The Power of Association to Fuel Success

Will Newman

My wife Linda calls me her cave bear.

And I am. Not because I hide out in my house. Since I moved to the small, rural mountain community I call home, my cave is my town and the surrounding area. I hate leaving it.

Wasn’t always that way. Before moving up here, my house was my cave. I’d go to work. I’d go to family activities. Infrequently, I’d venture out for social activities.

What changed once I moved up here?


Now don’t worry. I’m not going to try to convince you to become a Rotarian. What I want to do is show you how association through Rotary changed my life.

It shouldn’t surprise you that in my pre-mountain life I wasn’t a joiner. I’d never found much benefit in joining some group. But Linda and I moved to our community of about 2,000 people not to escape urban troubles but because we both wanted to get involved in the community.

(I know this contradicts my cave bear persona. But having been a teacher for twenty-five years, I wanted to be able to improve the lives of children more directly in some way.)

Not long after moving here, I told a recently acquired friend I wanted to get involved in our new community. He told us the only real way was to join one of the two service groups. A little asking around later, I found out he was right.

Join? Me?

He invited me to join one club. A nice group of men, but it really didn’t feel like me.

Two weeks later, Linda and I were at the annual “Fisherman’s Breakfast.” Bob, the principal of the high school (a friend of my brother-in-law), called us over to introduce me to several friends. They were all members of the Rotary club. And then, one of the women invited me to a meeting.

Long story, short: I clicked with the people in the club. In short order, I was helping with a fundraiser. Not long after, I was painting school bus shelters. Nineteen years later, I’ve been president twice. I’m currently the club secretary. I’ve been involved with more club activities than I ever imagined (including being a co-director of a triathlon).

Becoming a member of our Rotary club helped me realize one of my dreams.

Nice story, but what does it mean to you?

I wouldn’t have been as happy or busy in my life right now if I hadn’t discovered what I call the “Power of Association.”

The Power of Association opened horizons I never expected. I have more real, sincere friends than I ever had before moving here. I’ve learned things I never thought I’d know (like how to tie a timber hitch). My life has been enriched beyond measure.

Because of the Power of Association.

My experience convinced me this power is a universal human principle. We are stronger, more successful, and more able to accomplish our dreams when we trust others and join with them.

Over my next two articles, I want to show you specifically how you can use the Power of Association to accomplish the writer’s life.

Until then, I’d love to hear about your experience with the Power of Association. Comment below to let us know.

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Published: March 21, 2016

17 Responses to “The Power of Association to Fuel Success”

  1. Hi, Will! This is so friend Lee Nourse and I were just chatting about our experiences this year with our copywriting Mastermind group. Instead of being isolated in our efforts, we have become a family of seven people spread across the U.S.and Canada. I think I'd be speaking for all of us by saying that the ways we support each other personally have enriched our lives as much as the writing help we get from one another. I'd recommend this sort of group to everyone who wants to succeed in copywriting.

    Joyce H

  2. I wasn't necessarily the smartest kid or the best student. I ended up being in the honors classes. I was in the company of writers because reading was as important as breathing.In the vernacular or slang those were my "peops." I tried going to school to learn practical professions. I always dropped out and just ended up on a job. I denied my right to become Becoming a member of AWAI has reignited that dream. I know that maintaining my connection with AWAI keeps me in good company. I haven't written that sales letter that has beat the control, but there is an extra spring in my step driving me towards copywriting. This is the group I belong to.

    Guest (Regine Baptiste)

  3. I don't usually respond to articles, but here goes.
    Several years ago, while doing the coursework for my PhD in Education, I read an article by Etienne Wenger about "Communities of Practice". It captured this concept beautifully. I am including a link to that article I found through Google Scholar: Communities_of_Practice__The_Organizational_Frontier%5B1%5D.pdf. It reinforces the concept that "there is strength in numbers." If we go out of our way to help each other, we can all be far more successful. TEAM means "Together Everyone Achieves More."

    Guest (Michael K)

  4. Your article makes me smile. You're preaching to the converted in my case (because I'm from up North; Southerners say "preaching to the choir"). My last regular job was with an association, and I am still a member of the American Society of Association Executives. They have a thing called the Power of A (not making this up), thepowerofa dot org. So yes, I have learned that associations, and associating, have a lot to recommend them.

    Louise Pare-Lobinske

  5. I like you story on power of association. As I Christian, most of my days are spent in association with the brethren. I am looking on to how you utilized your association in your writings.Thank you.

