The Concrete Business Benefits of Community Building with Maruxa Murphy

Are you curious about the tangible ways you can incorporate community building into your business model? In this episode of The Widest Net Podcast, Maruxa Murphy offers deep insight, examples and tactics from her decades of experience working with brands that center humanity before profits.


Listen to: The Concrete Business Benefits of Community Building with Maruxa Murphy

Introducing Maruxa Murphy

Pamela Slim


Welcome to another episode of the Widest Net podcast. I am your host Pamela Slim, and I am joined today by my guest Maruxa Murphy. Maruxa is an award winning community experience designer, a strategist, entrepreneur, author and catalyst for change who has been transforming community in person and online since the year 2000. My goodness. You’ve had this a long time. She leads national and international initiatives with a deep understanding of the dynamics of how people connect and share information. She’s further changing the game and community experience design while working in the travel, business, personal development, parenting and coaching industries, shifting how companies 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 Stars. Is it Jaya Ma?


Maruxa Murphy




Pamela Slim


Ian Ferguson. And the Erotic Blueprints, where she grew this community to 1 million people on Mighty Networks. That’s a capital M. It’s amazing work with Kajabi, Uplift Millions, awakening Giants, multiple metaverses which I’m fascinated by, and also creating and designing communities for brands revolutionizing their industries like the Maui Resort Community, the Women’s Prosperity Network, the Vision School and more. 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, the Austin American Statesman, as well as featured on one of the ten women owned brands to be on the lookout for from the United Nations on Women’s Entrepreneur Day 2019. Maruxa, welcome to the show.


Maruxa Murphy


Hello, Pam. Thank you so much for having me. It is such a pleasure and honor to be here.


Pamela Slim


It is so fun as a community person to talk to another community person. Can I just start there?


Maruxa Murphy


Me too. I’m so nervous. I’m so excited to get nerdy with you.


Pamela Slim


We hope we don’t lose people along the way. But part of the thread that I like to bring is that I feel like I play a community builder on television. Clearly, I love community. I do in person community building here at our lab. But really as a day to day profession, I’m a business coach. I help people to build effective business models. You actually consult with people about community building for a living. So how did this interest start and how did your point of view about community building develop?


What Led to Community Building

Maruxa Murphy


Thank you for asking. It wasn’t anything that I ever knew was a career. I mean, when I was a young girl, I thought I was going to be a ballerina. I thought I was going to be an actress or a ballerina and play soccer on the side and maybe he’s an architect. That’s what my dad did for a living. There was no community builder, models or careers in my world. And I had the most amazing grandmother. We call her Mamita. She passed away about three years ago and I’ll never forget the day when my family and I actually moved from the Philippines. My mom is Filipino, she’s a quarter each Filipino, Chinese, that’s her dad, and Jamaican, Puerto Rican, her mom, and she grew up in the Philippines. However, my grandparents divorced, grandma moved over here to Florida, and grandfather stayed behind in the Philippines. And there was a moment in the 80s when my family was also looking to move to the United States. Long story short, there was a huge revolution, a civil war in the Philippines. And so my parents made the decision to have my mom and us three children move across the world while he stayed in the Philippines. And so we found our way to my grandmother here in Orlando. And I’ll never forget that moment where we get off the plane. It was obviously in the 80s, back in the day, when you could actually walk up to the gate and she was there with the biggest open arms with my tita, meaning aunt in Filipino, and tagalog my tita PIA. And my Mamita with open arms bigger than the world and just welcoming us with these huge arms and bringing us into them and saying, welcome, family, your home. And I was only five, but I will never forget that moment because it was the first time in my childhood, especially a childhood that was part of a war. There was a war happening around me and my family were standing against what was happening with Markles and whatnot the long and the short of it was that sense of belonging felt very loving. For the first time, I felt home with two beautiful women that I literally had never met in person until that moment. And here I was with a five year old knowing that this was right. And from that moment, Pam, I think, well, from that moment until three years ago, and I’m 42 now, I had the experience and the privilege of being under my grandmother’s love and having this sense of community, of the sense of belonging. I’ll never forget as a teenager, she would say, you are going to mess the F up. She didn’t say the f word, but she would basically say, I know what you’re going to do, and even so, I’m going to love you, and I’m going to love you. So our home ended up being her home, was our home also, but it ended up being the home where every single one of us would bring our best friends and say, Mamita, so and so is here. And Pam, you and I had if you and I were friends in high school, you would come over and she’d be like, Pamela Slim, okay, give me a kiss on the cheek, and you’re welcome into the house. And so you’d be welcomed with her Puerto Rican way, and then you would be part of the family for life.


