Creativity. Focus. Risk.
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What I Didn't Expect...

First, a bit of backstory.

When I conducted the pilot version of the Focus Course earlier this year, it was all via email. Each day I sent an email to the pilot members with the lesson and assignment for that day. I'd then get feedback from people about typos, thoughts that weren't conveyed very clearly, trouble with flow, etc. I took all that feedback and used it to finalize the course contents onto the final version of the website.

One thing that never occurred to me was that people would want a sense of community as they went through the Focus Course. I assumed that those who did the course would go through it on their own.

However, many times throughout the pilot of the course, people would mention to me that they wish they had a way to share with and hear from the other members. 

The request for some sort of a Focus Course community was, by far and away, the most common "feature request".


I wasn't sure about it. Truthfully, I was fearful.

  • I was afraid that if there was a forum, nobody would participate in it. That everyone doing the course would want to keep to themselves.
  • Or I was afraid that not enough people would sign up for the course. You need a critical mass of members in order to build a healthy and vibrant community.
  • Also, I was lazy. I didn't want to set up a forum.

These were all excuses. Cheap excuses for me to say that I knew better.

As I wrote last week, people are more important than ideas. It's important to trust the input of others. So I decided to listen to the feedback of that pilot group and set up a forum.

And wow.

It has been 24 hours since the launch of the course, and I completely underestimated how powerful and amazing it would be to have a community forum connected to the Focus Course.

As I mentioned, I'd assumed most people would want to do the course on their own and keep their ideas and questions to themselves. But just 24 hours in, and I have been blown away by the activity, honesty, and just sheer awesomeness of the forums already.

There are people from all over the world, and all walks of life, who are taking part, introducing themselves, and already sharing their ideas and feedback about the first day's lesson.

For example, here's a screenshot straight from one of the threads in the community forums. Check out this awesome sketch note that Jeff Ramirez shared with everyone (shared here with Jeff's permission, of course):

The American Society of Training and Development states that those who simply decide to do something have a 25% chance of accomplishing it, whereas those who decide when and where they will do something and who also have someone to report back to have a 95% chance of accomplishing their goal.

In short, the membership forums are for more than just asking questions and sharing ideas, victories, and struggles. They are also there for the sake of accountability to help you as you work your way through the Course.

I have heard from some people who signed up for the course with a few other friends, and they are all planning to go through it with their own group. I've also heard from many couples who signed up together. This is so awesome!

When you build something and then put it out there for all the rest of the world, you have to let it go. (...Let it go!...) (Ahem. Sorry.) 

That thing is now out of your hands and your "protection." It's no longer in the safe confines of your perfect environment that you built it in.

While it can be scary to put your idea or project out there, it's also the best thing for it. Because when you hold it tightly — while it may seem that it's in its best state — you're actually holding it back. 
All this to say, the launch of the Focus Course has been fantastic so far. Here are a few of the tweets from folks who have signed up for the course:
If you haven't yet signed up for the course, I hope you will. As I've mentioned before, the course is delightful, informative, fun, unique, and, most of all, very impactful.

I am confident that the contents and value of the course are well worth the investment. In fact, the course has a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you sign up, dive in, and realize it's not what you were expecting, you can email me.

So... ready to bring your life into focus?
As always, thanks for reading!

— Shawn
The Fight Spot is a weekly email about creativity, focus, and risk. Questions or ideas? Just reply back or ping me on Twitter.
+ If you'd like more content regarding creativity and doing your best work, check out Delight is in the Details -- my ebook and interview series for people who make things.

+ My course, The Power of a Focused Life, is about living without regret in the age of distraction.