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122. Empower Your Team: Maruxa Murphy's Secrets to High Performing, Values-Driven Communities

You cannot do it alone. As a driven leader who has likely experienced a great deal of success in your professional and personal life, you may be tempted to try. But, the fact is, especially if you want to be a changemaker and bring more compassion and justice into your workplace, you will face resistance. You need to build a supportive community around yourself, and a great place to start is with your team. Our guest, Maruxa Murphy, is an expert in building dynamic communities that do good in the world—while empowering individuals to be courageous enough to go into the adventure of changing lives with in the way they were designed. In this episode you will be able to:

  • Hear Maruxa's story of being a new leader and wise words she has for you in that position

  • Learn why it's important to build a supportive community around yourself

  • Get ready to apply the "3 V's" and "sacred 4" of building an intentional team or community


About Maruxa:

Maruxa Murphy
Maruxa Murphy

Maruxa Murphy is an award-winning community experience designer, strategist, entrepreneur, author and catalyst for change who has been transforming communities in person and online since 2000. She leads national and international initiatives with a deep understanding of the dynamics of how people connect and share information. Maruxa is further changing the game in community experience design while working in the travel, business, personal development, parenting, and coaching industries shifting how communities can be designed from “the inside out” to transform their industries from the core.

Her clients include Netflix’s “spiciest” show Sex, Love and Goop's stars Jaiya Ma and Ian Ferguson with the Erotic Blueprints (grew this community to 1M people on Mighty Networks), Kajabi (just starting to work with them as of last week), Uplift Millions brand, Spryte Loriano with Awakening Giants (an community owned conscious media network), multiple metaverses (alternate reality worlds) as well as creating and designing communities for brands revolutionizing their industries, like the Maui Resort community, the Women’s Prosperity Network, The Vision School, The Traveling Diary and the conscious dancer mentorship experience with former Rockette dancer Gina Pero.

Maruxa specializes in bringing people together to create profitable enterprises that do good in the world—while empowering all individuals to live their fullest. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Reader’s Digest, Fox News, The Huffington Post, NBC, and The Austin-American Statesman as well as featured as one of 10 women-owned brands to be on the lookout for at the United Nations on Women’s Entrepreneur Day 2019.


While it's not perfect, we offer this transcription by Capsho for those who prefer to read or who are hearing impaired.

00:00:00 - Teri Schmidt So you're in a new leadership role and you see some changes you'd like to make in order to bring more compassion and justice into your workplace. What do you do? Well, I'm going to start first with what you shouldn't do. Don't try to do it alone.

Find a way to create a community of support around yourself so that you can make change in your environment. And that's why I brought on Maruxa Murphy today. Maruxa is an award winning community experience designer, strategist, Stronger to Serve, author and catalyst for change who has been transforming communities in person and online since 2000.

She leads national and international initiatives with a deep understanding of the dynamics of how people connect and share information. She has built communities of all sizes to make positive change with some very high profile clients. She specializes in bringing together people to create profitable enterprises that do good in the world while empowering all individuals to live their fullest. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Readers Digest, Fox News, the Huffington Post, NBC, and the Austin American Statesman. She was also featured as one of the ten women owned brands to be on the lookout for at the United Nations on Women's Stronger to Serve Day 2019.

Our time together was full of thought provoking conversation that led to practical community building steps that you can implement as you work to create a community of support around yourself so that you can make real, lasting change in your environment. And a side note, Marusha's advice also applies to building high performing teams where individuals thrive. So I won't make you wait anymore. Let's get into it. I'm Teri Schmidt, Leadership Coach and founder of Stronger to Serve Coaching and Team Building, where we launch leaders past overwhelm to careers of courageous impact. And this is the Strong Leaders Serve podcast.

00:02:23 - Teri Schmidt Hi, Maruxa.

Thanks so much for coming to the Stronger to Serve podcast. I'm really looking forward to our conversation today.

00:02:31 - Maruxa Murphy Teri. Same. I'm very much looking forward to this. I've been looking forward to this from the first moment we met a few months back.

00:02:37 - Teri Schmidt Well, I gave my audience a little bit of an introduction to you and to your work, but I was just listening to you on another podcast and you said something that I want to use to dig in a little bit deeper to your story. So you said that we needed to be courageous enough to go into the adventure of changing lives with the way we were designed. So I'm curious, how has that played out in your life and gotten you to the work that you're doing today?

