There are the conversations you have with people that have a deep appreciation or profound interest in a place, topic or community; then there are those conversations you have with people that exude such a genuine passion, you can’t help but be swept up in it. I had one such conversation with Life Coach and Founder of The Happiness Hunter, Fiona Redding. After reevaluating what was important in her life, Fiona started a walking group, to connect to herself, to others and to nature. Three years on, her personal priority/passion has turned into an Australia-wide movement, bigger than herself; a community of ‘Happiness Hunters’ walking together and supporting one another.
In today’s episode of Be The Drop, Fiona talks to me about focus, faith in yourself, and changing the world one walk at a time…
Have faith in your idea and stick to it.
The Happiness Hunter walks began as a way for Fiona to prioritise exercise during her day, so she could live a happier healthier life. With a clear vision of how she wanted to improve herself, she invited others to join her, believing that she could build her business through fostering genuine relationships. In the beginning, it was hard. But she had faith that making her own wellbeing a priority would ultimately lead to business success. Eventually, others who aspired to that same dream joined her walks and her vision grew.
Self-belief has gotten her to where she is now. “Nothing good comes without a struggle,” she says.In fact, the biggest challenge was maintaining her faith in the idea when it wasn’t making her any money. But she believed that there should be no barriers to entry and stuck to her guns, making all of the walks free to join. Despite not charging, her bottom line has improved and so has her own wellbeing.
Connection is the key to everything.
The Happiness Hunter community is built around walking and connecting. Connection is the first of the community’s core values and leads to the other values; reciprocity and wellbeing. Believing that true meaning in life comes through our service to others, Fiona is testament to the fact that the more we connect and build community to help and support others, the happier we become. And it’s all paid forward; relationships around her are changing for the better and people she mentored are now mentoring others. When you’re connected to a strong community, it’s natural to want to see them grow; Fiona calls this enlightened self-interest. The result that Fiona has experienced is the community is now growing through the dedication and input of the community itself.
Fiona also advises that the wellbeing and balance that results from connection to yourself and others also leads to increased focus, which boosts productivity; another business boosting biproduct of connection and community.
Listen to Fiona’s Be The Drop podcast episode here (blog continues after audio):
Join the dots.
When you know what the heart of your community is, make sure everything else feeds into it. Walks are the central component of The Happiness Hunter, but there are other elements, such as the Happiness Hunter Bootcamp and Happiness Hunter Retreat, that all link into each other. So there are various ways of accessing the movement and different places to come across it.
The Happiness Hunter has an active Facebook community, a newsletter, podcast, marketing flyers and Eventbrite as the booking system. Eventbrite has an excellent search function so lots of people find out about Happiness Hunter through that platform. Ultimately though, word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool to Fiona; organic growth, she says, is sustainable.
It was a challenge in the beginning to get people to join her on the walks. But by posting a photo online after every single walk of everyone that attended (even if it was just a selfie of Fiona) with details of how to book for next week, people became accustomed to the idea and familiar with what to expect. As more people showed up, more smiles appeared in the photos. Attendees tagged themselves in the pictures, boosting its impressions, and it reached critical mass, snowballing from there.
There is a Code of Conduct for the walks to ensure they’re consistently true to the community’s vision. Fiona provides this guidance for the community as a mechanism for leaders to help manage and facilitate the communications during walks. Referring back to the Code sets those expectations for all members. If it’s not right for you, that’s ok, just don’t come!
Consistent attendance from the rest of the community is also key. That commitment makes the community stronger. “We grow this together, we’re better together,” says Fiona.
Thank you again for tuning in and listening to the BTD podcast, I can’t wait for this next installment to bring you more inspiring people talking about their strategies for connecting with and building a positive community.
To thank you for you support of the podcast, we’ve created a super handy customer persona tool that will step you through really getting to know who your customers are. Download your free copy and start building your brand love today!
To access the weekly podcast episodes as they are released:
To access the weekly podcast video as they are released – SUBSCRIBE to us in YouTube here.
CONTACT US at firstname.lastname@example.org