Does Community Live on a Spectrum?

This is post #5 in my 365 Day Writing Challenge. Want to follow along? Subscribe here.


 

The word community is thrown around a lot.  If you ask 100 people what community is you’ll likely get 100 different answers.

In the context of business the term community is used a lot to describe a lot of things. I’ve talked many times about the difference between an audience and a community. I’m often the first to call someone out when I feel they’re calling something a community that isn’t.

Where the lines get blurry is when you have a group of people who are interacting on an ongoing basis, but aren’t really forming any relationships, a sense of belonging or a sense of identity.

Without these things, is a group truly a community? A lot of people try to draw a line in the sand and see it as a yes or no situation. I myself have looked at it as black and white many times.

But maybe that’s not right. Maybe it isn’t such a clear distinction.

Maybe Community Lives on a Spectrum

If that’s true, it’s less about what is or isn’t a community and more about the level of community that a group is experiencing.

Consider a few scenarios:

  • Say you have a group of people who have a common interest but aren’t interacting, forming relationships, feeling a sense of belonging and have no shared identity as part of the group, then it is a weak community.
  • Say you have a group of people who have a common interest and are interacting and helping each other, but the community feels purely transactional and there’s little sense of belonging and identity, perhaps it’s still a community, just not a very strong one. 
  • Say you have a group of people who do feel a sense of belonging and shared identity, and are clearly exhibiting all the elements of a sense of community, then you have a strong community.

Let’s Look at it in the Business Context

There are a lot of companies who use the word community in many different ways. We often tell them they’re wrong, that what they have isn’t community at all. But maybe they do have a community, it’s just a really weak one.

Let’s take a few scenarios again:

  • Say you have a blog and newsletter with a lot of followers but none of those people are interacting with each other or feeling a sense of belonging. You have a very weak community. 
  • Say you have a support form where members are actively helping each other and answering questions, but they don’t really feel a strong sense of belonging or identity, then the community is mainly transactional. It’s a weak community. Still a community, just not a super strong one.
  • Say you have a group of customers who regularly meet up with each other for events, who identity as a member of the group or as a lover of the brand and who feel a strong sense of belonging amongst the group. You have a strong community.

Inactive vs Transactional vs Emotional 

If I could simplify the spectrum into three distinct, this would be it.

1. Inactive: No interaction, only consuming (aka an audience)

2. Transactional: Interaction for extrinsic value

3. Emotional: Interaction for intrinsic value

If you have a lot of people listening to you but they aren’t interacting with each other at all, what you have is an inactive community. The good news is, communities are built on trust and influence, and if they’re listening to you that means they have some level of trust. So this can be the start of a community.

There are a lot of business support forums, groups and events that are much more transactional than emotional. The members are there mostly to get the value they need, like an answer to a question or an introduction, and then they leave. They don’t form any bonds with other members.

That’s okay! It’s still super valuable and can create a lot of value for both members and the company.

The thing is they typically aren’t very sustainable, take a lot of facilitation and the value stops at the extrinsic level. Members haven’t adopted a social identity, so they won’t be motivated to improve or grow the community.

Then there are some businesses who have been able to built a community on the emotional level. In this case, members are getting the transactional, or extrinsic value, but they’re also getting something much more valuable, a strong sense of belonging.

It’s these communities that can last for decades. It’s these communities that make people not just like a brand, not just love a brand but actually integrate the brand into their identity.

In any strong, truly successful community, you’ll see that value exchange. There are the common examples of this like Apple and Harley Davidson whose success can largely be attributed to their ability to form a sense of identity around their brand and mission. There are also less talked about examples like Yelp, who formed the Yelp Elite to unite and reward their most loyal contributors. The core members of Reddit identify so strongly with the community that they’ve stuck around for years and there’s an extreme emotional reaction when the culture is threatened.

Here’s another mind blower…

Every Healthy Community Usually Has all Three Levels!

There’s almost always a core group of people who feel a strong sense of belonging and are highly committed to the community. Then there’s a middle layer of people who are participating and may feel like they’re a part of the group, but not as strongly. Then there’s an outside layer of people who are just consuming, not really participating and are largely inactive.

And they’re all part of the process. You need to get people to listen to you in order for them to know about the community in the first place. Then you need transactional, or extrinsic value, to convince them to join. And only after they’ve joined can they start to form a sense of shared identity and feel a sense of belonging.

To visualize it, every community looks something like this.

