Ever get one of those ideas that just sticks with you? You’re in the shower or driving to work or playing Angry Birds and PONK! There it is again. And then you spend hours noodling with it, writing out a business plan or drawing up a sketch or just talking about it with your (really, really bored) wife.

I recently got infected with an idea like that. It’s a humdinger, too, because it’s more than my typical, “Wouldn’t it be cool if someone would invent that?” It’s more of a “Wow … that could really, honestly change the world.”

An idea like that is bigger than an entrepreneurial opportunity. I mean, sure, I’m thinking it over and wondering, “How can I make this happen in such a way that I am fabulously wealthy in the end?” And that is the goal, of course. That’s always the goal. I like money.

But this particular idea is actually about community. Specifically, it’s about a community of “makers.”

You may remember from my last entry that I’ve proclaimed 2011 as “The Year of the Maker.” This year, I’m all about focusing my energy and efforts on building things. I want to create new inventions and products, and I want to start new movements. But I don’t want to do it alone.

Last night I met with a friend of mine, who also brought along and introduced me to one of his co-workers. Our whole goal was to get together and talk “product.” We were going to discuss ideas for things we could build and sell. But a funny thing happened during the two or three days leading up to this meeting. I got The Big Idea.

What if I could start a Maker Community? What if I could create a community of people who all have the same goal: Create products and generate wealth?

So, for about three days or so I spent all of my free moments writing a sort of business plan/manifesto for this idea. I’ve been outlining exactly how it could work, and how members could profit from being cooperative, and being a part of a community.

I think this community angle is the key, because communities tend to be self-regulating, living organisms. The community, unlike a corporation, takes care of its own.

Corporations tend to do what’s best for the company. So, you have a hurt back, a wife who is eight months pregnant, and your car needs four new tires … that’s a shame. But this has been a really bad year for the company, so we’re going to have to downsize your ass. Take care!

Communities, on the other hand, tend to be about throwing together to protect the individual. You just lost your job and you need someone to make meals for you and your wife while you recover and she has a baby? Count on your community! We have your back, bro.

So when I think of being a part of something, what I want is to be a part of a community that looks out for my interests and encourages my growth. And if that community is dedicated to especially looking out for one interest in particular — wealth for each of its members — then fun times are ahead.

That’s what I want to form. I want to build a Maker Community, and center it on building financial security and prosperity for each individual member. I have a lot of plans and ideas about how that could happen, and how to protect the community from the odd snake in the garden.

Now, you may be saying, “Kev! Are you nuts?!? You’re telling everyone your plan! What if someone steals the idea?”

Holy crap, if only someone would! Because, frankly, I think I’m setting myself up for a whole lot of work. I’m taking on the role of the founder of this thing, trying to put down on paper all of the basic ideas that I, one man, have. And then I want to outsource it to people who have brains I respect, who can look at it, maybe pick parts of it apart, and help me shape and mold it into what it’s meant to be. And then I want to take it to people and, somehow, explain it in such a way that my passion and energy for it shines through and they see that it’s a good idea, and want to be a part of it. I think I’m setting myself up for a job of work with this. So please, TAKE IT. I will be just as happy to become a member of this once it exists.

And that’s the whole point.

The thing is I freely admit that I want to be wealthy and famous. Hell yeah. And I will be. But this idea, this Maker Community, is something bigger. It’s a chance to build something bigger than me, bigger than fame, bigger than wealth, and involve a whole lot of people so we can do a whole lot of good. This is me trying to build something I can belong to, where all of my needs are met, and people care enough about me to make sure I succeed. And in return, I do the same for them.

So steal this idea. I’ll even give you my business plan/manifesto to work from. And as an extra bonus, I’ll be the first member of your new community.

Otherwise, get ready. The Maker Community is coming, one way or another.


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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