Meetups. This is actually what Benjamin Franklin decided to do when he formed the ‘Junto’. A place to ‘hang out’ with the best minds of his time to discuss philosophies and develop new visions and ideas. A true Mastermind.
According to Claudia Altucher, a good meetup group consists of the speaker making sure everyone is heard and people are introduced towards each other. This is another consideration when you start a group – how do you make sure everyone is heard? If you do that, you automatically force yourself to become specific with your vision, what you can contribute to each member of the group.
I think the best meetups are those that either (a) have the potential to install deeper friendships by rallying around a common cause or (b) solve a problem that we can’t easily do on our own. But together with others, we could. That way, the group can truly become bigger than ourselves.
This is Day 10 of the 180-Day Challenge “Become an Idea Machine“.
13 Meetup ideas you could apply in your area
Basically, these meetups cover the question: what passion can you share with others? Where would you profit from new input? And how would you make sure that everyone participates?
#1 – Career changers
This meetup includes everyone who has recently changed his or her career or is in the process of doing so. In addition, it covers people who want to, but can’t really figure out how. Everyone shares their story, maybe on an accompanying website as well and then people can stay in contact and add some opportunities or questions. There could be a hot seat where someone tells about his efforts, successes and plans. If that position rotates from meeting to meeting, no one would be left out. And every idea should count, even small ones, so there’d be no judgement.
#2 – Paying it forward
One way to have a more fulfilled life is actually to give value to others. I don’t mean giving yourself away, but focus on the value you can add to somebody else’s life: your friend, your partner, new people around you – become part of something bigger than yourself, practise empathy and become a charismatic person.
The ‘Paying it forward’ meetup group could discuss strategies to give, volunteer, random acts of kindness etc. For example: paying the coffee for the person in line behind you; talk with a homeless person; or simply just smile at someone with no apparent reason at all.
Everyone from the group would choose one way to volunteer and then talk about his or her experiences on the next meetup.
#3 – Board games
Board games are fun and bring people together. Maybe less than in the past, when there was no competition through video streaming and online games – yet I believe despite 30% or more of people hooked to their phones on the subway, humans have a genuine desire to meet, discuss and have fun in person.
Everyone would participate, because that’s the nature of board games. Depending on the size of the meetup, there could be several board games for larger and smaller groups. Different members could host it at home, and one could combine the meeting with dinner etc.
#4 – Game players and developers
This could grow out of meetup #3.
Taking board games, figuring out what makes them great and trying to invent new games based on that would be an interesting project.
You could have a website everyone has access to and shares design ideas in between meetings. That way, people could continuously add their thoughts even if they just amount to a small design improvement.
#5 – Herbals and supplements
Dietary supplements like vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids or other workout boosters like ephedra; mental stimulants and nootropics; and herbs like Kratom are burnt by more and more people. Yet, despite some very good websites (be careful, NSFW ;-), there is not too much information out there, and finding a good vendor is hit or miss. Moreover, some substances are legal in some parts of the country, but not others; and last but not least, not everyone is comfortable talking about supplements. Good information is not always easy to come by.
If there was a meetup group, people could discuss and share information. Of course, the substances discussed would have to be legal.
#6 – Adventure trip meetup
Why not get some people together who are willing to explore the surrounding nature and simply take hikes or go on camping trips for a weekend? Maybe not your ordinary trip. What about flying in zero gravity? Sky diving? A trip into space. Or into the deep-sea. Why not?
Everyone would go on a trip – because of this:
(a) We’d make a list of national parks or great places to visit.
(b) Everyone shares what they really want to experience. Mountain climbing? Water skiing? Mingling with new cultures?
© We roll the dice and chose a spot from the list in (a).
(d) One person is in charge of researching the ways to get there; another person in charge of really studying the place and making sure everyone’s wishes from (b) are at least somewhat integrated. A third person has the duty to figure out the costs – so you’d make sure things stay within the set budget. Finally, someone has to figure out where to actually get tickets and what to bring on the trip etc.
That way, everyone contributes and invests.
#7 – Weapons and traditional hunting/fighting
I was always kind of curious how to use modern and ancient weapons and/or tools. Why not have some people that teach you? This could also be an opportunity to learn how to use weapons properly and have some general self-defense training.
There could be trips to a shooting range, for example; invite some archers to come by and talk about their craft; a course on how to build a sword or manufacture a crossbow. You could try some chain mail and see how flexible and fast you’d still be.
That meetup-group would include both trips and practical exercises as well as the theory behind it. Everyone could do some research on weapons and give an introduction in every session, so the topics covered would be quite diverse.
#9 – Expatriates
If you are an American living in Europe or a German living in the US like me, it’s good to reconnect to some of your traditions from time to time. So finding other people from your native country would make sense. They could even help you documentation and legal issues – as I have already suggested when I talked about apps that would be great to use.
To give everyone the chance to contribute and celebrate your heritage, you could cook (for example: German) food, celebrate traditions like having a Christmas party with mulled wine (yeah, also German 😉 or maybe even plan some meetups back in your original country when you go on holiday/
#10 – Your favorite website
If you like are frequently visiting a website that has a great community behind it, chances are, there are more people who like that site as well. Why only “meeting” online in the comments section? You could get together in the real world. James Altucher’s “Choose Yourself” has spawned meetup-groups, Mike Cernovich is holding Gorilla Mindset training seminars all over the world, and Rooshv finished his tour this summer. Matt Forney holds regular meetups. These meetings are great, but why wait for the website owner to hold one? You can have one directly via meetup.com.
Or simply contact people that follow the blog in your area directly. Just get together in a small group and then maybe expand. You could even share some ideas for new projects. Everyone could share their own backgrounds and that which brought him or her to the website. For instance, if the website is about juicing, maybe one of the readers has juiced for years already and can then give a little presentation about his experiences. Or you are following a podcast like Hardcore History by Dan Carlin – maybe one of the listeners has extensively studied the Civil War. and share some of his additional knowledge with the group, maybe organize some trips to one of the original battlefields etc.
A meetup with other readers of your favorite website could add additional life to the knowledge that is already shared on that site and then breed ideas for new content – and bring each on of us closer together.
#11 – Problem solvers
Members could share their most pressing personal needs, passions or business requirements, and then meet up with people that can provide a possible solution. Rarely do you find exact fits, but that may not even be necessary. If someone has a clear pain point, other people can find ways. You could gather ideas at the beginning of each meet-up, do a brainstorming and then pair up to define action-steps you could develop to solve that problem.
The structure of the meetup would all but guarantee that everyone participates.
#12 – Music
There already are amateur orchestras in every major city, but if you just want to get together for a jam session or for some chamber music, meetup groups are rarer to find.
Maybe not everyone expects to find fellow musicians on meetup.com. You could have a flyer for your band in a bar or your chamber music group advertised at a violin maker’s shop to increase your reach and find potential players more easily.
Everyone will participate automatically, because that’s the nature of music group.
#13 – Person to person
A big meetup group is not always necessary. You could actually talk to your neighbor and ask him what he needs. Or talk to anyone on the commute. It does not always need to be a big group.
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