Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘From the Founder’ Category

The Living for Monday team is (and always will be) made up of life long learners. We know the value of consistent growth and progress in our personal and professional lives first hand. Whenever we have been a part of an online learning community, one of the most valuable aspects has been the ability to know what is coming down the pike.

The first eight workshops at Living for Monday are meant to build the foundations of soft skills that every young professional can benefit from. When we talk to business owners, executives, and HR managers, we consistently hear similar complaints about how their young professionals can improve. Similarly, when we talk to members of our community, we know that there are challenges both at work and at home that, if solved, would produce massive personal and professional growth.

So, these are the first eight workshops at Living for Monday. Beyond this roadmap, we’ll begin branching out into more specific skills related to PR, marketing, and advertising, as well as continuing to build our the core soft skills to help you build a meaningful, impactful, and fulfilling career.

Here are the first 8 workshops for young professionals at Living for Monday

 

1) To Do’s Reduce Stress, Get More Done, and Consistently Produce Result

Pain point: The challenges of email, meetings, boss expectations, and colleagues who need help make it difficult to consistently focus on the most important work. Add in the distractions of everything on the internet, open office plans, and coffee breaks and it can be downright impossible to focus on some days.

Summary: Let’s be honest with each other: we both know that you don’t get done as much as you could get done on most days. When you do, it’s often the urgent that gets done before the important. Let’s fix that, shall we? Priorities, productivity, and focus. Get the important things done in less time so your boss stays happy and you reach your goals.

Sign Up Now

2) How to Achieve Unreasonable Goals Through Reasonable Habits

Pain Point: The importance of goal setting has been hammered into us, and yet it doesn’t make the process any easier or more enjoyable. We’re encouraged to set lofty goals, and yet we find it difficult to act on those goals on a daily basis.

Summary: Whether in your head, on a crumpled piece of paper, or posted on your wall, we all have goals we want to achieve in life. Whether you want to be CEO or you want to have more muscle definition, every goal can be broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly habits. This workshop will give you the system to make it happen, cap’n.

Sign Up Now

3) How to Build a Mastermind Group

Pain Point: “How do I find more people like me now that I’m out of college?” is a question I get more often than I can count. Finding friends who will push you to reach your potential is very difficult — after all, would you walk up to a random dude or lady at a bar and ask, “Hey, wanna be my friend and hold me accountable for my goals?” Good luck with that ;).

Summary: The most powerful way to raise the bar and reach your potential is to consistently surround yourself with people who expect your best. Mastermind group members will call your bluffs, hold you accountable, and offer encouragement when you need it. This workshop will give you everything you need, soup to nuts, to put together your own group. It also incorporates well with our membership to fuel your MM group from day one.

Sign Up Now

4) The First 90 Days: What to Do When You Land a New Job

Pain Point: Starting a new job is exciting, but what happens after you take the offer? There is no roadmap for getting acclimated to your new organization. Even the best onboarding programs are not sufficient for setting you up for success.

Summary: Landing a new gig is a major accomplishment and we’re proud of you… But the real work starts when you show up for day one. Your first 90 days will set the pace for your trajectory at your new job. This workshop will help you make all the right moves to catapult your career by building crucial relationships, setting effective goals, and understanding the company’s strategy.

Sign Up Now

 

5) Personal Finance Habits: Building a Budget That Works

Pain Point: As if it weren’t enough to deal with building a successful career, the first 10 years at work are the most crucial for establishing the trajectory of our financial future. And yet where is the handbook for handling a salary, 401K, insurance, and every other “grown up” expense we get to deal with?

Summary: Generally speaking, the word budget is enough to make us gag. Thankfully, with the right tools, your budget can become a low key way to stay out of debt, save for retirement, and still have a daggum good time along the way. In this workshop, we’ll set you up with a simple, but powerful budget to track all of your exciting expenses, help you get out of debt (if you need to), and consistently track your progress using free tools to make it happen. You can thank us when you’re on a fully funded beach vacation. (You’re welcome.)

Sign Up Now

 

6) Negotiate for a Raise or Promotion at Work

Pain Point: Sometimes the only difference between staying in or leaving your current company is whether you’re feeling a sense of progress or making enough money to live the lifestyle you want. The conversations to help you land a raise or promotion are intimidating, especially if you haven’t done it before.

Summary: The fine art of negotiating for what you’re worth requires walking a fine line between confidence and entitlement. You’ll need political savvy, strategic thinking, and the ability to build a case for why you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread (or close to it). Get it right by attending this workshop, which will help you prove your value, build a business case, and have the tough conversations.

Sign Up Now

 

7) Take Control of Your Annual Performance Review

Pain Point: Your performance review is your chance to show your employer why you’re so valuable to them. Most companies lay out a poor format and glaze over many of your accomplishments. If you don’t track your goals and progress, you won’t be able to cash in on your hard work.

Summary: Once a year companies turn people into data. Your annual performance review is like a trial with a biased jury who determines whether you’re fired or promoted, receive a bonus, raise, or nothing at all, and establishes your place in the leadership pipeline. We’ll help you take charge to turn the process into a sexy competitive advantage. Yeah, we said it.

Sign Up Now

 

8) Build and Maintain Your Inner Circle

Pain Point:  Building relationships with great people after college becomes more and more difficult. The gap between meeting colleagues at work and meeting people at a bar is big, and yet it can be incredibly hard to meet fellow young pros any other way.

Summary: Our nerdy research tells us it’s because of the 50 person inner circle you surround yourself with has the greatest influence on what you achieve and how you spend your time. This workshop will give you a proactive way to build an inner circle that irreversibly changes your life for the better. (That was a bit dramatic, but hey, it got your attention.)

Sign Up Now

 

Take some time to sign up for one of our initial workshops by clicking on a link above.

As I described in an earlier post in this series, you can watch every workshop live online for free. Afterwards, you can purchase each workshop a la carte to download to the supplementary materials and templates, as well as having lifetime access to the workshop video modules. All of our members get access to our entire workshop library in addition to joining an LFM mastermind group plus many other benefits.

 

**Photo: Workshop Agenda by we collaborate on Flickr

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

There’s this vision of success that has been hammered into us over time. Power, prestige, and pay are at the forefront of what it means to build a successful career. Our parents and grandparents built lifelong careers with single companies, took home a pension at the end, and knew that if they kept their heads down, they would be taken care of.

That world exists no more, and we’re all on the same journey to find out what this new world of work looks like.

Living for Monday is built on the belief that work can be something different, something better, something special. We believe our work — the 9-to-5 — is our outlet for making an impact. Not something to be endured, but something to be invested in.

While some people remain stuck in the industrial mindset, there is another group taking a more inspired approach to their work. They wake up every Monday looking forward to the week ahead, ready to tackle their work with purpose and hustle.

The people who make up the second group are building a new definition of career success built around hustle, experiences, freedom, and community. That’s the group we’ve built Living for Monday to serve.

Living for Monday is for:

 

Young Professionals in the First Ten Years of Their Careers

At the most basic level, Living for Monday is built for young professionals between the ages of 21 – 30. They’ve graduated college in the last 10 years and are in the throws of finding direction in their careers, building a foundation of skills to fuel their growth, and forming the relationships that will become a powerful network over time.

…In Atlanta

Specifically, we’ve launched Living for Monday with a focus on young professionals in Atlanta. Anyone is welcome, but we’re focused on Atlanta for now because we know we can deliver a higher level of service to young pros in our hometown. We’ll be able to host events, offer meeting space for local mastermind groups, and open up spots in our in-studio audience because our members will be close by.

Our geographic focus will grow as our resources allow us — and of course, our online workshops, workshop library, and blog will be accessible from anywhere, anytime. Our top priority is delivering an outstanding customer service that is unmatched.

…Who Work in PR, Marketing, and Advertising

This was a tough decision, but after careful consideration, we’ve narrowed our focus to young professionals in Atlanta who work in PR, Marketing, and Advertising. Nearly every successful entrepreneur whose blog we read or whose advice we’ve received has shared the same general piece of advice:

“Narrow your market so far that it makes you uncomfortable at first. That’s the only way you’ll ever grow enough to serve a wider audience.”

We’re passionate about the power of PR, marketing, and advertising, as well as the people who work in those fields. When Josh and I independently answered the question of what industry we would focus on if we could only choose one segment, we both came up with the same answer.

