Finding purpose in connection to cultivating authentic engagement

By Deb Schell on May 07, 2024

Welcome back to The Community Strategy Podcast! In this episode, you’ll hear the first half of a recording of an event in March of 2024 inside Community Builders with Purpose, an online membership for community builders.

During the session, Brian Helfman, the host of Third Nature, an online and in-person community, helped thousands of people cultivate clarity, creativity, and connection while having more fun. In addition to the community, Brian has consulted with organizations to help them build more connections and cultivate a sense of community. Brian runs the Leaders in Training program at Experience Camps for grieving children and serves as Program Director of Experience Camps For Adults.

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An online or in-person community has varied levels of engagement depending on the nature of its content, ability to connect with members, existing or new rituals, and meeting frequency.

Brian shares Third Nature’s community strategy and what kind of engagement helps his members connect. At the beginning of the session, Brian says that things that become second nature become habitual… learned ways of being conditioned. Third Nature is all about living with intention. (Hence the name of the community.)

Third Nature hosts Conscious Conversations every Friday at noon Eastern, a free global virtual meetup for members to discuss social, personal, and international topics. Brian hosts a Reflections Workshop each quarter, offering attendees a dedicated time to reflect on the past few months or years.

Third Nature hosts an adult summer camp in the summer. Attendees can have fun, meet new people, build relationships, and cultivate a sense of joy. Brian’s dad’s death sparked deep reflection for him, leading him to explore what he wanted to do with his life.

After a series of travel experiences, including being a ski instructor in Colorado, Brian discovered his purpose in life and business. The connections with his weekly Friday sessions have helped him share his quest for conversation with others worldwide.

Brian describes the difference between engagement and cultivating intentional and authentic connections. He began serving entrepreneurs when he first hosted travel experiences in Costa Rica. The changes to the business and the shift from the previous version to the current one are something that Brian and his team learned along the way.

Now, Third Nature is focused on how its members think and what values they share, and it hopes that people resonate with the messages it sends out into the world.

Brian said community building doesn’t happen overnight; it takes years. Please don’t quit your day job; give yourself six months to turn it into something that can replace your current income. Keep your job, but build a community slowly and authentically.

Listen to part two for the rest of this discussion. Go to for more about all of the experiences that Brian described in this episode.

Click here to join Community Builders with Purpose.

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