How to Build a Community with Maruxa Murphy

By Catherine Kontos@KontosCatherine


A thriving community is an essential part of your business – especially in the retreat and wellness industry. A community can create a supportive network of individuals who share a genuine interest in your offerings, ultimately driving sustainable growth and success for your business. 

In this episode of the RetreatBoss Podcast, I am joined by my guest, Maruxa Murphy. Together we discussed building and leading online communities, turning your audiences into loyal communities and the importance of understanding one’s target audience to effectively market retreats and connect emotionally. 

Maruxa Murphy is an award-winning community experience designer, strategist, entrepreneur, author and catalyst for change who has been transforming communities in person and online since 2000. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Reader’s Digest, Fox News, The Huffington Post, and many more. Tune in for an insightful conversation and learn tips and tricks on building your own thriving community!

Watch the episode here:

How to Build a Community with Maruxa Murphy


When it comes to planning a retreat, there’s ways to get it to go from average to incredibly transformative. Welcome to RetreatBoss where we speak about inspired travel for fun, transformation and profit guest experts who will give you their tips and tricks on creating the most impactful retreats both for you and your clients. Whether you want a meditative getaway, a wellness trip, or a business escapade, we provide you with the best advice in organizing and hosting a tremendous event. Join Catherine Kontos as she talks with fellow experts about creating exclusive and successful retreats. Dive deep into the most unique activities and the best destinations to visit. And the most uplifting trips out there that you can discover. Here is your host, Catherine Kontos.

Hey everyone, Catherine here and this is Retreat Boss the podcast, and today I’m so excited to have Maruxa Murphy. She is an award-winning community experience designer, strategist, entrepreneur, author and catalyst for change who has been transforming communities in person and online since 2000. Her clients include Kajabi, Netflix’s spicy show SEX, and more. And her work has been featured in Forbes, Fox News, Reader’s Digest, and the list just goes on and on. Maruxa, welcome to the show. 

Oh my gosh, Catherine, thank you so much for having me. I’m so glad to be here. 

When I first heard about you, I was like, I’ve got to meet her on the email went out like instantly. Because you know, retreats are all about community, and who better to connect with than someone like you who has been super, super successful in building communities? And, you know, I’m like, I gotta meet this girl. Gotta meet this girl. And I’m so happy we did. Thank you for being on the show today. I know you’re gonna bring a lot of value to my listeners and to clients and to other retreat leaders and to anybody in the community space.

It is such an honor to be on your show. I mean, I agree. The minute we were told about each other, I was like, Who is this amazing Catherine that I keep hearing about? And I’ve been so, and you know, for those who are listening, like we’ve had so much fun getting to know each other. I feel like I’ve met a sister. It’s just been such a wonderful, wonderful experience getting to know you. 

Yeah, it’s been an amazing connection. And I’m excited every time I speak to you, because I know something great is going to come out of the conversation every single time. So, tell me and tell our listeners a little bit about you and how you got started. How did this fall in your lap? Or did it fall in your lap? I’m not sure. 

Yeah, it’s a good question. You know, I actually, I feel like the way my family my family is a very multicultural, multiracial family. And, you know, my whole life was basically built through community. So in some ways, the way in which I got into it was just because I was born into a massive family. 

My mom is one of 11 children. My dad is one of seven children, Roman Catholic on both sides. So you know, lots and lots of children. I’m one of 39 first cousins just on my mom’s side. And my grandmother was the she’s Puerto Rican, Jamaican, okay. And she married a Filipino Chinese gentleman, my grandfather, and both, you know, all four of those cultures are very family-oriented. And, and my grandmother grew up in a time where it was very much. There was a lot of violence in her family of origin. So she made a commitment that her family that she would raise would be one of unconditional love. 