Should the ultimate goal for every business be to build a community that reaches the emotional level? I’m not sure. I think a lot will strop at the transactional level and be happy with that. But they’re missing out on a lot of value.

The Two Questions to Answer Before Building a Community for your Business

This is post #4 in my 365 Writing Challenge. Subscribe to follow along.


When someone asks for advice for how to build a community for their business I always start by asking the same two questions:

  1. Why is community valuable to your business?
  2. Why is community valuable to your potential community members?

I think those are the most important two questions that a business has to answer. And it’s scary how often they don’t even think about it before they start building their community.

Why is community valuable to your business?

At the end of the day you’re building a business and your community has to achieve your business goals. So before you start building a community you have to understand exactly what those business goals are.

Where will community fit into your business? Will it drive acquisition? Product feedback? Support? Customer success? Content?

Take it further. How will you tie community back to the bottom line? How will it drive revenue or reduce costs?

Get as specific as possible before you get started, not after.

Why is community valuable to your potential members?

A lot of companies will figure out the value that community can bring to their business, but they completely forget about whether or not a community will actually be valuable to their customers.

Communities are built for motivations, not outcomes. If your members aren’t actually motivated to interact with each other and contribute, they won’t create the value that you expect for your business.

Do you truly understand your potential members? Do you understand their sense of identity? Do they feel isolated? Where are they going to connect with people like them?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions and you have no idea if a community will actually be valuable to the potential members, your top priority should be to figure it out. Start conducting interviews, send out surveys, research existing communities… learn as much as possible. You should be able to form personas of your potential community members that will help you form a clear hypothesis for how they’ll participate in the community.

Now Align those Two Value Points

Now that you understand the value that your community will bring to your business and the value that your community will bring to your members, do those two things align?

If you want your community to create content for your website, but the way they want to communicate is in private, the values are misaligned.

If you want your community to give you product feedback but they have no interest in doing that, your value is misaligned.

Align the value to your business with the value to your community members and you’ll be on your way.

Lessons Learned from Two Years of Bootstrapping CMX and our Plans for the Future

This is post #3 in my 365 Writing Challenge. Subscribe to follow along.


It was Sunday, November 17th, 2013 when Max Altschuler and I sat down at the W Hotel in SOMA to watch football and discuss an idea for a new conference. A couple hours later, we shook hands and decided that we’re going to give this CMX Summit thing a shot.

I remember being really afraid. I had never run a conference before and had no idea where to begin putting one together. There had also never been a community focused conference at the scale of what I envisioned before. I wasn’t sure if we could pull it off.

Two years later, I couldn’t have possibly imagined how far it would have come. We have now hosted 5 conferences totaling over 1500 attendees, launched our publication that has reached over 130,000 professionals and brought in over half a million dollars in revenue (and a little less than half a million in costs). We’ve done this all completely bootstrapped with a team of 2 (at a time).

Today I’m proud to say the community industry looks significantly different than when we started.

There are more companies investing in community than ever before and community professionals are starting to see their work as part of a larger discipline. The amount of confusion around what community means for business is on the decline. And businesses are generating insane amounts of value for their business and customers through community programs.

We certainly don’t claim responsibility for all of the advancements in the space as we’re just one of many key players, but I’m very confident that the hard work our team put in has had a significant impact on the direction, definition and perception of the community industry.

CMX’s existence certainly hasn’t been with extreme struggles however.

Our first NYC conference almost completely flopped, and we almost lost $50,000. We were able to get it to just over break even by making some big last minute changes and bringing on some last minute partners who went to bat for us when it mattered most. It was one of the scariest times of my entrepreneurial career. CMX being completely bootstrapped, that $50k deficit would have come out of our pockets, put us in debt and probably ended the company. Until a couple months ago, all of my credit cards have been maxed out and I wasn’t taking a salary (I got paid when the company made money).

As a founder and CEO, I’ve found myself tested over and over again in more ways than I’ve ever had before. After one year, my cofounder Max decided to switch his focus to his other company Sales Hacker because it was doing really well and that’s where his real passion is. I fully support his decision Max is still an active advisor for CMX, but I’ve definitely felt his absence. Being a solo-founder has been an incredible weight and a huge learning experience.

In this time, I’ve become acutely aware of my own strengths and weaknesses. As is often the case for early stage CEO’s, my weaknesses can become the strengths and weaknesses of our company. Luckily CMX has had the help of amazing people along the way, namely Carrie Jones who started out contracting for CMX, and has grown to become a true partner and part of the heart of this company. She’s one of the most passionate and driven people I’ve ever worked with. She compliments my weaknesses in many ways, without which CMX would look very different today. I’m incredibly grateful to have her on the CMX team.