Pamela Slim


How beautiful.


Maruxa Murphy


Yeah, that was how I grew up. Right. And so I thought that was normal. My mom’s one of eleven. There’s 39 of us, first cousins were so close. I thought that was normal. Then I went to college. I got pretty much a full ride scholarship to a college, that’s a private liberal arts college called Rollins college here in Florida in Orlando. I walk in so hopeful for my future, and on our first day there, realized that the world isn’t as receiving as the family I grew up in. This huge family I grew up in wasn’t very much like that at all. In fact, being one, I’m multiracial. And as a person of color, I realized I was only 5% of the campus total. Wow. Yeah. And there were students who came before me who decided to, because of the atmosphere and the struggles that they were facing, of having no sense of belonging on this campus, said, what would it look like if we created a mentorship program? I was one of the first mentees that they brought into their program, and having experience, the experiences I had on the first day helped me see, well, thank goodness for this group of mentees. I can have maybe some semblance of connection, of belonging when it just didn’t feel home at all. That being said, it became a vision of mine that what would it look like if and when this campus that was so beautiful on the outside could also feel so beautiful on the inside that everybody that came onto this campus could be welcomed with open arms, could feel that sense of belonging. And without really knowing what I was about to do, I ended up, for the next four years really, like, designing and nurturing and deepening that mentorship program to where it continued on. By the end of my four years there, we went from 5% students of color to 22% students of color on campus. We had a retention rate that increased by 30% to about now, 65% retention. And the the admission office came to me and said, hey, we would like to recruit you to be the new minority admission, the admission counselor for minority students, because you have we can we can say, you know, basically you’ve helped us create $24 million that we didn’t expect to keep because of how many students leave. And now this is becoming a place of belonging. That was really my start. I didn’t know I was doing community building at all, but what I found was when you place certain elements into play to help people create that sense of belonging, to help people feel loved, truly, genuinely loved what is really possible from there. And I continued on then pam to do that. Even more so for the college. I became director of multicultural affairs, and so I was there for a total of ten years and then wanted to figure out, how do we do this in a different way, in a more expanded way. Because I was also still working 100 hours work weeks, typically 80 to 100 hours a week. And I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter. And so at that point, I was like, I kind of want to be a mom that’s more available to my child. And at this point in the culture at that time on the campus was where we just worked all the time. There’s a lot of us who are single with no children. So we did that and it worked for us until it didn’t. And so at that point, I made the choice to figure it out, and figure it out in a way that was more expansive, utilizing the tools that we had, technology like the Internet. Wow. And in 2009, I really started to make that shift to figuring out how do we create that sense of belonging? How do we design experiences beyond the walls of a room or beyond the walls of the local, but also keep the local sacred? Do both. And to continue to bring humanity back to the work that we all get to do and to our businesses, to bring humanity back to the human race, ultimately. Because in the long scheme of things, the way in which our world is working right now, it’s so easy for us all to be in places where we’re only with people that look like us, talk like us, believe like us. And what would it look like to be bridge builders in the midst of companies, in the midst of the experiences that we’re creating to benefit everybody, to benefit the culture within the company as well as the cultures that are being built because of our companies?