So growing up, Catherine, I literally felt like I was in this embrace that she said, you know, You guys are gonna screw up, you’re gonna mess up. But I just want you to always know I will love you anyway. And so, you know, let’s imagine Catherine, you and I were friends in high school, because I could have imagined I can totally imagine that we weren’t come over to my Mamita’s house. That’s what we call my grandmother, my Mamita. And we would go to her house and she would come over to you and she said, “Catherine, it’s so nice to meet you.” Give you the biggest hug and kiss, and then welcome you in to the home and make sure you’re you’re well fed. And you know, at her funeral, she had over 500 of our family friends at her funeral, all these many leaders simply because of the woman that she was. So I grew up in this space where that was just my normal. 

Now. I went to college, and I went to a college that didn’t feel or, like there was unconditional love. In fact, I felt very much like an outsider. And I learned quickly that this experience that I was having was not, it was not okay. Like, when you feel, when you have someone in your life that’s given you this sense of unconditional love. And then family that reflects that over and over again, like I’ve been blessed with. It was such a, it was such a moment of dissonance for me. And I made a commitment to myself, you know, this, I just got a full-ride scholarship to this institution, I have to make this place my own because my parents are two immigrant parents, they can’t afford to send me anywhere if I didn’t have a full ride scholarship. So I had to make this my own. 

And what I did was over those four years of being an undergrad, I ended up helping me really create and transform that college. I created a program, I was part of creating a program mentorship program, that the college even attributes to having created and maintained over $24 million to the campus because of it. We saw an increase from 5% to 22% students of color. And we saw a retention rate from 35% to 65%. Huge, in just four years, four years. And that work that we did back in 1998 to 2002 really then spin spun into what is the college still to this day, which is really now focused on community, global citizenship, social entrepreneurship, you know, and that was my start.

I went on and I continued on to develop over 200 communities and see these visionaries and these impact-driven leaders and community builders go from just having communities that feel so kumbaya to actually starting to tangibly see revenue being generated while also feeling really human and connected and loving. It’s actually possible. And we would create these additional six, seven, and sometimes eight figures of revenue for these for my clients because of how we brought the both the heart and the art and the science of community building to one another to create something that’s pretty incredible. 

Yeah, I can completely relate to the college thing because of my daughter who’s going through that, and my friends’  kids that are going through that, where they went from like a smaller space where their community was really strong to this, you know, thousands and thousands of kids or adults now. But you know, and they feel kind of like just not feel kind of they feel completely disconnected and very lonely in a crowd of people. So that’s, that’s amazing that, you know, that college continues to do this, because they saw obviously how it works. And I think they would they, you know, other colleges would learn a lot from what you did there. It’s very well-needed. You know, they do so much better in school, you know, they feel a part of something they, you know, it’s it’s so important. 

Now, you went from that, obviously. You saw you had a knack for it a talent for it. What made you go into business doing this and becoming a community architect?

I honestly had no idea this was even my thing. I mean, I went to school, I got my master’s in mental health counseling, ended up my first career was in building community on that campus. I was Director of Multicultural Affairs at 26. I was going to be an I was going to work for the embassy, I wanted to become an international like embassy, you know, Ambassador, like, you know, for for the United States, like I really wanted that. But as I continued to develop my leadership, what I started to realize was that, man, I am kind of good at creating community, I’m good at helping people feel themselves. And then in 2009, so that was my first part of my career, I became, you know, Director of Multicultural Affairs, I left that world because I was working 100 hours a week. And while he was making like, $40,000 to $42,000  a year or something like that, and I was like, Okay, this doesn’t work, I found out I was pregnant with my oldest, and in 2008. And I just knew that I was going to choose to give up my career and stop working those crazy hours. But I did need to figure out how to make money because that was what I wanted to do, and what I needed to do for our family.

At the same time, my my now ex-husband, my good friend of mine, you know, I was going into online marketing. And so he and I kind of joined forces with a gentleman named David Fry in Houston, Texas, David had this idea of to create summits, online summits that we basically take conferences where we’d go in person, but just now bring it online. And it was because of the recession here in the United States that you know, really kind of catalyzed this. So I said, you know, Dennis and I said — my ex-husband and I said, you know what, let’s go see what we can do and see if we can create this. Well, Catherine, we ended up going. And you know, working with David, we had to build like HTML websites from scratch calling, you know, picking up a cell phone or cell phone, a phone, or like a landline.