Our entire workshop roadmap will focus on the needs of young pros in Atlanta in PR, Marketing, and Advertising. We’ll cover soft skills like productivity, public speaking, and goal setting, as well as more industry-specific topics like typography, press releases, and pitching. If you have an idea for a workshop topic, send it to us via our contact page.

…And Want to Build a Meaningful Career, Become Great at What They Do,  and Surround Themselves with Remarkable People

Perhaps most importantly, we’ve built Living for Monday for the young pros who believe work is about more than power, prestige, and pay. Sure, those things factor in over time, but our audience believes that a successful career is built on doing work based on beliefs, finding power in great people, having the grit to be great, and building habits that make us happy.

Being able to wake up on Monday morning excited to learn, grow, and do important work is much more important than being able to say we work for the most prestigious firm in town. If we can have both, that’s great, but finding meaningful work is at the top of our priority list. That’s the kind of person that makes up our community.

We’re on a mission to change the way the world thinks about work — from an attitude of TGIF to one of Living for Monday. That means building Living for Monday for the people who understand that we only get one life and one career. We might as well make it meaningful, become great at what we do, and be surrounded by great people along the way.

If that sounds like you, sign up for one of our free upcoming workshops. We’re building them for you.

 

**Photo = 2013 World Water Week Young Professionals by worldwaterweek on Flickr

Read Full Post »

Yesterday I wrote a novel introducing the new Living for Monday and I promised several follow-on posts to dive a bit deeper on specific aspects. I’ll attempt to be thorough, but intentional with my words so you get what you want without spending a ton of time.

Here’s how the new Living for Monday model works in a nut shell (or, how you can make the most of the resources we’re providing):

  1. Watch workshops for free
  2. Build your library or become a member
  3. Once you’re a member, invest in the community and it will invest back in you

Watch Workshops for Free

On the site, you’ll see that almost everything is focused on one particular action we want you to take: sign up for a free, live, online, upcoming workshop. We’ve laid out an entire roadmap for the next three months are so, aimed at providing the foundations for building a career that matters, making an impact through your work, and having a good time along the way.

You can view upcoming workshops from the Homepage, the workshop calendar on the Watch Free page, or the course roadmap on the Become a Member page. Our first eight courses include:

  1. APRIL 14 – To Do’s: Reduce Stress, Get More Done, and Consistently Produce Results
  2. APRIL 28 – How to Achieve Unreasonable Goals Through Reasonable Habits
  3. MAY 12 – How to Build a Mastermind Group
  4. MAY 26 – The First 90 Days: What to Do When You Land a New Job
  5. JUNE 9 – Personal Finance Habits
  6. JUNE 23 – Negotiate for a Raise or Promotion at Work
  7. JUNE 30 – Take Control of Your Annual Performance Review
  8. JULY 21 – Build and Maintain Your Inner Circle

All of these workshops are in direct response to feedback from our community of young professionals here in Atlanta. We’re focusing on productivity, goals, relationships, money, and job performance in these first eight workshops. If you have ideas for other workshops, or you have specific challenges you’re facing at work, drop us a line and tell us so we can incorporate your ideas into our workshop roadmap.

When you find a workshop you’re interested in, head over to its signup page, click Sign Up, and create a free account. I have a founder’s secret to share here: you are making exactly zero commitments and taking on zero obligations by creating an account. This is the most low-risk think you will ever do.

Once you sign up for a workshop, you’ll be on our list for the workshop, so we’ll send you reminders leading up to the day of. When it’s time for your workshop, you’ll login into the Living for Monday site with your free account and then navigate to the livestream page, where you’ll be able to watch from any device with a screen and connected to the internet. Alongside the livestream will be a Twitter chat where you’ll be able to ask questions, which we can answer live, and interact with other people watching the ‘shop.

I’m usually bit more humble than this, but it is one of the coolest things on the face of the planet that you’ll be able to access professional development un-training 1) for free, 2) live, 3) in an interactive setting where you can get your questions answered and 4) in a way that doesn’t suck the life out of you like most webinars. But that’s a personal opinion.

You have absolutely no obligation to ever pay us any money for watching a live ‘shop (or any other live broadcast we ever put out). After the event, we’ll migrate you over to our main email list where you’ll be able to optin to receive our monthly workshop calendar at the beginning of each month, a weekly best of the blog email, a daily RSS feed of the blog, or none of the above. Regardless, you’ll keep your free account for one click workshop signup foreva, foreva eva, foreva eva (Outkast, anyone?).

Build Your Library or Become a Member

Build Your Library

All of our workshops will be available for individual sale after the livestream version has been aired. Why would you buy a course if you’ve already seen the livestream version? You’ll build you own library of courses that appeal directly to your professional needs. You’ll also get to download all of the supplementary materials for the course, which will help you put the material into action.

Not everyone gets to see the live version, but they might not want to become a member of the community just yet, which makes buying a single workshop perfect for you. Others will have very specific learning needs and will need a workshop immediately. And some won’t want to get deeply involved in a community of fellow young professionals just yet, which makes our single workshops perfect for you.

Become a Member

For less than the cost of two workshops per month, you can become a member of the community. When you become a member, you get access to the entire workshop library, which will only grow over time. However, the real value comes from the community that comes with membership.

Members get:

  • Living for Monday Mastermind Group membership
  • Exclusive invites to join us as part of our in-studio audience for workshops on site in Atlanta
  • Access to monthly community events in our major cities of operation
  • Virtual office hours with the Living for Monday staff every other week
  • Exclusive invites to quarterly retreats, our annual conference, and any other events we can dream up to serve you (this is just a small hint at our future growth plans)

Invest in the Community and We Will Invest Back in You

Every member is required to join a Living for Monday mastermind group. That sounds threatening, but mastermind groups are the key to our community. Mastermind groups are made up of 6-12 community members who share some combination of location, experience, industry, and/or career goals. The groups set their own culture, including meeting time and place, frequency, format, and more.

Every group meets under the Living for Monday Community Agreement, which members sign in their first mastermind group meeting. The Agreement is our shared contract with one another to invest in one another, always maintain the group’s integrity (what happens at group meetings stays there), and to bring up the truly meaningful topics of conversation rather than wasting time in small talk that does little to help you reach your potential.

We also provide meeting templates and suggested formats to make sure you get the most possible out of your meetings. We also create discussion guides for everyone of our workshops, in case your group wants to use our training to fuel your conversations.

So there you have it. How to engage with the new Living for Monday. At a minimum, go ahead and sign up for an upcoming course. They’re free, live, and online over the lunch hour. There’s no risk, and if you like it (we think you will, but we’re biased), consider becoming more involved with the community. We’re here to serve you, the ambitious, generous, and creative young professional.

[one_half][starbox][/one_half] [one_half_last][nrelate-related][/one_half_last]

Read Full Post »

What?! What happened to Livingformonday.com? Is this even the same company? I’m melting, I’m melting!

Welcome home, you community-craving, growth-seeking, impact-driven young professionals. We’ve finally built the thing you’ve been asking for.

I want to do a couple of things in this post:

  1. Give you a brief history of why Living for Monday exists and how we got to where we are today
  2. Tell you where the ideas for our training + community model came from
  3. Give you a tour around the new site
  4. Whet your appetite for what’s to come this week and in the next several months

