This week’s conversation with Eniola was very fascinating as always but the main thing I want to touch upon from our discussion was the theme of community. Community is at the core of most meaningful things in life. Whether that is our religious community, national community or even our school community. The people you surround yourself with and identify with are key to how you live your life. With regards to building businesses these days, community is more important now than ever. As Eniola illustrated, he was able to successfully tokenize himself because he had a community of people who believed in him. He's also building EarlyFans, for talented music artists to engage more with their community of fans. In the world of fashion, brands such as Corteiz have built a cult like following which has allowed them to grow significantly. Community is key, but how do you go about acquiring it?
How to build a valuable community
People buy into things that are real. You can only maintain a facade for so long before the truth comes to light.
Interacting with your followers makes them feel involved in the process of whatever you’re doing. Reply to that message, hit their inbox with something you think will be of value to them and make their presence feel known.
Results speak for themselves. If you continually deliver, people will come to you for your services and recommend you to their friends.
Where to create your own token and raise funds
Featuring Eniola Ajuwon
What would you tell your 16-year-old self?
Learn to filter out the noise. In my journey so far I have built connections and relationships with a lot of people, whether that'll be through networking or introductions. I have had many people give me advice in many areas of my life relating to my academics, career, and person. Now I am going to assume that there was no ill-intent from the advice, opinions or feedback I was receiving but there was obvious bias. These biases again were not malicious but where existed because of the experiences of the individual I was talking to. I will give an example, on an accelerator, Arkisites participated in something called mentor madness which was essentially speed-dating for between startups on the cohort and potential mentors. I remember receiving three completely different types of advice…
Founder of VC - "Look to monetise in the most scalable way… an exit could be on the horizon".
Community Manager @ Co-Working Space - "Focus on how you can build a community around your mission, it's the most valuable thing you can do".
CEO of MedTech Startup - "I think partnering up with organisations, to receive grants and perhaps to some work on their behalf would be beneficial to you".
As you can see I received different feedback, you could argue that some of them even clash with each other. If I took the words of one advisor literally it would've led me on a completely different path than if I were to take the advice of another one. I guess what I am trying to say, to my 16-year-old self, is to be guided by the advice, thoughts and feedback you receive. Do not be led. Filter out and take on board what is aligned with your values, mission and goal; even if it's not what you wanted or expected to hear. There's nothing wrong with pivoting especially if it leads you to your North Star.
Can you list any NFT or web-3 projects in particular that you think is of value?
I'm what you'd call a degenerate… in terms of NFT projects I don't buy into them for utility. I typically buy NFTs if I think they'll make a cool profile picture for my social media handles. However, there are a few web3 projects that I think have great value…
OdysseyDAO - A DAO that is on a mission to onboard 1 million people to web3, they are providing quality education for free.
Syndicate - A decentralised investing protocol and social network that's transforming how the world creates value. Users are able to create their own investment club (VC) or join an existing one.
Buildspace - If you're a dev that's curious about web3 but not sure where to start, this is the spot for you. Learn and start building cool right now.
Thirdweb - Build web3 app easily, with limited technical proficiency with the help of documentation.
What are some of your toughest setbacks so far on your journey and how did you overcome them?
I gave this question a lot of thought and I don't think I have had any setbacks (the noun) but I would say have had set backs (verb) in the form of unfavourable results (e.g. getting rejected for a programme, grant, fellowship, bad grades etc) but nothing life-altering. Typically speaking, I like to identify the reason why had I received such a result and work on improving that application or workflow to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
Connect with Elijah
Linkedin: Elijah Ajuwon
Listen to the full episode on a platform of your choice: https://linktr.ee/valuablepodcast