the junto

The Junto – 10 Month Update

So, almost a year ago, I thought that things were progressing smoothly with the New Inceptions sphere of influence. The podcast was seeing more and more listeners, I had met several people in town who I partnered with, and I had just recently started the Junto. We had a pretty good weekly plan – including doing weekly videos discussing the life of an entrepreneur.

Well, fast forward a handful of months, we lose the building we were doing our videos in (Collaborate 317). We also lost several key people who were building the community – due to, well, life, really. (The aliens got them!)

So, after these changes, those who were left of us in our local group started wondering – “What’s next? How do we do the things that we set out to do with C317?”

Well, long story short, the heart of C317 has been transplanted into Amplify – which we now refer to as Amplify Indy. It’s a prototype of what we want to help other cities do around the country.

For the last 2 months, we’ve been holding monthly events where we highlight nonprofits, business, artists, and musicians.

However, because it’s been so Indy focused – I wasn’t sure how to capture it in a group like the Junto that is for anyone across the globe to be a part of.

Also, I got burnt out of Facebook for awhile. (I think I touched it once or twice a week for marketing purposes.)

 

So, if you were wondering what happened. There ya go.

 

Lessons Learned

There was a couple of things I learned from this experience.

1. Don’t Be Vague

When I originally set out in creating the Junto, my idea was to create a safe space where people could “debate questions of morals, politics, natural philosophy, and to exchange knowledge of business affairs.” I was looking to make it a place where people could come together as opposed to being segregated into silos. Facebook is very good at separating us.

What I found out is that having these types of talks are much easier to have in person. Not only because it’s a bit more intimate and people feel safer in real world settings. But also because finding groups on Facebook is all about keywords. And if people aren’t looking for things they’re not aware of, they’re not going to find the answers, let alone ask the questions, about those topics.

In other words, to do what I wanted to do on Facebook might not have been the best idea. Facebook isn’t a platform designed to create an organic following while talking about somewhat vague topics. People don’t know what they don’t know. And they’re not going to search for things they’re not thinking about or even aware of.

 

2. Don’t Make Busy People Admins of a Vague Idea

They simply don’t have the time.

If someone is hugely busy offline, then they don’t usually have the time to do things that aren’t directly impacting them. They especially don’t have the time to put the time and effort into an “online experiment” such as the Junto.

I’ve noticed that as other groups have gotten to be more populated, the founders usually promoted those who were already contributing. Or they hired someone to be the community leader.

When you’re first starting out, you don’t have that.

Tied to the vagueness of what the group was intended to help people with, people weren’t ever sure if their content was helpful to the group.

So that was a failure on my end.

 

3. Play to Your Strengths

While I make a great connector, I’ve come to realize I’m not the best when it comes to promoting things to the masses. Thankfully, I’ve come to know people who are. They’re much better at being online more regularly, whereas I tend to randomly disconnect from the online world as a whole. Sometimes, a couple days at a time.

Considering that none of my content is made beforehand (I like to stay current and keep you guys informed on what’s going on NOW!), sometimes it’s difficult for me to get content out. Last week was a good example. I was starting on a course that I’m excited about finishing. It fits into my strengths and I’ll be able to serve local folks in a different manner than I would have ever considered.

 

Where do WE go from here?

While New Inceptions’ main focus will always be to help those who have missed the mark on their personal mission, I have personally started focusing much more on local things.

This is something that I really didn’t pay attention to when I restarted this entrepreneurial adventure in 2015 – engaging with local established folks.

Sure, I had Laila as cohost of the podcast and yes, we lead the local Fizzle meetup for over a year. But really, we weren’t making much, if any, of an impact outside of ourselves!

However, with these new events and the doors that are beginning to open up locally (including some REALLY good opportunities) my focus has shifted to being more of a local impact.

Why? Because it’s pretty fulfilling to be part of something that is bigger than just me!

So where does that leave the Junto as a group?

 

A Few Options

After having my second 12 minute conversation with Engel Jones (on Facebook) I realized that there were a few options that we could run with:

  • Shut it down all together and restart with something new. (Not my favorite choice. I love the idea of the group still.)
  • Just start off again as if nothing happened (Yeah, that’s not going to work.).
  • Or, we can rebuild it with a some new admins but refocus on what we’re really helping people with:
    • Help people find their personal mission and
    • Excel as an influencer once that mission is found.

The third choice seems to be more practical.

However, this time around, I’ll be looking for some admins that are in the same niche as NI and Amplify AND that can actually contribute.

So, for the foreseeable future, the Junto is going to be going through some under the hood reworkings – but I think they’ll be for the better. I’m really looking forward to bringing what we’re doing here locally in Indy to the rest of the world.

 

Action Steps

If you’d be interested in working with me on the next iteration of the group, connect with me on or offline. I want to make it a great experience for all. And I know I’m going to need help doing that!

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