The Community Strategy Podcast: The nexus where online community strategy meets intentionality

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Episode 71: Recognizing the value of your community enhancers with Kayla MacArthur

by Deb Schell
May 1st 2022

In this episode, Deb Schell interviews Kayla MacArther, a Transformational Life Coach, Digital Nomad, and Crazy Cat Mama to an adorable ... More

Okay, mm hmm. Welcome to the community strategy podcast. I'm your host, Deb Schell on this podcast. I share conversations with leaders of purpose driven, private paid online communities that bring together like minded members for transformation to better their life, career relationships and well being as a community strategist, I help entrepreneurs build launch and grow online page communities on mighty networks and to learn more about working with me. Please visit my website, find calm here dot com. That's F I N D C A L M H E R E dot com. I help entrepreneurs buying calm in the process of launching an online community. So check that out please. I want to ask you, do you have a strategy question that you are struggling with something A challenge if you do. I want to start answering some questions of through uh the podcast.

It's a new thing I want to try. So please shoot me an email at Deb at find calm here dot com and I will review any questions I get in the next episode. I will add a answer section for any questions that I do get once I get some. So send an email to Deb at fine calm here dot com and I hope you enjoy this episode. Hey, y'all so excited to have an interview with Kayla Macarthur today. She's our guest on today's community strategy podcast. Welcome Kayla! Thank you Dev I'm so excited to be here awesome. So I am excited that you are here and tell us a little bit, where are you and tell us a little bit about you. Yeah, so I am currently based in a small mexican beach town, it's called Sayulita and it's on the west coast of Mexico a little bit across the way from the baja peninsula. And uh yeah, I'm here with my partner, my cat and we are both nomads and living and working abroad and a little bit about me.

I mean obviously I love the beach, hence I moved to the beach. Um but yeah, I know this was always a dream of mine to live this lifestyle. Back in 2013 I took a road trip across America and I mean that road trip changed my life. It gave me my career, it gave me this dream to be a nomad and all of that over the past, I don't know, nine years has come to fruition and I just, I feel so blessed every single day in my life, wow, what an amazing, amazing way to start. Just talking about how you had a dream. You've set the intentions, you've created the life that you ideally want to live now at the beach and just living living the lifestyle that you've really wanted to to create. So tell me about how you created this lifestyle, what that involves. Yeah, yeah, so I actually, before um before I was a coach, I got my degree in psychology and I was working with young adults who had severe mental illness and my career path was supposed to go down the path of becoming a therapist.

However, when I got into this work and I was working with these individuals, I loved it at first and it really fulfilled me and brought me a lot of happiness and just like fulfillment to be able to help people. However, I quickly realized that I didn't want to work with that particular population, it was high burnout and a lot of the kids that were coming into the group home that I was working at, they didn't necessarily want to change, they were there because they had to be and so I had what I call my quarter life crisis where I'm watching all of my friends, you know there graduating from college, they're getting their their jobs, they're buying their house, is getting married, having kids and I'm over here feeling like, wow, I'm super behind, like I have no partner, I have no house, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. And so, you know, that's where the road trip came in, My best friend and I, we decided to take this two month road trip pretty spontaneously, it was something that we said we wanted to do and when we actually did it, like that was what changed my life, I realized, wow, if I can do something that I always said I wanted to do, what else can I do, and so when I came back from that road trip, I started to make some intense changes in my life and I started to explore options for how can I have a job that involves travel because I want to live every single day with this feeling of freedom.

