How Lenéa Sims launched Outer Work to 500 members in 72 hours
How Lenéa Sims launched Outer Work to 500 members in 72 hours
For as long as she can remember, Lenéa Sims has been interested in better understanding the world around her.
From brick and mortar to digital membership: How Topstitch Makers grew a five-figure virtual business in less than a year
Even before COVID hit, Leigh Metcalf was looking for ways to add some zhuzh to her business.
With Goddess Council, Cat Lantigua is making the real world a little less lonely
Today, Goddess Council is a blossoming, digital community. But it originated in a decidedly tangible space: Cat Lantigua’s living room in Brooklyn.
Delivering a bright, new future for 2,200 birth workers and birthing women
Margo Blackstone confesses that she wasn’t always interested in midwifery. “I didn’t even know what it was at first,” she admits. “I just knew I wanted to work with women. And I knew I wanted to make a difference as best I could and bring something positive to the world.”
How a platform for creatives, by creatives brought together 1,000+ members around the globe
After living in sunny Australia for six years, Scott Bakken’s return to his native Canada was, unsurprisingly, a substantial adjustment. “It was like, fish out of water,” he says. “And for me and my wife, we just wanted to reconnect with Canada and this way of life.”
How Elizabeth DiAlto built a five-figure membership business teaching women to feel their feels
For as long as she can remember, Elizabeth DiAlto has been interested in the difference between womanhood and femininity. “Growing up, I was a tomboy,” she says. “But my body was ‘hyper-feminine.’ And a lot of my work has been born out of me saying, ‘Let me reclaim and redefine what womanhood means to me.”
Introducing the GUILD, a five-figure membership for women entrepreneurs that’s evening the odds
Four years ago, Anne Cocquyt was doing double duty: toiling away at a corporate gig in digital health innovation and organizing a ladies club where women could network, event, and attend workshops.
But she knew there was room to do much, much more. “I just felt like there really needed to be an actual community space for female entrepreneurs,” she says. “Something that would support the women who wanted to build things and put awesome companies out there.”
Money, millennial style: How Financial University doubled its members in a year
When it comes to sharing his journey, José Hernandez likes to start at the very beginning. “My personal story is a big part of what I’m trying to do,” he says. “And it’s a big part of what I want people to know about me.”
In the Cut is demystifying the entertainment industry for 1,200 Black creatives
Rae Benjamin had always been a writer. She just didn’t know how, exactly, to make a career of it. “I thought being a writer meant you had to be a novelist,” she says. “That was ingrained in me. And I knew I didn’t want to write novels.”
In college, she didn’t think much about pursuing a career as a writer. But after she tried a screenwriting elective during her junior year, something clicked. “I fell in love with it,” Rae says. “And I was like, ‘Oh. I can do this.'”
How this community is empowering 1,200 Black parent entrepreneurs to build a lasting legacy for their children
James Oliver Jr. freely admits that he believes in acting first and thinking later. “I’m crazy. Once I get an idea, I’m charging headfirst down the path.”
Liberated Being brings together spirituality skeptics to learn embodiment practices
Today, Brooke Thomas works in the intersection of the physical and the spiritual. But at the beginning of her journey, she was only concerned with the former, trying her best to find ways to heal from the chronic pain she grew up with.
Back then, Brooke searched for ways to mend herself. And along the way, she unintentionally embarked on a sort of spiritual journey.
How Emily Thompson built a five-figure membership to is help creative entrepreneurs make moves
Emily Thompson will be the first to tell you that Being Boss’ journey has been long, windy, and full of surprises. “We’ve had intention, and purpose, and thought. But there’s also been lots of flying by the seat of our pants and just having a whole lot of fun with it.”
How Boston While Black went from hashtag to a five-figure membership business in six months
Sheena Collier moved to Boston 16 years ago for graduate school. But when she first arrived to Beantown, she had no intention of staying long-term.
“Boston has a reputation of being not that welcoming, and a lot of people of color have a hard time feeling like they belong. It’s hard to find a community here, period.”
But the city had a different idea in mind.