 Living for Monday: A Brief History

  • August 2011: Barrett resigns from his position as a staff consultant in EY’s Performance Improvement practice. After becoming disenchanted with management consulting as a body of work and lifestyle, Barrett went in search of more meaning in his work.
  • September 2011: Barrett spends a month in the mountains with his dog, his bookshelf, and groceries. He uses the time for introspection, reading the entire Bible for the first time, and setting the initial vision for Living for Monday.
  • October 2011 – May 2012: Barrett creates an initial career search curriculum entitled Career Kickstarter. He tests the curriculum through one on one coaching with six college students.
  • May 2012 – December 2012: Barrett goes back to the drawing board after realizing that students needed much more than self-awareness and self-discovery training. He adds tactical information like resume building, cover letter writing, networking, interviewing, and negotiating to the Career Kickstarter written curriculum. He works with a team of interns to turn the curriculum into a 250 page ebook and 90-module video course with supplementary exercises and worksheets.
  • January 2013: We use $10,000 of friends and family money to fund the new Livingformonday.com, designed by Shatterboxx. We also launch CareerKickstarter.com, where we made the ebook and video course available for sale.
  • March 2013 – May 2013: Living for Monday partners with the University of Georgia Terry College of Business to run a Career Kickstarter pilot program with 50 students. 42 students sign up and 28 complete the 12 week career search program. Of those that finish, 90% landed jobs with which they were highly satisfied, beating the all-student average placement rate by 10%+.
  • May 2013, Pt. 1: We realize students are a bad target audience due to their lack of willingness and ability to pay for Career Kickstarter, even if they know and appreciate the value. Similarly, we find that university career centers are even worse customers. They are understaffed, underfunded, and stuck in the educational-industrial complex that serves their bottom line before serving students. We abandon Career Kickstarter as the core of our business model. Time to pivot.
  • May 2013, Pt. 2: It’s pivot or die time at Living for Monday. Barrett goes in search of a family and friends round of fundraising to fuel two years of base-level operating expenses for two full time employees (one of whom is me). Barrett successfully recruits Josh to join the Living for Monday team.
  • May 2013 – October 2013: The Living for Monday wilderness period. Funded, but lacking a vision for our next move, we fall back on Barrett’s consulting roots and Josh’s web development experience. Barrett becomes curator of Atlanta Global Shapers, travels to Portland and Geneva on business, and interns for Seth Godin. All of the experiences combine with the Career Kickstarter failure to form a new direction for the business.
  • October 2013 – March 2014: The new Living for Monday is born. Josh and Barrett create a shared vision for the future of the company. Starting with a broad vision that lacked focus, we eventually narrow to a focused, inspired, and creative training + community model for young professionals. Which brings us to today.

The New Living for Monday Model: Training + Community for Ambitious, Creative, and Generous Young Professionals

The new Living for Monday model reflects every experience I’ve had over the past three years.

Lesson #1: Businesses are doing a terrible job of investing in their young professionals, losing out on a massive opportunity to build great culture

At Ernst & Young, I learned what it’s like to do work that has little significance related to my personal beliefs, values, and interests. I was very good at management consulting and I could be making alot more money if I were still in the industry. But the work simply wasn’t important — to the extent I was motivated, it was entirely because of external factors like money, prestige, and appearances.

Further, I learned that businesses (on average) do a terrible job of investing in the development of their people — and EY is part of an industry that supposedly invests heavily in people. Businesses tend to invest most heavily in people who have been there for a long time, have proven that they are high performers and have reached a certain level of the organization (typically middle management). Because of this trend, young professionals receive very little training early in their careers, despite the fact that so much research shows that the first ten years at work make up the period in which we grow most as individuals and professionals.

Lesson #2: Universities, career centers, and therefore students are sometimes clueless about the world of work

In building Career Kickstarter and working with universities, I realized just how out of touch campus life can be from the world of work. Of course there are exceptions, but in general it seems like a lost cause. Students sit in class with out of touch professors teaching business lessons that were applicable 15 years ago. Students leave college, on average, with degrees that mean very little when it comes to their ability to deliver on their roles and responsibilities at work.

Students are exposed to relatively few opportunities in the world of work through the institutions where they learn. Big business makes big donations, and they get a disproportionate amount of attention from universities and their students. Every student in business school thinks they need to go to work for a Fortune 500, a big four accounting firm, an “A-list” agency, or a prestigious bank or consultancy. Some students thrive in those environments upon graduation, but most simply become disillusioned with what it means to work and feel duped by the system.

Lesson #3: Young Professionals in Their First 10 Years at Work are Optimistic, Inspired, Open-Minded, and Curious

The Atlanta Global Shapers have shown me a new world of possibility. The same goes for the Living for Monday contributors, the talented entrepreneurs at Atlanta Tech Village, and the inspiring people I’ve met at World Domination Summit. Despite the lack of practical training and personal development being delivered by business and educational institutions, young pros are remarkably resilient.

I’ve become intensely passionate about the potential of our first 10 years at work. Our first ten years represent the greatest years of change, salary growth, movement between jobs/organizations, and positioning for the legacy we will leave in our careers. The top 50% of Millennial young professionals realize this and they’re eager to build new skills and habits that will give them the freedom to pursue their goals. They’re also incredibly passionate about building communities of like-minded young pros who are ambitious, generous, and creative.

Lesson #4: Krypton, CreativeLive, Lynda, Fizzle, and Saddleback Church all provide valuable inputs to our new model

Working with Seth Godin and our talented team on the Krypton project was incredibly inspiring. Perhaps more importantly, it showed me the possibility of what we could build on the web. Much of the new Living for Monday design comes from our work on that project. Similarly, the idea of combining online learning with offline community comes directly from the Krypton model.

CreativeLive has shown me what is possible for making learning accessible to anyone while still building a profitable business model. Our free livestreaming of all of our content is inspired by CreativeLive. The same goes for the production quality and in-studio audience for all of our workshops, for which we’ve partnered up with the great team at Friendly Human.

We’ve learned a ton from Lynda.com. They have a massive library of valuable training content. On the one hand, their library is so large and lacks curation such that it makes the experience for a new learner incredibly intimidating and confusing. A 2013 Forbes article showed that the $100M company is moving towards more curated, in-house content over contracts with experts to produce new courses. Our monthly subscription model and our in-house content production is inspired by Lynda.

Fizzle.co has one of the most inspiring communities of which I’ve ever been a part. “Fizzlers” as we call each other, are incredibly passionate about helping each other succeed. They love spending time together and heavily invest in one another’s success. Our mastermind groups, community events, and online forums are all inspired by building a powerful community similar to Fizzle.

Finally, Rick Warren and Saddleback church provided inspiration for the way we want to grow our community. As a company, we want to provide the most inspiring and creative workshops for young professionals in the world. We want to be the most relevant and relatable source of un-training for young pros. While people will come to us for content, we know that our sustained growth as a community will rely on the people who make it up. We can only create content, structure, and branding that supports the kind of community we want. It will be up to you to build it, which is exactly why Warren made small groups the centerpiece of Saddleback church. People who don’t join a mastermind group will be asked to leave the Living for Monday community. We’d rather have great community than more money, plain and simple.

The Collective Lessons

Collectively, all of these lessons and experiences have added up to the model we’ve built for the new Living for Monday. We’ll share in more depth about different aspects of the model over the coming days, but that’s plenty for now.

 

A Tour of The New LivingforMonday.com

Our overall strategy for the new LivingforMonday.com was to cut it down to the absolute essentials. The old site was busy, old, not responsive, and built around the blog as the centerpiece. The new site is responsive, flat, elegant (we think), reflects the brand we want to build, and is focused on our workshops (the centerpiece of our new model).

The New Homepage

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 1.17.40 PM

I know I’m biased, but I love this homepage. It’s elegant, simple, and speaks to the core of what we do. We’re here to help you become great at what you do so you can make an impact through your work. We want to give you the freedom to pursue your career goals by giving you the tools to succeed.

The How it Works section is as simple as we could make the new model. Our livestreamed online workshops are free so that you can try us out without taking any risks or spending any money. Becoming a member means you become a true member of the community, including access to all of our live events plus the workshop archives. Reaping the rewards means we’re going to help you turn your training + community into the opportunities you dream of.

Underneath How it Works is an Upcoming Workshops section that shows you the next four upcoming workshops. You can click through to sign up and create an account for free.

Blog

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 1.20.48 PM

We completely redesigned the blog experience. The entire blog is built on a responsive card system focused on the reading experience. We wanted to give you access to the content you want most in a format that creates a delightful reading experience, regardless of device. This was a big step in the right direction.

We have 15+ contributing editors here in Atlanta who have been hard at work creating valuable content. We’re calling the blog: Pro: A weblog for young professionals by young professionals on what it takes to be great in your first ten years at work. We’ll be quickly expanding to include contributing editors in four other cities as soon as possible. If you’re interested, contact us.

Watch For Free

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 1.21.15 PM

This is the core of what we do. Inspiring and creative workshops to help you make an impact through your work. We’ll start off by producing two 90 minute workshops per month. The faster our community grows, the faster we’ll be able to hire course designers. My goal is to be producing one course per week as soon as possible.