With all this,  I wanted to take a minute to reflect on some of the hard lessons learned from challenges I and CMX have faced.

I’ll also share some of our plans for the future at the end of this post.

Let’s dig in…

Lesson 1: Leadership is a Moving Target

Yesterday I wrote about my own ambitions to become a better leader. The tough thing about leadership is the game is always changing. What makes a great leader one day may be completely different the next. Especially as your team grows and your company matures, your expectations as a leader will change.

There are some aspects of leadership that come very natural to me. I’m good at getting people really excited about the community industry and I have my moments of storytelling greatness. Where I struggle is in having a clear plan (I’m more of a freestyle type) and so without a clear plan, it’s hard to have conviction for that plan. Without conviction, you can’t earn respect and leadership is all about respect.

This year our theme will be discipline. Being disciplined in our routines, in our plans and in our conviction to those plans.

When you’re in a leadership position, just remember that the game is always changing and you don’t always have to have all the answers. What’s important is that you’re clear about your plan and your values, and that you have conviction for those values. They’re the one thing that should remain steady.

Lesson 2: Writing your Values Down isn’t Enough

We have a super clear vision and mission at CMX (see here). We reference it constantly and it serves as our north star. We also have a doc of our values, but we haven’t has as much success applying them to our work. I take a lot of inspiration from companies like Buffer and Zappos who live and breathe their values.

They each have a page laying out all of their values, and so that’s what we did too. The thing is, that’s not enough. I think we’ve failed to really integrate our values for two reasons:

  1. Our values sound nice but aren’t really unique to our culture and personality
  2. More importantly, we don’t hold ourselves accountable to applying our values

The first one is a more obvious issue, though apparently it wasn’t obvious enough for us to fix it until now. Simply put, don’t just put words down that sound nice. Choose values that really speak to who you are, what makes you unique, what makes your weird, and paints a picture of the best possible version of your organization.

The second one is where most fail with values. You write them down and they sit there in a google doc, rarely looked at again. How can you make them something that bleeds into everything you do? How do you integrate your values into every decision your team makes, every interaction they have and every product they build?

A few ways we’ll be working to improve this:

  • Actually print them out so you see them every day
  • Specify how to apply your values in your daily activities
  • Ask team members to share how they’re applying the values to their work
  • Review them with every person you interview and revisit them with every employee regularly
  • Give props to your teammates when they exhibit your values

Lesson 3: You Need Deliberate Communication Rituals

Communication is an area we will always be working on improving. I’m a firm believer that communication is the most important part of building a company.

When you fail at communication, you become less efficient, you move slower and you risk negativity going unnoticed.

I’m an extremely open person. I get a rush from being transparent. If you ask me anything I’ll give you an honest and open answer. Because of that, I figured that communication in our company would be good. I could breed a culture of transparency. Wrong…it doesn’t just happen. You need to make communication happen. You need to create a space for it.

I learned this lesson very clearly with the help of my team. Early last year we were all working very hard and I was pretty heads down all the time getting stuff done. The thing is, a lot of the work of the CEO isn’t seen by others. Setting up operations, managing financial docs, taking a lot of meetings with partners…these are all things that take a lot of time for me but my team had NO idea what I was actually doing on a daily basis.

We fixed this in with two processes:

  1. EVERYTHING goes in Asana and anyone on the team can see all the completed and upcoming tasks of other members of the team
  2. Daily updates in Slack where every morning, we share what we’re working on that day and how long each thing will take. We also share when we’re available to be interrupted that day and when we shouldn’t be disturbed

We’ve done other things to improve our communication. Our team does weekly 1-1’s which are focused on giving honest feedback and share our feelings openly. It’s tempting to start talking about projects instead, which happens often, but you have to try to avoid it.

We’ve also started doing team retreats twice a year. I hope that as our company grows, and we get more resources, we can invest more into these kinds of experiences as they’ve proven to be invaluable for team building and keeping the company direction on track.

This is still a work in progress for us. The daily updates are hard to stick to. I learned quickly that if I don’t do it, no one else will. So being disciplined and forming good habits is key for communication.

Creating more communication rituals is going to be a priority for us in 2016. We’re about to start trying this one for showing gratitude.

Lesson 4: Bootstrapping is a Slow Starter

I’m really proud that we’re bootstrapping CMX and that we’ve been making revenue since day one. Having been in the startup grind for 7 years, I’ve had my share of rapid growth startups, raising capital and pursuing the unicorn dream. This time, we’re doing it different.

