Tina Roth Eisenberg: How the Creative Mornings Community Was Built on Accident

CMX Summit NYC is off to a great start! The group is caffeinated and feeling energized, and the energy definitely rose when Tina Roth Eisenberg a.k.a SwissMiss took the stage. 

photo (1)Tina didn’t consider herself as a community builder until David invited her to speak at CMX, which is crazy considering how she has built a global community with Creative Mornings, an extremely dedicated digital community with Tattly, and a smaller, tighter knit community with Studiomates in Brooklyn.

Aside from all of her global community success, Tina’s first community was as small and close-knit as you can get — her family, her children. It is that community that has inspired her to take a look at where she is in life and to do what she loves.

The first community she created outside of her family was the coworking space, Studiomates. She started Studiomates to bring together like-minded, entrepreneurial and creative individuals. Starting with four people, they continued to literally break down walls as the community grew. The motivation to start Studiomates was for Tina to surround herself with creative people to motivate her to exercise her own creativity. It is this motivation that extended into the creation of Creative Mornings.

Tina realized that real connections are made in person, not behind a computer screen. Seeing more and more of this with the onset of events, this is the reason she started Creative Mornings — as a way to meet like-minded people beyond her co-working space. Because it sounds “weird” to go somewhere just to meet people, she decided to incorporate talks. “The talk is almost an excuse, to be honest,” she says.

Starting in New York, then growing to Zurich, then L.A., Creative Mornings is now in 84 cities, with 7,000 people meeting monthly. ranging from 500-600 people per event.

It’s All About Trust

Letting go of her “baby,” and allowing the Zurich organizer to grow Creative Mornings took a lot of trust — and it is trust that has caused Creative Mornings to grow into such a strong and dedicated community. With volunteer organizers around the world, by Tina and the CM team letting go and putting trust into hosts, Creative Mornings has turned into “a collective global labor of love.” After all, according to Tina, there is “no bigger compliment in life than trust.”

It’s Also About Passion

What makes the ideal host? No ego, people who are passionate about all things creative, likable people that operate from the heart, people who are resourceful and get shit done. These people pour their heart into being a host — they have “flare” as they call it at CM HQ. They’re putting their love into it.

According to Daniel Pink, motivation breaks out to three elements – autonomy, mastery, and purpose – these hosts have been craving the purpose piece — that’s why they get involved in CM. Today, incredible and passionate people are submitting application videos to speak at and host Creative Morning events — all for free. The CM team sits in aw when reviewing that want to be involved.

Finally, It’s About Connecting People

At first Tina didn’t understand why there has been such a huge response with Creative Mornings, then she realized that we underestimate the value of access to each other. Creative Mornings bring together people who should know each other.

They strengthen volunteer organizer relationships across the globe with a Chief Happiness Officer dedicated to making hosts’ lives easier. By being accessible, the community feels connected and special. They’ve deepened these connections by finding ways to bring the community together outside of the events to share tips and ideas. They started with a Basecamp for hosts, then saw an opportunity and moved to a Facebook Group. They also send a monthly newsletter to volunteer organizers to keep them updated on CM news and provide a way for them to celebrate each other.

Tina realized that you have to make sure people talk to each other, which is difficult with phones causing people to isolate themselves. That’s why they created the ice-breaker name tag, to give everyone an excuse to start a conversation. They also made their online profiles very human so that anyone can learn more about who attendees actually are beyond their title and company. The online profiles even have a “single” button.

Conclusion

The Creative Mornings success comes down to six things:

  1. They built trust, which creates magic.
  2. They’ve created a box that people can think outside of.
  3. There’s no catch or expectations — its all about connecting like-minded creative people.
  4. They make people meet outside of the computer screen.
  5. The heart drives decisions at Creative Mornings.
  6. They pay attention to the small things that people appreciate.

Tina finished up with one of my new favorite quotes: “Take the money component out, and everything changes.” There’s no expectations, everything is built on trust and passion.

You can now watch this entire talk from CMX Summit:


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Shannon Byrne

Shannon Byrne is the Content & PR Manager at mention.com, a media monitoring tool, where she crafts words and recruits loyal advocates. Get in touch with her on Twitter at @ShannnonB.