Finding Your Tribe: The Mobile Observatory Project

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Something striking occurred this week, and I don’t mean the raging thunderstorm that shook our RV in the middle of the night. We met people our age who live in an RV. Finally!

the mobile observatory project

We are no longer the kids on the block. Here in middle of no where South Dakota, we ran into Ben and Katherine Davidson, ages 29 and 27, respectively.

You’ll never guess what they’re doing. Really, you could absolutely never guess this.

They are the brains of the Mobile Observatory Project, a recent successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. Here is their mission: “to enhance the news capabilities by retrofitting an RV and traveling across the U.S. and Canada on tour, meeting with supporters, conducting research with contacts, sightseeing with their family, all while continuing to release the news every day.”

I’m sorry, that might be a little vague. Let me be more specific. Ben is an online news reporter. Here’s what Ben does every day:

“The Suspicious 0bservers YouTube channel was created by Ben in 2011 to explore and share the sciences of the Sun, space weather and its electromagnetic effects on our planet in a short, condensed daily summary.”

The “news” mentioned in their mission statement isn’t news about celebrities or wars or stocks, it’s about the weather. The weather in space. 

To be a little more clear (because at first glance, we thought they were out to find aliens), Ben is the guy who discovered how to predict large earthquakes based on the sun’s patterns. He’s the real deal. He has the algorithm and research to prove it.

He’s 29, lives in an RV much fancier than ours, and travels the country with his wife plus their two dogs conducting research and sharing their knowledge with the space science community.

Meeting Ben and Katherine opened my mind to see something.

As a writer, you constantly doubt yourself. Your thoughts sound like a broken record. Someone better than me has written this same thing before and more people will read them than will read me! 

The counter advice always reads that as you write, you’ll find your niche and your audience who resonate with your thoughts. The world needs your voice.

I’ve always doubted this advice. How could there be a niche, a group of people, who resonate with me? How could a tribe arise out of the world of people who think like me and care about what I have to say?

Well, how could there be a group of people who care about the weather on the sun? I mean, really?

But Ben has 189, 588 YouTube subscriptions to his daily webshow.

If you’re thinking of writing a blog, or a book, or starting a business, let that sink in.

There are 189,588 who really care about the weather on the sun, which is 92.96 MILLION miles away, I checked. They care and they wake up at 6:30 ET to hear his daily news show.  I actually just rechecked his YouTube page and had to update the subscriber numbers I recorded from yesterday, because he gained 50 more!

Ben’s story floors me, but also gives me a lot of confidence. He shows up daily, he hasn’t missed a news show in over three years, and he ships his art. He found his niche, grew a tribe, and delivers a quality product.

This is the advice I’ve always heard given to writers or creatives, but never believed. That’s what people like Jon Acuff or Jeff Goins can do. I can’t do that. 

But I can, and you can, because Ben can. No matter how crazy or unorthodox or unusual your ideas may be, there are thousands of people out there who want to hear it. You just have to show up every day and ship your art.