News & Updates
Learning Strategies is streaming their Write Well Mindfest this week (an audio course), which gives you free mentoring to improve your writing skills. It kicked off yesterday, but you can still get access to the whole thing if you sign up for it today. The sessions are pre-recorded, so you can listen whenever you want, but it’s only streaming for free this week.
Get access here: Write Well Mindfest
I’ve made great progress prepping Conscious Growth Club to open for early access, so I expect to start inviting people from the early access list to join starting sometime next week, so by March 31st.
I’ll probably invite the early access people in small batches to start, like 10 at a time, so these invites might extend into early April depending on how quickly I send them out. I’m heading to Phoenix on April 4th to attend the PLF Live conference, so I’d like to get all the early access people invited in before I leave. Rachelle and I will both be active in the forums, so we want to be sure to have time to personally welcome new members as they join.
I’m flintstoning this a bit since I’ll need to manually email invites to members to join the new discussion forum after they join CGC. When we do the full launch a few months later, we’ll likely have a more automated process in place.
So far 98 people have asked to be added to the early access notification list, so I’m really happy about that. I expect we’ll have a very vibrant and active group even well before the full launch.
Today I added a new Progress & Accountability category to the forum, so CGC members can share progress updates on their goals and help hold each other accountable. I added a post there with instructions for creating progress logs, finding accountability partners, and creating mutual accountability groups for people working on similar goals. I’ll likely maintain a progress log there to share updates on my own goals as well, especially CGC-related goals. That way the early access members can keep tabs on how CGC is progressing as we continue to build it out.
So far 92 people have asked to be added to the Conscious Growth Club early access notification list. I’d have been happy to see 20 for the early access, so I’m delighted to see so much interest. I continue to receive enthusiastic emails about CGC each day. I still think we’re on track to open up early access for CGC by the end of this month.
I haven’t written any blog posts this month yet since I’ve been busy working on setting up the membership site, the sign-up process, and the payment plan option.
I just updated the CGC pricing section to share the payment plan details if you’re curious about that.
I’m currently in Calgary where it was about -18º C (0º F) when I arrived, which was a great incentive to stay inside and work. It’s now a balmy 3º C, so tonight Rachelle and I will venture out to see a play.
A big thanks to Walter Freiberg who suggested adding a discussion category for Skill Building & Learning to the new Conscious Growth Club forums. I originally figured this would be part of the Personal Effectiveness category, but for an action-oriented group like CGC, I think it makes sense to call this out as a separate category. It’s becoming increasingly important for people to stay nimble in developing new skills to future-proof their career paths, so I’d like CGC to have a strong skill-building emphasis. This aligns well with the Mile Wide, Mile Deep theme too.
Walter’s timely suggestion is a nice synchronicity since I recently read Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise – an inspiring book that got me thinking about where I want to invest next in long-term skill building.
Here’s a snapshot of what the new category looks like:
Thanks again, Walter! 🙂
One feature we’ll have in the Conscious Growth Club discussion forums is the ability to create groups. A group is like a mini-club within the larger club for a subset of members to connect based on a shared interest.
A group can be as simple as letting members express affinity for a particular interest or value, so other members could easily find them. For instance, we could have groups for members who are vegan, members who are building passive income streams, or members who are in Toastmasters. Then any member would be free to opt-in to one or more of those groups if they wanted to.
A group can be open, which allows anyone to join or leave as they please. Or a group can require the group leader’s approval to join. A group can be listed in the group directory, so all members can find it, or a group can be unlisted, so no one would know it’s there unless a group member told them about it. And we can even change these settings after a group is created if the group members want to do so.
Each group can optionally have its own private discussion area, so group members can discuss their interests in a focused subspace without having to post everything in the main discussion areas, which would give the group members more privacy. For instance, we could have a private category for members of a Vegan group to discuss their vegan-related lifestyle challenges with fellow vegans. Or we could have a group where people who are also members of Toastmasters could discuss speaking skills, share videos of their speeches, get feedback, etc. We could also have groups for different regions, so members from the UK could easily find each other. This last idea could be used to help facilitate local meetups for members who live near each other.
Members could also use groups for connecting with accountability partners who are working on related goals, habits, or challenges. So if several members are writing books or building new websites, they could use a group to connect with members working on similar projects. Members could form mastermind groups with their closest CGC friends as well.
Additionally, if some members decide to work on a co-creative project together, like my friends and I did when recording Imaginary Men, we could provide a group and discussion area for them to collaborate. You can upload files to share with the group too, such as an MP3 of a new audio recording you made.