Workshops are 90 minutes long, and we shoot them on location in the Friendly Human studio at Atlanta Tech Village. 20 Living for Monday members get to join us as members of the in-studio audience at no extra cost. Each course is livestreamed over the lunch hour (EST). You don’t have to leave the office and you can watch while you eat.

If you watch live, every course is free. If you want to access the course later, it will be available to our paid members in our workshop library.

Workshop Signup

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 1.52.17 PM

When you click on any workshop from the homepage, workshop calendar, or become a member page, you’ll be directed to the workshop sign up page. Each one has the workshop title, date and time we’ll be livestreaming, and a brief description of what you can expect from the workshop.

When you click on sign up, you’ll b asked to sign in or create an account. Creating an account is free, and it allows us to send you a reminder about the upcoming workshops. You’re also able to build a profile and view all of your upcoming workshops. When you become a paid member, your profile will become a training portfolio and you’ll be able to share it with your employer.

Become a Member

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 1.21.26 PM

This is where we make money. Once you’ve attended a live workshop or two, we want you to join the community. Becoming a member means you get access to the in-studio audience, monthly community events (Atlanta only at the moment), and every other week virtual office hours with the Living for Monday team.

Most importantly, becoming a member means you’ll get to join one of our mastermind groups. They consist of 8-10 Living for Monday members in the same city who share similar career interests or goals. They are your support group and your source of accountability for reaching your goals. Every group is supported by a Living for Monday community manager on our team.

Finally, members get sneak peeks at our growth plans. If you know me (or Josh), you know that we have much grander plans than what you can currently see at Living for Monday. Feedback from our members will determine which new offerings we create first.

Contact Us

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 1.21.36 PM

If you need us for anything, you can always reach us here. We also provide our real life emails in case you don’t want to use the form. If you have an idea for a course, are having trouble with the site, want to learn more about us, or just have a question you want to chat about, this is how you should get in touch.

Login

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 1.21.46 PM

When you sign up for an upcoming workshop, you’ll create an account. When you become a member, your free account will upgrade to a paid account, along with the accompanying benefits. Creating an account gives you one-click workshop sign up and you’ll be able to see all of your upcoming courses on your account page. If you’re a paid member, you’ll see your past courses, which will help you prove your training to a boss or potential employer.

What to Expect in the Next Few Months

The most important thing I want to communicate in this post is this: we’re all in on this thing.

We believe in the training and community model we’re building. The only thing we believe in more are the ambitious, creative, and generous young professionals who make up the community. Everything we do from here on out is to serve young pros in the first ten years of your career. Period. No questions asked.

We have enough funding to last us til the end of the year. By then, we need to have 1,000 members of our community to continue to operate. Once we hit that number, we’ll be off to the races together. I think we can do it within six months and we hope you’ll help us make it happen. We built the business model on two things:

  1. Having 1,000 true fans — 1,000 young pros who are all in on our mission of changing the way the world thinks about work. 1,000 people who believe in living for Monday and making an impact through our work.
  2. Building the most inspiring and creative un-training in the world at a cost that’s affordable to any young professional.

So that’s what we’re doing. We hope you’ll join us.

 

The next few posts will be a series to tell you more about the new Living for Monday. Here are the posts you can expect:

Next week (March 17 – 21, 2014), we’ll have the first articles from our Atlanta contributing editors. We’ll post an article a day and I think you’re going to be very pleased with what these talented people have to offer. Soon after, we’ll invite contributing editors from New York, Chicago, Austin, and Boulder-Denver to join our editorial team. If you’re in one of those cities and interested in writing for us, let me know.

We’ll livestream our first course on April 14th and one every two weeks after that. As our membership grows, we’ll grow our team in lockstep with a goal of producing one course per week by the start of 2015.

Here we go. It’s a whole new world at Living for Monday. We’re building it for you, the ambitious, generous, and creative young professional. We’re building it together. We’re all in. It might not work, but it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

Read Full Post »

Earlier this year, I published a post outlining what we can all look forward to from Living for Monday in 2014. In it, I said that we would use this year focus on becoming the most inspiring and creative media and training company for young professionals in the world. But, in order to do that, we have to be the most creative and inspiring media and training company serving young professionals in Atlanta first. Here’s a quick review of what I had to say:

…if we can’t build community in Atlanta, then we have no business building community around the country and world. There is no greater asset than being able to take a short drive to record a podcast episode, head over to a local startup to profile their organization, or work with inspiring young professionals across the city to develop the best articles on the web for young professionals.

Equally exciting is the opportunity to create amazing live events for the local audience. If we have a broad-based community in Atlanta, we can run retreats, mastermind groups, live interviews, live trainings, and more. Without that community in Atlanta, we’d have to ask people to fly in from all over just to take a chance on one of our events…

I wholeheartedly believe that if we can become the best in Atlanta while creating a sustainable revenue model, we can rapidly expand to new cities to reach a wider audience. I described the first step towards becoming the best in Atlanta in the same post:

…we’ll be inviting 15-20 young professionals to be our 2014 contributing editors at LivingforMonday.com. The commitment is a minimum of one article per quarter, which will give us at least one new how-to article per week. With the inputs of so many talented people, we can remove me as a bottleneck and I know the quality of our articles will skyrocket thanks to the collaborative potential of so many brilliant people.

Building a supportive community of incredibly talented people to write for LivingforMonday.com was by far my top priority to kick off the year. If you’re one of the many people in our audience wondering why we haven’t been publishing content this year, this is why. We’ve been busy rounding up the most impressive and inspiring Atlanta young professionals to write great articles that serve your needs.

Many media companies that serve young professionals ask career coaches and others looking to sell their services to write for their sites. I believe that tarnishes the quality of the content and focuses it more on pitching a service rather than providing true value. (I know because I’ve written for that kind of site.)

To be the best in the world, we know we need to be different, which is why we’ve taken the opposite approach. Every contributor to Living for Monday is someone that is in the trenches everyday, working hard to build a badass career. So, without further ado, here are the 2014 LivingforMonday.com contributing editors:

Courtney Clymer

Courtney Clymer (@LifestyledATL)

Courtney is the owner of LIFE.STYLED, a wardrobe consulting & personal styling company in Atlanta. Many of her clients are working professionals, with day-to-day attire requirements from casual to suits and ranging in age from 20’s to 60’s. Check out the website at http://www.lifestyledatlanta.com.

 

Photo ShootElizabeth Davis (@ElDavis8)

Elizabeth works at The Coca-Cola Company as the Manager of Strategic Initiatives for the Global Sustainability department. We are working toward empowering 5 million women globally, becoming water neutral in Coca-Cola’s use of water, bringing new sources of potable water to communities, and countless other projects that help communities on both a local and global level. The global impact and scale of these projects makes her proud and passionate for the work she does everyday. A fun fact… when she was 5 years old she was charged by a grizzly bear while hiking in Yellowstone National Park. Everyone was fine but it was quite a heart-pounding moment.

 

Amy DodgeAmy Dodge (@AmyDodge1)

Amy works for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, providing digital marketing support for Starwood’s beautiful properties in South Florida and the Caribbean. She loves promoting world class destinations while encouraging and enabling others to pursue their love for travel. Her background is a mix of PR, social media, travel and tourism and in her free time you’ll find her cooking up new recipes and exploring the world on as little money as possible. Through work and play, she’s pet four tigers on two separate occasions – they’re not as soft as they look!

 

maureen

Maureen Flaherty (@MFlaherty7)

Maureen is the Email Marketing and Campaign Specialist at Pardot, a salesforce.com company. A graduate of the University of Georgia, she has previously held digital media and communications roles at Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Engauge and 360 Media, Inc., and she loves working in a constantly evolving industry. A long-time resident of Georgia, she has also spent time living in Germany, where she added participating in a professional German musical to her resume at the age of 5.

 

Nicole Foo

Nicole Foo (@NicoleA366)

Nicole is an account manager for Dodge Communications, an integrated communications (PR and marketing) agency that represents healthcare technology clients. She loves her work because she gets to spend everyday working on interesting campaigns to best promote her clients and their products/services. She enjoys running, reading and traveling. Plus, she speaks three languages!

 

Tessa Greenleaf (141x172)

Tessa Greenleaf (@TessaGreenleaf)

Tessa works for AMAC, a division of Georgia Tech, where she consults with state agencies and university systems all over the country to help better serve students with disabilities. In her spare time she sings with the Atlanta Women’s Chorus and is passionate about the community of women the group has built in Atlanta. One day Tessa hopes to write on a more full time basis, preferably with a fluffy Pomeranian puppy at her side.

