I’m not in the business of selling quick fixes.

In fact, a lot of the work I do is slow and boring. I can whip up content marketing like the best of them, but I’m most interested in what behavior change approaches actually work, and what really helps us in our business and personal lives.

There are so many programs and courses and marketers out there selling you the “top ten easy ways to do things.”

The perpetuation of the “how” generation is desperate for advice on how to do something. Most of this is just noise. A lot of it is smoke and mirrors. Raise your hand if you’re tired of it — I know I’m tired of it.

Because how do you know how to figure out what kind of life you want to live? 

And how do you set up the right structures for you in your own unique business and life?

I’m not sure the internet can give us those answers.

What’s more important is identifying and knowing your own universal business and life principles.

Today, I want to share with you some of my core principles for my business and why they matter to me.

In my work over the last decade, I’ve learned a few truths that have been universal for me, and they’re what create the foundation for my business and the decisions I make.

When I share them with people I work with, friends, or even recently, the coffee shop barista near my new house, I get smiles and nods. These are my people.

These are the values and beliefs I hold behind the work I build. Everything I build, everything I make, the things I think about — these are what’s guiding my decision-making. When I make a new course, it’s usually in an effort to solve one of these problems.

Belief #1 — A lot of people are lonely, especially in today’s hyper-connected world.

We are more connected than ever before, and yet we’re more separated and disjointed. Social media is rewiring our brains. We have a lot of loose connections but we have lost the depth of our close ties. We live in very separated houses, with individual bedrooms, silo’ed into our own automobiles, staring down into our cell phones.

We’re so separated that we don’t know how to approach people or date people without the help of apps.

Loneliness is a big, pervasive problem.

That’s why what I’m working on now in my business isn’t a scaleable one-off, me-to-you video program. (You can take those, of course — and watch my writer’s workshop, etc). But it’s more than that.

I want to build places for people to come together in community.

Specifically, I want to create small micro-groups of people that can become friends for life. I am invested in building ecosystems of support through connecting highly talented, creative, independent people together.

Belief #2 — Discomfort, guilt, and feelings of uncertainty aren’t markers of failure.

Modern education has trained us to be obedient, subservient, and to pass tests. How has that served us? We seek comfort and familiarity rather than growth and challenges.

But discomfort, guilt, and uncertainty aren’t bad. It’s not a sign that you’re on the wrong path. It’s actually a deep measure of growth and learning.

If you’re ever confused, uncertain, or questioning: these aren’t markers of failure. These are markers of growth and learning.

We’re not on a quest for certainty and expertise. The gurus in my life are still students, always students. We’re always learning.

I learn so much from each person that joins my mastermind. And they tell me they learn so much from me. To put yourself into a place of learning is to allow yourself to grow. Stagnation is one step before depression.

Learning and growth require periods of uncertainty and discomfort. It’s part of the equation.

Belief #3 — We’re swimming in information and yet unable to speak.

So often we’re told and taught that if we just learn a little bit more, then we’ll be okay. That if you just read a little more, learn a little more, or watch a little more, then you’ll have the answers. Then everything will work.

Has that actually worked in your life? Once you finish that video series or that class, did you feel like you suddenly had all the answers?

No! It doesn’t work like that. Each time you learn more, you unpack more… that you don’t know, or that you want to know.

In my work, I encourage people to use their voices.

I don’t want to be sharing information to a silent room. I want to be in the room with you, learning from you, hearing what you have to say, seeing your work evolve and grow over time. Using your voice, through whatever medium is best for you, is part of the work of being human.

Belief #4 The things worth investing in take time and dedication.

In an instantaneous world, it can feel antagonizing to work on long-term projects. The quick hit of a social media “like” or an open to your email feels good. But when you fast forward a little bit, and you add up what matters, will having 200,000 views on your YouTube channel translate into the life you want?

In my own life, I’m in pursuit of smaller, richer communities.

I want to add vibrancy and resonance to real human lives by creating a place to invest deeply in ourselves and in each other.

The Mastermind project I’m working on now is something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. I want to figure out how to bring people together, connect them, and unpack what it means to live a complex, rich, devoted life. What does it mean to have devoted time to yourself and your dreams?

So, what does this all add up to?

Over the next 14 weeks, you can check Facebook a little more.

You can attempt to read all of your emails. (Yes, even I still try to do that, even though I know it’s not going to get me what I want.) You can even buy a bunch of classes. But what’s going to really add up to change in your life?

The Mastermind that I’m creating is about the following principles:

  • We do better work when we’re connected deeply in community.
  • Using our voices is an art, built on principles of deep listening and engagement.
  • The things that matter can take a long time, and require dedication and commitment, even through periods of uncertainty.
  • Uncertainty and frustration are markers of growth, not failure — and having a community around us to witness our growth and struggle can make all the difference.
  • Building places for people to come together in community
  • Deep work, built on principles of deep listening and engagement (I teach you how to use deep listening in your work).

In the Mastermind (if you do decide to apply to join), we take the time to look at why you do what you do.

There’s an exercise we do called “finding your ways of being” for how you want to show up in the world. We look at what mantras and principles you want to live by. We examine what works and what doesn’t work, and why there might be differences.

It is a rich place of growth, depth, and connection, and it takes us time to go through the process.

These aren’t things that I can sell in an e-book or a course.

I’m sharing this because of how important and vital I think this work is. I can’t scale it because there is so much 1:1 work involved.

This blog (and the free email info series all about my Mastermind) is my attempt to share what it is I’m building and why I’m building it. If you do decide to apply, I read every single application, and get on the phone with as many people as I possibly can.

When you take the time to figure out your “why” in your own business and personal life, it helps you shift the way you see your work in the world.

It means you meet the right people, and choose projects that matter. It’s helped me in countless ways: setting up boundaries between what I’ll say yes to and what I decline. Helping me make decisions and set up structures for success.

If this post resonated with you, if you find yourself nodding along, if what I’m talking about makes sense, then I’d love for you to apply to the mastermind. It’s a small group of people, and I think very carefully about who ends up joining. But I can’t add you to the group if you don’t apply. We start on March 6th, so I’m finalizing interviews through the rest of this week, looking for one or two more faces I haven’t met yet to possibly add to the mix.

Here’s the link to apply if you haven’t already — Apply today.

Also published on Medium.