Corporate vs Entrepreneur Culture

So, I don’t know about you, but have you ever been fired? Well, I had a stint at Arthur Andersen, and yeah, I got fired. Why? Well, because I didn’t play well in that corporate sandbox. The reason is because there were stringent rules and a corporate culture that just was not compatible with me.

Now, I’ve since started my own business, and what I’ve realized about running my own business is that I rely on others for success. I’ve hired a lot of coaches that have helped me with my mindset, with my business principles, with a whole bunch of stuff. I rely on other fellow solo and entrepreneurs. There’s a kind of collaborative energy that you just can’t find in a corporate setting. And, the big thing is that what I’m trying to do is not conform, but bend and challenge the norms.

Today, I want to talk about the difference between your cult and culture, and what does that mean? I’m not saying you belong to a cult, but when it comes to putting information out there, are you trying to get people to fall in line with what you’re thinking or are you communicating in a way that creates collaboration, conversation, and cohesiveness?

Social Groups or Sales Machines?

I want to start off by looking at groups in both LinkedIn and Facebook. So, I got this kind of weird look when I said, “Hey, I’m starting a Facebook group about LinkedIn.” It’s like, why? Well, because groups on LinkedIn have kind of gotten polluted. A lot of LinkedIn groups will invite everybody in, but they’re usually there to promote something. It’s usually owned by leaders and they control the content, and the goal is to make money. In a sense, some of them use them to basically promote their own stuff, to create conversations, or maybe even to get people to come to a meetup and charge people to attend.

Now, I started a group on Facebook for a client, but he wanted me to sell, sell, sell in this group. Nobody wants to come to that. So, what I did is I created this holistic dog group, and I invited, not only pet owners, but holistic dog healers and vets. It was meant to be a place where thought leaders and average people could collaborate. The goal was to create community.

Cult vs Culture

Now, not all cults are bad, and not all cultures are good. People often join cults, not because they’re crazy, but because they have two kinds of wishes. They want a meaningful life or they want to be taken care of. A social culture is an organized way of life and it’s based on a common tradition and conditioned by a common environment. It’s more collaborative. A cult often is built around fear or something that people are afraid of, where a culture is generally built around abundance, where people are trying to help or get something more that they love. A cult is often about trying to keep people in line, where a culture is about freeing people to think, and work together, and collaborate. People who join cults tend to have a desire to think that they’re outside of the mainstream, where people who are in culture, tend to promote inclusion, ideas, and values.

Let’s talk about ways that you can either create groups or create content that helps you to grow a culture versus a cult.

Did You Get The Invite?

The first thing I want you think about is, who are you inviting to this group? And, that’s it.

You don’t want to have a wide-open (all can join) group, although, you may not be able to control that if you let other people invite members. What you want to do is you want to invite people with a common purpose. That means you have to find thought leaders, and collaborators, as well as consumers, because more than 50% of the people who are going to be part of a group are there to read and consume, and not collaborate. And that is okay because as long as you have some people that are willing to put their thoughts out there, then you have a reason for people to keep coming back.

Think about that holistic dog group. Again, most people consume. That group has stayed very steady and it self-perpetuates because there are thought leaders, people that are posting articles, and people that are collaborating on those articles, and commenting. It doesn’t get divisive. It gets collaborative.

Ask Great Questions

The second thing you want to do is you want to ask questions. And, as best as you can, let people self-moderate those questions. Meaning, you have to watch for out-of-control topics, because sometimes people will post controversial stuff that will start to spin out of control. Not every controversial topic will do that. In a very good collaborative group, a lot of the time you will have a lot of civil disagreements, where people agree to disagree without getting personal. That’s one of the key things you have to look for.

Create Collaborative Content

The next thing that you want to do is create content that improves the lives and invites conversations. Think about it as you’re adding content. Is this trying to change people’s minds or is this inviting collaboration? Is it collaborative or is it controversial? Those are the things that you have to think about. In one of the episodes that I’ve done with Mark S. A. Smith, he’s says that the biggest thing on the minds of C-level executives is they don’t want to lose their jobs. So, if that is what’s important to them, then you have to help them figure out ways that they can improve their performance.

Manage and Moderate

The next thing you have to do is manage and moderate the group. It can get out of control pretty fast if somebody is not watching what’s going on. Now, you can have a volunteer inside the group help you moderate things, but I strongly suggest that you are active and present inside of this group, and make sure that you are the person that people are paying attention to when it comes to issues, that you’re willing to take responsibility for the overall health of the group.

Beware Of The Trolls!

Finally, beware of and remove trolls. Trolls are people that go into a group just to create discourse. They will do anything they can to promote their values and try to shut down everybody else’s. Those, my friends, are cult members. So, they are there to create division, and you need to divide them away from that group because they’re not being collaborative. They just want to cause chaos.

Final Thoughts

Let me leave you with a couple of final thoughts. Russell Brunson, the founder of ClickFunnels, calls this concept cult-ture. The three key things to think about are:

  1. Build this around what people love.
  2. Find a way to think and collaborate.
  3. Finally, promote inclusion, ideas, and common values.

So, join or create a culture that makes the world a better place.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?