 

Daniel Groce

Daniel Groce (@DGroce10)

Daniel works in Corporate Communications and Public Relations for the nation’s largest publicly held insurer. He loves his work because he has such a diverse set of responsibilities that the job is never the same each week. He was a gymnast for 13 years and at the age of 16 he was ranked 27th in the nation on the rings when. And yes, there were at least 28 male gymnasts that year.

 

Brandon Hayes

Brandon Hayes

Brandon Hayes is a VP & Private CFO™ with oXYGen Financial where he helps families and business owners navigate through the multiple areas of financial planning including budgeting, investments, retirement, insurance and estate planning. He loves his work because he gets to see firsthand what proper education and empowerment can do for consumers as they set out to make smarter financial decisions through their many life stages. He’s also a diehard soccer fan and takes a lot of pride cheering for Arsenal of the English Premier League.

 

Alex Heller

Alex Heller (@AlexHeller)

Alex works for a large medical supply and solutions company, Cardinal Health, managing a team of sales consultants in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. He loves creating a positive environment and supporting his sales team to make an impact with healthcare providers and their patients. His team represents experience levels ranging from 3 months to 37 years! If he could do anything, he’d be a professional wine taster.

 

Daniel Kosmala

Daniel Kosmala (@DanielKosmala)

Daniel is the Director of Media & Marketing for Radical Mentoring. He loves his job because he knows that his work each day makes it possible for the lives of men around the country to be impacted in a powerful way. He’s played piano since fourth grade and he’s have been dreaming of changing the world for as long as he can remember.

 

View More: http://laurennicolestudios.pass.us/starwood-headshots

Jill Peets (@JAPeets)

If someone would pay Jill to travel the world, she’d drop everything and do it in a heartbeat! Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet, so instead, she’s pursued a career in the hospitality industry which is proving to be the next best thing. Currently a Field Marketing Manager for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, she manages digital marketing efforts for a portfolio of Starwood’s full service brands in Texas including Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis and W Hotels. She loves her work because of the great people and great products.

 

Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders (@SandersCJ)

Chris is a 2011 UGA MIS graduate and Senior in the Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP, with a competency in IT Risk. He enjoys discussing IT Risk strategies, issues, and improvement opportunities with his clients on a daily basis. Before graduating from high school, he lived in five different cities and has not lived in the same apartment for more than a year since.

 

Lindsay Shoemake

Lindsay Shoemake (@VivaLaLindsay)

Lindsay Shoemake currently resides in Atlanta, where she works full-time as an Account Coordinator with JWT INSIDE. When she’s not working, Lindsay avidly pursues her side passion, That Working Girl, and loves how the blog has connected her to the Atlanta blogging community. Lindsay got to see herself in print for the first time in September 2013 when she was featured in JEZEBEL Magazine!

 

Blake Shubert

Blake Shubert (@Shubs51)

Blake is a leadership and organization development practitioner. After working in Africa in the nonprofit arena, he developed a burning passion for human organizing. Discovering strength in the most unexpected places inspired him to help more people leads lives of significance. Now, he directs operations for Roam, a coworking startup in Atlanta, which is on a mission to build a collaborative business community.

 

Rebecca ThomasRebecca Thomas (@RebeccaEllen14)

Rebecca works in Client Services at The Propel Agency, a full-service boutique brand strategy and design firm in Atlanta. She loves her work because of the relationships with teammates and clients, along with the exciting challenge of connecting brands to consumers in a meaningful and authentic way. The coolest thing she’s ever done is learn how to hang glide in the Outer Banks (where the Wright Brothers learned to fly), and her highest flight was at 2,000 feet!

 

Lindsay Trinkle Lindsay Trinkle (@LindsayTrinkle)

As the Program Director for Atlanta Ventures, Lindsay’s work allows her to be a part of building one of the largest and most vibrant startup hubs in the southeast – Atlanta Tech Village. She also founded Creativity Everywhere, an online community exploring what it really means to be creative. As a kid, she wanted to be the head speechwriter for the US President.

 

Wrapping Up

This post is the most exciting post I’ve published since founding Living for Monday more than two years ago. The people on this page represent the future of Living for Monday — they represent our vision for a world where people look at their work as the number one way to make an impact in the world. A world where people wake up on Monday and look forward to the important work in the week ahead.

Starting next week, you’ll hear from these Atlanta contributing editors once a week on topics that will help you become great at what you do. Everything they write will reflect our core values by encouraging you to:

  • 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

They’ll do that by writing on topics you’ve told us are most important to you:

  • Career Advancement – Productivity + Goal Setting ; Managing Work +People +  Self ; Leadership + Organizational Politics ; Job Performance ; Job Change (Internal + External)
  • Tools – Software ; Apps ; Gadget ; Gear
  • Entrepreneurship – Startup Culture ; $0 Marketing ; Business Strategy ; Community Building ; Business Systems
  • Soft Skills – Sales + Marketing ; Personal Branding ; Communication ; Professional Relationships ; Training + Growth ; Creativity + Problem Solving
  • Style at Work – For Men ; For Women
  • Lifestyle – Personal Finance ; Personal Relationships ; Learning + Growth ; Travel + Adventure ; Sleep + Diet + Exercise ; Spirit + Faith

If you want to keep up with the Atlanta contributors on Twitter, click on their handles above, or you can follow our Living for Monday Contributor list.

As we launch our new content plan by inviting these inspiring Atlanta young professionals to write great articles for you, we’re already on the look out for the cities where we will expand next. If you’d like to see us round up a crew of contributors in your city, let us know. A crew of contributors means we’re more likely to bring live training events to your area as well.

So, what do you think? Excited? Apprehensive? Let me know on Twitter: @BarrettaBrooks (be sure to tag @LivingforMonday as well).

Read Full Post »

OK, so looking ahead is a bit of a misnomer at this point, but this is an important post nonetheless. This is part four of a four part series reviewing 2013 at Living for Monday and looking ahead at what you can expect from 2014 around here. This post closes out the series and my goal is to spread the word about what we’re up to, how we plan to serve you, and what you can get excited about for 2014.

The theme for Living for Monday’s 2014 is “Foundations.”

2415724385_20c9245d09

Living for Monday has been around for two years. In year one, 2012, I spent my timing learning my way around the world of entrepreneurship: finding mentors to learn from; getting the basics down of business structure, accounting, planning, metrics; learning the very basics of marketing and sales; setting up processes for blogging/podcasting/content creation; and testing a number of ideas for executing on our mission. I think back on 2012 as a year of “Fundamentals” and un-learning the brainwashing from years and years of schooling (which doesn’t help in entrepreneurship).

Year two, 2013, started with launching our first professional website design that we struggled through in 2012 (so many lessons learned). The rest of the year became a process of building key relationships and communities. I strengthened my community of other online entrepreneurs — people like Caleb, Nathan, Corbett, James, Barron, Greg, Pat and others became great partners and mentors. I committed myself to learning to love Atlanta and in the process learned so much about the tech/startup community here, became curator of the Atlanta Global Shapers, and started hosting dinner parties with inspiring young professionals from around town. I look back at 2013 as a year of “Connections” or community-building activities.

The first two years of the business served as important steps in what James Altucher refers to as a 5-year process of reinventing oneself. It hasn’t been easy and there have been many days when it would be easy to hang it up. But what always brings us back down to earth is hearing from readers and community members at Living for Monday who relay the message that what we’re doing resonates deeply with them.

So 2014 is about foundations here at Living for Monday.

What do I mean by “Foundations?” Foundations at Living for Monday means:

  • Break even in revenue (this is first because it will allow us to keep serving you)
  • An active and engaged community of Atlanta young professionals
  • Consistent content by a community of contributors
  • Live events to serve our community
  • Speaking and books

Let’s dig in.

 

Revenue

We’ve look at a ton of revenue models for Living for Monday. Some of the possibilities:

  • Advertising
  • Sponsorships
  • Conferences
  • Paid retreats
  • Live training
  • Online training
  • Consulting
  • Coaching
  • Group coaching

The list goes on, but the point is that a company like Living for Monday can produce revenue in a number of ways. The problem lies in what Seth Godin refers to as the Entrepreneur vs. Freelancer dilemma. Entrepreneurs build assets and systems that allow them to make money even when they (the entrepreneur) are not working. Freelancers work in exchange for money.