We have to be like, we got to be more specific, it was not a cellphone.

We had our landlines and we picked them up, and we called Instant teleseminar dot com back then. And we recorded– remember that?  and then we recorded the calls, put them on the HTML, you know, website that we built. And we sold access to these summits, these conferences. And we were the first, one of the first if not the first to do this, right. So it was pretty, it was pretty profound. In 2009, we grew a community of 250,000 people at that point. And my intention at that time was like, How can I figure out what you know, to how do I bring what I was doing in person that was so juicy and and really fun to create these connections? But now how do we do this online? 

So I got it kind of obsessed with figuring out, like, Okay, after every summit, we did about 22 summits together with David. And so after every Summit, I’d be like, okay, and during the summit, I’d be like, Okay, how do we create more connection? How do we create it? and I got obsessed with it, like trying to figure this out in the virtual space, because it’s, as we all know, it’s not the same. So 250,000, people started building community with us alongside these summits. And that was incredible. And that really sparked for me, this whole new desire to understand the science of creating online communities. From there, I ended up growing some pretty significantly sized communities. Some for those clients that were on those seminars or the summits, many of them would be like, Hey, can you help me build my community? So I would do that with them. But then others, you know, just would come along, and one of them was this group that when I lived in Austin, Texas, called the Austin Moms Network.

We ended up growing it to about 30,000 women, it’s a huge part of the Austin community now s  till, 10 years later, we have partnerships with grocery stores, nonprofits to support moms, because it takes a village to raise a mom. And, and Facebook actually came to us in 2017, and said, hey, yeah, you have a really engaged community. I thought I was in trouble because they messaged me on Messenger. And I thought I was in trouble. I was like, am I did I do something wrong? Like,  no, no. Zuckerberg has been really excited about what he’s seeing with groups and communities. And we see yours. How are you doing it? And can we highlight you? And can we throw a block party on the street at streets of Austin, Texas for Mother’s Day, in partnership with this mom’s group? And I was like, yes, yes. All of it. Yes. Let’s go. Yeah. So it was it was one of those experiences, Catherine, where I was like, wow, if Zuckerberg is paying attention to what we’re creating with engaged communities, this is something this is something for  

Something for sure.

That I need to be paying attention to the fact that this is a strength of mine, but also that this is the world we’re about to embark into. And so I really I doubled down at that point, and started to really design more intentionally since then.

And recently, you launched the Revolutionaries.

I did. 



So tell me a little more what it is to be a leader in that group? What would that signify? A revolutionary leader in the community space?

Yeah, yeah. Well, I think the thing to do is to maybe break down what the both of those things mean, first, because I think, if that’s okay with you, because I think often like we get caught up in the word “communities”, because we don’t know what that term means. Yeah, some, because it’s often bastardized, I think, in this space of marketing. 

To me, there’s a huge difference between community and audience. And I think recognizing what those are is going to help all of us to understand, then what I mean by a revolutionary community. So if we think about audiences, right, we think oftentimes, audiences, sometimes people mix up the community and audience, but an audience actually is a one directional conversation with people that are created with the intention to create aha moments. Like we want the light bulbs to go off. So like, for example, like right now with the podcast, people are listening in, and they’re hearing me, this is – in essence, for me audience building, right? I’m building my own audience in partnership with you and you have an audience who’s listening in to the podcast.

It’s one-directional. The intention, then is to invite them to deepen the relationship in a place or a space where we can start to really get to know each other and another level of connection. Right? And that is really where community then stems. To me, community is an opportunity where two or more people come together around a specific interest that wants to really deepen and connect further about that. The conversation is less, you know, it’s not me talking to you, it’s us in the conversation. And so now we can imagine, let’s say, we have 100 people in a room, you know, you have multiple conversations happening at the exact same time about the thing to deepen the conversation about the thing, right? Right. So it really is, it is a place to the intention there is obviously to deepen relationship, it’s also to build more trust, it’s also to get to know others who care about the thing that they care about. And so when I think about revolutionary communities, I’m really looking at communities that are shifting conversation, innovating in a space, that oftentimes is an area of interest, that isn’t really necessarily spoken about too often. Right? Or, or really looking at something from a different angle and making strides in their industry because of that, or maybe creating systemic change as a goal. Right. And taking actions around that as well.