    Guest (David Bokolo)

  6. People often mistakenly confuse Darwinism as a survival-of-the-fittest kind of thing. Strength, no doubt, is important but evolution depends more on our ability to adapt to change. And forming allies through whatever power of association we can forge is our best means without which our 'being' can never truly 'become.'

    Guest (Chris Morris)

  7. Hi Will, I completely understand your 'power of association' idea. In 1991 I was an empty nester. My main hobbies were reading and writing.
    Then I discovered barbershop harmony. Please don't think of four guys in funny costumes. Barbershop is an international activity and through Sweet Adelines I did things I wouldn't have thought possible. From a shy, introverted housewife with little self confidence, I became someone who sings in public, speaks confidently, and travels all over the world.
    And best of all is the self confidence I have gained. The confidence to KNOW I can do anything I set out to become a copywriter.
    Join a group...any group and expand your horizons.


  8. Some years ago I suffered a great personal tragedy. While the tendency is often to not talk , and become reclusive , instead I followed a whim and greatly publicized the injustice . This alone was the catalyst to put me in touch with a great many other kindred souls , whom I never would have met if I'd kept to myself. Only together did we score a major legal victory , and we rescued many other similar victims.

    Guest (Barbara McCarty)

  9. Hi Will. The power of association. My family did about 8yrs as volunteers. My youngest who was 8yrs old was the youngest and the last to volunteer before our program was shut down. Now this is going to sound strange, but I've never been a joiner too. All over the world people are basically the same: jungle. mountains, frozen North, deserts. They want something better for their kids. Nice to find another guy who doesn't join! (Oh Dear, at my age I shouldn't laugh so hard).

    Mike Shepherd

  10. I too live in a rural mountain town in colorado. I'm not sure if we have any more than 1000 people. Since moving here, I've become a member of the community association, a yoga group, a book club, a small toastmasters group, a line dancing group, and a zumba group. I have made many more friends than I ever had in a big city. Our community helps each other, and is always there when help is needed. The toastmasters group gave me the impetus to start speaking to groups, and that has been great fun.

    Guest (Lani Gossett)

  11. Hi Will! This is a sad story, with a happy ending. My daughter was an addict with two sons. Her behavior estranged them from the rest of our family. Three years ago, she took her life.
    Through my grief, I started to write a book for my grandsons. A fantasy story about a loving family with the ability to move between two worlds. As the story grew, so did the association with my grandsons. Now they visit regularly and they add their voice to the story with their wonderfully imaginative ideas.


  12. Hi Will,

    I am not a joiner either but am following your lead and have joined a discussion thread just today!

    I've enjoyed your writing and found it insightful and helpful. I also signed up for The Writer's Life.

    What a day so far!

    Val Wedman

  13. Hi Mr Newman,thanks for the opportunity.The power of association is practical and can move a mountain.I'm speaking through experience because it worked wonders in my local church ten years ago.We were three youngmen who had decided to start a church with the aim of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.But few weeks after inception,nobody seemed to be interested in joining us.This made my colleagues to start giving-up.But what made us remain focused is the power of association whereby we decided to launch a door to door campaign which worked very well.It took us three weeks and our hall was to the prime.

    Guest (James Murunga)

  14. I'm embarrassed to say that I had no idea what a Rotary club was? I've always been a community volunteer,and I have to agree it is a powerful association. It connects you with real issues in your community to which you can be apart of the solution. My local food pantry Minnie's Food Pantry in Plano Tx. Also open their doors for small community businesses, sole proprietors, and local finance companies to come and share their wealth of information to enrich the lives of those in need.

    Guest (Chandra)

  15. Will, My Power of Association story is about my years as a member of the Jaycees. Offering "leadership training through community service", we ran community improvement projects and provided professional skills training to our members. We impacted hundreds of local lives every year.

    My 30-year association with the Jaycees gave me hundreds of comrades I might otherwise never have found. It allowed me to contribute to the betterment of people in our community, and our members, in ways I might never have experienced otherwise.

    It was probably the most fulfilling period of my life, and one that I often miss very much.

    Jim Lawrence

  16. Hi Newman,

    “Power of Association", Yes I appreciate you. This is the only power, by this we can do any thing, any time, any where in the world! Just imagine we want to change the world's unfear situation that effected us. Yes, we can do this by using this Association of Power.

    Guest (Runa Begum)

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