Sktchy Art School is creating a sanctuary for 15,000 portrait artists
Picture it: Miami, 2010s. Jordan Melnick was working for an arts and culture blog, covering the Magic City from a hyper-local perspective. But when he wasn’t writing, he was connecting with his readership through a variety of community events.
“We had a reputation for pulling off fun projects. We covered Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ album, but just with local bands. We did a bike scavenger hunt throughout the city multiple times. And we would host this event, Sktchy Miami, where we would have all these art supplies and invite people to come and draw each other.”
The latter is what really drew people. Way more than he expected.
How SonoPath Education built a five-figure course membership for veternarians from scratch
For years, SonoPath—a hub for veterinary ultrasound, telemedicine, and education founded by Dr. Eric Lindquist—has been teaching vets how to interpret ultrasounds and helping them complete required credits for continuing education.
But when Chrissy Laughlin came on as the Director of Business Development last year, she was tasked with totally revamping the latter.
SonoPath already had hands-on training in place, but Chrissy saw an opportunity to dust off their virtual education resources and bring them into 2020.
The eXd Community is on a mission to help over 600 educators design an equitable new world
When Caroline Hill left her job as a high school principal in 2015, she took two big ideas with her. First, she wanted to explore the role of race and equity in inclusion work. Second, she wanted to see how that work fit into the idea of how we, as people, can design and innovate new worlds for ourselves.
To explore each of those ideas, she built a framework called equityXdesign. Her intention? To merge the values of equity work and innovation with the intentionality of design.
Mind Cake Vault is showing aspiring cake pop connoisseurs just how sweet the treat business can be
It took a little bit of time for Tiffany Johnston to find her (literal) sweet spot.
After quitting her full-time job in search of something more fulfilling, Tiffany started a gig at a local bakery shop. She didn’t have any formal baking experience, but after a few months Tiffany found herself responsible for creating cake pops—and loving it.
This psychologist forged connections for 6,500 people in the middle of a pandemic
As a psychologist and mindfulness teacher with nearly 20 years of experience, author Elisha Goldstein knew his way around the world of courses. And there was always one thing that stuck out to him.
How Luvvie Ajayi Jones creates an intimate, safe space for over 14K members
After years and years of keeping up with her adventures, Luvvie Ajayi Jones’ followers decided enough was enough. They were going to need a name for themselves:
“I’ve been blogging for 17 years and I have a really engaged and plugged in audience who wants to know what I’m up to. And five, six years ago, they were like, ‘We need a name. Rihanna got a Navy, Beyonce got a Beehive.’ So they took a vote, and we ended up with LuvvNation.”
How Teach Music Online grew from one $500 course to a five-figure membership business
Carly Walton had spent over three years traveling the world and teaching music online. But when a music company reached out for a prospective partnership, she wasn’t sure where it would take her.
Curious about the world of online courses, she agreed to create one for the company. But after a year, the collaboration just wasn’t working. Carly and the company decided to part ways:
“They basically said, ‘You create the course and we’ll sell it,’ but they never sold it. It was rough because it was a lot of work. But afterward, I thought, ‘I need to do this on my own.’”
How a membership dedicated to women traveling solo found a way to flourish during stay-at-home orders—to the tune of 2,900 members
When it comes to the subject of women and travel, most people either focus on the romanticism of exploring the world solo (think, “Eat, Pray, Love”) or the danger of going it alone.
But Beth Santos knew there was more to it than that.
In an effort to shed some light on the world of women traveling alone, Beth started sharing her own experiences on the Wanderful blog in 2009. Over the years, it blossomed into a community where women could find resources and share their own experiences abroad.
The duo behind this paid membership site is guiding over 4,000 passionate dog owners on how to train their pets
For thousands of years, dogs have been man’s best friend. Unfortunately, for the last decade, there’s been little progress made in the dog training industry.
But Natalie Dobkins was set on changing that.
There’s another path to financial freedom and Wealth Without Wall Street is showing all 3,700 of its members the way
What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the words “financial freedom?” There’s a good chance you start imagining trading stocks, keeping an eye on your 401K, or following the Dow. But financial advisors Russ Morgan and Joey Mure want to change that.