00:03:10 - Maruxa Murphy Oh, my gosh. Number one, thank you for listening to that other podcast. I know which one exactly you're talking about, and that was a beautiful experience and as I know this one is going to be as well in our conversation, one of my core values is courage. It really has stemmed from, I think, the recognition that each of us are made up from two different parts. One is our nature, right? This is just who we are, the way our personalities are wired. This is the way in which we are able to lean into our genius and all of that. And the other piece is our nurture. And in our nurture, we're told certain things by people that we trust on how to show up and how to be. One of the things that I learned as a multiracial person, and specifically from the cultures of the Philippines where I was born, philippines, my mom is Filipino, Chinese, Puerto Rican, and Jamaican, each of those. And my father's from Spain. I grew up primarily in a very Filipino culture that really was very much about service to others first, service first. So I grew up with this understanding that if I don't have a smile on my face, if I don't have a smile on my face and, like, arms to share or arms to give more and more and more, then something is really wrong. And not wrong, like, in, like, oh, you need to get support. Like, no, what are you doing? This is almost shameful. You need to have where's your open arms? Where's your happy smile? Where's everything's good? I've got this energy about you. And as I got older, I remember at 19 years old, I had this, in essence, a panic attack. I was in my college, and I started to feel this major level of anxiety washing over me. Went to see a therapist at that point, and I realized this exact thing, this was how I was raised, was to always be a yes person to everybody else, which to say no to what I really cared about and what I really wanted. So as I dug deeper into that, into my own journey around my nurturing as a child, I started to recognize that my nature is to be fun and playful and adventurous. My nature is to be curious about the world, to see the best in others. My nature is to not just see the best in others, but really invite that otherness to rise up within them. Like, who are they fully when they allow the otherness to be a part of the conversation? So as I started to really lean into the nature of me and find that woman and uncover her, I recognized, oh, my gosh, I need so much courage to be this person. Because it wasn't the story I was allowed. I wasn't often invited into my own life, and the programming I had up to that point in my life was very much just don't stand out. Very hard not to stand out, please. I would say that that's my answer to that question. That's how it showed up for me. And I'm 42 now, so there's been a few years since 19. It has been very much the journey of, how about now? Are you going to be able to just today in front of you because as the world happens, we're given opportunities, each of us, to continue each of our own journeys. We're given new levels of invitation for courage. We're invited daily into, oh, now there's an opportunity to see, are you going to be courageous here in this exact moment?

00:06:57 - Teri Schmidt Right.

00:06:59 - Maruxa Murphy And how about this next one? And it just keeps going from there. I'm grateful for that experience at 19 to give me that foundation for today and where I'm at.

00:07:13 - Teri Schmidt Yeah, there are so many threads that I could pull out there and dig more deeply into. Our listeners have heard me talk a lot about knowing who you are as a leader. And I think that's the like you said, thinking back to the nature and then looking to the nurture in terms of how that has shaped you and having the courage to step out. I'm curious, what invitation to courage have you been answering recently in your work?

00:07:46 - Maruxa Murphy Oh, my gosh. Do you want personal, professional? Which one?

00:07:50 - Teri Schmidt I'd love to hear both, but let's go with professional.

