I did not imagine that it would be so difficult to let this go.
Mentors and Masterminds has been a part of my life now for over two years, from it’s humble beginnings in Google Plus Communities, to the site launch at the 2016 Conference for Administrative Excellence, and a site redesign in 2017. Without knowing a thing about marketing or self-hosted WordPress sites, I managed to engage an audience of over 50 site members, plus hundreds more via social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
I started it on a hunch – a curiosity – believing that there must be others like me who sought but could not find mentorship in their administrative professional careers.
In the process, I became the mentor I sought.
Now the time has come to call it done. I thought I might be able to pass it along someone who would be able to benefit from the time, passion and money I have invested in building this little community: an aspiring admin entrepreneur or thought leader, perhaps. Or someone with a passion for mentoring. But the domain expiration notice has shown up, and a successor has not. So on August 8, 2018, this little site will go the way of the dodo.
I am a little sad for this community that never quite got off the ground. I feel a little guilty for failing to deliver on the promise of my site: that someone would be there for my members to help navigate the opportunities and pitfalls of their careers. However, I also know a lot more about what’s available, and I know that if they are still looking, there is much to find. One I’m particularly excited about is Phoenix Normand’s forthcoming admins-only community, This. My Tribe. I think it is very much like what I envisioned for Mentors and Masterminds, and if you’re curious to know more, you can follow him on LinkedIn for updates on the project.
My path, however, lies in another direction.
As failures go, Mentors and Masterminds was nearly perfect: a true “First Attempt In Learning”. Among other things, this journey has taught me:
- How to write a Request for Proposal, submit multiple project bids, and negotiate a contract for services. Lots of room for growth here…
- How to build and maintain a self-hosted WordPress website, add plug-ins and change themes. The possibilities are truly mind boggling.
- How to build an audience from scratch through diligent content creation, multi-channel promotion, and personal engagement. Especially personal engagement.
- How to recognize what’s not working and create a plan to make it better. Again…and again…and again;
- How to create a brand style guide and adapt my graphics for the myriad formats. Seriously. Why does every channel have to have a different image ratio?!
Most importantly, though, I learned the importance of FOCUS in turning one’s vision into a reality. While I was focused, Mentors and Masterminds grew and even thrived. It was an exciting experience! Ultimately, though, Mentors and Masterminds was not the right container for my deepest dreams, my grandest visions…and my focus wandered as a result. When it did, the site and community suffered.
Now, I am ending one chapter, and beginning another. For the first time, I am focusing my energy and attention on my truest passion: helping others to recognize and manifest their creative potential. Bit by bit, I am clearing out the old and the ancillary to make room for the new, and to ensure a singular focus on this work. And I can feel deep in my bones that this endeavor will succeed.
Because Mentors and Masterminds taught me:
That which I cultivate with focus and love cannot fail to thrive.