Introducing…

We have something we’d like to share with all of you. Something we’re pretty darned excited about…something we’re publicly talking about for the first time in this very blog post.

Before we do the big reveal, let’s set up the pins for why this post is such a big friggin’ deal. There are three principles we generally adhere to in our personal and professional lives:

  1. Never do anything half way.
  2. Strive for 110% (otherwise known as super-perfection).
  3. And above all, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so knock their socks off.

Today, we’re breaking all of those rules. We’re throwing caution to the wind and sharing something we’ve been plotting for the past couple of months. We have no idea what it will look like in the end. We’re not really certain what it will be called. Heck, we’re not even sure if it will come to fruition at all. How’s that for freeing ourselves of rule-abiding shackles and embracing the Nike mantra?

So, you know that little project we like to call 30 Things? (If not, here’s a refresher: in one year, do 30 new things you’ve never done before. Specifically, say yes to 30 new things you would normally say no to. New readers, please refer toΒ this link to learn about all the wonders). Well, after about a year and a half of talking about this personal project of ours, it seems like there are lots of people talking about it. They (you!) love our idea! So much so that they (you!) want to do it themselves. Except they (you!) are uncertain where (or if) to start – a pretty common problem when embarking on an unfamiliar journey.

So we got to thinking. What if lots of people embraced the 30 Things project? What if we had an entire community of people all doing 30 Things at once, all gaining support, ideas and encouragement from one another? What if we could create a movement?

30 Things has changed our lives. It’s called us to action when we didn’t want to take action. It’s caused us to see the world in a different way, and as a result, has changed how we feel about our lives. Can you imagine the impact of many people all experiencing this together?!

So here’s the big idea: create an online community where people can commit to the 30 Things project. Once you do that, you become part of the larger group, able to share your experiences, challenges and revelations. Community members can share ideas with other 30 Things participants and with friends and family.

What do we hope to achieve? A movement. That’s right, a full-on united and inspired movement. And with it, a whole whack of people who are feeling better – maybe more motivated, appreciative, entertained, proud, or satisfied – about their lives.

Truly, we love this idea. And, yes, we’re terribly modest. But, really, we love it because this 30 Things community would give people an easy place to start. It would provide the encouragement they need to push through. But, most importantly, it would give people a place to live their lives for today. Forget the Bucket List. That’s a list that helps you plan for death. 30 Things is about grabbing ahold of the day, TODAY.

We still have our work cut out for us, and we’re still not sure what the final outcome will be. A recent “blue sky” session listed everything from a scrapbooking kit to a podcast to a monthly newsletter as ways for the 30 Things community to start. But between our weekly Wee C and Big L meetups and some support from our inspirator (like the new word…inspiration + motivator?!), Molly Mahar over at Stratejoy who is helping us figure our way through this idea with her Get It Off The Ground workshop, we’re focusing our efforts and have our sights set on success.

So there you have it. Our big idea. The premature baby that’s being nurtured in the incubator that’s not quite ready to come out into the real world, but is gaining strength by the day. Sharing this with all of you, not knowing anything more than we have an idea and we’re hell-bent on pursuing it, is really scary for us. But, in the spirit of 30 Things, we’re breaking a few of our own rules. And we kinda like it.

PS – if you love this idea, tell us! Yes, we’re praise junkies. But more importantly, we’d love to know who might be “in”.

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27 responses to “Introducing…

  1. I am behind you 110% !
    And if you need someone to represent the “older” generation, let me know. At 54 I’m doing things I NEVER thought I could or ever would…and it’s thanks to you both!
    xxoo

    • Thanks Mom! We’ll definitely be thinking about the “older” generation and how best to communicate 30 Things to them so when we get there, we’ll take you up on your offer for sure. xxoo

  2. I love love LOVE this idea, and I would be excited to be a part of it! Right now I can’t think of 30 things I would normally say no to…(that makes me sound a little slutty, doesn’t it?) I’ll have to review your list and check it out.

    Keep up posted!

    • So thrilled you like this idea. And trust me, you could think of 30 Things in a second. Scared of heights? Uncomfortable hanging out with people who are older or younger than you? Always wanted to try something (like skiing), but you’ve never made the time? 30 Things is about digging out our closeted fears/hangups/discomforts and finding ways to conquer them so that they don’t continue to take up unnecessary space in our thoughts. Life is too short to be consumed by things that we can easily deal with! Start thinking and get ready! Thanks so much for your note!