Pamela Slim


Yes, it made me a bit weepy, probably because our oldest son, Josh, is going into college starting in eight months. And so I just had that moment of as you’re sharing your own story, thinking about what that would be like of first showing up on a campus, which could be the example of going into a new company or moving to a new city. All those cases in which you are somebody who doesn’t have a connection and just how important that is for the work that you did and knowing that that’s the root of the work. It’s so beautiful and so very Maruxa, having known you for a long time, that from the very beginning there was a link and a connection between that very human emotion of helping more people belong and have an amazing college experience and financial return. Because it is something that I love to contextualize in today’s conversation. And in general, in talking about community, that sometimes I find we talk about it in a very vague way, like, oh, it’s good as a business owner to build community, or A brand should build community. And I find everybody has different definitions of it. Looking at the essence of the relationship between building your business, your business model and building community. What is the essence of it for you? What’s the connection in the way? I think we’ve already begun to understand how you view community from the sense of belonging.


The Essence of Building Community

Maruxa Murphy


Yeah. Oh, my gosh, that’s such a great question. So I think we as a world, we have been a pretty traditional, and I know you and I have known each other, as you mentioned, for years. At this point, we think that you and I think very differently. But most of the world tends to look at will this widget work? What do people want? And will this widget be the thing that they want? And how do we connect the dots? And then let’s put some marketing around it and let’s sell the widget. Right. For me, I believe that the change makers of our world today are business owners, are the entrepreneurs that are looking to create solutions to problems that are actually here to make the world a better place. So the work always first and foremost has to be done within. So a lot of the times before a company or when a visionary comes to me or a leadership team comes to me and says, hey, we’ve heard that you’re the girl or the woman to build the communities and all this stuff, I’m like, okay, let’s have a conversation first about your heart. Like, wait, what I mean by that is and I am a big stand for this, this is the only way in which I move forward with a client. If I choose to work with a client, it’s from the place of where is your heart with the impact that you’re about to make. Where are you actually aligned in to becoming, as Kajabi says, about their Kajabi heroes obsessed with their Kajabi heroes? Where are you with being obsessed with the people that you’re serving in such a way that you’re ready to advocate for them and create even better products and better services and better tools for them to be transformed? Where is your heart in that? Is this just something to just bring in all the money to you or are we really doing something to shift the world? So I first always believe at the core of everything we do energetically, we have to be so aligned in and of course we’re going to look at the science of community. Let me say that differently. When I am building community, I look at it in three parts. First is the heart, right? So again, as I mentioned going in, how are we invested into it from the area of transformation? Where is the vision going to take us? What are the values that are really held as the foundation for this brand or this company to really bring community into the conversation? And then ultimately what’s our voice in the market? Right? Looking at those pieces and how those line in then helps then go into that next place, which is the art, the art of community. So there are definitely ways in which community works from both an infrastructure perspective, from a psychological perspective, meaning how do we really invite somebody in to create that sense of belonging, right? And also from a conversation as well around, how do we create an invitation for individuals who are maybe just looking in to take another step in further and to take another step in further and potentially become a customer or a client and then stay on as a customer or client longer term. So, looking at that as the art of the design of community, how do all those pieces work? How does the referral process work to invite your community to bring in new individuals into the community? And then ultimately then the science of community, which is looking at the return because this because the heart, the vision, the voice, the values are aligned in and we have now the infrastructure as well as the culture design. Built out and how we how we do that? Well, we pull all those pieces together. Then we need to make sure it’s measured well. And so in the science of community, we’re looking at in particular, a lot of people come to me like, well, like you said, what is the ROI in general? We go typically general. And it’s led us to a place where one of my clients actually said, I always struggled. And this is a senior community experience designer. He even struggles with it for a large firm. Struggles with trying to make sure that community is on the docket of the conversation of conversations from the top, because he is struggling with this idea that community is squishy, right? The idea of community feels so, like, kumbaya. But the truth of the matter is, he knows. I know. Research is showing that as you put community into a brand’s experience, the community has more ownership. They feel like they have more ownership. And so how do we start to track that? Well, what does ownership lead to? What does ownership lead to? Oftentimes leads to impact, right? What are the transformations that we want to measure? Is that important to measure? How does that look? And then also looking at what is the actual impact of the fact that community is now a part of the experience? And how do we begin to track the measurable ways in which we’re changing the world or transforming that life in many, many different terms? So that’s really what I see. Is there really this beautiful trifecta that I work with, with our clients. And once they pass the test of seeing where their heart is in that, then I’m willing to go further and have them work with me on the architecture and the design of that experience. And then ultimately look at how do we measure this? Well, how do we do this in a way that feels really aligned with what they really want to measure when it comes to community, whether it’s profitability or impact or both or engagement, there’s so many different things that we can pay attention to.