I want to feel alive every single day of my life. And so that was what ultimately I'm not going to get into the whole story. Ultimately led me to coaching back when I was in the mental health field, someone had mentioned to me like I would make a good life coach and I didn't know what that was, but I was really curious to find out. And so, you know, long story short, that's, that's where I went. That was where my journey took me. I went and got my certification and I became a coach. Yeah, it's really amazing what travel, how travel can collect, collect you in, bringing you in the present. Um, whenever you have, you know, that's why people, I feel like that's why I learned to travel because it's really when you're paying attention to new things, you get, you almost get this like, you know, these eye goggles on in your home, like we've been stuck, a lot of people have been stuck in their homes for two years now and it's, it's like, okay, I need to see something other than the four walls and, and honestly, they just, they actually like, you don't even see what's around anymore, even if you walk in your neighborhood, you're still like, oh, it's just my neighborhood, it's not, you know, you're not paying attention, but when you get on a plane and you go to some new place, it's like intention, I see like this new thing, this new thing, but it makes you present in the moment and I think that's what we all try to grasp at, which I know you talk a lot about in your work of intentionality and um setting and goal setting.

So lovely story to bring us around to how you became a coach, what, why it was important to you to help others, but in a specific different way than you thought maybe you were going to. So I loved that little story um yeah, so now you're doing coaching, how does, how does that all work or how do you work with people? Yeah, so it's evolved over the years actually, april is going to be my seven year anniversary launching my business, so that's very exciting. But yeah, I originally got into coaching through the gateway of health and wellness, it was something that I was really passionate about and it felt like kind of like a doorway that I could walk through that felt familiar uh and it felt like it was something that I could create for myself, I could create a business around health and wellness and you know, I had a lot of challenges along the way as I'm sure a lot of other coaches can relate to as they're starting their businesses, but yeah, it's it's evolved up until this point now where I really do more transformational work and I really work with someone's entire life, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners and you know, they want to create their version of the life that I'm living, it doesn't have to look like being a nomad, but what is their version of this life that you know, if you could, if you could live in any way that you want to live, what would you be doing?

And I think for me personally, I attract a lot of people who want to be free, they want to be free emotionally, they want to be free physically, they just want to infuse this Alive Nous and its presence into their life. And so yeah, we work on, you know, an internal level and we really look at who do they need to be in order to create this life. Um you know, a lot of times, I think people, they get used to showing up in a certain way and sometimes they're showing up more from their survival than from their essence. And so we really take a look at that and we figure out what's the breakthrough available for you here, you know, what quality or who do you need to be to embody in order to create that life that you want to create. So yeah, that's that's that's my work and I love it. I absolutely love it. It sounds amazing and I think all entrepreneurs are and and all humans, I will say have an innate, like you have kind of survival mode, we just go through the emotions, go to work, wake up, you know, brush my teeth, get my coffee, get in the car, get on the highway, all of these just we systematically do these same things every day and it takes a lot of intention to break away from that I think is what you're kind of sharing and To not, it's a mindset shift to, it's a mindset shift, right?

It's like you help people shift their mindset of like, this is something that happened with me is I thought that I would be in a 9-5 job forever. I thought I was going to have student loans for the rest of my life. I thought I was I had all these like unlimited or limited beliefs about things that I could do or couldn't do. And I think that sounds like the work you help with is just these shifting the mindset and um looking at all the possibilities and establishing values of like what's important to those people that you're working with, right? Yes, Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I love it. And so we talk when we talk about transformation a lot with community, I feel like we get to experience this as a coach, you do it 1 to 1 in the community as if you're coaching with the community, you can see and help multiple people and they can also help each other transform, what do you see as like a transformation journey for one of your clients, if if you could give me an example of something like you've seen that they like on a journey they've taken and maybe how they've tapped into either communities or other resources that, that you've helped them with.

Yeah. Um hmm Well I would say that a lot of my clients, their journey is very individual and very unique and as far as like I can give you an example of a journey and also I think I would love to talk about too, like my journey as a coach and how I used community as well to create my business. I think that's where community really comes in for me, but as far as a client. Yeah, I mean I, I had one of my, one of my favorite clients of all time, you know, she, she was a hustler, she was really in survival mode, she was just burning herself out and spinning herself out newer in her business, wanted to create a splash and what she realized through our work together was that she was taking this, this part of her, this survive this part that learned how to survive and it was spinning out, spinning out, spinning out and it was burning her out and it wasn't creating the life that she wanted to create, She had no time.