It sounds very close to what a mastermind would look like. Right? Do you agree with that? There’s kind of like this goal that everybody, is maybe from different backgrounds, but want this same goal? Yes. Am I right in saying that?

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think, you know, again, I’m a big fan of, of really getting clear with with our words, and I think mastermind oftentimes has been so overused, sometimes coaching and sometimes it looks like actual, you know, what masterminding was supposed to be where people come in with a challenge. And all the Masters in their minds come on to the challenge. As the revolutionaries, we actually shifted the name to a brain trust, more. So for that reason, right. So we we are, but yeah, in essence, it’s like a mastermind. But it’s true. It’s building such trust amongst the group of folks who are very much innovators in their space, and also the, you know, genius, bringing their genius into the conversation, to better improve the conversation, even more. So yeah.

Yeah. On its own doing that you build a community because everybody’s just taking part their little piece has been placed in this, whatever it is, you know, whatever you’re trying to create, or build or the momentum you’re trying to create over something, just to go back to some of the things that I’ve seen one of a community that I was a part of, and built very quickly, because there was an urgency behind it had a lot to do with advocacy for, you know, government policy concerning families being separated during COVID through border closures. And while when you have that urgency, also, the community builds so strong and so fast, and everybody jumps on leaders, we have government leaders, you know, involved in there, we had the Government of Canada, which is where I’m based calling us telling us to come speak with us, we need to know what you’re talking about and what the problem is, or what the problems are. So it was an incredibly fast moving. And because we all had plenty of time. We were very invested full time, you know, working on this, because most of us weren’t working either. So it’s like a tornado, it just spirals like crazy when you’ve got it also with that urgency factor on it. So, it’s a different type of community. But it’s still a community that still exists. And the bonds were very, very strong because of the passion that everybody had involved in this. 

And you saw the masterminds, you know, everybody had a specialty. Some people were good on social media, some people were good at speaking, some people were good at getting press awareness and all of that stuff. So, it was incredible to watch firsthand. And in the retreat space, obviously, it’s very, very important. 

So how would these retreat leaders who are very new, you know, sometimes they come to me, and they’re like, Catherine, I want to start a retreat. And you know, and I’m like, Well, what, what’s your community like? Like, do you have people engaged in your social media? Do you have networks? What do you have? And they’re like, Well, I have, let’s say, 20,000 people following me. Okay, how many of them have actually shown up for any of your workshops? Or, you know, and 10? You know, so you’re like, Oh, we’ve got to work on that because the numbers don’t matter here. Right. So how would these people go out and find their community and find people to join their community?

I love that question. You know, I always say, you know, one of my very good friends is a woman named Kate Buck. And Kate was one of the first ever social media managers that created a certification program. This is like back in 2009, 2010. So she and I, we always say we’re like soul sisters in the sense of within the work that we’re doing, because I’m her… you know, she does social media, and I do community. And so we’re very much hand in hand like retreats are as well. Right? 

So it’s all and I think oftentimes people are, they want so badly to just focus on community, but they forget that the first part of building community is to get in front of the people that could be part of that community, right? So we need to make sure that we’re really dialling in; what is that message? What is the voice that you… Who are you? What do you stand for? And really start to build out that message and consistently in such a way that allows you to start building that audience first and foremost.

That’s super important, whether it’s through social media, whether it’s through in-person local networking, whether it’s through strategic partnerships and collaborations. However, we need to focus to build that initial audience, and then nurture them through community. That’s how you move them into community. 

I think, again, to your point, when we’re new, and we know we want, we know what the outcome is. And we really want that, it gets so hard to want to focus on the thing that’s going to bring people in, it’s like, to me, it’s like working out, I hate working out. And my ultimate goal is to, you know, have muscles. I really, you know, whatever, like toned, and it feels really good. But I don’t always want to do the things that will get me those toned muscles. And I think that’s a lot of us who run retreats, right? We get anxious about the front part of building our audience. But we need to, we need to focus on that we need to really do that to them, and then build a model where then they’re moving into a space where you can deepen and build that, that aligned experience with you.