00:07:53 - Maruxa Murphy Sure, man. In the professional world, there's been one project specifically that I've been so beyond excited about and I'm only now finally saying yes, this is a vision, by the way. Talk about courage and fighting. It like fighting my way constantly. No. Who am I to be the one to do this thing? So five years ago, I had this vision for what I'm the most excited and what my call to courage is. And that vision was, what would it look like to bring together some of the best change makers around the world into the game room from multiple different industries simply to create and learn from each other's models and how we're doing that, to spark new ideas, to spark best practices in a world that often is so siloed. Folks in the coaching industry stay together. Corporate space, and specifically in whatever your industry is within the corporate, you stay together. We don't often come together and learn from one another. And so the community, I'm actually building them. To me, one of the communities that I'm the most excited about, I've ever been most excited about, is finally coming to fruition after five years of being in visionary state. Now I have what I call the revolutionaries. The revolutionaries are the individuals who are the best of the best in their space. Like the former sales director for the transformationalist. Deepak Chopra is in the revolutionary. She's done over $250,000,000 with Deepak creating the sales systems and the processes through community models for him and many, many other beautiful transformationalists. One of the co founders and advisors to brands like Fabletics and Savage, Fenty and HOTWORKS is a part of our community, the individual who creates all of the events for the super bowl, for the kickoff event, for the super bowl, for example, and other pro athlete athlete experiences. He's in our community. You have these minds, right? And that's just three of the 40 members that we have from multiple different spaces. Right? And what's coming to life now is they're cross collaborating, they're strategizing new ideas, new models are being formed. And people are coming together because of this sense of trust that they're in this space together. Because it's my first really closed community, it's invite only or nomination only. So that has been my call to courage. Like, who am I to stand in the opportunity and the vision for something this great? Because I know and why I think I've hidden from it was because what I also know is that my purpose on this planet is to bring humanity back to the human race. I see that today, this day and age is the time to quicken the timeline. My Gen Z counterparts, my colleagues who are Gen Zers are already they're like, no duh. This is what's happening. And we're still at this day and age where most of commerce and business practice is being built by Gen Xers and millennials. So we finally get on board with the fact that the idea of clicking the timeline and coming together is already happening. So what does it look like for the world for us to do that and really create more human centered companies, human centered experiences within our organizations? That's what I'm after. And so that was pretty bold. And so for me to be able to say, okay, we're bringing this cohort together to create that field of Avengery, I feel like Nick Fury kind of gathering the Avengers, and it's taking a stand for what is.

00:11:51 - Teri Schmidt Yeah. Well, congratulations on stepping out encourage in that way. I'm excited to watch and see what comes of it because that just sounds like an amazing group of people, amazing community that has the capability when working together too quick in that timeline like you were talking about.

00:12:13 - Maruxa Murphy Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that.

00:12:17 - Teri Schmidt Well, speaking of that, quickening the timeline and like you were talking about, your Gen Z colleagues, a lot of the listeners to this show are perhaps part of Gen Z new leaders. But leaders who very much align with what you were just saying didn't get into leadership for the status or the power. They got into leadership because they wanted to make a way for others to really develop and express their unique, full potential, like you were talking about, so that they could get into the adventure of changing lives in the way that they were designed. They want to do that themselves, but also lead in a way that enables others to do that. The problem is that they may be in workspaces where they are being told well, there are a couple of problems. They may be in workspaces where they are being told kind of just to fit in. This is the way that we do things around here. Second problem that might be even more pressing is they're new leaders, right? So they're overwhelmed with understanding. How do I transition from someone who was a star performer, who got rewarded for my own results, to this person who's responsible for the performance of others, who has to deal with all the beautiful messiness that comes with leading other humans and has to adjust to that? One way that I think can be really helpful is not to try to do it alone. And that's why I was so excited to talk to you, because I know with your expertise in community building and creating what I've heard you call kind of that groundswell, that could be something that could help set these leaders up for success and help them get past that overwhelm to that place where they're making a courageous impact. So I'd love to hear from you your thoughts on that and some tips or practices or mindsets that they might consider as they are figuring out, how do I create this community around myself of support so that we can make change in this environment?

00:14:33 - Maruxa Murphy Yes. Such good questions. And I appreciate first and foremost, for everyone that's listening, I just want to say I've been there. I was once in that spot, having worked in a place where in a company, an organization where I was working 100 hours, weeks, just myself. I was the youngest director of multicultural affairs. I was in higher education at 26. I had the opportunity, because I was a star achiever, to really I all of a sudden had four people reporting to me, plus 70 organizations reporting to me, student organizations. And I was like, I just graduated, right? Didn't I just graduate like, four years before? What are we doing?

00:15:20 - Teri Schmidt Right?

