Recently I’ve found myself giving the pitch for what Living for Monday is all about much more often than in 2013. There are two key drives behind this. First, we moved into Atlanta Tech Village on January 12th, which has produced much more interaction with interesting people, or “engineered serendipity” as they call it around here. Second, we’ve made a concerted effort to bridge the gap between online and offline community-building here in Atlanta — which is a key part of our strategy going forward.
As we’ve become more focused in our most recent pivot/narrowing of our vision, it has been easier to pitch why we do what we do, how we do it, and what, specifically “it” is. However, I know I can do better so this post is the one page pitch for what we’re up to. I hope you’ll read through and let me know your thoughts when you get done.
First and foremost, we’re on a mission to change the way the world thinks about work. Rather than living for the weekend, we believe Living for Monday is the idea that our work is our most important opportunity to make an impact and leave a legacy in the world. With everything we do, we want that belief to be front and center.
How we do that starts getting a bit more practical. Our vision is to build the most creative and inspiring training company in the world. I’ve preached regularly about the definition of world being a major area of importance for focus and strategy in the business. The way we define the world right now is the Metro Atlanta area. If we can succeed here, then we can grow beyond here. But if we can’t succeed here, then it’s unlikely a change of scenery will magically make our model work.
What we do is build professional and personal development training courses for young professionals in the first ten years of their careers, living in the Atlanta area, who believe what we believe. Our goal is to help young professionals build badass careers, become great at what they do, and ultimately live for Monday.
Our values, or what we want our products, events, and culture to embody:
- Grow: as a person at work and at home
- Invest: in a community of inspiring people who help you reach your potential
- Seek: experiences and learning that push you out of your comfort zone
- Hustle: to earn what you want from work and life
- Enjoy: the people, experiences, and things you already have
To help you position our training in your minds, you can think of our training as sitting at the intersection of CreativeLive, Levo League Office Hours, and traditional professional development training from companies like Franklin Covey or Dale Carnegie Training.
Creative Live is a company I’ve long admired whose mission is to make learning accessible to everyone and spread creativity throughout the world. They run almost daily training events that are delivered by experts, attended live by a small studio audience, and livestreamed over the internet for free. They package the courses into modules and supplementary materials for sale after the live event is over. Customers make a one time purchase of a course and have lifetime access.
Levo League is a company founded by two former Mckinsey consultants after their split with the founders of The Muse. Both Levo and The Muse are websites built for young professional women. Levo has done an incredible job of building an online mentor program with high profile, primarily female, role models. They host weekly “Office Hours” in which a founder interviews the leaders via livestream over the internet and participants can ask questions of the mentor along the way.
Franklin Covey and Dale Carnegie Training are legacy brands built on the backs of individual thought leaders. They provide professional services like consulting to Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. They are perhaps best known for their training resources, which are delivered to thousands and thousands of people worldwide, both online and off.
We’ve incorporated the Creative Live model of free, live training for filming, streaming, and recording our courses. We’ve incorporated interviews with high profile leaders to supplement our core courses as inspired by Levo League. We’ve incorporated the traditional training model of Dale Carnegie or Franklin Covey by providing both in-person and online training resources. Finally, we believe in great design for our content platform, curricula, supplementary materials, and video thanks to inspiration from companies like Fast Company, IDEO, and others.
So, in practice, here’s what our model looks like:
At first, we will record one new training course and one new interview with a high profile leader per month. Course topics and interview subjects will be driven by our paying customers first, and our target market second. Between 10-50 young professionals will get the opportunity to attend the live training and interviews for free, in studio, and a much larger group will get free access to the live event via livestream. We will film the training as we livestream. Paid customers will get first dibs on seats at live training sessions before the opportunity is released to the public.
We will edit each course into modules, Q&A sessions (Office Hours), and case studies in post production. We will also edit and package the filmed interviews (Mentor Sessions). All of the above will be hosted behind a paid subscriber login wall on LivingforMonday.com, accessible to our customers 24/7/365.
The content will be complemented by a forum that will give community members the chance to interact online in between seeing each other at the live training and networking events that we host.
All training will be built for and marketed directly to young professionals in Atlanta who want to be great at what they do. We are building everything from the individuals’ point of view, as opposed to prioritizing the needs of the company. We believe that individuals benefit from training and make their organizations better, which is why we will tackle the course topics most relevant to our core audience. However, companies will also have access to our the training platform through bulk purchasing for their employees.
Our pricing model is a subscription model in which each individual pays $15 per month. We could probably increase our conversion by making it $14.97 a month, but I believe in being straightforward with our customers, so we won’t be playing mind games. It’s $15 a month and we will always aim to provide at least 10x the value to our customers.
A key component of our approach is bridging the gap between online training and building offline community on a local level. We believe that giving people a chance to interact in person will be a key differentiator between us and every other online training platform. More learning, engagement, and meaning come from in person interaction and we will continue to provide our community with as many opportunities to get together in person as possible. Once we’re successful and profitable in Atlanta, we’ll aim to expand as fast as possible to other communities where our customers live and work.
All of our training is meant to bridge the gap between college education and middle management / executive coaching. We want to pull back the curtain on what helps create a successful career in the first ten years at work. Too often, we wait for remedial training and coaching for a select group of employees that have been identified as “high potential.” In the mean time, research tells us that one of the key differences between high performers and average performers is whether they are told they have “high potential.” We believe every person can be great at what they do, and we want to enable and empower individuals to gain the skills, habits, experiences, and connections necessary to be great.
What are your thoughts on our business model? Would you become a customer? Would you pay for your young professionals to be a part of the community? What challenges are we not seeing? How could we make the model better?