A lot of people will say to me, well, well, how many people do I need on social media? You know, I always say, you know, find first your first 100 people, that’s your first goal, if you’re brand new, brand new, find your first 100 people that really resonate with you. Okay, and so I don’t mean, find 100 people, I actually mean, like, probably find, like, 1000, you know, because from that 1000, you will find that there is 100 folks that really resonate with you that really are aligned in fully.

I like to I like to think of it that way. Because then I get that those 100 individuals and I get to really have a conversation with them, invite them into a community. Now that community could look like, every week on Tuesday nights, we have tea together, you know, and we meet on Zoom, and we get to know each other. That can be as simple as it is, right? It also be you have a Facebook group, or you know, get a little bit more sophisticated and have a community and another platform. Alright? Doesn’t it doesn’t mean the platform it has to be in service to what it is that is your vision? But it really we need to start with like, what is our core message? What is what are our values? What is the voice that we really want to stand for in our space? And then move in the direction of bringing them together and creating those gatherings.

Right, so numbers don’t really matter in the essence of when you’re trying to create. I think it’s the quality of those numbers, right? 

That’s exactly, yeah.

And what would you say to someone who says, comes to you and says, I know the answer, but I want you to say it. I want to market my retreat. Okay. Like my marketing is not working. People are not signing up, all of that stuff. What would you say the answer to that is, like, to fix that marketing aspect of it?

I love that question. Well there I mean, there’s so many different I’d have to like understand the person’s experience and really look at like, you know, where the whole Is to diagnose, but the truth is, marketing is just a, it’s just a piece of the process. It’s about relationships first, right? So we want to be looking at our marketing not so much as like if all we’re doing in our marketing is like screaming, you know, to others like, Hey, I have a thing here I have a retreat, it’s about the show, it’s about to happen in two months who wants to com? Then, no one, you know, most people are not feeling engaged by that. They’re not, their heart is not, their heart isn’t pulled, their emotions have not been connected into what it is that you’re building, right? 

They have no idea why. Why is this for me? So when I look at my marketing, I want to look at a couple of different things, one that I’m going to look at, well, how do I imagine that this experience is going to be like for the person that I’m actually speaking to, and what they care about right now. And I like to do an exercise where I really give myself permission to put myself in that person’s shoes. Why would they show up? And get as specific as possible. 

So for example, let’s say you’re running a retreat right now for moms, who just had children, who have toddlers, right? So they had children last like three years, three to five years. And they’re exhausted women, right? But if we in our marketing, we’re just like moms tie all tired moms out there, let’s have a retreat and relax. Okay, but what if I really actually reminded myself of, of what it was like to be a mom of a toddler, right. And in my case, I had three toddlers at the same time. What was that? It was so much. 

And I found myself, and I put myself back and that, that version of Maruxa and her shoes, all I wanted in those moments was a break. Right? And because I felt like I was drowning. Exhaustion. I remember feeling like, there were moments where I just I felt like I wasn’t the right mom for them. Because I didn’t know how to I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to be. And now I realized I was postpartum after my third, right? Postpartum depression, but I didn’t know. And but in those moments, I’m so like mired in, and I’m like, feeling like I’m going up to my neck with diapers and spit up and exhaustion and husband’s at work all day. And, and, and and.

And so for me to really market an event to moms, I want to fully understand what that experience was like, get back into those moments, and write from that version of self as if to her. And so when she looks at the words on the on a social media post, or if she hears me talking about it, she’s literally leaning in because she was like, How did you know that this is my experience? How are you like reading my mind, you understand me so well. So we can’t water down our words, we can’t water down our content. When we’re marketing to, you know, our retreats, we have to be really, really present about what it is that you’re a person that you want to attend is feeling, what kind of pain is this person in right now that’s leading, leading them to want to say yes, and have this retreat be the medicine that they’ve been wanting for themselves.