I still have massive ambitions for CMX to be a fast growing, successful company. The reality is that bootstrapping a company makes it incredibly hard to grow quickly, simply because you can’t hire until you’re making enough money to pay them.

If you raise a million dollar seed round, you can build a core team of 4-6 people pretty quickly. The CMX team has remained at 2 people since we started. We’ve accomplished an incredible amount with such a small team. Of course we’ve had the help of some amazing advisors like Robin Spinks, Hiten Shah, George Arabian and Bastian Vidal, as well as contractors like the Reinventing Events team for conferences and devs and designers we outsource to, but the major bulk of the work done at CMX has had to be done by two people who are getting paid very little.

We’re two years in now and we’re just now getting to the point where we can comfortably hire 1-2 more people. We’re bringing on a few Global Partners next year who will help us fund our initiatives to advance the industry and that will help us give CMX the resources it really needs. Every day I still feel a temptation to go out there and raise more money from investors. Having more capital to play with would make life a lot easier. But it will also limit the kind of company we can build. Just because it’s easy doesn’t make it the right move.

Just know if you want to bootstrap your business, and you don’t have a boatload of your own cash that you can put into it, get ready for a long, slow grind.

 

Looking to the Future of CMX and the Community Industry

Heading into 2016 CMX is the strongest it’s ever been.

Financially we’re becoming more steady with the help of new products and partnerships that are bringing more predictable revenue. Moral is high and we’re planning to make some critical hires in the next couple months to grow the team. The CMX community is growing organically every day, and we’re seeing more members take on leadership positions to bring events to their own cities.

We’ve developed a lot of trust with the community industry and we still have a ways to go. We want to become indispensable to community professionals. Our focus is on creating as much value for them as possible. It drives every decision we make.

Because we’re bootstrapped and not a startup, we’re not expected to grow our profits exponentially, and can focus on growing CMX slowly and specifically. I’m incredibly proud to be building this kind of business. I expect CMX to be around for as long as the community industry exists and to be built on real value, and real revenue.

Now we’re ready to take CMX into the next phase of our long term strategy.

The last two years have been all about building the community. We put the priority on hosting events, building the online community and creating a ton of content for the community industry. We knew that the biggest thing the industry needed was a sense of unity and access to more information.

It’s put us in a good position where most in the industry know and trust us. We don’t take that trust lightly, and serving the community will always be what drives every decision we make.

Now that awareness and understanding of community strategy is increasing we can begin the next phase, establishing community as a discipline.

We already launched our first online training course, which sold out in a week and has a long waiting list. With that validation we’re going to continue to develop the industry’s most comprehensive education and certification program. This will be a huge step in legitimizing the industry and creating a set of standards for community professionals to live by.

In addition to online training, we will be building out our matchmaking program to help companies recruit world-class community talent and formalizing our consulting and workshop offerings to help companies plan and execute a complete community strategy.

Eventually our plan is to develop the technology that community professionals will use every day to be more efficient in their work. I don’t think the industry is quite there yet, but it’s getting there quickly and when it’s ready, we’ll be ready too.

Onward!

A Simple Model to Measure and Improve your Leadership Skills

This is post #2 in my 365 Writing Challenge.


If you’re a founder, leadership is probably a topic that runs through your head every single day.

The success of your company is directly related to your ability to lead. We’ve seen companies live and die by their leadership. We’ve also seen all different kinds of leaders…good, evil, outgoing, soft-spoken etc.

So it begs the question, what makes a great business leader?

There are a lot of models, books and theories around leadership. Today I’m going to refer to this recent post from Mark Suster that really inspired me, Some Thoughts on Leadership Going into 2016.

Like the title states, this isn’t a research backed leadership model, they’re just based on Mark’s opinion based on his experience. Mark is a seasoned entrepreneur who has sold two companies and is now a well respected investor who has seen a lot of CEO’s go through the trials of building a startup. So I trust his perspective when it comes to identifying leadership.

In his post, he lays out 7 elements of a great leader:

  1. Sense of Purpose
  2. Conviction
  3. Relationships
  4. Team Building
  5. Communications
  6. Empowerment
  7. Presence

In this article I will:

  1. Do a really quick review of each one with a quote from Mark’s post and my quick interpretation
  2. Share how I’m making this model actionable

Let’s start with the quick reviews…

1. Sense of Purpose

“If people don’t know the mission there is no way to achieve the objective and you end up with a team pulling in 100 different directions – even if only by small amounts.”

