Why Flywheels Matter

Day 355 Week 51 Q4 Friday, December 22, 2023

One of the greatest gifts one human being can give to another is to see them. Creative people often have a hard time being acknowledged because they have a hard time being understood, sometimes even by themselves. This is why a group of like-minded individuals who are all deviant in the same direction, that being creative outliers, are able to support each other in ways that more conventional non-outlier people cannot.

They say it takes one to know one. And in part, that is because it takes one to see one. One of the largest benefits of a flywheel of like-minded individuals is they can see each other, which is necessary in order to support each other. If you are supported by somebody who really wants to benefit you but has no idea who you are or what you are doing, it is hard to feel supported. On the other hand, musicians can support musicians, artists can support artists, scientists can support scientists, engineers can support engineers, and business people can support business people because they recognize the territory, the tasks, and the requirements.

What can nominally begin as colleagues hanging out can turn into friends supporting each other’s goals. It can also turn out to be people competing with each other as well. It is best to hang out with people with an abundance model instead of a zero-sum game model. The zero-sum people think you have to lose for them to win. This is not a good recipe for mutual support. It is more likely a situation that supports exploitation.

People who participate in flywheels that share the same types of goals and the same types of models that are more collaborative than competitive can help each other a great deal. They can actually help each other a great deal more than anybody else can help them. Unconditional support may seem like a great thing, and it is for parents to unconditionally support their children and spouses to unconditionally support each other, but it’s not necessarily the path that leads to the greatest growth. We all do need emotional support, but it also helps to have professional support from people who know what you are up against as well.

Even if these individuals do not work in the same field but are creative outliers, they can understand the concept of trying to do something that nobody understands yet, because they are also involved in such a task. Outliers are rarely instantly embraced. It usually takes a long time to become overnight success.

To some extent, these flywheels do not really care that much if anybody ultimately makes it, as it is the process of supporting each other in a community with shared values that create meaning in each other’s lives. Of course, success is a good idea as well, but it’s not a requirement in order to receive support. This is not an end justifies the means. It is a process of value while you are in it before you get to the end, game.