00:15:20 - Maruxa Murphy So I think the first thing going first into tips and then looking at how do we get support, first thing is, I think, to remember that you are doing your best. I think we need to remember that more, actually. I have three daughters at this point, and one of the things we do is every morning we wake up and we have a song. It's like, today is going to be a great day, no matter what anyone else says, because I'm going to be my best. And we say this as almost like a mantra to get us into our day. And my girls right now are in the middle of testing, end of the year stuff. And I said, I ask them every day. I have one daughter specifically who really struggles with reading. Struggles with reading. And it just doesn't come so as comfortably for her for multiple different reasons. And I looked at her after she had to take her big test, and I said how nervous I personally was. Just like, I wouldn't say and this is a young girl, she's eight years old, who literally woke up at 450. She told me, 450 in the morning, mom, because I want to make sure I understood every word in the thing. And as I'm sitting with her after the test, I said, baby girl, how did it go? And she goes, Mama, I did my best. I think I did my best. I tried my very best. And I think going into our new careers, into this new level of responsibility, to remember that you're doing your best, you're not going to know all the things. And if we put that pressure on ourselves to know all the things, we actually lose out twice or more times than that. The first one, that the first reason we lose out is because we put just anxiety on ourselves. That is unnecessary. Of course we don't know all the things. Of course you don't know all the things. It's like natural if you're moving into a new opportunity. And the second thing where people are losing is the people who want to support you, to be able to guide you, mentor you, nurture you into being able to have more knowledge and opportunity. I had another recent experience where it's a completely different experience, but something I think that will make sense when I share. A dear friend of mine had an extra ticket. I live in Orlando, so had an extra Disney World and was offering it to somebody. I just had a friend of mine drop into my mind. I reached out to her. She was like, oh my gosh, I know this 70 year old woman that has been saving her pennies to go to Disney, right? I think I want to give it to her. And we actually became this whole beautiful experience of like, hey, Peggy, would you like this ticket? She was like, oh my gosh, yes. And then at the end of the day, she didn't use it expired. And I reached out to Laura, my friend, and I said, hey, what happened? She was I think she's going through her own ability to receive right now. She went through this whole thing like, well, I've been saving up all this money to be able to buy this ticket, so who am I to get this ticket from somebody? I feel like it was this ego conversation that was really popping through. And I'm thinking to myself, like, man, if she had just invited and was able to receive the love that was wanting to be given to her, she could have used that money for a luxurious experience in the park itself. And I think it relates back to our professional lives, right? It's the same thing. We try so hard to be in our ego. We're so strong, we're so amazing. That's why we're in this position. We get in our head about it that we actually lose out on the opportunity. For the angels that are next to us, even if they feel toxic, there's some wisdom that they're going to give you, unfortunately, but present to those around us in a way that we can really embrace the gifts that they're giving us.

00:19:31 - Teri Schmidt Yeah, I love that story because what it pulled up for me is what is the real goal here? Was the goal to get to that experience at Disney and have a wonderful time? Was that what you're saving up all your pennies for? Or is the goal to show yourself that you can do it, which is a perfectly reasonable goal, but I would comparing that to the workplace and the people listening, is the goal to make that impact that you have the dream of making no matter how it happens? Or is the goal to have other people seeing you make that impact?

00:20:14 - Maruxa Murphy Yes, that's it. And what are the gifts that we get from both to recognize that there are gifts in both of those?

00:20:25 - Teri Schmidt Yeah.

00:20:27 - Maruxa Murphy I've found in my career that going into the conversation around groundswell and having that community experience and I'm saying this from personal experience, I can't believe I've never said this out loud, but I am a hustler. I am that ego driven. Look what I did. I was able to do the thing that's my natural way because that's just I'm first born. I don't know, all the different things made me that way. But at the same time, what I found is when I actually allow myself to not have to work so freaking hard and just relax into the arms of other people, that get me relax into the arms and then also be the arms for others. There's so much more life and power in that. I find that especially in the process of starting anything new, new career, new profession, new project, bringing a new idea to life. Right. It's realizing that your genius is your genius. That means that you have genius in something. There's also areas where you're not genius and that other people have that genius in there. So I'm able to relax more when I know I'm surrounding myself with others who are bringing their best to the conversation while allowing myself to be at my best patient. And really that is the beginning of a community. Right. We come together for a purpose. I believe community is really about coming together around a specific interest or purpose for gathering. And if in the office, if it is about gathering together for a project and listeners here leading the project for the first time, for example, it's how can we really start to look at the genius of each person in the room able to amplify those geniuses, right? And then what happens is when we focus on the strengths and not like, oh, this person's always late to the meeting or oh my gosh, this one can never seem to just give us a straight answer, right. That stuff is going to be there because we're all in and that's that. But what I've found, I found over and over again is when we use the tools around really amplifying what's good amplify positive strengths, the strengths of each person. People want to then show up for the conversation. And so as leaders building community from a leadership perspective, it is perfect to practice seeing the strengths in others as a way to hold that container so that everyone can really thrive and be at their best. And then invite them when feedback is needed to be able to invite that into the conversation as well. Like, hey, I know that this is where you're doing this, but I'm noticing that you're really struggling when it comes to being on time to these meetings. Let's have a conversation about that. What can I do to support you on that and come from that being the arms also for them to be a part of this experience and conversation. So I think that's one aspect of creating grounds. Well, I think the other piece is nurturing yourself. Like as a professional who's in a new phase of her career. What does it look like to have others who get you both from your mentors potentially in the company or mentors that you've met online, people that you can trust in your circle as well as colleagues who are at the same level that you're at right now. How do we begin to do that? And I think if you don't have that, I always say don't wait till to start it. Create what you need because that's going to be the medicine not just for you, but for the others that get to be involved. And in that, really take a stand for what you care about. What you care about matters. Start using your voice to say, hey, you know what, being new in this industry, in this career feels like this. So my vision is to put a stop to this and to create something different. And so that's really where I would imagine us wanting to design community from, is that place of that experience in that groundswell.

