FrUn Is 6-Months Old
Fractionals United is 6-months old and crossed 2900 members.
If you've read my other posts, you'll know that I'm a first-time founder and first-time community builder. I won't reiterate my origin story or the lessons I've already blogged about.
An additional lesson I'm having to come to terms with is that community is very different than other "businesses." There are similarities and at some point you probably have to monetize, but there are different ways to do so...and in my opinion, that is a means to an end, not the purpose or goal.
I chose to make Fractionals United free and I've gone on the record countless times saying what exists today will remain free. I am told by advisors and friends alike that I deserve to be reimbursed for my time and efforts, and the value that I am providing, and they are not wrong, but I will not go back on my word.
Since community is about connecting people, there are countless ways to do it and one isn't more correct than the other. I make decisions based on what feels right to me and is aligned with my vision for the community I have built, and that is all I can do (and yes, I do sometimes second guess myself because I am human).
And I don't have a crystal ball. I've had to make some hard decisions and I know that comes along with being a founder, regardless of the type of business you've built, as is the loneliness of having to live with that decision (and its doubts). As a fractional COO, I understood my CEOs had a weightier burden but never fully comprehended the difference. I get it now.
That's why it's critical to remember your why: Why did you start this business/community? What was your purpose? Who did you want to serve? And are you doing so?
As a fractional, I wanted and needed a community of fractional leaders to connect with and learn from. And once I realized there was a need, my purpose was to give all current and wannabe fractionals that place to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other. That continues to be my purpose and one I am fortunately succeeding at.
Tammy, our community manager, had a brilliant idea of creating a digital "anniversary board" where members can share what the community means to them. I was reading these messages on Friday and it moved me beyond words. Members will sometimes post either in slack or on social what the community means...or recommend others join because they've found it valuable. I read and respond with thanks to each instance, and it always moves me.
This is my why: to help fractionals like myself. That simple but that meaningful and everything else is secondary to that.
Here's to another 6 months and beyond and to all the fractional leaders I will have the privilege of connecting with.