This is the “why” behind why you’re building your company. It’s your vision, mission and values. It’s your culture.

Your purpose is your north star that acts as a lens through which you make decisions, and the guide rails that keep your team aligned and on track.  Most experts, Mark included, would recommend you codify your sense of purpose. Write it down, make it specific, and revisit it regularly.

2. Conviction

“Great leaders have deeply held conviction in their strategy and plans. Codifying what you believe is one thing but sticking to your plans is another.”

This is your ability to stick to your sense of purpose and your plan.

If you think of any great leader, you can see their conviction very clearly. They have their set of principles and they stick to them. That’s why people respect them, even if they don’t agree with them. It’s their conviction that allows them to make hard decisions.

3. Relationships

“People will accept being overruled or will accept compromises or will live through cut-backs and downsizing or whatever else is thrown their way when they trust and respect you. And this comes from hours and hours of investing in personal relationships.”

If you’re a people pleaser like me, you want everyone to like you. That’s not what Mark’s talking about here. In order to make everyone like you, you have to make everyone happy and that isn’t always possible. Leaders are faced with incredibly difficult situations every day. What’s important is that people respect you so that when you do have to make a hard decision, they trust that you’re making the right choice even if it doesn’t positively affect them. Respect is built on trust. Trust is built by putting in the time with people and really understanding their needs.

4. Team Building

“The hardest thing as a leader of teams is to know when it is time to “hire above” your existing team and when it’s time to let your team members try to develop into the next role.”

Great leaders surround themselves with great people. They know they can’t do it all alone and they’re aware of their own weaknesses. Building the right team is critical to building a successful business.

Mark describes one of the hardest decisions when building a team is whether to hire above your existing team, or give existing members an opportunity to grow into the role.

5. Communication

Great leaders tell people what they’re doing and why. They are transparent about the goals and objectives of the organization and they’re willing to tell people how the company is doing against those goals.

Communication is at the core of any healthy relationships, business or community. “Communicate early and often” is the rule of thumb you’ll hear in the startup world. This can be a tough one for a lot of leaders because they want to take the weight of the challenges on their own shoulders. It’s hard to communicate bad news. Communication also isn’t one of those things you can do reactively. It has to be a habit, building communication systems into your business routine. People can’t help you if they don’t know what the problem is, and you’re not doing your team any favors by not telling them the good and the bad.

6. Empowerment

You may have a strong sense of purpose, a great and differentiated product or service and a great team surrounding you but if you don’t learn to empower your team you’ll never be as effective of a leader as you should be. Empowerment is exactly what leadership is: It’s about setting the direction for the team, assembling talented players and then letting them execute to their fullest abilities.

Founders are used to controlling everything. So when it comes time to build a team around you, it can be hard to give up that control. In some ways I struggle with this too. Pretty soon I’m going to have to give up owning the core offering of our business (our conference) so I’ll be put to the test again. Empowerment isn’t just about giving people ownership over a specific area of the business though. It’s also about creating an environment where people feel like they have a voice, that they play an important role in the organization and that they have a level of autonomy.

7. Presence

“…great leaders are present. They show up in the office. They respond to email. They get involved in laborious staff meetings. They get involved in hard product decisions. They give good news and bad news personally. They know when morale is down because they are living it. They lead from the front…”

This isn’t a hard one for those of us who are bootstrapped or working with extremely limited resources. But eventually, once you build a team, it may be tempting to take your hands out of the day to day operations. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who like to travel and take extended periods of time off. That’s fine if you need that to be happy (to some extent I do too) but it won’t help your leadership. A leader is putting in the time as much or more than any other member of the team.

Making the Model Actionable

I was really inspired by these 7 elements as I felt they aligned well with my own beliefs around leadership. I often think of leadership as this one singular thing, but seeing it broken down like this made it easier to wrap my head around.

If these are the 7 elements that determine the strength of a leader, I started wondering how good I was at each one. So I rated myself. For each of the 7 elements, I gave myself a rating of 1-5. Here’s what I came up with:

Sense of Purpose: 3
Conviction: 2
Relationships: 2
Team Building: 4
Communications: 3
Empowerment: 4
Presence: 4

Average: 3.1 out of 5

Not great eh? I know I’m my own harshest critic but it definitely looks like I have a lot of room for improvement. So I also wrote down what I’m currently doing well and how I could improve in each area:

1. Sense of Purpose (3):

We have a very clear vision and mission at CMX and we’re really good at sharing and applying it regularly. This has come naturally to me because it’s something that’s so deeply rooted in our culture and purpose. Where we need to improve is in the specification and application of our values. We’ve had values but they’ve felt more like vague platitudes than something we really live by. It’s up to me as a leader to get very clear about what our true values are, write them down and make them actionable. I’ve done the first two parts…making them actionable is still something we have to figure out.