It’s a people-first approach.


 Yeah. And I always say to, you know, my, my community, it’s not about just having anybody at your retreat, it’s about having the right person at your retreat. So if you brand yourself in a way where your message and your vision and everything is, like exactly how you want it to be, it’ll hit exactly the people that you want to be at your retreat. You are literally letting people in and out of your retreat just by who you are, what you represent what you stand for, your values, your all of that. And yeah, and that attraction happens. And that’s because of what you just said, You’re speaking from a place of where that person is, you know, maybe you’ve passed it, and now you want to help others. So you have to bring yourself back to that place and speak to them at the level they’re at right now. Which is I need like a break. I need some time away from the children. I need some time to find me again. So yeah. What mistakes do you see people making while building a community?

That’s a great question. I think the biggest mistake that I see is and it’s often happens to those of us who are very visionary and really want to see the transformation happen. So you’re not alone. If you’re if you’ve done this you’re not alone. I literally at 99% of the people that come to me are doing this and and that’s where they come to me. So what happens often is they go into this place of like okay, you This is what the vision is for the retreat, or can the end the community, this is my voice and my space. And this, these are my values, I’ve got this right. And they go straight from that all the way to building the community experience. So going straight to the building the retreat or building, the online community, whatever kind of community and then activating it. But what they do, and because of they did that is, in essence, build a what I call the pyramid built on two sticks. 

Build a community that’s so wobbly, because it doesn’t really have a strong foundation. A vision is beautiful, your voice is amazing. And of course, if you know your values, that’s an extra plus. Okay, that’s like a third stick in there. But the truth is, it’s still sticks. It’s not a solid foundation, we have to begin to think about, in addition to that, we need to think about what is the experience that we’re creating the value they experience that’s going to be designed for them, that when they experience it, the transformation just can’t help but be right. So we need to be thinking about that. So I say, if you find yourself in that place where you go straight from, you know, the three, the three, those three V’s, or even or two of those V’s, and then straight to building and activating the community and the retreat, then you’re really missing out on the slowing down process so that you build it with such intention, and such gorgeousness that it can’t help but do the thing that you want it to do, right? 

So we need to we need to start thinking about what is the experience that we’re designing in here that has such deep intention that goes back into the the vision, the values, and the voice, and it creates an identity. So the women, I’m thinking of women at this retreat that we just made up of like, tired moms, yeah, these individuals that will be attending the retreat, feel like they’re part of something that’s beyond them, that so like a warm blanket, something that really envelops them, because they said yes to this experience, and they want more of this. If we can create that level of transformation, and imagine that our retreats can create that level of transformation. That changes everything. So we want to put a lot of attention and intention into building the culture of the retreat, that identity that is built because of the retreat, that the culture design, the rituals design, that’s all part of the experiential value. After we look at that, then we’re also going to look at what I call your profit path. 

Now a profit path is where this is why, you know, we I build companies, I build communities as part of companies and part of brands. It’s because I like to also generate revenue. It’s really fun to make money. So I like to I what I’ve done over the last, you know, 20 years of my life is I started to actually track the different communities that I built to see what really, what are the profit pathways, and IE the blueprints, if you will, of creating a profitable community.

And what we found is that over and over again, there’s really only five profit pathways that have when when you put that blueprint down into an on top of the experiential value and the vision, the value, and the voice, the three V’s, you will be able to generate additional six, seven and possibly even eight figures with a community that you’re building. Right, right. But it has to be but each of those five pathways has totally different blueprints, totally different ways in which you would design and implement that community, for profitability. 

Again, just all dependent on what the core intention is. Some of them are for bringing in new people into your community, and some are for deepening that relationship for your community. And there’s also some for those who are already raving fans of your community to continue to expand the brand. Right? So there’s multiple different ways you can see community and the profit pathways. From there, then we layer that with the offers, what are the offers? So they come to your retreat, then where do we take them? Is this it? Is the retreat it? Is that the final experience? And if that is, that’s totally great. 