Of course we want to avoid overdoing it by splintering the whole community into a bunch of private groups. We want to maintain a good spirit of cross-pollination for members in the main discussion areas too. But the judicious use of groups should give CGC members more freedom to connect and collaborate in interesting ways. I’m sure there are ways to use groups I haven’t thought of yet.
This also gives CGC some built-in scalability. As the membership grows, we can create more groups to make it easier for members to connect based on specific interests. Think of it like a big conference where there are main sessions in a big ballroom as well as breakout sessions in smaller meeting rooms, with attendees being free to choose which sessions to attend.
Here’s a sneak peek at what our new Conscious Growth Club forums currently look like on the inside. This is the categories page. I modeled the categories after the ones we used for the old public forums since those worked very well. This should get us off to a good start. We can always tweak the categories as we go along.
I’m still working on setting things up inside, and it’s coming along very well. The more I use Discourse, the more I like it. It has a bit of a learning curve, especially on the admin side, but I love that it’s so rich, robust, and modern. Every day I’m discovering interesting new features and thinking about how our community could use them.
Today my goal is to learn how to use the groups feature, so members can create their own subgroups. A group is a private discussion area that a subset of members can use for even more focused sharing, like a mini-club within the larger club. I can envision members using groups to connect with accountability partners for similar goals and habits, to explore co-creative projects with interested members, or to discuss in-person meetups in certain regions. I’m sure there are plenty of other possibilities too.
So far 63 people have asked to be added to the Early Access notification list, so it looks like we’ll have a thriving community well before the official launch later this Spring.
This New York Times article about the recent and ongoing relaxation of restrictions on environmental pollution makes it abundantly clear that as conscious individuals, we’re going to need to invest more in detoxifying our bodies in the years ahead as the USA devolves into an increasingly toxic place for humans to live.
The upside is that this is likely to create a surging counter-reaction to such idiocy.
Our new Conscious Growth Club discussion group is already online, running Discourse on a cloud server. Discourse is way better than the VBulletin forums we used to have from 2006 to 2011, and it has many more features than a Facebook group. Plus it’s completely ad-free. This will give us the means to have our own private discussions and work on our growth challenges without Facebook’s many distractions. CGC members can easily create their own subgroups too, which can be used for accountability groups for taking action or to collaborate on creative projects with other members.
A few people who are experienced with building passive income streams have also said they’ll be happy to share their lessons and strategies with the group, so that will be especially nice for those who want to build new income streams. Who needs a job these days anyway? 😉
I made a quick and dirty temporary logo for the new forums. We can have something more professional created later, but this should work okay as a placeholder.
I still have a lot of configuration to do on the discussion group, but it’s coming along well. Discourse is highly customizable, so there are about 30 different config screens to go through, many with dozens of settings. I’m a bit bleary-eyed from staring at those screens for too many hours today. When I close my eyes now, I see checkboxes scrolling by.
I expect we can start inviting the early access people into the discussion group sometime this month.
I think we should stick with the name Conscious Growth Club. The feedback on it has been very positive overall, and I haven’t seen any suggestions that seem better. So let’s run with it!
People have been expressing a lot of enthusiasm for CGC. Several people have told me that the timing of this project is a major synchronicity for them. I’m really sensing that we’re collectively manifesting something wonderful together. It’s very motivating!
I’ll be speaking at the Health, Healing, and Happiness conference in Las Vegas, June 9-11, 2017. I went to this conference as a regular paid attendee last year and loved it, especially the top notch speakers and the amazing all-vegan food they served throughout the weekend. I made a number of dietary improvements after that conference, and it also inspired me to do a 17-day water fast last year.
The speakers include Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Michael Klaper, Dr. Brian Clement, several vegan chefs, and lots more.
This conference is ridiculously inexpensive relative to the value. If you’re able to sign up today (Feb 28th), there’s also a $20 early registration discount that’s still available. I recommend the premium pass, which is what I got last year. You get to sit in the front, enjoy delicious vegan meals (the best I’ve had at any conference ever), and enjoy the free samples that the chefs hand out. For the modest price difference relative to the cheaper passes, it’s a no-brainer.
If you attend the conference, be sure to come up and say hi! Some of our 2016 workshop attendees are already signed up, so I can introduce you to them too.
If you’re interested in more details about the upcoming one-year coaching program to be launched in Spring 2017, I added a 16,000-word design doc to share the evolving design. I’ve received feedback on this project from hundreds of interested readers so far, so I’ve been working hard to carefully consider suggestions and incorporate the best ones to make the program even better.
That page shares the expected features, price, and lots more. It’s a huge read, so you may just want to skim the parts that attract your attention. I did my best to be disgustingly transparent about the thought process behind each decision.