Seth says one of the greatest sources of frustration for business builders is not being clear on which model you’re designing for. That’s exactly what we’ve experienced this year. Our desire is to build on an entrepreneurial model while the most immediate sources of income (consulting and coaching) are built on a freelancer model.

So at the end of 2013, Josh and I fully dedicated ourselves to building on the entrepreneur model. Additionally rather than focus on business needs, we’ll be doubling down on focusing on the goals, challenges, needs, and desires of young professionals at work.

 

Training

My deepest desire has always been to create a world class training resource that breaks the mold of everything else available. Specifically, I want to create the most creative and inspiring professional development resources for young professionals at work.

Here’s a problem: until I take this concept out of my head and manifest it in the world, everyone of you will say, “What the hell are professional development resources? They sound like the equivalent of making a toddler eat green vegetables.”

So this year, we’re going for broke on making these training resources a reality and building them into the core of our business (and revenue) model. Some of the sources of inspiration for what we’re envisioning are CreativeLive, Fizzle, Krypton, and Skillshare. As we know more, we’ll certainly share, but you can expect whatever we do to be laser-focused on young professionals at work.

We’re pursuing training as our main source of revenue. If you’re a young professional (especially in a creative or marketing agency, professional services firm, tech startup, or F500 Co) you should be excited because we’ll be using direct feedback about your experiences at work to drive the way we build our training. That means pushing the edges of everything you think of when you think about training.

If you’re a business owner, HR manager, or executive your first reaction is probably to scoff. But eventually, I think you’ll find our training to be the most effective and engaging method for helping your young professionals (Millennials in the first ten years of their career) develop into the leaders you need to grow and innovate.

 

Atlanta Community

What! Atlanta only? What’s up with that?

Listen, if you live in Seattle or Singapore, there will still be plenty of value for you at Livingformonday.com. Our blog, podcast, and online training will be relevant to you, it just won’t be AS relevant as it is to young professionals in Atlanta.

The background here, again, comes from Seth. While in NYC this summer, he said a sentence that resonated deeply with me: “You can be the best in the world at anything you want as long as you define world the right way.”

This is perhaps the most important advice I’ve received in the past year. At its’ core the point is that if we can’t build community in Atlanta, then we have no business building community around the country and world. There is no greater asset than being able to take a short drive to record a podcast episode, head over to a local startup to profile their organization, or work with inspiring young professionals across the city to develop the best articles on the web for young professionals.

Equally exciting is the opportunity to create amazing live events for the local audience. If we have a broad-based community in Atlanta, we can run retreats, mastermind groups, live interviews, live trainings, and more. Without that community in Atlanta, we’d have to ask people to fly in from all over just to take a chance on one of our events.

On the flip side, once we’ve built a great model here in Atlanta, we can grow to other cities with the same great events and content. So, even if you’re not from Atlanta, keep coming back to the site so that we know which cities have the highest concentration of leaders (for our expansion plans).

If you are in Atlanta, get ready for great content and events, a vibrant community, and a damn good time.

 

Content

Yes, consistency is key. We’ll be producing super-consistent content this year. But more importantly, we’re taking the quality and variety of our content to another level. We’ve listened closely for the kind of content you’re most interested in and some of the things we heard were brilliant. You can expect five types of content from us this year.

 

1. Organizational Profiles

We heard you say it: you want to know what it’s like to work in the organizations around town. What’s it like to show up to work at a Fortune 500 like Coke, a world-class law firm like King & Spalding, a creative digital agency like Eyespeak, or an exciting tech startup like Mailchimp?

We’ll use organizational profiles to capture the environment, vision, culture, and opportunities at some of the most exciting, creative, and undiscovered places to work around Atlanta. We’ll look at the real picture, not just the PR or HR pitch, so that you get a feel for how your organization stacks up (and maybe find a place you’d like to migrate to).

**Have an organization you’d like to see us profile? Email the name and link to the website to Josh (at) Livingformonday (dot) com.

 

2. Leader Profiles

It’s a classic angle. How did the people I look up to get to where they are?

You’ve asked us to track down leaders around the city and that’s just what we’ll do. Whether hip hop artists like B.o.B, political leaders like Mayor Kasim Reed, CEOs like Muhtar Kent, or entrepreneurs like Michael Tavani, we’ll ask them how they do what they do and what advice they have to help us reach our goals.

If you like what we’re up to with leader profiles, we’ve got an idea for (free) live interview sessions with the most popular profile subjects on a monthly or quarterly basis. Think Chase Jarvis Live meets Levo League Office Hours.

**Have a leader in mind you’d like to see us profile? Email their name and what they do to Josh (at) Livingformonday (dot) com.

 

3. YoungPro Profiles

What would a site for young professionals be without highlighting the awesome Millennials that make up the community? Yup, we’ll be doubling down on interviewing young professionals in Atlanta on The Living for Monday Show.

We heard you ask, “What do other young professionals do day to day at work? For example, what the hell does a management consultant do? What about a financial analyst? A front-end developer?” We know many of you have wondered whether your job sucks or if you’re just in the throes of building career capital and expertise. Is your office culture terrible or are you taking things for granted? Is your boss a jerk or are you just soft?

The show will be weekly, likely published every Friday, and we’ll focus on all of the questions we just mentioned. What’s it like to be a whatever you are everyday? How’d you land the job and where do you hope it will take you? What do you do outside of work to maintain your energy and excitement? How do you work to become a top performer? What is your culture like? Your boss?

**Do you have a young professional friend in Atlanta that’s great at what they do and would be interesting to hear from on The Living for Monday Show? Are you a young pro in Atlanta and want to be on the show? Email the name and a social media link to Josh (at) Livingformonday (dot) com.

 

4. How-To Content

We did a full review of our most popular content in an earlier post in this year in review series. When you look down the list, it consists almost entirely of how-to content. Our most popular articles have been long-form, drill-down articles that really get to the heart of helping you solve a problem, reach a goal, or learn something new.

We believe that long-form content makes us stand out as a resource, and our how-to content will continue to follow that same format. We think there’s enough “5 apps to make your life easier” and “4 ways to get to sleep earlier” posts out there.

While I would love to think that I’m an endless source of wisdom and content (kidding), I’m really excited to say that we’ll be thinking of Living for Monday as more of a platform or media outlet at the intersection of something like 99U and Fast Company.

With every passing day, I grow farther away from personally experiencing the challenges employees face at work everyday because as an entrepreneur I often face very different challenges. However, I know there are a ton of extremely talented young professionals throughout Atlanta that are overcoming challenges and working toward goals at work everyday…

And many of you would love to contribute to a site like Living for Monday. So, we’ll be inviting 15-20 young professionals to be our 2014 contributing editors at LivingforMonday.com. The commitment is a minimum of one article per quarter, which will give us at least one new how-to article per week. With the inputs of so many talented people, we can remove me as a bottleneck and I know the quality of our articles will skyrocket thanks to the collaborative potential of so many brilliant people.

**If you’d like to be a contributor in 2014, email Josh (at) Livingformonday (dot) com before January 31st at 5:00pm. Tell us why you’d like to write for us and four articles ideas you’d be excited to write.

5. Features

While I am more and more distanced from the everyday challenges of being a young professional working for someone else, I do have the opportunity to see trends across businesses, leaders, the world of work, and habits of highly successful young professionals. As often as once a month or as little as once a quarter, I’ll write a long-form article on one or more of these trends, using insights from our research, profiles, and interviews to drive the content.

 

Events

Treks

Treks are the live events that are the most structured and guaranteed to happen so far. A Trek is a 2.5-day outdoor adventure retreat designed to push you out of your comfort zone, connect you to a community of fellow ruckus makers, and help you reach your goals faster than ever before.

You’ll be out in the wilderness camping, hiking/rock climbing/kayaking, learning outdoor survival skills, and talking about the 5% of things that represent the biggest growth areas in your life but you never talk about with friends or family. The first trip of 2014 is happening in late March / early April and will be announced by mid-January. $493 per person before March 1st. $736 after March 1st.

**Want to apply for a spot on the first Trek of 2014? Email Josh (at) Livingformonday (dot) com so you’re the first to know when the app is live (we’ll accept applicants on a rolling basis).