It all started in 2017. The pair started thinking about how they could teach people to become their own bankers. They believed that generating passive income was the key to gaining financial freedom and decided to start a coaching initiative, Wealth Without Wall Street, to prove it.
They knew that once people understood how their money could work for them, they could control their own investments, instead of leaving them in the hands of the financial market. And according to the brand’s Director of Marketing, Thomas Coiner, they knew they could do it without touching Wall Street.
Welcome to the Academy to Innovate HR, a course community home to 5,800 professionals
When Erik van Vulpen and Nando Steenhuis met working at a venture builder in the Netherlands, just a few months after graduation, they had no idea where their collegiality would take them.
Part of the reason? Their backgrounds were totally different. Erik had studied Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Nando had just finished coursework in Entrepreneurship and New Business Venturing. And yet, this unlikely pair put their expertise together to tackle an equally unlikely field: the business of Human Resources.
How Qpractice's cohort-based courses are giving interior designers the confidence to ace their exams
As a certified interior designer, Lisa League knew that acing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam was no walk in the park.
She was determined to make it easier for her fellow designers to pass.
Lisa had struggled when it came to studying for her own exam. There weren’t many resources—online or otherwise—to help interior designers prepare, and the resources that did exist were frustratingly limited.
This visual note-taker combined courses and membership for a $300k+ business
Doug Neill knew he wanted to help people master the art of visual note-taking. But when he decided to merge his interest in sketch noting with his background in teaching, he wasn’t sure where the journey would take him.
He started with a WordPress site, where he started building online courses and resources around the concept of sketch noting with the help of a handful of plug-ins.
But between technological frustrations and a lack of dedicated community space for his course members, Doug quickly found himself outgrowing the platform.
In the Mix: Meet the brother-sister duo creating a flourishing community for over 7,200 artists
Brother and sister artists Lee and Sarah Rubenstein hadn’t expected ArtSnacks—their art supply subscription box—to take off as quickly as it did. But as their number of subscribers grew, they found themselves looking for ways to bring their new artists together.
Inspired by one of their customers, the siblings started a monthly ArtSnacks Challenge, inviting people to share their creations on Instagram with the #artsnackschallenge hashtag. It was fun, but something was missing:
“Instagram is great for showcasing your super polished final pieces. But it’s not necessarily a great place for connecting around the work. And we wanted to give our people a central location where they could hang out, share their progress, and get feedback.”
This community of womxn visual artists used mastermind groups to build a five-figure business
Jamie Smith and Tara Lee Bennett had a simple goal: To make it easier and more obvious for visual artists to make a living doing what they were meant to do.
With no obvious or “one-size-fits-all” path for artists to generate an income, this Vancouver-based pair started organizing a monthly “mastermind” group, a dedicated space for peer-to-peer mentoring. Their intention? To help fellow female, nonbinary, and gender fluid visual artists make a living from their work.
Why focus on this specific group of visual artists? It was simple:
“[Being an artist] is a lonely profession. Worse, like the rest of the world, there’s a lot of inequality. Our goal was to change this by creating a safe, supportive space for female, nonbinary, and gender fluid artists to learn and grow together.”
How two creators transformed their community from tech headache to six-figure network
Gary van Warmerdam and Eva Beronius had been trying to bring their expertise together under a single membership model. But they kept hitting snag after snag.
The pair had started working together in 2015 after Eva took one of Gary’s courses. They instantly knew that their work was compatible: Gary focused on changing beliefs and releasing repressed emotions through conscious awareness. Eva focused on the intersection of meditation and conscious mindfulness.
But they struggled with meaningfully putting their work together online.
How marketing maven Trish Martin tripled her community in five months
Trish Martin was getting burned out.
With her business Chromatical, the Melbourne, Australia-based marketing expert had been offering one-on-one coaching to creative small business owners. But it was starting to wear her out. She was struggling with chronic fatigue. And it was getting to the point where she could only see one client per day:
“It was getting really bad for my health. I was ruining myself every day. It wasn’t scalable, and I knew that something needed to change.”
Here's how The Unemployable Initiative is helping solo entrepreneurs build seven-figure businesses
Jerod Morris already knew that combining a course with a community could be a gamechanger for any membership.