And how do we invite them, the members to be able to continue to share about this retreat experience, and continue to bring in even potentially more perfect retreat attendees? If it’s a part of somewhere in the middle of your of your journey of working with a client, then what does that look like intentionally to move them through this retreat and onto the next experience with you or with your company, right? 

So we want to be very, very intentional about that. And this is really where it’s such a beautiful orchestration. Once you have again those three V’s (vision, values, voice), you layer that with experiential value, then you layer that with your profit path, and then your offers. And then and only then do we start building, and then ultimately activating it. That’s the process in which you start to build these profitable community experiences. 

And, and then we pay attention to what the numbers show us, what are what’s working really well? What does engagement look like? How about sales? Are they, is this moving the needle in the right direction? Where are the conversations falling apart? You know, we want to look at all these data points, once we activate so that we can continue to optimize the community and continue to support the the community to know how loved they are, to know how, how much we care about them, and also for the company to be able to grow in the direction you would intend it for the company to grow. 

And, and then we pay attention to what the numbers show us. What are what’s working really well? What does engagement look like? How about sales? Are they is this moving the needle in the right direction? Where are the conversations falling apart? You know, we want to look at all these data points, once we activate so that we can continue to optimize the community and continue to support the the community to, to know how loved they are, to know how, how much we care about them, and also for the company to be able to grow in the direction we would intend it for the company to grow.

Wow, you know, now I know why you’re the master of community, and I crown you as the Queen. That is incredible value, Maruxa. Thank you so much for all that, that makes you think more about the processes, and the strategy that has to be thought of before just jumping into, okay, let’s open a group. You know, some people it does fall into their lap, kind of, you know, like, if they have really like, it’s happened to me, where, you know, whether it was business or community to where you do something, and all of a sudden, it’s just, it blows up. But most of the time, it’s, it’s not that, and what you just said, is really, very thoughtful in everything that you do when you’re building the community. And most people don’t think that deep about that, you know, most most.

I mean, I grew up thinking community was just the way it’s like breathing for me right now. I didn’t, I didn’t start off, you know, dissecting how communities work. Actually, it wasn’t really until 2020. Every community I build up till 2020 was so intuitive, because it was waiting for me. But when 2020 hit the number, one thing I wanted to do was to give back to our community, and say, Hey, I’ve been building virtual communities for a long time at this point. Let me just give you and I did, I gave away everything. What it did is, yes, it tripled. It helped triple our company, and many different ways. It was a huge blessing. But the only way I was able to do that was to slow myself down and say whoa, whoa, whoa. While I was being really cute and intuitive for the first 20 years of my career. I can’t do that if I really want to serve people in a more intentional way. 

What was it that worked? What was it that didn’t work? And that’s when I, that’s when I thought realized, oh, my gosh, here are my profit paths. Whoa. And that’s when I started to design the Transform Community Paradigm for us all to really understand. If, while we can create this intuitively, there’s such power in creating it with your intuition and with a process and plan. So you have a backup to partner with you. You know, it’s like a jousting partner like to be like, Okay, I want to create this, and let’s ensure that it actually gets there, instead of just hoping, hope and pray that it makes it happen when we make it happen. You know.

When you do think so intuitively, it’s you have to actually, like you said, stop and say, Well, how did I do that? Because it’s easy for you. It’s, you know, it’s just you do it, and it’s just honestly, you have to literally dissect your every move and see what was profitable, what worked, what didn’t work. You know, what is it that makes it so easy for you? You know, even personality? You know, that comes into? It’s a big part of it. Your personality, if you’re not, do you feel like someone that doesn’t have the personality for community can still build a community? Because I think it’s it helps, right?

I love that question. Well, here’s my thought. I mean, we could do a whole other podcast on personality, and community. But this is something that I actually studied quite a bit, because I do have folks who are very, you know, methodo- what was that word? I can never say it.


That word. 

That, yeah, y’all know what we’re talking about.

Methodology. They love the methodology. 

There you go.

