I recently listened to a Tedx Talk on Finding your Why. It really got me thinking. It reminded me of why I started Social Circle in the first place – and my vision for the future. Believe me I needed the reminder. When Taxes are due and I am having to explain myself three times to get stuff done, you can easily lose sight of your passion. So I sat down and thought carefully about the reason why Social Circle exists, and why it will always be my passion.
#1 I was just like you.
I was in my thirties when my marriage broke down, and I made a life-changing decision to move to Manchester with my job. I had no one. My colleagues were nice enough but going out for ‘ a swift one’ after work wore thin. I decided I needed to take action to go out and meet new people. Back then, there was little to cater for my age group and interests. So I put an advert out inviting people to meet me in my local pub and the rest – as they say – is history.
#2 Being Sociable is a Life saver.
As much as you can enjoy the single life, loneliness in a big city can pave the way to depression and other mental health issues. Having people around you that share your humour and interests can be lifesaving at times, and the key to a long happy life. My friends from the early days of Social Circle are still by my side – and kicking my ass. It gives me great pleasure in seeing Social Circle members form deep and meaningful friendships with each other. #Notallheroeswearcapes
#3 Life does not revolve around a single interest.
There are plenty of social groups catering for a single hobby, such as hiking or photography. I joined a few walking groups myself. However, I was quickly discouraged by the fact that when it came to exploring life outside the ramblers group that people were not so keen. I wanted to meet people like me, who had a thirst for life and all it offers. As it happens, my Friday night drinking buddies were also up for exploring life outside the Slug & Lettuce. Soon, I was arranging walks, nights at comedy clubs and meals out. Today we offer 100+ events every month.
#4 It takes f**king courage to introduce yourself to others.
So you want to meet people. Great. Then the fears kick in and before long you have talked yourself out of going. You find your excuses and then Boom! Another year has flown by without you meeting anyone new. I get it. Truth is that it takes a lot of courage to introduce yourself to anyone, never mind walk into room full of strangers. It’s the reason why – when I could not be in 100 places at once – I enlisted the help of our expert hosts. Our hosts will run out into the rain to rescue you when you are frozen with nerves at the doors of a restaurant. I make sure they send everyone a text, or call nervous newbies, because I know exactly what it takes to turn up to that first event.
#5 I wanted to explore the world with others.
I love travelling. It feeds my soul. I am happy to travel alone, but some experiences are so much better shared with others. I found that travel for single professionals can be a little pot luck at times – you can be changed through the nose, or have an amazing time. So when my Social Circle members suggested we organised weekends away, I jumped at the chance. It is through these budget friendly weekends away that I have managed to travel extensively, tick off a few of my bucket list activities and meet the love of my life. This year, we are going to so many exciting new places I can hardly contain myself. I am even gatecrashing the Galway trip as a co-host as I have always wanted to see the Cliffs of Moher.
#6 I got sick of small print and hidden costs.
I am a man who likes to keep things simple and straightforward. No – I don’t want to read 100 clauses of legal mumbo jumbo. I certainly don’t want to turn up to your free event and find I am being charged for the privilege. And if I am paying something, I expect to get what I paid for. I found a lot of places short-changed me, so I was determined to be open and honest with my own members. That the reason why you get unlimited free events with your membership, and anything that does cost that little bit extra is clearly marked on the calendar.
#7 Because I just love bringing people together.
When it come down to it, I am a big ol’ softy at heart. I love bringing friends and family together, and still regularly rally them round to mine for pancakes or a movie. Over the years I have run Social Circle, I have seen shy wallflowers bloom into confident socialites. People stepping out of their comfort zone and finding their passion and purpose through trying new activities. I have introduced many husbands and wives to each other. Everyday, I hear what a difference being a part of Social Circle is making to our members.
Its that, when it comes down to it, that is why I battle through the hard times.
I just love seeing people find happiness.
So tell me, what is your Why?