Every single space of her day was filled with work and then other obligations that she had. And so what I love most about her transformation was that on the outside, her life didn't change much, which is interesting, right? Because that's a big part of what I do is help clients create the life they want to live. But what occurred for her over our work together was this internal shift, this massive internal shift where her life didn't necessarily change, but the way that she related to it shifted and that created the space and the peace and the calm and this just really magnetic leadership. And it propelled her journey forward where this is where the community comes in. I see her impacting her community in a much more deeper and meaningful way as a result of our work together because now she can share her journey and she can share the transformation that she went through and that can inspire other people.

So it's almost like this ripple, right? I think when coaches work with individuals, it does ripple out, especially if you're working with people who do have communities who do leave communities. The ripple that you create with your clients is going to ripple out. So yeah, that's that's that's a good place to pause Maria Angelo has a quote and it's something to the effect of people will not remember what you say, They won't remember what you do, but they'll always remember how you make them feel and when you're talking about feeling, I was just thinking of that quote and thinking about how um it's like you're saying an amazing ripple that if you step out into the world, just you step out into the world as a calmer, happier, confident, more, more giving compassionate person not doesn't have to be all those things are a lot of those things, but um in any of those things or one of them, if you step out into the world in that mindset that ripples other people when you interact with them.

So whether you're in an online community or you're at your office in the break room or you're driving to work with co worker or whatever it is, those opportunities at every chance there. I feel like to to really just express tell your story as well as expressing like this positive thing that you're going through and that is happening because then the person is listening can also be like, oh, that's interesting. I haven't even considered that I'm just trying to work and like survive today, which is I think a lot of what people's mindsets are right now, It's really like, they're just in this box, like not everybody, obviously I'm not generalizing, but just a lot of people myself included are in this little box of like just surviving. I'm paying my bills, I'm trying to figure that out. That's like stressful, How do I get to like actually purpose, what do I want to do with my life? What do I, those are the bigger questions, right, what do I want to do with my life? What am I leaving behind when I die? Like those powerful questions are all things that we consider, but it's dependent on us to dive deeper and to ask those really hard questions and sometimes it's uncomfortable or harm, you know, you know, I don't know if I want to answer these things, but that's when the magic happens, right?

Yes, absolutely, yeah, I love it. So how did community help you in your journey? I want to learn more about what you experience with community. Yes, so community has been a huge part of growing my business. I am not sure if you're familiar with astrology or if your readers are our listeners are, but I have a lot of planets in my 11th house and which 11th house is kind of the community house, it's your network and so I remember getting a reading a long time ago, I'm talking high school, my mom got it for my birthday and she had mentioned, you know Kayla is going to really find a lot of value in her network, she's always going to be finding people who are kind of up the hill and who can help her and bring her long community is going to be a big part of her life and I never forgot that and it's absolutely true. I'm someone who, I've never really resonated with marketing strategies that are like very removed from your, your network, your audience, your people.

I am such a relationship based person, that's just how I like to do things. I love to get to know people, I love to connect intimately with people. And so when I was first starting my business, yeah, my biggest challenge I think was creating clients and I think most coaches can relate to that that that is a huge challenge and so trying to figure it out. I was throwing a lot of spaghetti up on the wall to see what stuck. And so one of those things was creating a community, I had a facebook community, I think this was probably maybe before mighty Networks is a long time ago, but I started a facebook group and that facebook group was huge for me. It actually created my first big success around my coaching business after starting the community, I signed six clients in a row within two months time and it was like a big like light bulb for me, wow community. This is powerful.

