Why should you join any community?

You will hardly find anyone online or offline who advises against joining a community. Most will even give you the “intrinsic motivators” pitch.

Why should you join any community?
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What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured - Kurt Vonnegut
Stress. Anxiety. Insecurity. But at the same time confidence & a feeling of being safe. I was at the GrowthX offsite town-hall, that happens once year and am about to share a personal story of mine with EVERYONE who’s come to attend it, it’s a room full of top Indian leaders and operators, nearly 200 of them. For the first few sentences, I struggle. The few morsels of words I’m able to form sound quite confusing, unstructured. But then, I remember. Every person in this room probably has their stories that they are anxious about, too. So why am I anxious? I decide to give my confidence a bit more space – and suddenly, I feel more secure, more of my body language and what I’m saying.
A week later, I am in conversations with some of the folks who attended the townhall on GrowthX Slack. We discuss how the townhall affected our perceptions of each other, and how it’s created an impact on our professional and personal lives. I learn about how they compound from certain stories and vice-versa. At that moment, I realise what an incredible impact a community can have. They generally provide a safe-space you can’t find anywhere else. And the deeper you get into it, the more information you’re able to exchange and the more you grow.

GrowthX is more than just the learning experience. The community provides AHA experiences with other members, enabling you to compound exponentially.

We constantly engage with content online from strangers and share inspirational videos with each other of random influencers, but how often do we dive deep into having face-to-face or 1:1 conversations with completely different people but having the same goal? Especially when they might bring different perspectives to our seemingly common goal, let’s say Growth for example, it could also be maths, or presentation skills, or marketing, or sales, or yoga, or board games. This is why I decided to write about joining any community and not about joining GrowthX.

As I understand it, a “community” is a group of people who come together to fulfill a certain purpose.

GrowthX members on at a morning breakfast post a walk in the Cubbon park, Bengaluru.
GrowthX members on at a morning breakfast post a walk in the Cubbon park, Bengaluru.
You will hardly find anyone online or offline who advises against joining a community. Most will even give you the “intrinsic motivators” pitch of joining to support others, further the good cause, or feel satisfied by helping others. I’m going to be direct: Joining a community based on just these warm fuzzy feelings is the easy thing to do.

I would, on the contrary, recommend joining a community for very selfish reasons; let me explain.

Maximizing your average intelligence

Jeff Bezos said, “The number one sign that you are intelligent is a willingness to change your mind -- a lot”. But, how would you change your mind if you didn’t have access to any other perspectives but yours? Although your colleagues can give you companionship and support within your office, they may not have the same goals, OKRs, or interests. Communities allow you to meet people who share your other passions and give you a space to express them together. You are able to tap into completely different lived experiences and perspectives, increasing your conviction in your goals, passions, or hobbies.

Easiest solution to motivation

Have you ever taken an online course only to find yourself dropping off in the middle? It’s happened to me multiple times – and in my cases, I’ve downloaded all the learning materials on a portable hard disk, which is now collecting dust in a drawer somewhere in my house. When you’re part of a community, there’s no distracting environment, no social media, just you having to turn up because others will be turning up to achieve your common goals, and they will do so even if you don’t turn up, who’s losing out now? You. Interestingly, this is inherently motivating. Furthermore, you might have put the meeting in your calendar which means you’re willing to dedicate a fixed block of time solely to this particular activity. Also, you usually start building relationships with the community members – and at that point, the social pressure cooker starts sounding your ears. You mightn’t want to miss the great time together anymore and therefore you might be more likely to become a regular.

“The GrowthX club has given me a purpose I so desperately looked for and showed me that sometimes the smallest initiatives may have the greatest impact.” - Saurabh (CEO & Co-founder of Stable Money)

GrowthX members gathering for a picture at the annual offsite in Goa (Circa 2023)
GrowthX members gathering for a picture at the annual offsite in Goa (Circa 2023)

Benchmark yourself with peers

Joining a community can help you understand where you are amongst your peers, it can be yoga, or football, or biking, or even something like growth. How often do we feel lonely when we are faced with challenges in our hobbies or professional goals? If others are giving similar perspectives or you're facing the same challenges, you'll feel more confident in your own knowledge and abilities. What if you find that your perspectives are completely different? Either you’ve got a valuable alternative point of view, or you’ve got something to learn. Either way, you’re surrounded by peers who can help you. Most times, I choose to simply listen (not lurk on Slack huddles) in the community, and I get to learn a lot with such little effort. Most times, what really builds conviction and solves my anxiety is finding an exact thread of the challenge I’m facing in the community and reading through the conversation, seeing multiple others double-clicking on the same experiences I’ve had, and of course, how a few of them tackled it.

Increasing your surface area luck

For people who know me, I am a big maths nerd, so I apologize beforehand for bringing probability and geometry to a philosophical topic like destiny. But let’s talk about what really makes the top athlete, player, gamer, dancer, operator or founder. According to me it’s two things, having the top or above average talent, and it’s discovery. When does a person recognize they are the best writer in a class full of English literature students? How does one then get people even to recognize those talents? Everyone wants to be the best writer, but merely desiring something cannot make you have it. Yet only a handful, or maybe just one of them, will go on to become a novelist. How, then, are you to put your best foot forward? Joining a community helps you discover your talents and serve as a platform for others to discover yours as you navigate and build more connections. I’ve joined so many communities with exactly this agenda in mind, I’m here to show folks who I am, and the skills I have, and what they can count on me for. This has opened several conversations, connections I normally wouldn’t have built if I just continued mulling over the machinations of my mind alone.

Come join us at GrowthX 💙

If you are an operator or a founder tirelessly working towards building a sustainable, purposeful product, join GrowthX. We have purpose-built GrowthX for founders, product managers, growth operators, marketing operators, and leaders in internet-first or tech-enabled products. We built it because we’ve felt the same challenges you are facing. Our origin story should help you dive deeper into understanding why we are building GrowthX.


Written by

Karan Nagarajan
Karan Nagarajan

Karan is the membership team lead at GrowthX. He has scaled digital distribution for various Enterprise & B2B organizations like ANSYS, NASSCOM, 10000 Startups, Capgemini, EcoEnergy Insights