00:25:07 - Teri Schmidt Yeah, I'm hearing. So with the focusing on the strengths, a couple of things, it sounds like that then just brings an energy that in a sense, first of all, makes people want to be part of that community. And community, whether we're talking your small little team that you're leading or a change initiative of some sort to make your workplace more compassionate and just both of those, I think that's applicable. You're creating this positive energy, but not a false positive energy in that you're not ignoring. Like you said, if there are places where you want to work together to support that individual and maybe something that they're doing that is harming the advancing of that community, there's still a place for that. But I love that idea and we talk a lot about focusing on strength, so that fits right in. But I'm hearing that energy. So that being a piece of creating that groundswell and then the surrounding yourself with almost an affinity group and that surrounding yourself with people who you have something in common with or multiple things in common with. So whether that be you're both passionate about that same change that you want to make, where are you finding those people? And those people might be online. Those people might be sitting at a desk next to you. They might be in your community where you live somewhere. But then also those who are in the same stage of career, those who maybe you're a female leader who wants to find support with other women. So finding those ways that you are connected. So I'm saying looking at the energy, looking at how you're connected as two pieces for effective community building, absolutely.

00:27:14 - Maruxa Murphy They are very much aligned in. And there's a few more things I would suggest. When I build community, whether it's what I call a small but mighty community of 250 people or the large community I just finished building of a million people or something between, we're looking first and foremost at what I call and if you have a moment, you can visualize this or write it out. But it's called what I call the transformed community paradigm. And the idea of this paradigm is that oftentimes when people go in, I created it because oftentimes people go in to building a community from simply what I call two sticks. Normally, if you could draw, imagine this. Imagine like we're in Egypt together and you have the pyramid, but the pyramid is literally held up by two little wooden sticks. Let's just imagine what's going to happen to that pyramid. Is it going to actually be able to withstand all the many gazillion years it's been?

00:28:19 - Teri Schmidt Of course not, right?