Like how else can I use community. And while I will say I no longer have that facebook community, I've, I learned a lot about myself and I've realized that rather than a community builder. I'm more of a community enhancer. Um but that first facebook group was huge to put me on the map and I think what set my group apart was that again, I I brought this level of intimacy to the group, I wanted to get to know people, I wanted to serve people. It wasn't like ok yeah come in and hang out and you know, I'm gonna post like the same posts every day of the week and like no I treated that community like my best friends, I was in there every day, I was engaging with people, I was inviting them to share. I would reach out to them and ask them if they wanted to grab a virtual coffee. I wanted to get to know them more. I would also serve people, I would invite them into complimentary coaching sessions to help them in their life.

And so when I created this intimate setting, I think it allowed people to really get to know me, it allowed them to feel my heart and through that, that's how I created business for myself. And from there, those first six clients rippled out again. Uh so yeah, I think community and having having your audience in one place around you is really, really powerful, especially in the beginning of a business. Yeah, I think it's a good point to say I just a lot of questions I get usually with people around community building or like, you know, how do I know if it's right for me and you pointed out like, just self awareness of knowing like you tried to, to endeavor in this and you've found the power of community and how it's so amazing, but then realized, you know what I might not want to lead a community, I might actually just want to be a part of and so just, you know, for people listening it, you not everybody is going to have a community, sometimes you're going to be a partner inside another community and that's how you meet, network with people speaking at other in other communities.

Those are ways to get your messages out without actually building a whole community and communities such a broad term, we could talk about it being like five people meeting in a coffee shop is it could be a community, two people getting 32 or three people getting on a zoom call every month, that's a community. Uh so just the broad word of community is very, could be a lot of different things, but the concept of bringing people together in connection and how do you deeper connect with people, that's where the power comes in and that's the ability to scale your business, right? So as a coach, you get to tell other people about how you've transformed how you've helped other people transform and how they can transform, right and then being able to speak to a bunch of people at once, like in a in a place where they're seeing your messages it gives you so much power to be able to then say, hey, I really want to help you and I love that you're talking about like connecting 1-1 because I think that gets lost in transition around conversations with you know, lead magnets and email sequences and we were talking about all the tech sales, he kind of kind of stuff, it takes a lot of, I've mentioned this before, it takes the human al Itty out of community, the people, we want to be there for the people.

The whole point is that people, people come for the content. Some people say they come for the content but they stay for the connection or stay for the community and I think we have so much content right now that we don't need any more content. We don't want anyone like just keep your book, like not necessarily everybody there's and I'm reading lots of books so I'm not going to say like I don't read books or listen to podcasts because they do, but I specifically strategically listen to certain things or read certain books right? Because I'm like laser focused on certain things in my life. But I think what I really always gravitate towards this connection and how do I connect whether it's with a fellow entrepreneur or it's an online community of just people who want to talk about intentionality and transformation those are all great conversations to have and you just spoke to how powerful can be by getting clients by just talking to them, like just being willing to give a little time. So there is a little time involved, there's a little bit of work right, in community building and just trying to figure it all out.

And that's the part of your strategy, your strategy was I wanted to do this, I went and did this and now here's what I learned and now I'm gonna change my strategy just to fit what I now I'm going to the new path, right? And it's so powerful that you've done all that Yeah, and I want to add to in connecting with people one on one in getting to know people in starting that relationship. It's actually enhanced my work with my clients because we've already created a foundation together. I actually find it really weird when someone maybe finds me online or maybe I get a referral and you know, we have one conversation together and they want to work together and like, I'm like, I'll take it, but at the same time, what I've noticed is that when I take the time to connect really drop in and really start to build a relationship that almost like deepens the transformation that they do experience when we work together because we already have this beautiful, like, know like and trust that's been building over time where maybe we've connected for coffee, maybe I've served them in a session and then maybe we've had a conversation about working together.