 

Live

I mentioned this briefly earlier, but if you love the leader profiles, then we’re highly likely to start conducting intimate, in-person, livestreamed interviews of some of the most interesting and inspiring leaders around Atlanta.

A small in-studio audience will get direct interaction and Q&A with the speaker, while everyone watching the livestream will get the chance to interact via social media and see the interview live. We want to highlight the best creative, business, and civic minds and we hope you’ll join us when we go Live.

Live is almost certain to be free for attendees. Potential for sponsors, etc.

 

Training

If/when we decide it’s time to start running live training, you can bet it will be the best in-person experience you’ve ever had while learning information that will transform your career. We may develop all of the training materials in house, we may invite experts to deliver multi-day trainings CreativeLive style, or it may involve some combination of the two.

Live trainings are likely to be free for those who watch live (in-person or livestream) and then cost money to own/download/experience on an ongoing basis. This might be through a one time download or a membership community that connects like-minded young professionals who aspire to change the world and make a ruckus along the way.

Speaking + Books

Ah, yes, the tried and true speaking and books path. We’ll be doing both this year.

 

Speaking

Yes, I’m beginning my speaking career this year. I’ve been speaking in public forums for more than five years now, starting with leading college organizations all the way through to speaking to large groups of students looking to start a career that matters.

This year I’ll be transitioning to more of a traditional keynote/workshop speaking platform at existing events and conferences. The first two events I have lined up:

  1. February 8th, 2014 – Georgia Collegiate Leadership Conference — workshop + closing keynote on leaving a legacy as a student leader

  2. March 28th, 2014 – TEDx UGA [YourIdeaHere] — About changing the way the world thinks about work (or what it means to live for Monday)

**If you’re interested in having me speak at your event, email Josh (at) Livingformonday (dot) com with the date and theme of your event. He’ll be happy to send you a list of topics.

Books

Books. That big scary word (when it comes to writing). There are several book ideas floating around the halls of Living for Monday. We’ll be picking one to begin work on with the help of the Winning Edits team this year.

Traditionally published or self-published? Book tour or no? For young professionals or the people who employ us? Self-titled or a whole new concept? All up in the air.

Wrapping Up

So that’s what 2014 looks like from our chairs as we set out to create a great year at Living for Monday. Some or all of this might change by the end of the year. I can’t predict the future and every plan is perfect until it meets reality. We’re going to be adaptable and look out for signs that point us in the direction that serves Atlanta young professionals best.

If you take away just one thing from this post, I want you to know we’re playing a big game. We’ve narrowed our focus and we’re going hard in the paint at the things we think will serve you most. Everything we do this year is all about building a sustainable foundation to serve you for many years to come.

There are 7 or 8 chances for you to get involved or offer us feedback throughout this post. Do it. We’ll be waiting on you.

 **Photo by Pedro Szekely on Flickr

Read Full Post »

This post is part three of our four-part series reviewing 2013 and looking ahead to 2014. We started the series looking at the statistics from LivingforMonday.com, including the blog, podcast, audience (you), and more. Then, we continued the series with our accomplishments from 2013. In this post, we’ll take a look at what didn’t go quite so well in 2013.

698692268_b31d429272

We do this publicly for two reasons:

  1. Some of you are interested in the behind the scenes action at Living for Monday, and we want to be transparent and authentic in the way we share what we’re up to.
  2. We hope that our year in review process will inspire you to do the same thing for your own personal and professional life.

Even if we didn’t publish this review pubclicly, we would still continue to review and plan in a similar way internally. I believe that taking a look back at the facts (objective stats), what we accomplished (subjective), and what we didn’t do as well (subjective) helps us make better decisions about what projects, content, and events will serve you best in the year ahead.

So, let’s dig in on our shortcomings, areas for improvement, failures, or whatever else you want to call them from 2013.

 

We’re sometimes too quick to pull the trigger and too light on the follow through for new projects

In other words, sometimes we bite off more work than we can chew at a given time. I tend to get excited about new ideas and want to pursue them ASAP. Josh does a good job of keeping me grounded in the operational reality, but we need to do a better job of keeping all of our projects in perspective and prioritizing against each other.

I believe fast decision-making is a positive quality in entrepreneurs. It’s fine to be fast on pulling the trigger, but we need to follow through to completion to get the most out of our efforts. A big part of that follow through is the research process, which can slow things down. In fact, sometimes doing the necessary research can feel like the antithesis of progress.

There’s a delicate balance between procrastination by preparation and having enough raw materials/data/information to successfully execute on an idea. We need to set a goal for the research phase of every project, follow through on that and then execute. As Seth Godin likes to say, we need to thrash early to get all of the information out on the table. Then, when we know what we’re trying to accomplish, our job is simply to execute on that plan and not screw it up.

Lessons learned:

  1. We need to be more realistic with our timelines and start planning 2-3 months in advance rather than 1-2 weeks. If we do have last minute inspiration, we need to follow through completely, but only if the project takes higher priority for reaching our goals as compared to what we’re already working on.
  2. I’ll be taking the advice of Ryan Holiday and Robert Greene in creating a research system this year that will greatly help us in growing our knowledge database, which will help with articles, books, courses, consulting, coaching, and pretty much anything else we do.
  3. As we create new projects, I’ll also be looking for case studies during the research process. We want real life proof that what we’re teaching works because we know it will build your confidence in what we’re up to. Taking the time to provide this will help us and help you.

Before we start a project we need to make sure that:

  • We’re clear on the outcome. Will the project help solve one of your problems (aka does our audience care)?
  • We’re capable of delivering the solution. If not, we should give the idea away to someone who is.
  • If this is a project you’ll have to pay for, does it solve a big enough problem that you’re able and willing to pay to solve that problem?
  • And to reiterate: always take Seth’s advice on thrashing early. When in doubt, use the ShipIt journal to make sure we’re clear on the project.

 

We built an audience, but not a targeted audience

By all accounts, we absolutely crushed it this year on building an audience. We went from 100ish email subscribers to over 1300. We went from 500 to 1000 email subscribers within a 30 day period. If you just looked at the numbers, we were rolling.

The problem was our lack of focus in our audience building. We weren’t working to build a targeted audience, which makes it much harder to serve that audience. For example, compare these two:

  • An audience from 100+ countries, vastly different career stages, and interested in everything from travel hacking to finding a job to starting a business
  • An audience of 20-32 year old young professionals (working for somebody else) in the Metro Atlanta area who look want to become great at what they do, find work that matters, and make an impact in the world while becoming a better person along the way.

Guess which audience is easier to serve? The second one, by far. My friend Nathan Barry knows this, which is why he talks about building an audience with a product in mind. If you have a product in mind, then you’re working to serve an audience with a specific goal or challenge.

Lessons learned:

  1. Numbers only matter if they serve some part of our vision. 1,000 subscribers is an awesome size for an email list, but it doesn’t matter unless it’s made up of a targeted audience that we can serve on an ongoing basis.
  2. If we’re going to have a global audience, we need to have products and services to serve those people. If we’re going to build a local audience, then that changes things in a big way – we can do live training, weekend retreats, and more. Or, if we have a mix of audiences, then we can do some combination of the above. Either way, we need to be sure we’re building a sustainable business model and not just a blog. Without revenue we can’t continue to serve that audience.
  3. While students can be enthusiastic, it’s not actually the primary audience we want to serve. Students aren’t always able or willing to pay for what we do, and not at the same level as young professionals (This makes sense. If you can buy drinks for every one of your friends for an entire weekend in your college town for $500 and we’re asking you to pay $500 for coaching, it just doesn’t add up. Your priorities are not the same as that of a young professional when you’re in college.)
  4. We can continue to serve students through our content, especially to the extent that you’re interested in the same topics as our young professional audience. However, we will likely not target students with our paid products and services. That doesn’t mean you can’t participate, but it does mean you’ll need to seek those opportunities out because we won’t be marketing to you.
  5. We have no business trying to build a national or international audience if we can’t build a local audience first. There are a TON of awesome young professionals in our hometown of Atlanta. The point is not that we don’t want audience an outside of Atlanta and the US, but rather that the hometown audience is a perfect sample size to test our ideas and get direct feedback before we grow bigger.

