Episode 208- The Parasites

So our children, for whatever reason, love to study bugs, bugs and insects and animals. That’s when they love the outdoors and they really enjoy when we travel. So we’re clear to make that a part of our homeschool adventure because as we want for you, there is a benefit to living a life of time, freedom, money freedom and location freedom. So I haven’t talked about it much, but we are on a three month family road trip as we speak. We just wrapped up a month in st Augustine, Florida. They’re now exploring the Gulf shores of Alabama and orange beach, Alabama for a month. And then we’re heading over to Hilton head, South Carolina for a month there. So as you can imagine in those locations, there’s plenty of bugs, plenty of wildlife to explore and to learn from. And with those crazy little creatures come some good and some bad.

And as they learn and we learn about what these things eat about, what harms them, a word that comes up every once in awhile is a parasite. As soon as you hear that word, you go, Oh, that’s not a good thing. And I looked up the definition of a parasite. And is this an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species? It’s host and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense. And I realized that there are parasites, not just in the bug and insect world, but in the human world. But in the human world, they sometimes are not as easy to locate and define as they are in the bug world. And as some of you know, part of what I get to do in my career is run a community for entrepreneurs and freelancers, the community where we come together to help each other, to raise everybody up.

And the number one word that I use on purpose when I interview people for this community is generous. It’s not successful, it’s not driven. It’s not about people being rock stars before they come in. It’s about generous people that understand that by coming in and by helping other people and by being a supportive part of a community, one that’s going to lift the other people up, one that looking to help other people. That is how a strong community flourishes. But what’s essential when you’re building a community is to make sure that the parasites stay away. And if you’re not careful, you’re going to get some parasites that sneak in there just as they do in the world of insects and bugs. But if you are part of a community, which I’m sure you are or you want to run a community would you might be looking to do, it’s imperative that you’re able to identify who and what the parasites are as quickly as possible.

And that’s what I want to talk to you about today because sometimes we’re so interested in building that community and maybe building a bigger or stronger that we lose sight of the parameters of the type of people that we want in there and not just what we want in there, but the type of people that will engage and enhance and strengthen that community because it’s just like they say one bad Apple can spoil the whole bunch, just a few parasites can really disrupt and harm your community. I’m going to give you an example of this and one that I had to learn from within my own community. So I interview every person that comes in. Just because they’re paying doesn’t mean that they automatically get admission into our group, into our community. It’s a very delicate ecosystem. I’m very serious about it and the community is only as good as the people in it.

I lead it, but it’s about them. They make up what the group is about. We’ve had a great guy named Anthony will ever join the community and the mastermind recently, and he messaged me to tell me what a great community of people are, generous and supportive and how many people have reached out to them, how many phone calls he’s already had and he’s only been in for two weeks and he’s been in other business communities. He knows how important it is to have that and that’s what I value are people that value that because he notices the quality of the people around and it’s the old Jim Rome quote. You’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with and it’s an older corporate. It becomes more and more important every day, but then you have the parasites and I had an example where I should have known better but I let charisma getting away.

But a little while back I had somebody who was joining total life freedom and they said something to me that should have been a red flag, but because this person had charisma and some success, I unintentionally overlooked it and they said this, when they join a new community or a mastermind, their purpose is to come in, extract as much information as they could possibly get and then leave and go on to the next one. And as I say that out loud, it makes me just shiver a little bit, but I didn’t pick up on it immediately cause they didn’t say my purpose is to come in to be supportive other people to try to be the best help that I could possibly be. Lift the community up because we all know when you do that it lifts you up and like we said before, helpful people want to help helpful people.

That is what I look for now because I’ll ask people how are you going to help the community before they join? And some people are like, wait, what do you mean I’m paying you? I want to get something out of this. I say, Oh yes you will. But if everybody here is just looking to figure out what they can get out of it and not what they can give, that is not a strong community and that’s what I’m building. If that’s not right for you, get a one on one coach to figure out what you need to do as quickly as possible. But that’s not a healthy member of the community. But this person that said that did just that they came in, they took what they needed, they made the connection they needed, they got the information that they needed and they left. And I don’t care if it’s an online business community, whether it’s something in school or if it’s just in your everyday real life community.

The only person that benefits from that type of a thing in the short term is the person coming in and taking. You come through town, you get as much as you can, you get what you want and then you leave and that’s being a parasite. So this is the lesson to learn here and it goes both ways to begin with. If you’re in a community or you’re running a community, you’ve got to be able to keep your eye out for the parasites to not allow them in. And if unfortunately you let them in, get them out before they cause more damage. But also if you’re a driven person that’s got goals for yourself, big dreams, big ambitions. The point here is to pay attention and don’t that parasite don’t be the one looking to come in and get what you need. Get out. Now, not all communities are going to be a fit.

Sometimes it’s just not going to be the right fit and you’re going to go. But if you’re in it, make it better. Contribute to the people in there, but don’t be the one that makes it worse. And it’s like the old saying, it’s what we say with our kids when we go somewhere, when we go for a hike on a nature trail. With that, we say, don’t leave a trace. Correct. But in any other venture, whenever you do this, whenever you’re involved in other people’s lives, other people’s communities, make sure it’s better because you’re in there and when you’re gonna leave, make sure it’s better than when you went into it. So the simplest message is, don’t be a parasite. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

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