2. Conviction (2):

This is one of the areas where I need the most improvement. It’s not because I have trouble committing to my beliefs or plans, it’s because I struggle with planning. You can’t commit to a plan that you don’t have. So the first step is to get a clear plan down, based on the vision I have for the company, and then work with my team and advisors to refine that plan. Once we have something specific, it becomes much easier to commit to it, and practice conviction.

3. Relationships (2):

This is the second area where I need the most improvement. If you know me, you might be surprised by this. Most would say that relationship building is one of my best skills. In many ways it is, I’m really good at putting time in with people, I’m highly empathetic and I’m good at making friends. But as Mark says, relationships isn’t just about getting people to like you, it’s about respect. It’s about making the hard decisions when you need to. My nature and need for people to like me gets in the way of this regularly. I end up becoming friends with people rather than someone they respect as a leader. This is an area I strongly need to improve.

4. Team Building (4):

Right now our team is small but strong. Everyone working on CMX, advisors, employees, volunteers and contractors, have a deep passion for our mission. They’re here for the right reasons and that’s a standard I never want to sacrifice. They’re also highly talented and ambitious. In the future, team building will be harder as we grow but right now, I couldn’t be happier with the squad we’re running with.

5. Communications (3):

Transparency is something that comes naturally to me. I enjoy sharing and being open about learnings (as you can see in my writing). Where we really need to improve is in our system for communicating regularly so that we can get things out of our heads and in a place where we can take action on it. This also ties back to the need for more specific plans. By having a specific plan we can have measures of how we’re performing against that plan and have open conversations around how to improve it.

6. Empowerment (4):

This is something that comes to me naturally as well. I enjoy seeing the people around me succeed and I want them to feel real autonomy and ownership over their work. This will be put to the test when I hand off ownership of our conference to the person we hire to run all CMX events soon.

7. Presence (4):

Again, we’re so early and such a small team that there aren’t many challenges here. We’re all executing and have our hands in a lot of projects. I’m highly present with our team. If there’s one area I want to keep in mind as we move forward is to stay present with our community as well. I don’t want to get so heads down on work that I forget to stay present with the people we’re serving.

So with this, I have a good measure of where I’m at now as a leader and the specific areas where I’d like to improve.

My plan is to go through this process every quarter to track how I’m improving as a leader, and prioritize where I need to improve in the future.

I’d love to hear if any of you give yourselves a rating and how you think about improving your leadership. Also share any other books or articles about leadership that have inspired you. Comment below.

I’m Writing 365 Posts in 2016… One Post Every Day

Here we go… new year, new challenges.

One of my areas of improvement for 2016 is to improve my focus. But I haven’t improved it yet so I decided take on a whole bunch of challenges this year. They are:

  1. Write (and publish) every day
  2. No alcohol for all of January
  3. Wake up at 6:30 on weekdays (and stick to my daily plan)
  4. Meditate every day
  5. Cook 2+ times per week
  6. Read every day for at least 15 minutes

Easy right?

Well the writing challenge might be the one I’m most excited about. I love writing and when I’m writing consistently, life seems to move in the right direction. It brings me clarity, it holds me accountable and it allows me to share my mistakes and lessons with others which has always been extremely rewarding for me. I once wrote about why you should build a habit of writing every day. Time for me to recommit to my own advice.

The last time I did a writing challenge it was for 100 days. Lets see if we can make it a 365 thing.

I’ll be mostly publishing here, but will also be writing on Medium and CMX. Maybe some occasional guest posts for others too.

I’ll be writing about:

  • Community building
  • Leadership
  • Productivity
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Whatever else inspires me at the time

It may not always be long. It may not be pretty. There may be some cussing and typos. I may even write some of these drunk (after January). But the most important thing is that I’m consistent. Every day, I will write, and hit publish. I promise you that much.

If you want to follow along, subscribe right over there in the sidebar —>

Want to join me in the writing challenge? Join the fb group where we can hold each other accountable (brought from the dead from the 2013 challenge).

You can see a full list of all the posts I write during this challenge here.