    • We’ll definitely keep you posted Kaela! We’re plotting options right now…we want to be sure whatever we come up with makes is easy and offers mucho connectivity – those things are important when taking on a journey like 30 Things πŸ™‚

  3. Hey Big L!
    I love the idea. The only thing is I’m woking on many todos these days, but 30 new things in a year sounds like a guaranty for an unordinary life. I’m in.

    And I just had a flash, why not a picture feed of the 3o things? I’ve always wanted to do a post-one-pic-a-day kind of thing. That Scrapbooking kit? Sounds good! It’s different from what I’ve seen elsewhere on the Web. I think that people might like it a lot.

    My blog is a lot about this same philosophy Β«Building your dream life, pushing yourself through fear, taking action…Β». I totally get the movement you want to create. And I’ve come to realize that there are many many other girls like us out there. Yay!

    • Thanks Julie! I’m so glad you took the time to share some feedback and suggestions, love it! If only I could read your blog, but unfortunately neither Wee C or I speak French πŸ˜‰ We’ll keep you posted, of course!

  4. I love this idea, I have been a closeted 30Things reader, I found you through my sister-in-law, and I love reading about your journey! Getting others involved in their own 30Things and having a community of support and encouragement would be fantastic, great idea.

  5. Natalie! Hey, she’s my sister-inlaw! πŸ™‚ I love, love, this idea. Wee C, Big L, I’m behind you 100%. I’m so proud to call you my pals and can’t wait to take part of your journey. Count me in and sign me up. 30 Things, here I come.

  6. You two already know that I love this idea!! I think something involving community, connection, support is always a great idea. People want to belong to something…. We crave connections, especially when we’re sticking our necks out in a new way.

    I think my two cents would be Ning community, plus additional add ons, like a scrapbooking kit, maybe a monthly featured podcast or video of someone checking off one of their things, and some sort of celebration “party” at the end of the year….

    What is the goal business wise? Make money? Build a fan base? Just for fun? As a entry level product for some unknown future biz? I’d get clear on the WHY… (besides starting an awesome movement!)

    Also, It might be a neat thing to collaborate with some other personal
    development sites to help drive your base traffic. I’d be interested for sure!!! πŸ˜‰ xoxo

    • Thanks Molly! It means to world to have someone who has been there and kicking some serious butt doing it, cheering us on. There’s definitely still so much plotting and planning to do, but your ideas and insights are so helpful!

      I checked out Ning and it actually seems to make building an online community far more manageable than I ever imagined possible. More exploration is definitely required with this one. Thanks for the intro πŸ™‚

      Loving the love! Thanks for sending it our way!

  7. Thank you so much for your feedback Molly! We both respect you a huge amount and we’ll be talking over Ning and your other suggestions for sure!

    As for collaboration…umm, that would be a total dream! The hardest part I’ve had with that concept so far is finding the RIGHT sites….there’s so many and it’s hard to know which ones consider themselves in an “elite” league that we’re not a part of, not to mention figuring out which ones have a complimentary fan base.

    BlogHer, for example, seems like an obvious resource, but it’s SO DAMN OVERWHELMING! I feel like I’ll never find anything (or anyone)! Talk about an Internet spiral….

    Anyone who has suggestions for sites / people to look to, we’d love to hear about them!!

  8. Laides,

    I love that you are so passionate about your 30 things! That passion and energy will be the key factor. Contagious = Fabulous.

    Two notes:

    1) Be careful with 110% = Super Perfection. For me, often 300% wouldn’t equate to perfection! I try (and often fail) to not let perfection get in the way of published.

    2) I might try a 30 things generator, where, for people who were feeling stuck, they could click a button and a random potential 30 thing would pop up – like “Go Vegan for One Month” or “Go Skydiving” or “Eat at a Restaurant by Yourself” or whatever.

    Much luck!
    Rebecca

  9. Also – for inspiration I would check out:

    The Happiness Project (Gretchen Rubin) Toolbox http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/

    and

    Mondo Beyondo
    http://www.mondobeyondo.org/

    • Awesome suggestions Rebecca, thank you! I like the idea of a generator. That would make a great iphone app….maybe it could be one of Meredith’s first! And you’re SO right about the perfection trap, that’s probably our BIGGEST barrier, if you can believe it….ourselves!