Pamela Slim


In the way you describe it. It does touch on things. We tend to describe also as the customer experience. Do you see it? Is customer experience a subset of community? Is community a part of customer experience? Are they different things?


Is Customer Experience a Subset of Community

Maruxa Murphy


That’s great. So good. This is such a great question. So customer experience to me is absolutely a sister, right? To the community, they’re like twins, basically they’re twins. Sister, brother, sister, whatever. I see them as playing really aligned with each other. And oftentimes if I’m brought into a company just to work on community, I ask. And sometimes I’ve had to plead, like for me to be in connection and conversation as well with the customer experience team. Because for a customer, you think about it, right? For a customer, we don’t care if we’re talking to someone on customer experience or if we’re in the community engaging with our peers in the space. It’s a one and all. It’s one experience. So if they are often separated, I want those two divisions to start having conversations with each other so that we can create a more robust or more well rounded experience for the members of the community. Because again, we become, I believe that we as companies get to be advocates for transformation, right? We get to be the advocates for transformation for the people that we serve. So how do we do that? Well, how do we get all the players in the room into the same space? That’s something that I really love to answer. And how I see them as twins really is oftentimes in companies, the community person is going to be experiencing the members of the community within the community platform. Let’s say it’s a Facebook group just for ease of sake. And then the customer experience and customer support part of the team is going to be meeting those same exact people when they have problems. Wouldn’t it be great if both conversations, both people were able to have the same conversation? We would probably create a much more aligned and beautiful experience for everybody at Play. And so that’s really where I see that they are separate, but they are also very much sisters or twins.


Pamela Slim


Our twin sisters, right? Yeah, exactly. So it does make me think of this is kind of a specific question. I just love that you have so much context into this because just in talking about something like Facebook groups and I’ve never played in the hyper traditional internet marketing world, I feel like I’m adjacent. I ice skate around the edges sometimes, of course, and the work that I do as my clients use digital tools and product funnels and things like that. But there has been an understanding and more of a business model about having a Facebook group as a marketing tool, I think often utilized in that world for connecting people with buying offers. And I’ve heard it very often recommended of like, oh, as we think about it, from your analogy, from a heart perspective, a motivation could be I want to make more money. I want to have upsells, I want to have more people I can talk to. So let me create a community on a Facebook group and then use this as a tool in business. You can probably tell in my set up, I have a point of view about that. And at the same time, I love it when people grow and make money. I love when there’s open sharing. What are some of the light and dark sides of the force to use Star Wars about the use of Facebook groups? What are trends that you’re seeing in 2023 when we’re recording this conversation?


What is Community

Maruxa Murphy


Oh my gosh, I am so glad we’re going to be talking about this. So a Facebook group to me, is not a community. It’s not a community. So let’s make sure that everybody’s clear. In my eyes, it is absolutely not a community. What we have seen over the last, I would say five to ten years is this watering down of what community is and wants to be. And it’s become a buzzword, right? You and I both have heard it multiple times. And when someone says community, I know for me, I’d say, okay, tell me, what is your definition of community? Because I want to know that, I know that. I know that they get that we’re on the same page because a lot of times people are saying, okay, Facebook group, I’m going to create a community. Let me hit create group on Facebook. And then all of a sudden I have a community. Yay, five people joined. Awesome. I have a community. No. So, so let’s I think before I answer that question, I want to answer I want to create that this, that this distillation between what I see community to be and what I believe audience to be and what the differences are. Because again, I think there’s so much convoluted and just watered down terminology right now hanging out all over the internet. So to me, audience is what oftentimes we see online, right? Through Instagram, through LinkedIn, through Podcast, YouTube, any of the primary modalities that we’re utilizing often are there to build audience. What do I mean by that? It’s oftentimes a one way conversation, right? So one way or maybe being interviewed, it’s a two way, but it’s not really engaging with the people that are listening in or watching or are ingesting the content. It’s more for them to sit back, listen in, engage from that perspective. But there’s no two way or three way dialogue that often is happening. And so in the context of growing audience, it’s not a bad thing. I think all of us should be likely. I would assume that we’re on the same page. Like, we should probably be growing our audience if we have something that matters to be said in the world. It is a very, very important part of growing any business, whether it’s a local business, a hybrid, or completely online company. And so there’s nothing wrong with it. Oftentimes. We need to be clear about what the intention is of it, which is to build the audience, to build the individuals, to come in, to learn more, to spark with those the individuals that are sparking with the content. That’s showing up there, having a way for them to continue on and grow in relationship with that brand, with that company that is being invited into because of that audience experience. That being said, you might hear the train. We have a train that passes right behind us. Apologies.


Pamela Slim


No worries. I like the sound effects. That’s good.


Maruxa Murphy


In contrast to that, to me, in a community is very much a group of people that are coming around a specific interest or a specific topic that matters to them, that they care deeply about. And I liken it to be more instead of a one way conversation, it’s now more circular. It’s as if we’re all around the circle table together and we’re able to see each other and have conversations. In my family, the Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Chinese, Filipino family, that means we’re talking over each other. Hey, can you pass me the green beans? Okay. I would like some of it. And we’re in like 500 conversations at the same time. That can be a version of community, right? Or it’s learning how to in community, being able to hear someone and listen intently as a group to best support that person. That is also community. It’s opportunities where we deepen together, where we build relationships, and we want to grow for the long haul in a space where we can all raise each other up. So from those perspectives, it changes. Now. Facebook group becomes, in my opinion, it becomes a potential container for which community can take place, or a potential container which audience can take place. But it’s all about the intention. It’s all about the intention. So we’ve built some incredible large communities, small but mighty communities on Facebook that are actually doing that job really well, of deepening those relationships and then in turn inviting conversations into sales to happen. But it’s not about necessarily the sale. The sale becomes like the glow of the sunshine because the community is thriving and alive. But so often what’s being taught right now in the world and in many marketplaces is, hey, build a face. You know, build a Facebook community and get all the clients that you wish, stuff like that. And it’s really actually bastardizing relationships, in my opinion. It’s not putting the right things in the right place. And in fact, it’s really now creating more of what we see out there, which feels cheap and just like there’s no connection to the person or to the brand. And that’s what breaks my heart is what’s happening in that space right now. Actually, because of that, as an outcry from that, because I have so many clients coming to me and saying, Maruxa, I tried to build a community. I was like, so tell me, what’s your community? They’re like, Well, I have this big vision for it. I hit the create group button on Facebook, I put it together and it’s crickets. Or I did it and I feel burnt out because all I feel like I’m doing is selling, selling, selling, selling, selling. I’m not actually doing what I want. The group stopped doing what I wanted it to do. What would you imagine we can do? And so I actually, because of that, about three years ago, I built what I now call the Transformed Community Paradigm. And I’d be more than glad to give that to anybody that’s listening, if you’re open to that. Pam, that’s awesome.


Pamela Slim


We’ll put anything you want in the show notes. It sounds amazing.


Maruxa Murphy


Okay, great. Thank you. And I’d love to do that so they could see visually what I’m about to explain as well and really what it is. It’s a six step pyramid, if you will, to going forward and creating a community that actually can thrive, right? Because the truth is, right now what most people do is build what I call the pyramid, built on two sticks. And stick number one is coming in with like, this is who I am in the marketplace, this is what I’m about. And stick number two is, here’s my vision for community. And then they build from those two and they go right into building, which in my transform community paradigm is step number five. And then activating trying to activate it, which is a tippy top of the pyramid, right? But we’re missing four key steps in between. So the first part of the pyramid is what I call our three Vs, right? And we’ve talked a little bit about it, I introduced it. When I talk about the heart, vision, values and voice, really looking at what is the foundation of this community you’re about to build, how do we bring the most beautiful vision instead of it being just one stick in the pyramid, make it part of the foundational piece with your values and your voice in the marketplace. And then from there, then we move into our experiential value. This is where we start to design and create culture. We design ritual, we design the full experience of how do we create an identity of the person in which we’re serving and how do they feel that sense of belonging? How do we create that energy of belonging in once we’re really deeply aligned into what that looks like, then we move into looking at our profit path. So profit path really came from my 200 plus communities that I’ve. Designed over the last 22 years or so. And what I realized is that the successful communities, when I distilled down what their models were before I realized I was even doing community design at the beginning, I realized that really there’s five different pathways to building community effectively, to build those relationships, deepen those relationships, as well as create profitability in companies. And each of them has very intentional ways of building. And I’d be more than glad to talk about that if you’re up for that. But they’re all different based on what the intentionality is of the community that we’re building from there, then we look at offers and what are the offers that we want to invite our beautiful humans into in the right time, in the right place. And then we go into building and then activating right. So when you do it from that perspective and from that deep beautiful foundation of your vision, values, voice, experiential, value, your profit paths, your offers, you can’t help but build a community that’s so much more intentional and aligned in to really what it is that you’re wanting to create. And that’s where the magic really starts to show up.


Pamela Slim


Then at that point I love that not just hitting create a group. And then it is very frustrating for some people who can have really good intentions of wanting to create a sense of belonging, connection. But you can see without that, it just is a whole bunch of effort that doesn’t get a lot of return. Maybe in illustrating some of those concrete examples, I’m curious because I find it so neat that you both work with brands. Kajabi is one I mentioned in your bio, is that right? Of SaaS company. I know many of my clients utilize their services for hosting their online classes or membership sites. So I am curious without of course betraying anything that is confidential about the company but just to give us a sense for a bigger brand like that, how might community look? What could be some of the intentional design behind it and then maybe look at that contrasted with maybe a smaller coaching or consulting business maybe what are a couple of different ways that we could see it?

How Does Community Look For Bigger Brands

Maruxa Murphy


Sure. Larger SaaS companies like Kajabi, they’re paying attention to creating an experience that really is especially those companies that are about community, creating an experience that allows their community to allow their own internal members and users of their product. They call them Kajabi heroes in this case, to be able to fully create massive transformation with their product. So one of the things that companies like Kajabi and Kajabi are really playing with now is what are the tiny minute shifts that we can create within the experience that we’re having within the community? Make a massive impact, not just on our bottom line, but bottom line as it relates to referrals, as it relates to the own consumers experience is the lifetime customer value extended because we’re really creating such deep relationships with each of our users, our Kajabi heroes. So we’re looking at those smaller tweaks at that point, right? If we can just turn the dial 1%, what does that do for the bottom line and have another percent? And so we’re really looking at those things. We’re also really looking at this concept that I’ve created and it’s called Return on Impact. I’ve been obsessed. This is where my obsession is starting to lie right now. And the work in which that word, that phrase I mentioned earlier, communities are squishy, right? I’ve become obsessed with figuring out how to make communities legit. How do we legitimize community experience in such a way that companies get it and want to actually pour money into investing in their people, investing into creating a culture of love, creating a culture of leveling up and uplifting, everybody that’s involved. What does that look like? What’s it going to take to legitimize that? So we’ve been creating concepts. In my company, the Return on Impact is a big part of that. And what that looks like is looking at what are those means of transformation that we’re seeing on the front end in our marketing, for example, right? We’re saying, let’s say, in my own company, I’m here to help. So most of our clients are smaller companies. We have a division for more corporate clients. Let’s say with our smaller companies, they don’t just want to create communities for community’s sake. It’s because they want to see meaningful transformation of the lives of those that they’re serving. So let’s just take that for example. I put that on my marketing page, right? This is what we do. We help small businesses and coaches create communities to create massive transformation in the lives of those they serve. So how can I start measuring that with each and every one of my clients in a way that is numerical right? And so we’ve been building those types of tools. We’ve been playing and testing with our companies like Kajabi and others on how do we start to track impact on a monthly basis for each and every one of their customers. How will that then be able to inform and tell a new story of what community is actually doing? Are we actually doing the thing that we say we’re going to be doing? Yes. We want to teach them these skill sets, like, let’s say a business coach. We want to teach them the skill sets to become a great business leader in their industry. But how are we measuring the actual impact, those impact goals? Right? So it’s a body of work that I’m in the midst of right now, and it’s been really juicy and delicious. And we’re working with them and a couple of other larger clients to really start to get and inform how to do that really well. And so that’s the stuff that they’re working on. Our smaller clients are having a blast, just number one, practicing being present. Because again, going back to what we were talking about earlier, the most important person in a community is the visionary and it’s alignment to their values. If a visionary isn’t aligned in to her or their values, it’s really hard to continue to stay aligned in to building that community and the way in which we know it’s meant to be created. There are so many other voices that are going to pop in. And so one of the biggest things I work on with our clients that are micro businesses or small businesses is really begin to look at are you feeling consistent within yourself? Are you taking care of you and your being this and not just all the doing this that needs to be done for holding the space for these beautiful humans you get to serve? And then from there, really going into, how are the structures serving leadership, the culture within the company, the internal experience of the company, so that when they’re pouring out into those beautiful humans that they’re serving, they’re feeling super. Aligned in to themselves and know that they can come to the community in which they’re serving with full conviction that they’re on the right track, with full integrity of the work that they’re up to and they’re doing. And then when we go into the community experience itself, really making sure that they have the systems and the processes in place to hold that container well. So a lot of the work that we do, and this is something that’s been a really beautiful development over the last just over the over since COVID really been holding space for our leaders and their teams to build. Out. A lot of the systems that make community work build those systems out so they can be really present when they’re with their people. Right? So what I mean by that is for example, let’s say we had an online program that we’re about to create and most people will hear, hey, Kajabi has an online program platform. Great. I’m going to put my expertise online and I’m going to put it, it’s a five eight module course and I’m going to invite people to take the course and they’re going to have a community, a Facebook group, that’s a part of it. Great, right. So great. That is a start. But what often happens we found over and over is that oftentimes those communities are not being utilized well and the onboarding experience isn’t, isn’t well suited so that that person thrives in community, right. And even for themselves in that course. So we spend a lot of time holding that space for our people to create experiences versus just things to give to somebody, sorry, train, to give to somebody and have them take the course. Right. We want to make it a full experience that feels really held and creates that sense of belonging in the midst of it.


Pamela Slim


It’s so helpful and I just am hearing the threads and pulling them through of things I really agree with so much from a just core belief perspective that leadership and accountability and company culture and the actual promise that you make to your customers about delivering services and community. It really is so connected that often we chop them up into different areas. Or as you said, just like, let’s add a little bit of community. As if it’s some vanilla spice that you drop into your coffee or something. And really I find where there is flow is where somebody is doing exactly what you recommend. Really thinking from the beginning about what do I actually want to create, what am I excited to activate or energize. I feel like I spend more time telling people not to create a community if they’re not coming from a place of really wanting to hold space because it is hard. It’s part of what I’ve done for more than 30 years. Like you long time doing it with my major in college. But I don’t think that people just want to join a community. To join a community or to run a community. To run a community, it always has to be linked to what is this work that we’re doing together, work that is active, that is moving forward and ever changing that to me as part of what can make the water not just get stagnant. Right. Because if it’s just like let’s all hang out and look at each other and find out things to talk about as opposed to how are we centering this work that we’re doing together, where we’re sharing information and moving forward and growing together. That’s often the way that I think about it. So I just love hearing your concrete perspective and believe me, I’m going to eat up the model as I get it from you and share it with the audience. I can’t wait just for some of the more specific examples of tools to create, to create that really positive infrastructure.


Maruxa Murphy


Absolutely. Yeah. There’s so many ways in which we can talk it through too. And ways in which really begin to when we slow down. I always say if we just slow down enough we can grow fast, but we need to slow down to be intentional, to remember the heartbeats in the room. It’s really about heartbeats in humanity. This is the work that we get to play in or we can hustle, we can try to just hit a whole bunch of numbers and work becomes meaningless. That’s another choice. And so at the end of the day, I’m choosing every day to slow down, to grow fast. I’m going to choose every day as I build community to allow myself to sit in the quietness of my heart first, or invite leaders to sit in the quietness of their heart first. To then allow that heart to align in to what they’re hearing their constituents, the people in their lives, the people that they’re serving, share is their biggest pain. How do those two connect? How can we blend those in such a way that feels really aligned? Is there a way? Right. And I think in just that practice, that initial practice of slowing down, it’s really giving us that permission then to be honest with ourselves about what else. Is there a place for innovation here? Is there a place for me to say, no, actually I’m not that interested in this topic? That’s okay, too. But if we want to create reflections of our beingness in the world through business and to build communities that are heart centered, heartfelt, and ones that are really creating some massive transformation, then we need to be doing that work. That’s our responsibility as leaders and change makers in this world is to slow down, grow fast.


Pamela Slim


Yes. Music to my widest net, tiny marketing action, slow pace ears. Thank you so much for that. Well, how can people learn more about your work and connect with you?

How To Connect With Maruxa

Maruxa Murphy


Yeah. Thank you. So we actually are creating what we’re calling the Revolutionary Insiders Club. And it’s really a place where you get to learn from me in terms of my models. I’ll be sharing the transformed community paradigm model in there. And you’ll receive we’re going to be creating actually this part of the 2023. We’re actually revealing our newsletter for the insiders Club and it’s really going to be packed. It’s a non paid opportunity to really just learn these concepts that I’ve been playing in over these 22 years and sharing how we’re doing that on the daily in real life, in real time. And our reason for that is because I truly believe that right now we’re at this beautiful and also really scary precipice of time where either we can really claim and reclaim bringing relationships to the forefront, or we can really allow our technology to lead conversations. I believe there’s a beautiful blend between both. And so what does that look like? And so I actually knew Pam. I turned 42 years ago and I dedicated this decade of my life. There’s a longer story behind it, but basically I saw this as my bonus time. I didn’t know I was going to live beyond 40. Long story there. I’ll save that for the newsletter. But the long and the short of it is that when I realized I had, as my dear friend David Gonzalez said to me one day, we’re at that just means that you’ve won the game of life. You’ve lived all these beautiful lives in your teens, your 20s, your thirty s, and that means your forty s and beyond. This is all bonus time for you. When he said those words, I was like, okay, what do I really want to play and create now? So really for the last years it’s been how do we multiply this knowledge, this knowhow that I’ve been given on how to create community well in the business sphere and just in life and bring that conversation to the forefront. So it is it’s going to be free for those to consume. My hope is that it’s an opportunity for us to build a larger community of people who are nerding out like you and I on these topics and see what can we build better models? Can we design models that are going to really bring us back to humanity in the mid technology?


Pamela Slim


I am so excited. Sign me up. I will be the first at the door waiting. And so we will make sure to share links with everybody in the show notes about ways that they can connect with you and participate. I’m so thankful, Maruxa, that you shared time with us today and so much of your deep wisdom. I could talk to you for hours about this topic, but for today, we’ll bring it to a close. For those of you who are listening, you can check out the full show notes for all the tips and resources that Maruxa mentioned. I want to thank my 31 Marketplace production team, La’Vista Jones, Tanika Lothery, Jose Arboledo, and the award winning Voice of God narrator for our intro and outro, Andia Winslow, until next time, be sure to subscribe to the show and enjoy building partnerships, organizations and communities that grow our ecosystem.

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