Discover more from Productive Flourishing
#ThanksCOVID Part 4: Building on Foundations in the Academy
This is Part 4 of our #ThanksCOVID/BigNews for 2020 series. In the last part, Charlie discussed his journey as it relates to the content he produces and shares here at PF. Just as the journey of all Creative Giants involves honoring and bringing forward all parts of ourselves, you heard from Charlie about how he has been doing his own work on this journey — to honor the different zones of genius and capacity he has.
Those of you who have had the pleasure of working with him already know this, but I have to say that I am awed day in and day out at how Charlie is able to get to the heart of what someone is struggling with and work with them to guide and co-create solutions that work. And, this encompasses both the Foundations work he talked about last time and the broader, 30,000-foot perspective of walking with leaders as they grow and transform their cultures and teams. And, of course, so much in between that.
I’m bringing this up because of how it ties into what we have learned in the last six months since we launched the Productive Flourishing Academy (PFA).
When COVID hit hard here in the U.S. back in March, it happened to come at the same time we were in the development of new in-person events. Clearly, that had to be put on hold, but the desire to do more together in a community with our Creative Giants was not something that was going to be put to pasture.
We took the leap to start the Academy, knowing that we didn’t have it all figured out, but also knowing that our hearts were in it 100% — and being certain that now, perhaps more than ever, we and our community needed each other.
We started quite broadly with PFA on purpose, knowing that we would be spending a lot of time listening for what our community wanted, making shifts to content and structure, and in general learning as we went (or as Charlie says, fixing the plane while flying it).
PFA started with a lot of focus on foundations and trying to be as broad and as inclusive as possible, so as to not leave anyone behind, and because that’s what our early superfans were focused on as so much was up in the air due to COVID-19. To be clear, we are still 100% committed to being a welcoming and inclusive place and always growing together… that has not changed. And what has become clear as we moved through the first six months together as a community is that it was time for us to go in even further with PFA.
If we were already in at 100%, it feels like now we’re in at 110%, and to be honest, I didn’t know I had it in me. #growthedges
I shared in Part 2 of this series about my internal journey as it relates to the shift with the Anchor and how I am doing my work of stepping into the light. That same work continues for me with how I have visioned the up-level and expansion of PFA and the changes that are rolling out next month. 2021, here we come!!
How “We Become by Doing” Applied to Me This Year
Before I give more context and detail of the changes that are happening in PFA I want to do two things first.
First, and most importantly, I want to acknowledge and express my gratitude to our current PFA community members (or as I like to call them our PFAmily). They are the ones who decided to take the leap with us in this earliest iteration of the Academy and they put their trust in Charlie and myself and the PF team to build something that would be worthy of them and their time and resources. Thank you for believing in us and for investing in yourself and growing with this community we have created together. And, in a year like 2020, that is no small feat! I see you, keep up your great work, and we’ve got so much goodness still to come!
Second, because I am who I am, I cannot help but want to share my internal journey and process throughout the launch and growth and evolution of PFA. When we started PFA, I knew that Charlie and I were co-creating this and would be partnering a lot on building and growing it. I was ready and excited about that, as Charlie and I generally work very well together and our very different personalities and strengths and challenges complement and bolster one another.
Not nearly to the extent that the Anchor became what Charlie referred to in Part 2 as Angela’s Anchor, but in many ways, the Academy has become my baby (my focus project). In fact, last month internally within our team I became the lead for our PFA team. I’m not going to get into the details of what that means within our team (hey, Charlie, this might be good for you to share about) but what that means internally for me is that I am activated. #UnlockAchieverAngela
I had already been doing work behind the scenes in the last six months: collecting data, asking questions about what was working and what could be improved, and in general allowing my researcher’s heart to get all fluttery and happy. The social scientist in me was all aglow with listening and learning and hoping to create solutions for and with our people to make their lives and businesses better.
Here’s the heart of the lesson for me on my own internal journey of growth as it relates to PFA. As Charlie has lovingly told community members over and over again and so it is true for me: I am not uniquely defective.
I needed a project that brought together all parts of what make me the whole of what I am so that I could truly thrive again. In the past, I have been motivated. I have been excited. I have had tenacity. It’s all been there. It’s just not been activated with enough of the right projects.
The right projects for me this year have been the Anchor, launching and growing the Academy, and digging in deep and really owning the role of CFO in our business. When I have allowed for and leaned into all of these different hats that I wear, and thus the different strengths that are within me, I have truly felt alive in a way that I don’t believe I ever have before.