So that's three conversations before we even dive into our work together. And when that trust is there, they feel more open and more able to go deeper and to to really open up and that's that's where the magic happens in our container. Okay. And you can consider the new statement I think is nine times you have to talk to people nine times for them to like really hear you. So, you know, people listening considering not just a conversation in person or virtual conversation, but how your conversating with people on social media and online and your emails, those are things that you collaborate and connect with your know like and trust. So if you you know share a vulnerable story, people are more willing to share their vulnerable story or connect with you in a deeper level like that. Even at the bottom line if they're listening to a podcast episode or reading a blog post, they can still be like, oh my gosh, that's so similar to what I have been struggling with and then maybe she can help me, maybe I should check this person out.

But then you don't do anything. You don't take action, right? And you pointed in the beginning of taking action is how you transform anything that you take action on. You can read a million books, you can listen to podcasts, you can spend lots of money on digital courses but if you're not implementing it, none of it matters. And that's the most powerful thing that people struggle with. And community helps you by setting accountability and setting intentions and saying I'm gonna do X by then and community members can all share what their journeys are and then that transformation is just can multiply over time. But yeah, I feel like people are, it's a little bit lost that how many times you really have to communicate your messaging with people so that they know what you do, who you are, how they're they can relate to you and a message of saying and again it goes back to feelings of like how do I want to feel? Right. Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm. Yeah.

Yes. Yes. And also too I will say I think creating that connection before you work with someone is really powerful. But then how I use community within my containers. So once someone does say I want to work with you and this might be a good tip for other people out there who are like I love working one on one. But how do I bring in a little bit of community at the end of every month? I have an open coaching. Our that's what I call it and I invite all of my current clients to that hour and I allow them to come in. They get to meet each other and they get to form relationships and we get to mastermind or we get to coach or we just get to hang out and talk. And even though they don't see each other, even though they're all getting individual coaching from me, uh they still have that time to come and connect at the end of the month and I will say I have seen amazing connections being forged through that because these people are all going through this deep inner work together and then when they meet on the open coaching, our, they can kind of feel into each other.

Hey, maybe there's an opportunity to collaborate and a couple of my clients have become best friends where they talk every single day. And so yeah, accountability like hoping, you know, transformed through community that's that's really powerful. Yeah, So you have a community, it's in that monthly call, it's this powerful, amazing thing that you've already seen massive changes and differences once you started implementing that community strategy and now we're seeing the benefits of all that because members are connecting. I've certainly done that many communities, I'm a member of connected with people, I always like to really understand who people are and what they're doing. Uh if there's some kind of similar interest and then diving deeper into that. And then yeah, I've had, I mean there's a group I've been meeting with in another community for, I've been every week for over 67 months now, eight months now, long time almost we've started in june so it's been quite a while, it's March now, so that's the power of community right there. Yes, absolutely, I love it.

Well, thank you so much for joining me today um is there anything else I wanted to ask you about, you know, any tips for coaches that you have, Is there any specific tips that you might have for our coaches before we end our chat? Yeah, yeah, I have two things to add and they kind of go together. So first thing for coaches again I would, and this can go for any service based business really. Yeah, so whereas in the beginning of my business I was a community builder, I created my own community and I had a space where people could come that has kind of shifted over the years where I have become a community enhancer and so if you are a service provider and you're thinking about creating a community and maybe being the leader of a community is not for you. Another way to go about this is by enhancing other communities. So my, I'm gonna air quotes strategy essentially for growing my business now is looking around for communities that I really resonate with, so it could be a travel community or a networking community and when I find that community, I go all out and I become known in that community, I connect with members, I reach out, I want to know them.

And so if you aren't necessarily a community builder try out being a community enhancer and I do this also within my local community moving to sayulita, I've gotten to know a lot of the different people in the community and then you know when I go to the florist and I get flowers, I put them on my instagram and I tagged the business or when I go down and try, you know the vegan shop, I'll put it on my instagram stories and create uh some business for them and you know, we're all helping each other and we're all just networking and supporting one another and I think that that that draws people into you, they get to know you and they start to also refer business to you because wow, like you're helping them and there's this really beautiful symbiotic relationship happening. So uh yeah, so if you aren't necessarily community builder, you can be a community enhancer. And then second one thing that I will say for people who do have communities, one thing that I think that's left out a lot of times is creating connection with members, I think when you are a leader of a community, it can kind of be like, okay, I have to create connection with all the members, but what gets lost is actually utilizing the whole community to create connections among each other and the best communities, I've been a part of my favorite communities unsettled being one of them.

