A new year has begun. This series “Starting a New Thing is Easier thank You Think” is for those of you who wants to start something new this year but don’t know if you really can do it.
Why is it easier than you think? Basically, it is because you can find so many and high quality ways which you can learn new things online, for free or for very reasonable price. (I wrote more about it in “Part 1. How To Learn by Yourself”, so if you missed it, please read it from here.)
However, some of you might say, “I know there is a bunch of ways to learn things by myself, but what’s really difficult is to keep doing it for a long time, especially when I’m doing it on my own!” Yes, that’s exactly how I feel. It is really hard to keep being motivated and keep going no matter what, especially at early stages, because we are basically still learning and trying to figure out what and how we do, so it tends to be hard to see you progress or success. It often takes time until you hit a milestone and things get exciting and rewarding. And it is especially hard if you have nobody who you can do it together.
But what would you say if there are so many ways you can find people you can rely on? What would you say if those ways are something you can try easily and quick, for free, or with very low cost? This post is the part 2. of this series, and I’d like to talk about how to find right people you will need on your new adventure.
2. How to Find People You Need to Try a New Thing
Learning by yourself is great, but if you are trying to learn something completely new to you, you might want someone who you can ask for help when you have problems. Even if you can figure things out by yourself at the very beginning, the more you learn and grow, the harder your problems tend to be. Also, if you are doing it completely on your own, you need to be very disciplined to make time for it, measure and manage the progress, and focus on your goals. In order to keep you motivated, it will be very helpful if you could meet someone who are doing the similar thing.
There are two ways I actually tried (and worked!) for you to go and find people you will need after you start something new.
Peatix is a smart phone app which you can create a event page, spread the event information, and sell and or buy the tickets online.
I used this app for the first time last year, when I joined a workshop for simultaneous translation, because they designated Peatix as the tool to apply and pay for joining the workshop. I didn’t really want to install an app which I had never heard about before, but surprisingly and unexpectedly, it turned out to be very useful, so I am still using it.
Find right events for you, and meet people there.
I often search for events which seems helpful to solve my problems, or which seems simply interesting. On Peatix, you can find a wide variety of evens; business seminar for corporate managers, beginner classes about any kinds of skills or hobbies, movie nights, music lives, yoga, fitness, language learning classes, and even parties just for having fun. You will easily find some events good for you to kick start whatever you want to start.
Scared to meet people you don’t know? Here’s how you can survive.
If you don’t often go out to join events or parties, you might be feeling my advise – joining events and meet new people there – sounds impossible or even reckless. Actually, I know how you feel. Now I am more used to jumping into strangers and make friends there, but to be honest, I am basically a very shy, insecure, and introverted person. Going to somewhere alone not knowing anyone there always felt so hard to me. But every time I try, I learned that nothing really bad can happen, and people are always kinder than I imagined. Also, there is something you can do to make it easier.
Firstly, you can choose which event you join, so understand what you can and can’t do, and choose the suitable one. Choose a event which gives you just right amount and style of opportunities to interact with other people.
For example if you are too scared to be the one who reach out and talks to someone first, you want to be given a chance or excuse to naturally talk to other people. In that case, workshops would be perfect, since most of them includes group works. If you are doing a group work, you have to talk to others – and importantly, so do they. Everyone has to talk to others, even to people they have never met before. It makes things a lot easier for you.
On the other hand, if workshops are too hard for you to start with, you can take the smallest and safest step first, by choosing events which only has one way communication. If you go to listen to a speech or to see a presentation, you don’t really talk to nobody. You just need to be a good listener. Just listening to someone talks about what you are interested about is so much more motivating than struggling completely on your own. You can also talk to people sitting next you, or you can ask questions to the speaker if you want. That is also a great way of communication with new people.
The good thing about these events are so many other people also comes there alone. So they also might want someone to talk to. Also, think about this; these people making time to lean to grow. What kind of people are they? -They are probably full of curiosity. They are motivated. They are interested. Don’t you think people like that will appreciate the opportunity if you reach out and talk to them?
Second thing you can do to make it easier is stop trying to make you look good and just be yourself. I joined various events before, and sometimes I was the worst one there and felt so embarrassed. But it’s okay too! At least I tried, and I learned so many from people who are far beyond my level. It is just a great opportunity.
Let’s forget to make you look good. Let’s learn more by being just who you really are. If you are embarrassed, that’s okay, you can learn from people who are running ahead of you and that’s a great opportunity. Also, if the event you joined was not something you expected and you didn’t like it, that’s okay too. At least you learned that event is not for you, so you don’t need to spend another minute for it in the future. Maybe now you have some idea about what type of events or organizers you like and don’t like.
I have two things I always keep in my mind when I try a new thing; “At least I’m trying.” and “I’m not gonna die by doing this.”
Don’t have time? Peatix will recommend you events you might like.
Searching for event is the basic way, but if you don’t time for it, or if you are too lazy to do it, Peatix also can recommend you some events you might like, based on your interests and events you already joined. Also you can follow event organizers who often does events related to things you are interested, and every time the organizers create a new event page, you will get notifications. These are absolutely time saving features.
To be honest, sometimes I can’t help feeling like I get too many notifications from Peatix and I don’t want to consume myself to check all of it. I just ignore them when I don’t have time or when I just don’t feel like it, but that’s okay, too. I only check the notifications when I have time, but that’s enough for me to find some interesting and beneficial events from time to time. Let’s not stress ourselves by too much information.
