“Great ideas are the ones that spread” ~ Seth Godin, in his book “Tribes”
I am an idea machine.
I’m constantly churning over new ideas of how to make products, services, and my brand build to reach a critical mass.
The central idea around everything I am doing is to build a community to impact and change the lives of at least 10 million people to fulfill their God given purposes by taking ACTION.
This mission wasn’t always one I quantified.
It began as me posting Bible scriptures on Facebook 6 years ago because I was so excited about what I was learning at church.
“You’re a Bible thumper,” an associate once remarked to me at a meeting.
Initially, I was offended.
I did not want to come off as some judgmental, raging, weirdo.
That offense lasted about 60 seconds as I thought about what being a “thumper” was, and what it meant to stand behind what I was “thumping.”
Over time, my message expanded to telling whoever was connected to me on social media “Good Morning! I LOVE YOU! #agapeeveryday”
I started out saying “Good Morning” because of the gratitude of the surprise of seeing the new day.
The reason why I tell everyone I love them is because God is love, life itself is an embodiment of that, and we don’t need to have someone actually know us to feel the fullest extent of that love.
I added another message. It was a message not one of hope, but going a step beyond to one of a knowing, a co-creation, a surrendering to the best life has to offer, an expectation.
“Expect the very best TODAY!” is the mantra. That mantra is based on me being out of college and faced with the option of selling drugs like some young black urban stereotype or reaching for greatness.
I incorporated a third, that life is all about perspective. And that perspective shapes the lives we live. To look at the bad and see the good, to look at the good and see the great, and look at the great and see the transcendent.
“POSITIVE > negative” is the mantra.
The story I wrote of the lesson of dealing with the grief of losing my mentor to cancer embodies this perspective.
Over time, I have tweaked ways to get the “tribe” I was reaching to hear the messages, amplify the messages, and be impacted by it.
I’ve realized I’ve had to ask myself very hard questions since I’ve been spreading the messages of love, expectation, and positivity.
The most important question I have asked myself is centered on this question:
“Who is my tribe?”
I’ve come to this painful realization: I really don’t know.
After 6 years of spreading my messages, I really don’t know who even wants to hear the messages.
I don’t know how many are there are either.
There are many clues however.
I used to have an office in Lacuna Artist Lofts in Chicago’s Pilsen’s Artist’s District.
The building was a hotbed of hot cultural activity in Chicago during the time I was there.
One day I walked outside of my office door and across the hall there was a photo shoot going on.
Upon walking out, a tall, shapely, fashionable, rich mahogany toned African American woman looked at me and her eyes lit up.
“Exavier Pope! I am SO happy to see you!”
Apparently she was directing the photo shoot.
She stopped the entire proceedings.
The woman walked up to me to exclaim how two years prior she read a message I spread on social media and was so inspired by it she contacted me.
She said she was in a rut in life, and wanted to move toward a certain dream.
I encouraged her and gave her advice on what steps she should take next in her life.
As this woman explained further, she began to become emotional.
“You changed my life. You just don’t know where I was when you gave me that encouragement. I tell everyone I know about how you changed my life. I’ve always wanted to find you and thank you personally,” she explained.
She had taken my advice and followed it to the letter, and was now living the life she wanted.
Other clues abound.
Several businesses print out my messages and put them on in their break rooms.
Many others put my messages on sticky notes and put them on their desks.
So yes, the ideas are indeed spreading.
However, it is important I know who everyone is so we can begin not only properly identifying the tribe, but also how members can communicate with one another, and leaders can emerge with ideas to build on we’ve started.
To get the ball rolling, I’m starting a Facebook group called “Radical Inspiration.”
I don’t proclaim to have all of the answers to building and supporting our community, but I am going to work as diligently as I can to do so.
I am very confident in what I am thumping.
I’m now looking for more thumpers.
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Exavier B. Pope I, Esq. is an award winning attorney, on air legal analyst, media personality, Fortune 500 speaker, content creator, writer, tastemaker, thought leader, and yogi. Mr. Pope is the host of #SuitUP Podcast for his production company 528 Media Group, and a contributing writer and host of the Radical Inspiration Podcast distributed through Wanderlust/Yoganonymous. Mr. Pope has over 200+ appearances on air, including: international television on BBC and Al Jazeera English; national television on Fox News Channel, HLN, NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera America, WGN Morning News, Fox Business Channel, and Huff Post Live; Top 3 Local Media Markets on Fox, CBS, and NBC; international radio on BBC Radio; national radio on ESPN Radio, Clear Channel Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio; written and contributed digitally to The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC, Huffington Post, Jet, and Black Enterprise; and has appeared in other media outlets nationally and internationally. Mr. Pope is represented by top media and literary agency RLR Associates.
© 2016, Exavier B. Pope I, Esq., 528 Media Group.