027 – “We’re Not Going to Teach Anyone Anything…”

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Podcast

Building communities can sometimes be a challenging thing. You don’t always see eye to eye with others. There’s always the opportunity to have conversations and work it out, but misunderstandings and misconceptions can sometimes cloud better judgment.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David recalls a specific community experience he had and how he felt about it.


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00:17 – David’s community-building experience
01:04 – Working with a community collaborator
01:33 – Looking for venues
02:08 – “We’re not going to teach anyone anything”
04:15 – The sacredness of teaching and instruction
05:47 – Making yourself small to avoid the difference you can make
07:13 – Being triggered is an opportunity
07:32 – Just daring enough to believe that you can change the world


Building communities is something that I’ve been doing in the last eight years or so. And it wasn’t exactly me… I grew up in the church and in the church, communities are part of the equation.

And it’s one of those environments where there are some people who are hired to do what they do or are compensated or incentivized in some way. But most people there are volunteering in some capacity. Some churches are super busy and big and have paid positions.

You’ll find that small or medium sized community churches rely and depend on giving as well as volunteers.

So, community, I guess you could say, has always been a part of my DNA. But my community collaborator was initially the catalyst for most events I was a part of.

That encouraged me, and my collaborator was interested in building communities almost on an experimental basis, just to see how people would participate and react and join and be a part of it. Building something that they would love and inviting them to be a part of it.

So, I remember one time we went down looking for venues where we could bring our community gatherings. It was an important part of the whole process.

One time we were going down to a specific venue in downtown Calgary and having a look over. And we were also talking to the owner about being part of our community.

She was interested in being a part of it and leading one of our regular ongoing events and that was great. And at one point she said something that made me wonder… I didn’t know exactly how to take it.

What she said was, “We’re not going to teach anyone anything.” I think her perspective was sort of that there are few people that either venue owners or previous business owners or people like me that have online coaching and info product businesses that were known or movers and shakers or influencers or that have some clout in a community.

So, “We need to like remain humble and not teach anyone anything.” I thought it was a strange comment.

The reason I had trouble identifying with it is because the whole thing about community… I’m sure you’ve seen it before; you’ve had that experience of going to a rinky-dink operation that wasn’t anything special.

Like a gathering of random people and where random things happen. Maybe there’s a bit of food and maybe there’s a bit of a program, but it’s effectively amateur hour.

But we always strove to be a above amateur hour because that’s everything we weren’t about. We wanted to avoid that. We wanted to create quality events that ran on time and had a specific agenda and schedule to them. I think even “intention” is a better word than “agenda.”

So that’s why I was like, “That’s a strange and interesting comment.” Maybe it had something to do with the way she specifically understood what we were trying to do. I don’t know.

It’s also possible that she checked out some of my content and what I was up to in my coaching and info-product businesses and kind of went like, “That’s exactly what we’re not going to do. We’re not that.”

And look, I do think there is something sacred about teaching. I don’t think anyone should just decide to become a teacher.

I feel… And I could even give evidence for the fact that I was born to teach. It’s just built in me. I almost can’t stop it from happening. It’s not like I wake up and go, “I should teach people things today.” It’s more like it pours out of me and I can’t help it. And I can’t stop it from pouring out.

This podcast is the perfect example. There’s always new, fresh content that I’m recording and sharing with you. Because there are things that strike me. I have things I want to share with you.

So, maybe she checked out some of my stuff, and she’s like, “That’s exactly what we’re not going to do.”

But maybe not. I don’t want to make too many speculations or assumptions there about what she had or hadn’t seen from us before, because I was not the only person involved. And in fact, I was usually the associate producer or a tech host, not the leader.

Not like communities necessarily have a hierarchy, but every business and every community sort of ends up being a pyramid, no matter how you attempt to structure it.

There aren’t any situations where everyone’s a leader where that works, right? So, it must be structured in a way that’s going to have things move and have things happen.

And here’s what I think about it. Again, I do think teaching is sacred. And at the same time, entrepreneurs are the ones just daring enough to believe that they can and will change the world.

Entrepreneurs are the ones just daring enough to believe that they can and will change the world. Share on X

And how are you going to do that? How are you going to do that by trying to avoid the very thing that needs to be done?

Maybe it’s not teaching, but it’s still going to involve writing, speaking, presenting. It’s going to involve some kind of communication at some level.

And you can’t prevent anyone from interpreting it in a specific way. Some people will always interpret it as “He’s preaching” or “He’s teaching” or “He’s coming at me.”

And that’s not it. Sometimes we’re supposed to be triggered by whatever we’ve heard. We heard it the way we were supposed to hear it, even if it wasn’t exactly what was said.

We hear things the way we're supposed to hear them, even if it wasn't exactly what was said. Share on X

Sometimes we assume it’s like, “I felt bad because of what he said.” No, you felt bad because of the specific experiences you’ve had, and because of the things you’ve gone through, as well as the way you listened and heard what was being said.

You must take responsibility. I must take responsibility for what I say. But you also must take responsibility for what you heard. Sometimes it’s not going to be the same thing. The two aren’t always going to match up. And I think that’s where often at some level, we’re always going to miss each and potentially be triggered.

But being triggered, people assume it’s bad thing. And I go, “That’s an opportunity to look at something in you. It’s an opportunity to look at maybe what’s not working or look at something that has not been dealt with from your past that needs to be dealt with.”

So, that’s my feeling on it. I’ve got to teach because I’m just daring enough to believe that I can change the world, that I can make a difference for artists.

And if I make a difference for artists, it’s going to change so many things. If artists have access to successful business models, if artists have access to great resources, if artists have access to funds and other benefits that so many other people have in different industries that for some reason artists just don’t have…

If we can better that situation, and what it means to be an artist, and it’s not a constant struggle or fight between jobs and trying to find funding and crowdfunding and… You just don’t understand it unless you’re in this world. But if I can transform and make things better for artists, I believe that can ripple out and change the entire world. That’s why I do what I do.

That’s why sometimes quote unquote “I teach,” but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe it’s sacred.

Teaching is sacred. Share on X