Welcome to Stories of Awesome

We all need a little inspiration for our own website, community, or digital business. Enter Stories of Awesome.

Picture This: How Two Artists Created a Membership Site for Aspiring Children’s Book Illustrators

This week's story

Picture This: How Two Artists Created a Membership Site for Aspiring Children’s Book Illustrators

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.

Steph Fizer Coleman and Denise Holmes

Giving Back to a Career That Gave Him So Much: Bringing Together 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.

Lee Robertson

Giving Binge Eaters a Weigh Out: How 2 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?

Dr. Ashley Southard

How Zac Workun Built a Membership Site 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.

Even Artists Need Lawyers: How Kiffanie Stahle Became The Creative’s Lawyer

Kiffanie Stahle always had a knack for turning legal jargon into everyday language.

In fact, she had this gift of translation even before she decided to become a lawyer. Kiffanie started out as an environmental biologist and passionate photographer, surrounded by creatives who had their own independent small businesses:

“I was dating a guy at the time who is a lawyer. Everyone would ask him their legal questions, and he would spout off an answer that was very ‘lawyerly.’ I would say, ‘Mark, do you really mean this?’ And he would be like, ‘Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying!’ I became a legal translator.”

Her talent for understanding and interpreting legalese carried her through law school on a full-ride scholarship. After she graduated, she opened her own independent law firm. Her goal was to continue to serve the population of artists she had come to know and love through her own photography work.

Kiffanie Stahle

The Artist’s Courtyard

How Esthetician Christine Byer Created a Paid Membership Site That Proves There’s Beauty in Community

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.

Christine Byer

Christine Byer Beauty Club

“These People Needed To Know Each Other:” How a Healer Transformed Her Spirituality Podcast Into a Paid Membership Site

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.

Alyssa Malehorn

Raw Spirituality

How a Social Worker Discovered the Secret to Helping Adults with ADHD Take Control of Their Lives

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.

Eric Tivers

ARC Alumni and Coaching Groups

Do It Now: This Cartoonist Created a 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.

Jessica Abel

How Tara McMullin Pioneered Virtual Conferences to Connect Small Businesses Owners Across the U.S.

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. 

Tara McMullin

The What Works Network

How a #30DayHairDetox Built a Natural Hair Movement

When looking to make the switch to natural styling, the Internet can be a bewildering place to look for help.

Aeleise Ollarvia and Aishia Strickland, experienced hair stylists and experts in natural hair care, were not having it.

Frustrated with the misinformation they saw online, these hair artists set out to share a bold stance on how black women should style their curls: Eliminating shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, and “everybody’s favorite gel”—Eco Styler—from their routines.

On a whim, they launched a #30DayHairDetox email campaign and discovered there was a movement happening in people’s inboxes.

Aeleise Ollarvia and Aishia Strickland

Black Curl Magic Digital Salon

Do You Really Need an App? The Surprising Choice J.T. O’Donnell Made to Get Results for Her Clients

J.T. O’Donnell gets people results.

From new grads just starting their careers to soldiers leaving the military, managers starting their next chapter to women returning to work after a break, she helps people develop a fresh, exciting picture of where they want to take their careers and then guides them through the process of creating and following a concrete plan for getting there.

J.T. O’Donnell

Work It Daily

Extraordinary Success is Not Accomplished Alone: How Dan Miller’s 48 Days Became So Much More Than a Book and Podcast

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.

Dan Miller

How a Premium Coaching Program Takes Therapists from Acing Exams to Building a Thriving Practice

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.

ZynnyMe

ZynnyMe

Meet Martinus Evans and 1,600 “Back of the Pack” Runners Not Afraid to Be Slow AF

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.

Martinus Evans

Slow AF Run Club

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.

 

 

Kathleen Drennan

ForFlorists

This Financial Advisor Went From Idea to Successful Launch of His First Membership Site in 45 Days

Taylor Schulte wondered what he was getting himself into.

Sure, he had a flourishing financial advisory practice in his hometown of San Diego, two successful podcasts, and a wealth of marketing skills and expertise.

But he didn’t know anything about running a membership website. Uncertainty was running through his mind:

“What if launch this and no one joins? Do people really want another community?”

Taylor Schulte

Advisor Growth Community

Decoration Image Top

A New Story Drops Every Wednesday!

Decoration Image Bottom

Get Stories of Awesome Delivered to Your Inbox

Stories of Awesome is a 52-week project to share a practical, yet inspiring story of the Passion Economy every single week. Want to get our next story delivered directly to your inbox? Share your email below and we'll get some goodness to you shortly.

COMMUNITY DESIGN MASTERCLASS

Turn Your Passion into a Thriving Membership Site

With our Community Design Masterclass, you’ll learn the simple principles of Community Design and create a community so valuable you can charge for it, and so well-designed it essentially runs itself.

Start For Free

You can create a Mighty Network for free. Start now to explore what's possible and create your own Story of Awesome!