It’s sometimes easy to forget how often the same ideas and personal values underpin simultaneously both the feeling of well-being and the desire to thrive in business. For example, in the waters of finance, being faster and smarter than others and “taking care of number one” could seem like the commonly held values that could also be the basis of someone’s sense of well-being and general outlook on life.
However, there are outliers in every industry, and in this case, it’s an EdTech business called Stock Sharks. The name might denote that it’s a group of savvy traders gathered around the people who provide them with valuable insights. But if Sheraz Ali has a say in the matter, the sharks group is actually a community. That model of thinking has also managed to serve both Sheraz and the company very well.
How Is Stock Sharks Approaching Community Building?
It’s important to note that, in the case of Stock Sharks, the idea of building a community was part of the business model from the start. Granted, the benefits of creating a community of stock traders and businesspersons are pretty obvious; the networking opportunities alone are well worth the effort, let alone the knowledge that each member brings to the community.
However, it would be unfair to say that there are no genuine human emotions behind the need to have a business that’s also a community. This community is selective, for example, in who it attracts, and it relies heavily on recommendations and word of mouth. The emphasis is put on finding people who would fit in.
Then, there’s the acceptance and tolerance that are only seen in fully international communities. An international team is also running Stock Sharks, further cementing its status of a company that embraces diversity.
Finally, there’s some genuine care for the members behind it. In what would prove to be a great unintentional marketing trick, Stock Sharks gathered its members to help them prepare their finances for the pandemic. As a result, it saw people flock to it. Their membership base grew to double its size thanks to the ripples they created by trying to help their members through a tough time.
What Are the Benefits to the Members?
Being a member of such a community sounds great. First of all, Stock Sharks is built around sharing knowledge, especially the actionable advice traders always crave. That information is like a fireplace that has managed to gather such a diverse group of people.
But then there’s also all the attention to detail that makes it seem like a community someone is taking care of. For example, the members got a new custom chat interface built for them just this year. Next year, they’ll also get the fully functional EdTech software.
There have also been countless one-on-one sessions with the people from the company, and there’s an emphasis on doing live meetups whenever possible. While it might also be true that members have to pay for a membership, it’s easy to see that they are getting more than just trading insights and knowledge.
Leadership Lessons to Learn from Stock Sharks
There are a couple of key takeaways from the story of Stock Sharks that can apply to people’s everyday life challenges. One good piece of advice would be to find a vision and follow it and to not be afraid to take others on that journey, too. Subverting expectations, going off the beaten track, and being innovative are some of the things that can make the journey more interesting.
The bigger lesson is that it’s possible to succeed on one’s terms. The nurturing elements of community-building have easily translated into business success. The co-founders didn’t have to resort to changing their strategy or their values; they did what they set out to do. It’s as simple as that.