00:28:22 - Maruxa Murphy And what happens is the two sticks typically are I have a vision for a community, right? Like this is what I imagine. I want a community that is going to create a more just space in our workplace. And then maybe they'll have a voice like, this is who I am in my space. This is how I am as a leader, and this is what it looks like for me to be able to why I should be the person leading this charge, right? So most people come into community building with those two sticks and then they gather people and they say, okay folks, whether it's online or in person, okay folks, we're going to have a conversation about blank. People are like, yeah, I love it, but there's no intentionality beyond that, right? Start to activate that community. Maybe there's a couple of meetings that happen, but then it starts to die down. People start to drop off. People get busy with other things. There's people who are saying like, oh yeah, I'm super interested, but they never show up, right? That's because it's been built on two sticks. It's what I call the Quick starts guide to building community for those of us who are passionate humans, we want to build oftentimes in a very like because our emotions are taking us forward that way. What I want to invite us into is more of that transformed community paradigm and it does mean to slow down a minute, but when we slow down, we grow fast. And when we slow down, we're able to create more intentionality, more strategic aligned action so that when we move, it feels so much more in flow than when we are trying to just wing it and figure it out. So that first layer of building a groundswell community is what I call our three V's. V as in victory. It stands for vision. You still need to have vision, right? Why are we here? Why are we going to gather? What is it about this gathering that's going to make an impact in the world? Then we're going to look at our voice. Why us? What matters? And why is it important that we are the ones being the movement makers here? And then we're going to look at our values. What are the values that we're really wanting to instill and get grounded in as part of the foundation for why this experience needs to be here in the first place? These values, I see it as like the breath, the air that we're breathing on a regular basis. Is it clean air? Is it the air that we're wanting to move into our body and oxygenate the entire body of the community that we're running or creating? So we want to be really critically aligned with those values and have them just be just a few so that we can all know what they are. I'm joining the community. I don't need ten values to go after. I need like three. This is what we stand for and this is why we're moving in the direction that we're going. You see? So you imagine, think about like, I'm going to pause this before I go into the next levels, but think about the communities that you've been a part of, that you've been a participant in and where you felt so engaged into it, right? So as I'm walking through this process, I want you to think about that because there are elements in this that make it so that we want to be a part of something. Think about that. And oftentimes they'll have those three V's really critically defined, right? Vision, value and voice. From there, we're going to go into that next level of that slowdown process, of that paradigm, if you will, and that is your experiential value. Your experiential value. This is where we actually design culture. We design the experience of the community. Most people don't think of it as culture, but you would think about those communities where those experiences that you've been a part of, where you feel so invested, the likelihood is you felt like you belonged. And so in that energy of belonging and the energy, there's a way in which to. Create belonging. There's a way in which to create that energy of like, we're a family, we're a chosen family for each other. We made the conscious choice to be here regularly because we are so invested in the vision, values and the voice that also we do something so aligned in the way in which we do it that it becomes fun. You see examples, examples of communities that meet every single week. Every Tuesday night at 08:00 P.m., we're going to meet and we're going to talk about blank, right? That's a part of culture design. Or they have a certain vernacular of certain words that only they understand or inside jokes or even handshakes, or ways in which they greet each other. Or if one has the passing of a family member or loved one, how do we hold space for that? Those are parts of things that you want to think about. How do we hold space for the people in our community when things well and when things are not so well, from there we move into the next part of the paradigm, which is to look at your path, your intentional I call it profit path. When I work with businesses, the pathway in which why are we meeting? Are we gathering to just create awareness? Are we gathering to have an action of some sort? Are we gathering to deepen our relationships with one another? All of the above. What is it that we're here for? When we get clear on that piece and how we want to do that right then that's where people can actually those folks who just want to be they're in it because they want to do something, like for the good of humanity are there to go do the thing. But we need to tell them what the thing is to do. Those are the profit paths. And then what happens from the community? Are we creating a committee? Are we going to have subcommittees within our community to tackle different issues in the company? You know what I mean? So exactly what's super clear there and then ultimately the next one, again, for businesses, I'll say this is your offer stage. If you're not creating a business per se, but you're creating a community, a groundswell community, a movement within a company, you think of this more as what are the intentional calls to action that we want to have happen because of our meeting and why we meet? This is our outcome. If we had the most amazing outcome in the world, it would look like this. And those are those calls to action that we all as the community can then come behind you as the visionary and be able to track and say, yeah, we're doing the thing we're doing. Right? So from that, once you have those four, then we go back to building. And now we build a model, like from a model that has really been thought out and really intentional and then activate that community into action. And what we find is that the people investment is much greater because it is thoughtful. Right. You want to join something that has been thought through, not something that's just kind of like here because we're busy, we're intentionally busy. We're very busy. Maybe intentionally too, but it's not what I meant to say.

00:35:48 - Teri Schmidt Yeah, I think what you're saying, leaders can apply this even just to their own team going through these various levels of the pyramid, especially if they're new to leading a team. I mean, what a great way to come together and really get aligned because, yes, people are being paid to be there, but you're not going to get the best performance out of people if they're not engaged in why they're there and excited to be there. If they're just doing it for the paycheck, you're never going to get the best out of them and help them to realize their potential. So if that is really your goal, I strongly encourage the listener to think about these levels for that as well.

00:36:40 - Maruxa Murphy That's right.

00:36:41 - Teri Schmidt But I'd love to hear just as we kind of get close to wrapping up, I'd love to hear maybe a favorite story or two of communities that you've built and walking through those different levels and what that looked like for them.

