavoidable.  The path past your fears (and become a doer) is to become familiar with your process. Acknowledge and use it. This is your muse. It is there to help you...not prevent you.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Announcing a new album

After spending the last two years feverishly working to reinvigorate the MWP at the Frost School I've realized there just isn't enough music in my life. So, I've made the commitment to make a new album this summer. I have a few surprises up my sleeve so stay tuned!

This is the first track. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Writing music is like a muscle- #success = working it.

When we start out it is very difficult to figure out how to begin work on a piece. If you are lucky there will be a burst of inspiration. Quite often that is followed by a blank stare. What do I do next? Where do I go? How will I ever finish? It is common and very easy to slip into a depression at this point to where you stop work and never finish.. We all go through this...everyone.
How does one combat this? The key is learning how to approach the process and to learn how you behave when you are actively in the process. The better you understand yourself and your process, the better chance you have of being effective.

Once you decide on an idea....commit to it. This is crucial. Defining your goals in real terms (I am going to be finished tomorrow) will help you create the structure needed to get to the end. I'm reminded of an Igor Stravinsky quote: "the more restrictions I place on myself, the freer I become". At first glance this may seem counter-intuitive. In fact, it is just the opposite. Without definition it is impossible for your listener to understand what you are doing, let alone you. If you look at a great painting, the intent of the artist will be clear. The mystery will come from your interpretation....what you think of the work. Great art provokes a response. Music is no different. Limiting the scope of what you are attempting will train your mind to focus. And, the creative mind will look for ways to take these few symbols or characters and make something new.

Now it is time to go to work. Sitting at the desk is mental exercise...not unlike going to the gym and working out. Instead of lifting weights you will be in a constant problem solving state.
As you work on a piece you will get distracted, stop and start, come back to it another day. You will find no limit to number of distractions you will potentially face. Take a minute and jot your goal down on a piece of paper or index card. Defining your goals, committing to an idea will give you an object to refer to as time passes...reminding you of where you are going.

I'm also a HUGE fan of the idea of getting to the end.  It is impossible to evaluate a work without having something complete to judge. One of the huge advantages of MIDI is that enables you to switch gears and become an audience instead of a participant. Listening to what you've done with a critical ear...judging your work not from your ego (aren't I cool?) but from an objective and analytical point of view (how does this help me achieve my goal?) is the key to growth. MIDI can also be like a bottomless cup of coffee...that allows you to chase your tail indefinitely. I you clearly define your purpose at the start you can limit the time spent pursuing endless permutations.

Whenever I start a project I work my way through the following list:
Commit to an idea
Limit my possibilities
Define my goals
Set a specific amount of time to devote
Step back and judge my work objectively and edit as necessary

Creating a process (or workflow) that you are comfortable with and training yourself to think in these terms will move you forward as an artist...if you do the work. That much I can guarantee.
Like any muscle, the more you exercise it, the easier it becomes.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Creating a sense of community

What is community? How do we define it? Do we actually know what it is? Ever thought about why we as humans think it is important? With a big h/t to Greg Lexiphanic here are a few thoughts to consider. I will try to paraphrase this great ebook. 
Key criteria to establish a “sense of community” (as defined by David McMillan & David Chavis- “sense of community: a theory and definition”) are:
1. Membership 2. Influence 3. Fulfilment of needs 4. Shared emotional connection.
For a community to exist members must experience a sense of community.
How can you create a community around who you are, your business, your interests? Take the time to understand how these four elements relate to each other and what they mean individually.
Membership implies exclusivity (a barrier to entry or boundary). Either you are in or you are out. Implied in membership is a trust that you will be safe and taken care of within the boundaries and definitions of the group.
Influence is gained by having an affecting change on the group. Influence is only achieved by listening as well as expressing your beliefs.
“People who acknowledge that others’ needs, values, and opinions matter to them are often the most influential group members, while those who always push to influence, try to dominate others, and ignore the wishes and opinions of others are often the least powerful members.” —McMillan & Chavis, 1986
The fuel to drive a community is reinforcement. To receive reinforcement requires participation by the members. If participation focuses on the betterment of the group then reinforcement and a “sense of community” can be achieved. It is a two way street of give and take within the boundaries created by the group. No matter which side of the coin you are on (giving or receiving), if you feel fulfilled by taking part, the group will satisfy your need to belong and a bond will develop.
Shared Emotional Connection. There is a great line from the film Local Color that talks about art: “A shared experience is more meaningful than one experienced alone.”
Why is it we seek out group experience rather than isolation?
Intimacy, acknowledgement, sharing of views in a defined format, reward for your investment of time and energy and spiritual bonding ties us together in groups creating a more powerful experience than trying to do it alone. It is why we identify with and join groups in the first place. We are tribal animals…it is intrinsic to our nature.
Look at your business and personal relationships. Question the drivers and quality of the interactions, what value you derive from feeling connected and reward you receive in return. Productive relationships are always win-win. If you focus on the value you add rather than "what's in it for me" a win-win out come is easier to achieve. 
Attempting to create an online or offline community is difficult and time consuming. However, the rewards can far outweigh your  investment of time and money. People will surprise you. Your reward will be reflective of the bonds you create in your community rather than tied to a specific outcome or expectation. 
Most of us blithely stumble into situations that are driven by habit and conditioning rather than conscious thought. The opportunity for all of us who are interested in creating community is not only to achieve or goals but also to learn more about ourselves.
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