This year has been such an incredible journey for my family and I. Our most recent step in that journey happened yesterday when we picked up and moved from the Philadelphia PA suburbs to the Smokey Mountains of Western North Carolina in a small suburb of Asheville.
I look forward to writing more about that process, but for now I’ll fill you in on our first day. I think there is a great lesson to be learned from my story here on day 1 for entrepreneurs, marketers, and well… pretty much all of mankind.
We awoke in our new home to a chilly fall morning with absolutely majestic mountain views and clear skies. It felt surreal, but we were quickly whisked back down to earth.
My 9 year old son was dealing with a stomach bug that set on first thing when he woke up. I know, not a great start for the family in the new home coming off a long drive the day before.
While he was resting inside and my wife was working hard to comfort him and organize some things, my 7 year old daughter and I went out for a walk around the new property and to scope out the neighborhood. We had a delightful time. The temperature rose to a comfortable 60 degrees and it was simply gorgeous out. After our walk, my daughter wanted to give the new basketball net a try (we have a college regulation size half court in the driveway… Sweet!). We were working on our shots and dribbling around together, when a moment of brilliance swept over me. Why not use the 4 ft hard scaped stone wall behind the backboard to leap off of for a slam dunk? Right? That’s what you would do if you had a 4 ft wall behind the backboard! It’s just so tempting.
Well, long story short, I did not land gracefully and came down on my left heel really hard. So hard in fact, I had never experienced such intensity of pain before. I thought for sure that I broke something. So here I was on day 1 in Asheville on my way to the ER for X-rays.
My experience in the ER was amazing. From the woman checking me in, to the various nurses, and the doctor herself, I was floored by the friendliness of everyone. I did not feel like a number, like I have with previous hospital experiences. I felt an interest in true genuine connection from the people helping me. They expressed concern, empathy, and actually wanted to get to know me a bit. There was a realness in their eyes, a soft heart. Maybe I am just accustomed to grouchy people in the northeast, or maybe these were just genuinely happy folks who love what they do. (perhaps both are true). I walked away with a good prognosis ( no broken bones, just severe bruising) and a smile on my face, because the people really brightened my day.
And so I have to ask myself. When people encounter me, do I brighten their day? Does the love for what I do rub off in positive ways? I believe strongly in the ripple effect, and I know that the vibes that I pass on to others will then in turn reflect on the people they encounter and so on.
One of many reasons for our move to this area was to experience a different culture and give us new perspectives on other paces and walks of life. We had heard people were friendly in this area, but this was my first time experiencing it for myself. And now it is up to me to carry the ripple effect forward. Even while in pain recovering from a foot injury, I can still pass on the joy and happiness that I have internalized.
Your tribe will pickup on your state of mind. They know when you are grouchy. They know when you are happy. It comes across in your writing and for some of you in your videos. And, it comes across face to face with your every day encounters with people… Your family, neighbors, community, etc. It is perfectly fine to be real in what you are feeling. Never try to fake joy, it doesn’t work. You do need to find your joy though, and have a deep understanding of where it comes from (unless you have no interest in happiness). Internalizing joy for yourself will prepare you to be a better tribe leader, and more importantly a better person in the world.
Your ripple effect will go out into your tribe. Stop treating people like numbers and start intentionally getting to know them. They invested the time to join your tribe, even if just to read what you have to say. Find your joy, and pass it on. This will change the world.
My name is Jason Spencer and I Build Tribes