Bam! Mindset shift! This is me publicly working through the fact that my voice and the way that I process and lead and share is different than Charlie and that it is no longer separate from PF (it is no longer the Anchor, it is part of PF) — it is an important and integral part of PF.
One of our continual reminders to our community is that we become by doing. We teach it because we live it.
Phew! OK, growth and change and me trying to keep up. And, now some tears. Doing the work.
Growing and Learning Together in the Academy
Now, back to talking about the growth and shifts that are occurring within the Academy.
We have learned that more than 95% of our members generally fall into one (and some, both) of these two categories: they are entrepreneurs or managers/leaders. This was not a surprise to us; however, it was very helpful to dig and do the work to confirm this, so we could make programming changes within PFA to better support both of these types of community members.
Our content has been very focused on entrepreneurs; going forward it still will be, and we are also setting up monthly, regular content and events for our managers and leaders, as well. We will be ensuring that whether you are an entrepreneur or a manager or leader, we’ve got you covered. We are creating solutions and community for both.
It’s hard to put into words how excited Charlie and I are about the changes that will be rolling out next month. The changes honor who our people are, meet them where they are, and bring them with us on the journey of becoming even better entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders.
I feel that I would be remiss not to point out that I believe each and every one of us can be a leader in our place of work. Each of us can impact the businesses and organizations that we work in and this belief is something that Charlie and I will weave through the work that we do with you in the Academy.
As Charlie mentioned in Part 3 of this series, the full breadth of topics that we write and teach about are going to be seen throughout all of Productive Flourishing, including the Academy, and we are excited to share this with you. If you haven’t already joined us in the Academy, what are you waiting for?
We’ve worked to make the favorite events of PFA even better and expanded what we offer and teach, such that we can be the place that helps you grow in ways you cannot even begin to imagine in this moment.
The Highlights of What We’re Keeping and Adding
A lot of the time, creators tend to just focus on the new stuff they’re adding without building on what’s already working. As we were thinking about how to make PFA better for entrepreneurs and managers, our first round of thinking was on how we make what people already love better, then how the new parts we wanted to add would enhance their experience.
We’re really proud of the changes we have made. Here are some highlights:
We will continue our live co-working sessions — but it’s gotten even better as they will now be happening weekly!
We will still have master-level content coming your way, but rather than just masterclasses, we will have workshops taught by guest experts; monthly Business Growth Accelerators with live teaching, coaching, and discussion to help uplevel your business; and monthly Leaders Labs with coaching and discussion to help elevate your leadership skills.
Momentum Days — our three times a year, day-long event where you get live coaching with Charlie and me to map and plan a growth project — will now be included for all PFA members. And the consistent check-ins and accountability for that growth project will be continuing and improving.
We will continue and expand on our current accountability teams and small interest groups. These are small groups that work with each other — some day to day, some week to week, and some month to month — to have an extra layer of accountability and growth. We will be expanding our current groups, which include self-care, entrepreneurship, a weekly review group, a sales group focused on artists and coaches, a book club group, and a content creator group to include even more areas of interest and expertise that reflect our members. The fun thing about this is that we will be co-creating this with you. Other topics may include a podcasters group, a managers group, and more.
We will continue to host our fun community gatherings, which allow you to get to know a few other members on a deeper level in a welcoming environment.
We will also continue with our much-loved office hours with myself and Charlie once a month, which is a time of live Q&A and coaching and getting help with whatever you are needing to get you moving forward again.
And here’s where we need to remind everyone that you don’t have to do ALL.THE.THINGS. People drop in and join as they can, get what they need and what helps them to take their next steps, and then get back to their lives and work with more clarity, inspiration, and tools.
If you want 2021 to be the year that you grow your business in a sustainable way, uplevel your leadership, and get support with the foundational practices that allow you to thrive in all areas of your life, I hope you’ll take the first step and join us in the Academy. Our PFAmily is full of big-hearted, conscious, growth-oriented humans that are excited to meet you.
Now especially is the time to join us, as the annual membership will be increasing from $499 to $999 (monthly from $49 to $99) in the new year to better reflect the value of the Academy. Not only can you lock in the $499 annual rate, but you will also get our holiday gift bundle (worth over $100) that includes our printed Momentum Planner, Momentum Planner Cards, and an autographed copy of both of Charlie’s award-winning books, Start Finishing and The Small Business Life Cycle.
Phew! We really do have a lot of Big News to share with you and we’re not done yet.
Charlie will be coming back in the next post in this series to tell you about a project that we are BEYOND THRILLED to share with you. It is an area that we believed we would be growing into eventually and now is that time!