I'm just going to throw that out there. They do such a good job at creating opportunities for members to connect with each other, whether it's doing a monthly vulnerability call where you get on zoom and you know, you get into this breakout room and you answer questions together that are pretty vulnerable and you know, creating connection with communities that way is so important. I think it creates a safe space and it just creates more of a, a deeper, a deeper connection and so yeah, those are my, those are my two things to add. That's great, that's great suggestions and yeah, I've been working more with that in the fine calm here community as far as connecting members with each other. And I started to do a community led initiatives this year where community members are leading the events instead of me or another speaker. So having uh, Joanne come in this month and she did a trailer workshop that was really great to how to use tremolo with your community building tasks or business tasks or things like that to keep structured and on schedule with different projects or, or or templates or things like that.

And we had um we're gonna have mary coming and she's going to talk about accountability this month. So I feel like highlighting your member finding ways to highlight your members. I just started doing member spotlight. So I'm providing a little bit of a background for for members to get to know each other as well as sharing that with the community by highlighting it in social media because my community is private paid community, but on social media I can share, Hey, uh we had Christie is our member spotlight for the month. She's been really participating and showing up in our space and offering so much value. And I wanted to recognize her just saying those things, then makes it sound like, oh, Deb really cares about her community members and oh, maybe I should look at her community because I've been really struggling with this thing and maybe I need X. So that is another yet way for you to do multiple things, right? Make community engagement happen as well as allowing them to shine, which is really communities about others.

It's not all about me or you, it's it's about all of us sharing our shared wisdom that we all have our life stories and can really support each other with unique and special ways. But This community is more about connection in in the sense of collaboration and not competition. And that's really been my main focus and phrase for 2022 is I want to collaborate. I don't want to compete with anybody. I don't think there's anybody else competing with what I'm doing because nobody's doing what I'm doing because they're not me. So that is a okay, you do amazing stuff. You do you and it's not what I do, but it's what you do and I honor and respect and love what you do. So I think having that lens on it really helps people understand what this community is really about. It's not about the it's not about the host, it's about all of us and how can we benefit each other in different ways. So with the transformational journey, right? Yes, I love it. I love it. Thank you so much. Tell everybody where they can find you if they want to learn more about your coaching or anything else.

But yeah, sure. The best place to find me is probably on instagram. Actually, that's where I'm most active. My my handle is Kayla Macarthur very easy. Although I also have a website which is more, you're more than welcome to check out. Its www dot kayla Macarthur dot com. Perfect. Thank you again so much. Great to have you here for everyone listening. Please feel free to share this episode with anybody. You know, that might benefit from learning about coaching and community and how those things collide and connect if you are new listener to our podcast, you can find the podcast on at the new website. We have the new website called the community strategy podcast dot com and that will redirect you over to the fine calm here website, which is amazing because I just read it and I will tell you, but it's amazing. So please go check it out. There's lots of log coasts and lots of content that I'm continuing to put up their uh tools and tips for everyone who's working on building their online paid community or just trying to figure out how do I bring people together?

That's what I'm helping people with. So for everybody, hopefully you're finding a little bit calm in this day and until the next time. I hope you're finding calm in this day, evening, morning, afternoon, wherever it is, whenever it is for you find calm and take care and talk to you next time. Bye. Mhm.

Episode 71: Recognizing the value of your community enhancers with Kayla MacArthur
Episode 71: Recognizing the value of your community enhancers with Kayla MacArthur
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