Braintrust :: What I learned in Paris? Join early!
2 min read

Braintrust :: What I learned in Paris? Join early!

A couple of years ago I received an email from Shane Parrish of Farnam Street with the subject "Join me for a think Weekend in Paris (Only 10 Spots)".

Little did I know how this email would trigger a multi-year journey leading me to Paris, Lisbon, and Vienna, introducing me to new family friends, and new ideas. And even to me spending Shane's birthday with his parents and kids.

But let's start from the beginning. Back then I had only recently signed up for the Farnam Street event mailing list. I just had returned from a 4-week retreat in Ireland where I did Seth Godin's altMBA (a story worth telling another time). My mind was wide-open for transformational learning experiences.

Shane started the email with "I'm thrilled to announce our first-ever European event is now taking applications." After reading the first sentence I was practically sold. I handed in my application the next day and was happy to receive a green light soon after.

Back then I didn't know much about Farnam Street. I had discovered the blog only a few months before. Back then it wasn't yet a household name in the knowledge community.

The topic of mental models resonated with me and I saw this event as an opportunity to get more familiar and involved with like-minded people and the community creator.

Now looking back, one of the key takeaways I picked up in Paris was this:

Dare to join a community early, if it resonate with you!

It is in the early days, that you meet other early adopters. People that are drawn to the community for similar reasons like you. The barrier of uncertainty selects for the right people. People come for the content and not because of success metrics or peer pressure. It's an adventure for everyone involved. That's when bonds are formed!

As I am now on my knowledge entrepreneur journey, I can look at this from the other side. At early events, you meet the founders when every new member is precious and they still have time for you. You also get a look behind the scenes and it is easier for you to show your true self, without any risk of being star-struck.

This is what happened to me in Paris. I joined early and tapped into a wonderful community and a great workshop format that I'd now call a braintrust.

I go into more details about a Braintrust here.

If this resonates, then block next weekend, Feb 20 and 21, for a remote workshop with other knowledge entrepreneurs. There are 5 of the 8 spots still available.


PS: here's an image that was taken at the Paris event. I blurred the other faces because we agreed to keep the content of the event private (I believe everyone would now be fine with it, but still...).

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