And he was already pretty familiar with Mighty Networks, too.
Jerod had first found Mighty Networks when he was looking to expand his podcast about podcasting called The Showrunner. He had been trying to find a place to host a course and a thriving community together:
“We wanted a place where people could interact that wasn’t a Facebook Group, that provided some of the benefits of a Facebook Group, but without the negativity. We ended up starting at Mighty Networks.”
Find your niche: How this membership site brought holistic equestrians together
Adele Shaw had spread herself too thin.
In her work, she focused on a holistic, integrative way to train horses that considered the body, mind, and emotions of both the trainer and the horses themselves. Then she decided to share those methods via social media.
The response from fellow horse lovers across the world blew her away. It was immediately clear that her methodology was resonating with people:
“It was just this runaway train that took on its own life. And it was the catalyst for me launching a full-scale business, just based on that response that I got.”
This sound engineer created a micro community dedicated to the craft of audio for live events
Nathan Lively had always known where his passion lied: in the niche world of live sound engineering. And with Lively as his last name, it sure seemed he was destined for it.
In search of fellow sound engineers who shared his passion, Nathan started Sound Design Live in 2015, a podcast where he could share his experiences and insight, and interview leading innovators in concert, theater, and corporate productions.
Before he knew it, Sound Design Live started gaining momentum. And little by little, Nathan’s audience started asking for more.
No perfect parents: This couple created a membership site for families to build compassionate connections
Cecilia and Jason Hilkey knew first-hand that modern parenting wasn’t exactly easy.
The wife and husband team had realized, as preschool educators and parents themselves, that for some people traditional parenting methods of punishment and rewards just weren’t cutting it anymore. And they knew there was a different way to parent, a way that relied on communication, connection, and tending to the emotional needs of children.
How two artists created a membership site for children’s book illustrators and made five figures in their first six months
Steph Fizer Coleman and Denise Holmes both knew from personal experience that children’s book illustrating was hard to break into.
Steph, a West Virginia-based children’s book illustrator and licensing artist, and Denise, an illustrator and picture book-maker based in Chicago, had never met in person, but they had built a personal and professional relationship after connecting through an online class five years before.
As they stayed in touch, they grew closer. And eventually they started thinking about the resources they wished they had had when they got started in the industry.
This is Octo Members, a private membership home to over 2,000 UK finance professionals
Lee Robertson was always good at considering the big picture.
In 2018, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority had changed the rules around socializing in the financial sector, making it harder for professionals from different companies to get to know each other.
The former CEO of a London-based wealth management firm, Robertson knew how essential these relationships were. It was how he and his peers had risen in the ranks and built their businesses.
Yet, scheduling meet-ups at the local pub was no longer practical, or for younger financial advisors, even desired.
How two therapists built a community to get at the root of eating disorders
A licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Ashley had been working alongside her fellow co-director, psychologist Dr. Julie T. Anné, at A New Beginning, an eating disorder treatment center in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The team had spent two decades helping patients recover from eating disorders. But they could only help so many people with their in-patient programs (which were also expensive). They recognized that there were many more people were suffering in silence with lifelong binge and emotional eating who couldn’t come to their clinic. That motivated these therapists to look beyond conventional eating disorder treatments.
How could they reach more people with proven programs and practices that would make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives?
With Youth Ministry Booster, Zac Workun created a five-figure membership to help youth pastors feel less isolated
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based youth minister Zac Workun knew his calling as a youth minister was the right one for him. The fact that it was also isolating and, at times, lonely was something he chalked up to the price he paid for pursuing his purpose.
Until the day that he and his best friend and fellow youth minister Chad Higgins launched their Youth Ministry Booster podcast as an experiment.
Very quickly, he and Chad realized that they were not alone. Their podcast grew rapidly from a regional to a national audience. That’s when Zac had his a-ha moment. His ministry could extend to supporting his fellow youth ministers in honing their craft, strengthening their service, and staying grounded mentally and emotionally in the process.
Here's how esthetician Christine Byer launched a five-figure beauty membership in two weeks
Christine Byer was flat-out exhausted.
The master esthetician had spent years working herself to the bone growing and managing her following on Facebook and YouTube, where she had been posting video tutorials about skin care and aging gracefully.