Our core audience that we make content for should be very specific:

  • Under 32-year old Millennial professionals
  • Living and working in Atlanta
  • Believe that work is a way to make an impact
  • Want to be great at what they do everyday (perhaps the best)
  • Want to build a lifestyle that aligns with a long-term vision

 

We didn’t make money before we spent money

In college I heard the CEO of Waffle House speak. In his talk, he was very enthusiastic about being debt free as a corporation. At the time I didn’t have a full appreciation for how important this is.

We spent much of 2013 chasing our tails on the financial end at Living for Monday. We knew what money we needed to spend, and we tried to make money to fuel that spending. The better approach is to do the opposite – look at the best way to build a sustainable business model, start bringing money in, and then allocate those funds to fuel our business priorities.

Lessons learned:

  1. Make money before we spend money. When we spend first, we’re disrespecting ourselves and the other who have to deal with the resulting stress (family, friends, business partners, etc).
  2. Focus on a sustainable business model. Use the business model to fuel strategic investments in our business priorities.
  3. Without a financial engine, it’s difficult to grow and get better at what we do on a consistent basis. When money is a concern, it clouds good decision-making.

 

Keeping Me as a Bottleneck is Inefficient

Back to Seth one more time. He published a short podcast series called Startup School based on a seminar he did for entrepreneurs in the Summer of 2012. In Episodes 1-2, he talks about the difference between a freelancer and an entrepreneur.

A freelancer has to do work in order to make money. In other words, if you stop doing the work, you stop making money. An entrepreneur makes money even when she’s not working. In other words, entrepreneurs build assets that make them money.

The cheapest person for a freelancer to hire is herself. So, it’s always cheaper for me to hire me to do the coaching, consulting, etc because it doesn’t “cost” me anything. At least not on the surface. The problem is that when I’m doing the coaching (or whatever else), the strategy, content, business development, and everything else I should be doing as a business owner are not getting done. So when I finish a project making money, there’s no new business, the audience at Livingformonday.com has gone stale, etc.

Seth’s conclusion: “If Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be successful, he needs to stop writing code as soon as possible.”

Lessons learned:

  1. It’s easy to sell me because I can adapt to most business situations. What we need to do instead is build assets that we can sell so that if I stop doing the work, we keep making money.
  2. A consultancy is an alliance of freelancers. It’s not scalable, and there’s no asset involved.
  3. If we’re going to do freelance work, the faster way to make an impact + the amount of money we want to make is to go get a well-paying job. Being the director of talent development for TED would allow me to get my hands dirty and really transform their organization from the inside. Being a consultant means we have to produce BS case studies for the impact we made while knowing that its highly unlikely that impact will be sustained because of a lack of internal ownership. (Yes, I realize this can be mitigated, but it’s much easier to make a lasting impact from the inside.)
  4. Removing me as a bottleneck throughout much of the business will allow us to grow faster. We should look for as many ways as possible to create systems that allow us to make more impact and experience less bottlenecks.
  5. Let’s build an asset-based business. We set out to be entrepreneurs, not freelancers. 

The way we planned to do content works. The way we did content does not work.

We planned to publish at least one article and one podcast per week. When we stuck to this schedule, we saw a large increase in site traffic, new subscribers, email engagement (Clicks, etc), and more.

More often than not, we did not stick to our publishing schedule. This resulted in cyclical traffic and engagement. It caused our email list to go stale, it made us feel like progress was stunted, and the reality that we weren’t sticking to our plan was underlying everything else we did.

Lessons learned:

  1. The more we publish, the more traffic and subscribers we’ll attract. Publishing an article a week is the minimum for success.
  2. That said, quality is more important than quantity. Well-researched, well-structured, well-edited, long-form content helped us grow our list by 500+ people in four weeks.
  3. Consistent, high quality content is the intersection we want to hit.
  4. It can be harder than it seems because we did not always stay on schedule this year. Content does not work as well when we are not reliable with our publishing schedule. It is much easier to get off schedule than stay on schedule. There is great, great value in staying on schedule.
  5. Our content was always better when we wrote, edited, and then published with engaging photos. When we were up against a deadline that prevented us from being thoughtful about editing and photos was when we tended to write less polished posts that did not resonate as deeply.
  6. Career search as a topic on the blog was not nearly as popular as some of our more popular topics that target the young professional crowd. This is especially true for softer topics like values, strengths, purpose, and vision. Even though these are the foundations for finding a career that matters, most people want more tactical information like how to accept and decline job offers.

 

We did not do a good job of managing our intern program

In Spring of 2013, we created an internship program and hired 6 interns from the University of Georgia. It seemed like a great way to give a group of students experience in a startup while also leveraging their energy to produce more + better work.

It turns out that we weren’t ready for a team of interns. While they were all talented and energetic people, we did not do a good job of giving them meaningful projects with clear outcomes and tasks.

Lessons learned:

  1. Without a plan and systems to manage a group of interns, not much work gets done.
  2. College students have been trained to come up with a right answer, while in a startup there are not right answers. Informed opinions shape decisions. To help interns be successful, we need to retrain them to think outside of the right answer mentality that our schooling system continues to propagate.
  3. If we ever hire interns again, they will be full-time, paid, and on location. They will have clear roles, responsibilities, and projects with outcomes we can measure.
  4. Internships are as much about gaining experience and leadership development as they are about outcomes. Recognize this going into the process as the employer.

 

Trying to do our own video and audio editing is a bottleneck

Josh and I are not talented with video and audio editing. These are both learnable skills, but we learned that when trying to execute on a project with deadlines, having to pick up new skills is a major distraction and demotivator.

Lessons learned:

  1. The more Josh and I focus on the things we are truly good at, the better we become at our work.
  2. Look for partners that fill in the gaps on the things we aren’t good at, especially when we’re on a deadline.
  3. If we want to learn skills, create projects specifically to help us learn those skills. Don’t make the success of the business dependent on these projects.
  4. We could definitely use a great audio/video partner, especially as we look forward to this year with many of our plans. We should make an effort to grow this network in Atlanta.
*If you are interested in A) being a freelance A/V partner or B) potentially joining our team as a third member and A/V specialist, let Josh or I know. (Please take time to be thoughtful and tell us why you’re interested, show us your portfolio, tell us why you’re aligned with what we’re up to, etc)*

 

We are not designers

Designers are almost universally underrated. Design is so inherent in EVERYTHING we do. Interning on the Krypton team this summer really hammered home just how important design is. It’s made me see things that are broken in their design everywhere. Most car seats: broken (they are shaped the opposite of how our bodies are built to sit). Most websites: broken (they don’t design for a delightful experience).

We could have done a much better job of designing everything we did this year. Just like we’re not great with A/V, we’re not great at design. Josh is great with at least MVP execution of ideas, especially within the WordPress framework. I’m capable of producing low-level wireframes. But overall, design is not one of our strong suits.

Lessons learned:

  1. Great design can improve almost any project.
  2. Great designers are hard to come by.
  3. Having a basic understanding of design is perhaps one of the greatest skills in a startup, especially one that depends on the web.
  4. We need a real design partner that can carry our vision out on the web for the foreseeable future. If we aren’t going to seek out a design partner, then one of us needs to deep-dive on design, including the tools/software to execute on our design ideas.
*If you are interested in A) being a freelance design partner or B) potentially joining our team as a third member and designer, let Josh or I know. (Please take time to be thoughtful and tell us why you’re interested, show us your portfolio, tell us why you’re aligned with what we’re up to, etc)*

 

Wrapping Up

Overall, it was a great year at Living for Monday, but there are always ways to get better. We saw opportunities to improve our project follow through, audience building, business model, money management, content schedule , bottlenecks, internships, audio and video editing, and design.

This might seem overwhelming, but taken at a high level, it will inform many of our planning and execution decisions for 2014. We know what the stats looked like in 2013, which tell us what you enjoyed, how you found us, how you engaged, and who you are. We know about our major accomplishments in 2013, which tells us what we were able to get done across the year, as well as where our strengths lie.

With this post, we know what didn’t go well, which tells us how to build on our strengths and find partners to compliment those strengths. We’re ready to plan for 2014 accordingly, will is the topic of our next post.

In the mean time, how could you apply this same process to look back at your 2013? What are the facts, what went well, and what didn’t go well? Hop on Twitter and share something about your 2013 with @Livingformonday and/or @BarrettABrooks.

 

**Photo by Marco Magrini on Flickr

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: