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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our First 3,000 Members

San Diego Pride 2012 was very good for us - we've added a total of EIGHTY-SEVEN new members in the last eleven days. We're now at 3,032 members. The men who are voluntarily using our instant-add method on smartphones are the guys who are driving the acceleration. It's a powerful team effort!

We're unique in the entire world - No other kinky gay-male group on earth is growing so big, so fast. So why is that so important?

Because we are being taken very seriously. Vendors are lining-up to cater to our special needs. We're having bigger and far better events. Since we have unity of purpose, we aren't scattering our efforts, and can rely on a great result when we make plans. Our method of spreading the word is not vulnerable to multiple factions dividing up the group's overall intentions. Our theme never changes.

We're dependable.

Approximately 70% of our newest members are under the age of 35. If we're going to succeed in the long run, that's the crowd to cater to - Guys my age tend not to be turbo-dynamos of power and leadership. The torch has been passed, and having large numbers of men who might share a young, new leader's viewpoint makes it more likely that he will be rewarded with a great result if he takes some bold chances. 

Clearly, we don't have 3,000 guys at any one of our events. What's the deal?  It's easy to understand - We're all doing our best to make ends meet in a terrible economy. We have lives to live.  We show up when we can. The most important thing about FMSD's structure is that you can show up whenever you're inclined, and you'll always get a great result.

If FMSD was a rigidly-structured group, we'd be having a lot of issues right now, caused by too-rapid growth.  Since we are based on "possibility" (versus inflexible structure), we have no such issues… Our events are crowd-sourced, so everybody pitches in at whatever level they are comfortable with. Since everybody's on the same page, we end up with safe, welcoming, satisfying events that reward people for showing up.

In fact, our events are designed as an ongoing series of "guaranteed safe spaces". Many of us have been burned by community situations that went horribly wrong (in many cities), so it can take a lot of coaxing to get some of us to poke our noses back out into the Tribe and start participating again.  So, we're all doing this in a slow, methodical, and CONSISTENT way, week after week, month after month, and year after year. This reassures people that we're not just a "flash-bang-gone" phenomenon.

We're slowly bringing my own generation (Baby Boomers) back into the public sphere, and I couldn't be happier about that - We need more respected, lovable and admirable men to be visible and well-known. These younger men among us are glad to have us around, since we don't discount them, or ignore their ideas and hard-earned wisdom. We need ALL parts of the Tribe if we are going to create magnificent new things in the decades to come.

Frankly, when it comes to predicting the future, I'm baffled - I can't know for certain what Big New Things are coming up, no matter how hard I think about it. That doesn't worry me - I'm thrilled to see so many talented, magnificent men taking ownership of their charisma, building new traditions along with their leadership skills, and supporting each other as true brothers should.  I think the biggest challenge in the next year will be finding venues BIG enough for our big, annual events.

San Diego's Tribe is a fertile, growth-encouraging environment for new ideas to take root. I'm really enjoying the ride!  Now, it's time to bring on the NEXT 3,000 members...

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