  10. Hi BigL!

    I think the idea is absolutely fantastic! I especially love the following: Forget the Bucket List. That’s a list that helps you plan for death. 30 Things is about grabbing ahold of the day, TODAY.

    Love that!

    I would absolutely invest in podcasts instead of newsletters. They could also be used as great motivators WHILE you are in the act of completing one of your 30 things.

    Also, if you do create an online community, keep it to a few features instead of trying to include 100 different features. This will ensure that participation is focused and consistent instead of over a wide variety of things. Also, what would make people partake in the online community? Assess the value in posting pictures, writing comments, etc. What will have your participants want to participate beyond actually doing the 30 things? Also, what will your participants walk away with? Will they be able to acknowledge you (aka your company) while they are telling their friends about this amazing movement?

    I’m behind you and Wee C (Hi!) 100%! Let me know if you need any help at all!

    M

    • Hmmm, yes, keep it simple, good point. In such an instant gratification-seeking world, I often feel like I options, options, options is the only way to go. But really, straightforward is probably better. Those are great questions you’ve posed, we’ll spend some think time on all of them!

      Oh, and I’m sure we’ll take you up on your offer to chat through some more details!

  11. Hi girls!

    I LOVE this idea! Talk about good energy and adding value to the world!

    Here’s my thought: With everything I have going on in my life right now, I would need some major support taking on the “30 Things” challenge…like girlfriends, accountability, and maybe fun little activities to keep me motivated and the energy high. Have you considered setting this project up so that people who love your idea AND have some extra time can set up their own “30 Things” team? For example, I could see resident advisors at liberal arts colleges (which draw motivated, curious students) starting a “30 Things” group in their sections, or an ambitious high school student starting a school club around the idea, or professional Life Coaches starting a year-long group based on the “30 Things,” or a woman getting all her girlfriends together to do “30 Things,” perhpas as part of a Bible study, mom’s group, or other social club. In each case, there’s a grass-roots group leader, reaching out and recruiting other participants.

    So, my idea is that all your resources and products could be for the leaders of these teams. Set them up with activities to do in their groups (such as your scrapbooking idea), discussion prompts (this could even be sold as another product, like the Table Topics cards found at http://www.tabletopics.com/) and a special network where group leaders can connect with each other to share ideas and inspiration (in addition to the network for all the participants). Essentially, you’d be recruiting leaders, and equipping them with tools they can adapt to their own networks.

    Again, I love this idea, and really love your bold thinking about starting a movement. Awesome. I have a few ideas for other products, so Big L…lets talk!!

    Good luck and I can’t wait to see this project happen!

    Love,
    Laurah Hagen

  12. The group leader approach is pretty brilliant! I emphasized that for a big fundraiser I planned last year, so I can totally get my head into the space….it allows people who naturally like to lead to have a bigger role and feel great about it. Love!

    We’ll plan a follow up chat for sure, Wee C and I can hardly keep up with all of the great suggestions coming our way! πŸ˜‰

  13. I didn’t get to express this on the call (because we were supposed to be quiet) πŸ˜‰ BUT, I LOVE THIS! Thank you so much for bringing it to the world!

    I think the idea generator is AWESOME. Also, I’m not sure if you’ve already seen this but, 43 Things (http://www.43things.com/) is a similar site that you might be able to get some ideas from. I like that they tell you how many other people have a similar goal.

    I really like the video, picture or podcast ideas, but it might also be fun to issue random awards now and then for things like the “Scariest Thing”, “Wildest Thing”, “Most Traveled Thing” (i.e., something that would have required someone to travel the farthest).

    Perhaps having a sharing resource area (which you very well may get with Ning) would be nice. I know I always get pumped about people’s goals and want to suggest resources to accomplish them when I have them. So maybe there could be a sharing section of resources. This may help people get over the shyness of reaching out to a total stranger if it’s built into a standard in joining the community.

    Perhaps you two could organize an event to accomplish the goal(s) with the most people listing it every couple months? Something fun like that (or Molly’s idea for a year-end party!) to give a little more interaction to the group would be great!

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see more.

    M

    • I LOVE these suggestions, thanks Mallory! We definitely have a lot of thinking and exploring to do over the next few weeks, and I look forward to coming back to you for more ideas and advice along the way. It’s so amazing to have your support!

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