00:37:00 - Maruxa Murphy Okay, let me think about this for a second. It's been 200 communities since 20 years ago, so I'm thinking of one right now that might be really pertinent. One of the communities that's popping through for me, we were designing in a business incubator. It was an incubator specifically for ecommerce brands, and there were new ecommerce brands. So these are people just heard, oh my gosh, I can sell a product online or something. And the visionary that I was working with at the time wanted imagined. What if we are able to support each of those individuals in their immuness to be able to grow their businesses faster? Because we now are partnering them with influencers. And then we're partnering and influencers being people who have large social media audiences who might be able to get the word out about these brands, and partnering both influencers and ecommerce brands with investors that have the cash and the capital to be able to support the growth for these communities. So the visionary, if we go back through the paradigm he and I started right there at that visionary level, and that was his core vision. It could have been so easy for him to just go, okay, now I have a vision. I'm going to do this thing right and I'm going to just jump in. So he started with that, then from there, we really spent a lot of time on like, what is his voice, why does he care about these folks? And why does he care about building business faster? Simply because everyone's together in the same room. So as he started to articulate that he realized, well, it's because selfishly for him, he wants to be an owner of the Cleveland Indians. At the time, that was a part of his dream and that was his own desire. And also he grew up in a working class home. And so he saw families struggle day in and day out. And so for him, imagine a world where we can see others who are just getting started in their career, not have to spend decades hustling to create this experience that would be amazing. So that was his vision for this. And then, I'm sorry, his voice for this. And then we really dove into what are the core values that he is going to be bringing in. And for him, freedom, wealth, creation and an innovation were his three core values to bring into this experience. From there, then we landed into the experiential value. So in that we named his community because Cleveland Indian, the Cleveland Indians was his thing that he wanted. He named the community The Tribe as a part of that. Whether we love that or not a little bit like there's a lot there we can unpack, but that's another story for another day. However, in that the experience itself became really beautiful. We made it so that every single week we had an opportunity for a group coaching call live. Virtually we had over 1000 members within the first year of growing. So we had 1000 members in there group coaching live every week. Then we ended up having and then having like pre recorded courses in the incubator, times with investors, times with guest experts to come in and have conversation. And then we actually started designing out family groups in person, in network. So some in Toronto, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Austin. All those cities were nice sized pockets of members. And then from there it just continued. Some examples of what experiential design looks like. Live events twice a year move that into the path, the profit path. Really realize we are building a connection with our own personal clients. So we're not building a community to bring in new people to discover a new idea, right? There's different types of pathways and intentionalities. So the way in which I designed this particular community was to deepen the relationship between members to one another and to rebuild trust with the brand, that the brand can be there to hold and support them in this journey, right? So it was very intentional on how we wanted to mold that out into reality and then look at our offers, right? So this offer for them to join this online incubator was just offer number one. As they ascended and they hit certain goals in their own businesses, then they were invited into other opportunities to translate this. In the case of your listeners, really looking at like, okay, recognizing this community is just the beginning. It's like the taster to see who wants to continue to move forward into other opportunities. And then from there we invited them into a smaller group experience and then ultimately into a really intimate experience between them as a brand and one or two other people with the visionary of the company. Right. So there were these different levels of which they could play in the community and it could be in other cases, it could be like maybe you're a member and then you're on the leadership team and then now you're part of the advisory board. So things like that could be part of what are the offers and what are the calls to action and how we're moving that forward. And then ultimately then we went to build and in that case, it took us two and a half years to hit six and a half million dollars in revenue with this particular community. And my most favorite is that so many of them are still in each other's lives. Maybe there's new companies together. Folks that just started with a brand new idea have now sold their companies for millions of dollars and now really co creating new companies together are each other's godparents or someone's company is growing so significantly and one becomes president of that company. There's so many cool things that are up because they've now been in relationship with each other for years at this point, even because the design was so intentional to build those relationships. And I think that's so important to be looking at like, who are you in five years? Who will you be in ten years? Who are the people you want to surround yourself with today that will be a part of that circle as you continue to expand and grow in your own leadership?

00:43:48 - Teri Schmidt So it's important, incredibly important. And that's great advice beyond even just talking about building that groundswell. But yeah, I think the result that you just shared of them still being in people's lives and being godparents, et cetera, you mentioned that one of your key outcomes was to build that trust. And so that's just evidence that that happened via your community design, right?