Although her YouTube tutorials had started out as a way for her to build her business, she discovered something surprising in the process. Social media was far from a community where her followers were able to get to know each other. In fact, the reason she was exhausted is that she was answering everything herself.
It wasn’t sustainable.
How a healer transformed her spirituality podcast into a five-figure membership and community
Alyssa Malehorn knew the hardest part of breaking into the broad world of spirituality was finding people who were exploring the same questions and ideas she was. People on her wavelength.
A spiritual teacher and psychic medium, Alyssa had started a podcast with partner Zack Fuentes called Raw Spirituality in the spring of 2017. It was a way to share insights on core concepts of spirituality, like “awakening”—your initiation on the spiritual path—and “ascension”—a process where one moves to a higher level of consciousness.
Meet the social worker who built a five-figure paid membership helping adults with ADHD
Eric Tivers was doing just fine as a clinical social worker with a thriving private practice and a side hustle as a podcaster.
He had absolutely no idea that he had a calling as a mentor and coach online for groups of adults with ADHD:
During my podcast I impulsively, stream-of-consciousness said, ‘Hey I’m thinking about doing these online coaching and accountability groups and I’ll have more information for the listeners next week.’
Little did he know just how much demand there was for this kind of online group coaching.
This cartoonist created a five-figure membership site to stop artists from procrastinating
Jessica Abel knew the biggest hurdle for serious artists was easier said than done: Making the time to get their creative projects done.
As Jessica, a full-time academic and part-time cartoonist, spoke to her friends and peers, they all seemed to have the same challenge. They loved their work. It was their heart, soul, and reason for being. Yet, there was a common enemy plaguing their daily lives, procrastination.
How Tara McMullin pioneered virtual conferences and built a flourishing paid membership for small business owners
Tara McMullin has served as a coach, mentor, and leader to thousands of small digital businesses over the past decade.
Yet, her truly unique strength is in how she adapts new technologies to both reach and connect her people.
Not only does she run a new podcast consulting and production company from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but she’s come up with an unique approach to using virtual conferences, virtual retreats, and virtual co-working “spaces” to deepen and grow her other business, a thriving membership site called The What Works Network.
Where many of us today are playing catch up to all things virtual, Tara is an old hand. And what we see from her is just how dynamic (and, dare we say, fun) a virtual approach to a business can be.
How Dan Miller’s "48 Days" went from book to podcast to six-figure membership business
When you’re the best-selling author of 48 Days to the Work You Love with a wildly successful podcast and weekly email newsletter that 87,000 people, what in the heck would inspire you to spend the past year investing your time and energy in 626 people on a brand new platform?
For Dan Miller, it was the power of a connected network of entrepreneurs that gets more valuable to everyone with each new member who joins.
This premium coaching program for therapists went from passion project to 9,000 members strong
Miranda Palmer has come a long way since launching her first free Yahoo Group in 2005.
Back then she was an aspiring therapist who had just failed her licensing exam by one point, and she wasn’t alone. Many of her grad school classmates were in the same boat.
So, when a handful of her students at a local university showed her how they were using a Yahoo Group to study together, a lightbulb went off.
What if I created a study group for aspiring therapists for us to pass our exams together?
That’s exactly what she did. ZynnyMe was born.
How Martinus Evans' Slow AF Run Club made $140,000 in his first year
Martinus Evans didn’t want to start just another Facebook running group for his fans.
As a creator with more than 32,000 Instagram followers (@300poundsandrunning), he had seen many of his peers take this route, but it didn’t make sense to him.
First of all, with so many running groups on Facebook, it would be hard to stand out. Second, it seemed crazy to try to inspire his members to crush big goals on a platform where they would be bombarded by off-topic distractions and political vitriol.
How a floral designer launched her own $18,000 floral business school
Kathleen Drennan has two great passions in life: business and flowers.
In 2014, she left her successful marketing career, started a floral design business, and grew it into a highly profitable, six-figure enterprise.
But something struck her. She noticed that many of her fellow florists lacked the business skills she had grown up learning in a family where business principles were discussed at the dinner table.