Anyway, that those, you know, and so in some, and even in their own eyes sometimes so like, I am so not that campaigner personality. They’re like, but I know I should build a community. I love like, My people love me. So what it is, it’s actually learning how to build a community with your personality type. And know like, Who Who are your dance partners, right? So for me, yeah, I love I’m bubbly. But guess who I need? I need one of those methodolo– people who love methodology to be a dance partner, partner for me, right? Because I need that balance. Right? They they help oversee the actual infrastructure design. When I’m in the “oh my gosh, what else can we create?” And I like to be you know, and I’m out. They’re more engaged with the community and vice versa. 

So everybody can play a part in a community, you know, so that’s kind of the that’s the fun part about it. It’s just we just need to know what is our personality type for our community as well. Yeah, that would be really fun podcast actually we should do that some time.

Maybe a live or something. Time has run out, I can’t believe how time passed that was really quick. Where can people find you? Where can they connect with you? You know, whatever you have, let’s throw it out there. Because I really want people to just absorb everything you say, because everything that just happened in the past, what, 40 minutes or so has been tremendous value. So I can imagine when they really get to connect with you what you could do for them. So where can they find you? 

I really appreciate that, Catherine, thank you. The best place really is My website, you go there, you get access to what we have called The Insiders Club. Actually, we’ve just renamed it called The Swell. It’s our newsletter. It’s a weekly newsletter. And what that does is it allows you to get tips and ideas and strategies on growing community, you’ll get access to that Transformed Community Paradigm, that model I just mentioned to you that I described. So you can actually visually see that as well. And when you’re there, then you will be able to see how else we can play. You know, some people want to play through being part of our Online Community Management Association, or the Revolutionaries or any of our playscapes. So, you know, there’s lots of different opportunities to engage. Also, LinkedIn is a wonderful place to connect. And I’m there often, and we’d love to meet everyone here. 

And just to add value to that I’m part of the founding members of the association. So I’m very proud to say that and so, so blessed to have this community. And I thank you for developing it. And I look forward to how that’s gonna blossom because it’s going to be amazing.

Absolutely. Catherine, I was like, Yeah, you were like our pre-founder number three, I think. Yeah. So amazing. That you are part of that. And I’m so grateful that you are.  

Thank you so much for making it happen. Thank you for being here today. And look out for this woman, everybody. She is on fire. Watch out, everybody. This is Maruxa. Thank you for listening, and see you on the next episode. 

Thank you for listening to the Retreat Boss podcast. When it comes to achieving wellness and transformation. Nothing is more effective and profound than a well-orchestrated retreat. Achieve huge revenue growth, one trip at a time. Want to learn more on expanding your business with retreats? Visit When profitable retreats are made easy. Be sure to leave a rating and subscribe to the show at forward slash podcast. Until next time, take care.


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About Maruxa Murphy

Maruxa Murphy is an award-winning community experience designer, strategist, entrepreneur, author and catalyst for change who has been transforming communities in person and online since 2000. She leads national and international initiatives with a deep understanding of the dynamics of how people connect and share information. Maruxa is further changing the game in community experience design while working in the travel, business, personal development, parenting, and coaching industries shifting how communities can be designed from “the inside out” to transform their industries from the core.

Her clients include Netflix’s “spiciest” show Sex, Love and Goop’s stars Jaiya Ma and Ian Ferguson with the Erotic Blueprints (grew this community to 1M people on Mighty Networks), Kajabi (Company valued at $2B with 60,000+ paid members), Uplift Millions brand, Spryte Loriano with Awakening Giants (an community owned conscious media network), multiple metaverses (alternate reality worlds) as well as creating and designing communities for brands revolutionizing their industries, like the Maui Resort community, the Women’s Prosperity Network, The Vision School, The Traveling Diary and the conscious dancer mentorship experience with former Rockette dancer Gina Pero.

Maruxa specializes in bringing people together to create profitable enterprises that do good in the world—while empowering all individuals to live their fullest. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Reader’s Digest, Fox News, The Huffington Post, NBC, and The Austin-American Statesman as well as featured as one of 10 women-owned brands to be on the lookout for at the United Nations on Women’s Entrepreneur Day 2019.



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