2-2. Event Information of Coworking Spaces
There are so many coworking spaces you can find these days. For those of you who don’t know what coworking space is, it is a place which has all the necessary facilities for an office; desks, Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, seminar rooms and more, and people – mostly who works as a freelance, who doesn’t have an office, or someone who has office for their day jobs, but they have other works out side of it, and need a place they use to do it – share and use all these facilities. In many cases, coworking space is not just about letting people use the place, but also doing events such as seminar, workshop, or meet ups.
Not like public libraries, it’s not free. You need to choose a plan depending on how often and how long you want to use it and pay the fee, in most cases, monthly or annually.
To be honest, as a full-time office worker, I don’t feel coworking space is necessary for me at least for now (even though I think it is cool to work there). I do all the work for the company at the company’s office, and I can work on other things – mainly blogging – at my own home. Also, the prices of co-working spaces seem a little expensive.
Can’t find event? You can find the place first, and you will find the right event there.
Even though I don’t think coworking space is necessary for me, I often join events held at a co-working space. In most cases, you don’t need to be a member of the coworking space only to join the events taken places there. They let you in only during the event, but at the limited time you can see and feel what it is like inside, so it is interesting. (It could differ depending on the places and the events, so please make sure check the details by yourself before you join any events there!)
Normally, you find the event first, and then you know where the venue is. But if you can’t find the right event for you, or if you simply don’t know what kind of event you want to join, go to some coworking spaces’ web page and see the event schedules. You might find something you are interested. If you don’t, go check the information about another coworking space.
Problems and struggles brought me to great people
I joined an event in coworking space for the first time when I was struggling with how to use WordPress, which is the software I am using to create this blog. I had so many questions, but had nobody to ask. Then I realized that I can’t learn everything just by myself, and I definitely need someone I can rely on when necessary.
I was looking for someone I can ask questions for a while, and finally I found an event called “WordPress Moku-moku Study Session” held in “OBP Academia“, a coworking space in Kyobashi, Osaka. Moku-moku is a Japanese word which means “silently and steadily”, and if we say “he is studying moku-moku-to“, it means he is so focused on studying that he doesn’t even say a word or get distracted by phone or chat for quite a while.
It’s a 3 hours event where you can do anything you want about WordPress; You can do your own work steadily and silently as it says on the title, you can ask some questions to the hosts, who are basically WordPress specialists, or you can talk with other people who came to the event, and sometimes the hosts give us short lectures, and this whole thing only costs 1,500 yen.
I was worried before I actually went there because I was so beginner that I could possibly embarrass myself being so amateur, however, contrary to my expectation, I could join a great community where people help and encourage each other.
Now I know the hosts, who I can ask for advises whenever I face problems. Now I also know some people who are also working really hard for their blogs or web pages. They – both the hosts and bloggers I met there – are interested, motivated, and encouraging people. I was worried if people who knows a lot about Web or IT stuff could be super smart and could be mean or judgmental to someone like me, who doesn’t know anything about it. However, I was clearly wrong. It’s a great event for WordPress beginners, so I would definitely recommend to those of you who wants to start a blog with WordPress.
I think I was lucky, but you can be, too. I am sure you can find people you need, if you just look for the right places and opportunities. Now there are so many communities and events open to people like you, and there are also so many ways you can easily find it. If you really want to meet new people, before say “but,” just go try looking for it. It won’t take too long time until you find something you can be interested.
Of course, there are other ways you can try to find events or people;
- Simply google it.
- Search for Facebook event page.
- Find someone on Twitter, Instagram or other social media and DM them.
- Ask your friends if they know someone who could help you or who shares the same interests.
Please be careful a little not to forget your true goal while you are trying too hard to or spending too much time to join events. Once you get used to and have good experiences by jumping into a new environment and meeting new people, it could be a little addictive. It is fun. But you don’t want to forget the real goal – which is why you needed to meet new people in the first place.
You don’t need to be friends with them.
Even thought it is easy to meet new people, the relationship you build with them, how deep you can connect with them, are eventually out of your control. You can try to be friends with them, but it might not work out in some cases. And I would say, that’s okay.
People have different needs. Just like some of you is looking for friends, and some of you are looking for someone who can professionally give you advises, and some of you just want to see what it is like to join such events.
Someone who you are going to meet might be looking for new friends. But someone might want to talk with you only during the event and don’t need your contact information. For some people, just seeing people who are working really hard having similar goals could be enough to keep being motivated. People need different things. If you ended up being good friends with someone you met there, great! But it’s completely okay if you didn’t. It is not the real purpose here.
Time is equally limited to everyone. We don’t have enough time to deeply connect with everybody we meet. I tend to try to keep in touch with everyone I meet, especially we have something in common. But it is not necessarily the right thing to do. It is okay if you only connect with someone who you are really interested and you really think you can build a great relationship. We all are allowed to be selective.
The biggest reason I believe we don’t be friends with everyone we meet is, our memory and imagination could work for our motivation in a magical way sometimes.
After you meet someone at an event, even if you didn’t exchange your contact information, now you know that there are other people who is working really hard just like you. You know that some people have the similar goals to yours. Or maybe, you know that there are people who are running far ahead of you. Only knowing that could make a huge difference in your mind. You might not having them on your address book, but you are going to keep them on your mind. You don’t really know how they are doing now, but you can imagine, and you will probably think “they must be working really hard, too.” Sometimes, those people just on your mind could be someone who you remember when you are giving up or distracted, and who could keep you going.
I hope you liked this post, and I really hope now you feel that starting a new thing seems easier than you thought before.
The next one, Part 3, will be the last post of this series. Now you know how you learn by yourself, and how to find right people you are going to need. In Part 3, I will talk about important things you can do yo keep you motivated for a long time.