00:44:20 - Maruxa Murphy Yeah. It's so critical you want to build trust. And I think the one thing I didn't mention, I think this is something as we're wrapping up to remember, is that there really are what I call the four sacred elements of creating community. It's a Stronger to Serve. And you think about the community we talked about, I invited you to kind of conjure up that you've been a part of that really helped you feel like grounded, think and see if these four elements are a part of that. The first one is feeling safe. It's creating an energy and a sense of safety to be yourself, to be able to share freely, to feel like you can let your hair down and just relax into the space with others. The second one is to feel seen right where everybody knows your name is so critical. How do we invite people into this space where they are able to feel really seen, their strengths simply to their name, Teri, earlier, you just want to make sure it's Marooch. And I love that. I appreciate that because my name is hard, right. And being able to be seen and know that you took the time to listen to another podcast, it is something that helps me know that you want to be in connection with me for a while. Right. And so that's powerful to me. And I think when we're building community, we think about how do we invite people into being seen as well and their strengths, know them by name, what are like little details in their life? What are they going through that you can remember? Talk to them next. It's a big deal. And then feeling heard, right? Feeling heard is the third of the Stronger to Serve. Helping people know that when they are speaking, you're there. You're present, hear them and you care about what their feedback is and that they give feedback and you acknowledge it and you take it and say, I wonder if we can bring that in and invite them into more conversation to ask more questions about that, to get clarity. And then ultimately, the fourth one is feeling honored and respected. Where there are two or more people, there is diversity. I love it. And it can oftentimes bring a lot of fear as leaders. How do I show up for this person when it feels so different than me? Then start looking at how do we honor them? I believe that every human is God incarnate, right? Whatever divine is divinity in person, inspired. When I look at your eyes, Teri, I am seeing God. How do I honor that in your experience of life? And how can I hold that and respect that, even if it looks different than mine? Right. That's so powerful. So when we begin to live out community and create these experiences that is what I want to invite all of us to create as our expectations of ourselves and how we are going to show up in community that we can be at our best and we can continue to bring in members that are willing to invest into the experience as well with us because they feel those elements.

00:47:36 - Teri Schmidt Yes, I love that. I love that Stronger to Serve and I think it has so many applications in so many different elements of our lives. So thank you for sharing that. I'd love to have it. Maybe we'll have another conversation sometime about community and change making and how kind of the next step. But what you've given today has been so valuable and I know is going to benefit so many of the leaders out there. So thank you so much for sharing your expertise. And if people want to learn more about the work that you are doing or get connected with you. Where's the best place for them to go?

00:48:18 - Maruxa Murphy That's a great question. Really? There's going to be two places, one more informal and one more formal. Informally, if you want to know me and get to know my work, definitely find me on LinkedIn. I love spending time in that space. And send me a note. Let me know that Teri has connected us through the podcast, and I'd love to have a conversation with you and connect with you there. The other way if you're interested in learning about community, like how do we design groundsville Communities? I actually host a free newsletter, and it's called the Revolutionary Insiders Club. So weekly you get tips and strategies on how to do that. We also have a podcast that we're about to release called Revolutionary Communities. And so it's definitely a place where I will be inviting in the conversations on how do we design ground swells. What are the best practices on a regular basis. And it's completely free because this information needs to get out there. And obviously there are ways in which we could work together as well that feels aligned, but that would be great for steps to connect.

00:49:23 - Teri Schmidt Excellent. Well, I'll make sure to include all of those in the show notes so that they're easy to find. But again, just thank you for your time today. Thank you for the work that you are doing to make so many wonderful changes in the world and to build these communities, especially in a time where I know our Surgeon General just released. We're in an epidemic of loneliness and isolation. So the work you're doing is incredibly important, and I thank you for that.

00:49:51 - Maruxa Murphy Thank you for having me. It is a pleasure to be here with you today. Teri.

00:49:59 - Teri Schmidt Wow.

00:50:00 - Teri Schmidt So many pearls of wisdom that Marusha shared. I hope that our conversation leaves you feeling comforted. Remember, you're doing your best. Inspired. Remember the power of a well designed groundswell community and equipped. Remember the three sticks and the Stronger to Serve.

00:50:21 - Teri Schmidt I can't wait to see the ways.

00:50:22 - Teri Schmidt That you're going to inspire positive change and empower others to thrive by building a community of support around yourself. Speaking of inspiring and empowering, if you've been inspired or empowered by any of our Strong Leaders Serve episodes, may I ask that you leave a rating or a review on your favorite podcast player? Even a sentence would be extremely helpful to us in getting the word out and helping to inspire more leaders to be strong by serving. Thank you. It means so much to have you as part of our Strong Leaders Serve community.

And until next time, lead with this quote by Helen Keller in mind: "Alone, we can do so little. Together, we can do so much."


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