On December 17th, 2021 my worlds collided when receiving one of my favorite newsletters…
The newsletter is by Shawn Wells, widely known as the “world’s greatest formulator” for having over 500 health supplements and 20 patents to his name. His book, The Energy Formula, is a big part of my personal health transformation that all started with fixing my sleep. I started perusing his weekly newsletter, and there it was…. I saw three letters D - A - O from something called Reputable.
Reputable enabled me to find a DAO aligned with my passion for health and wellness. I joined Discord channel and started my journey. It felt almost like Teams or Slack. (Someone from Web3 will shame me for that comment 😜). I jumped in feet first with curiosity, an open mind, and the desire to learn.
The first steps to onboarding were incredibly engaging, exciting, and straightforward. The Discord flow took me step by step into learning what the project was about and how to get started.
What amazed me was that without meeting another human, I understood why the DOA existed, its vision, purpose, mission, and how to start contributing and working immediately.
The DAO was in Season 0 (I’ve learned this is normal in Web3), and there was a Quest anyone could complete. By completing it, I’d get an NFT and be a part of the Season 0 team.
The quest was to review Nature’s Bounty Vitamin D supplements. I was interested in this and wanted to devote my time to further my DAO learning experience.
I completed my work over the next couple of weeks and attended as many of the weekly Town Halls as possible.
Interestingly there were only four regular attendees. Two people had pictures of Owls as their avatars (Reputable Guy and Reputable Penguin), and another avatar was a picture of a cartoon (which I now know to be a Chippi), whose handle is Bpetes.
What struck me as odd, but in a really good way, was how excited the group was about my attendance. They genuinely wanted to know why I was there, how I found out about the DAO, what my background was, my talents and interests, and how I wanted to contribute.
Most impressively, they wanted to know what I thought about the product and the idea.
This group embraced feedback, transparency, and vulnerability I didn’t get a sense of ego from anybody. It was all about communication, collaboration and building together. I was welcomed as part of the team from the moment I joined.
At this point, I was gcgd_2534 and had no idea about the norms of Discord. Were we supposed to stay anonymous? Could I, should I, share my name? Was I getting scammed? What the heck am I doing here??
Once, Reputable_Guy and I were in a DM and he wanted to get to know more about me. The only way I knew how to do this was to connect him to the “real me”, so I gave my LinkedIn profile and resume.
I also, embarassingly, asked if this was like “Ready Player One” and we weren’t supposed to share real names. (Face palm)
What drives me to spend time in Web3 is the community. Not only did Reputable_Guy not shun me, but he also over-extended himself to help me up the learning curve. Very quickly, we established a genuine and trusting relationship. Put another way, I immediately found psychological safety, which gave me the confidence to keep investing time in the DAO.
Whenever I had a question about the platform, the founders always created space for me. Not only that, they’d set up hour-long calls just to pick my brain.
When was the last time you felt like that at work?
This is when it clicked. Work should feel like this. After all, we are building something together AND getting paid to do it. I wasn’t getting paid a cent and didn’t have any hidden motivation to get paid while I was spending my time with Reputable.
In his book Drive, Daniel Pink describes the three pillars that motivate humans.
Autonomy, Purpose, and Mastery. Web3 checks every single box for me.
Autonomy - I’m choosing to show up and contribute what I’m comfortable, willing, and able to contribute.
Purpose - I’m choosing to work on something that matters to me. Something that intrinsically motivates me. Everyone around me is there for the same reason.
Mastery - I’m learning about Web3 and playing with technology in ways I haven’t in years. (Heck, I’m here writing about it right now it’s got me that excited).
Of course, It wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine. The Web3 and DAO learning curves are steep, and you have to be willing to put in the time, persevere, fail, and be vulnerable.
Once I decided I wanted to make a financial investment in Reputable, I needed to send some Ethereum (ETH) to become a Patron 0 member. This would provide me with voting rights on the future direction of the project and platform.
At this point, I didn’t know what ETH was, or what a wallet was. I had only heard the term blockchain thrown around my company as “a technology in search of a problem to solve” and dismissed for years.
So I did the most important thing you can do on your Web3 journey, I swallowed my pride, checked my ego, and asked for help.
Recommendations included: a Wallet (Metamask), an exchange (I ended up using Crypto.com), and adding Polygon to my MetaMask (to which I asked myself wtf is a Polygon chain) so I could accept my owl NFT.
Not only did I get my questions answered, but there was a deep desire to help me learn. No question was too dumb, and I’d even get walk-through Loom videos sent to me when I got stuck.
Let me introduce you to my first ever NFT - Reputable Owl #62!
I made it through, but this barrier to entry is STEEP. A DAO has no real map. You’ve got to be very comfortable working through ambiguity and open to asking lots of questions along the way. You can easily lose sleep (and I have) reading every white paper, voting proposal, Discord channel, and signing up for work on bounty boards wanting to prove yourself.
My biggest piece of advice for getting started in a DAO is to humble yourself and make yourself of value.
Be willing to “get digital coffee” by doing small tasks like taking meeting minutes.
tl/dr: Show up consistently, share your voice, contribute, and learn!