“And you get access to our amazingly supportive, engaging, and dedicated PRIVATE Facebook group!” – every program or course you’ve purchased. Ever. Puh-lease.
OK I know I came in hot with that, and the snark is oozing off those words, but don’t get me wrong. I do think some communities that are included in the programs we buy can be incredibly impactful. I’ve met some of my favorite people on the internet through these course-connected communities.
But is a free Facebook group associated with a hands-off course really the place to foster those connections? Mmmm, not so much. Are occasional posts to engage the group from your group coach going to blow your mind? Nope, sorry.
And let’s talk about the course or program these communities are usually associated with. They tend to be super video- and worksheet-heavy. You are expected to blow through the content and just be ready to rock-n-roll without any extra coaching (or minimal coaching, usually not on the topic of that week’s curriculum).
I don’t know about you, but what usually ends up happening to me is that I realize I can’t absorb the content in the way the coach or expert has laid it out. I’m sorry but who can sit through hours of video trainings where someone is just doodling on a screen or talking to the camera. And then follow that up with worksheets and checklists?
I may have ADHD but I know many a neuro-normative person who doesn’t learn that way. But the people made it all worth it. You know what I mean, jelly bean?
I also find that the materials I’ve searched for aren’t nearly as helpful as the people I’ve found in these communities… which to me, means that I needed a community, not a program.
You don’t need another program. You need community.
How many times, when you’re looking at your business, have you thought, “Oh, I just really need to hash this out with people who ‘get it’”? We get stuck in a hard business moment, have an awkward client situation, or wonder what to do next.
And the logical conclusion — the one we’ve been groomed* to take — is to find a course or coaching program with a “community” built in. But then we get into the program and we realize that most of the growth we experience comes from the live coaching elements, the hot seats, the masterminds, the people. It’s not necessarily from the curriculum (although I’m sure that’s lovely if I could learn that way).
The truth is: You might not need another program. You just need access to people who “get it.”
* I say “groomed” because of the predatory nature of online business. Maggie Patterson of Small Business Boss talks about this much more eloquently than I can.
What community looks like for online biz owners and neurodivergent folks
When you live your life (and run your biz) online, there’s a bit of a muddied line between “learning” and “connecting.” You learn, then you connect, right? Not so much. I would argue that we learn through connecting, especially if you identify as neurodivergent or neurodiverse.
No clue what that means? Here you go.
As online business owners, we’re on our own quite a bit. We work with clients, maybe have a few Zoom calls a week, but we tend to work from home and work alone for the most part. As neurodiverse folks, we also have a different modus operandi than we might see in others. We may need a lot of structure (or hell, medication) to keep the work moving forward. We may not be motivated by the same things. And many of us don’t thrive in a 9-5, 40-hour workweek.
If you’re a person of color, don’t identify on the traditional gender spectrum, or come from marginalized and oppressed groups, these online spaces might even feel unsafe for you.
All of that means that the “communities” you find in programs and courses might not support you the way you really need supported. You want to build deeper connections. You want to find people who feel like you and who have similar (personal or business) experiences. And you want a safe space where you can be yourself.
I have good news, my friends. You don’t need another course or program. You might just need the Connection Collective.
Ready for the Connection Collective?
The Connection Collective is the online membership for intentional entrepreneurs searching for camaraderie, community, and connection. I created the Connection Collective under my own business umbrella, but as we started to reopen and expand the Hello, CEO brand (with my biz co-founder Hannah Chester!), it felt like a natural transition to move it under the Hello, CEO brand.
We’re all about that Human First, Biz Second® approach: running an online business in ways that make sense to you and your brain.
No plug and play templates here, no sales formulas, no square-peg-round-hole consternation, and absolutely no “Hey hey hey now, that’s not business-related, please don’t bring it up in the comments.” You’ll get working sessions, hot seats, and a space to vent, cry, celebrate, and experience the full range of what it means to be a biz owner and human (without sacrificing one or the other).
Here’s what’s on the inside:
In the Connection Collective, we don’t have strict curriculum but we do have Human First Workshops (led by moi!) each month.
We meet on the Third Tuesday of every month, and alternate between three (3) session styles:
One Sock Workshop
When we share authentically in our marketing we can establish intimate trust in a snap — but what stories are personal and what stories cross the line? In this workshop come with a personal anecdote you’ve been debating sharing within your content, and figure out how you can share it in a way that respects your and your audience’s boundaries.
There are 5 unique Connection Archetypes that illuminate how we relate to others online, the content that’s easiest to create, and where we may struggle when trying to foster connection. In this workshop, you’ll have the opportunity for some hot-seat-style coaching to better understand how you can best leverage your natural talents for effortless communication.
Your Weird & Wonderful Offer
Everyone has an offer they’ve been keeping on the back burner because they’re not quite sure how it fits, what it looks like, or if it’s even a good idea (maybe it was just the edible that made it seem like a good idea). This collaborative workshop and hot-seat style coaching (RSVP required!) holds space for finessing your back burner offer into something delightfully you and wholly Human First.
But wait! There’s more!
Sometimes just getting your butt in the chair is what it takes to find your groove – and working in communion is always more fun than going it alone. We have weekly coworking calls on Wednesdays to check in and get sh*t done (especially when that “getting sh*t done” is taking a break!).
Networking Happy Hour
No alcohol required (but snacks are highly encouraged)! Join us the last Thursday of every month for time to unwind and chat about whatever’s top of mind. We chat, we laugh, we cry – we run the gamut of human emotion and simply delight in each other’s company. No strategizing, no “productivity,” just community and networking.
The Hoppin’ Chat Channels
This is where all the good stuff happens – where we connect, where you can always find support and much-needed “I see you’s” when dealing with hard sh*t.
Organized to minimize overwhelm and maximize connection, there are specific channels for celebrating, sharing what you do, discussing biz from a Human First lens, and more.
And between you and me… it’s the part of the Connection Collective that members love the most 😉
Check out The Connective Collective here
Why join The Connection Collective?
(read: “But Megan, I’ve joined #AllThePrograms.”)
When you’ve joined programs or communities in the past, does the lack of support for the way you engage with content frustrate you? Because same. Not all content is created the same, and online course models have become a bit cookie-cutter in their pedagogy and approach to working with business owners.
Inside The Connection Collective, curriculum and community are designed for, though not exclusive to, neurodiverse humans like yourself. No draconian methodologies, no mandatory calls, no one right way to participate.
The most important thing here is coming together in community to celebrate the myriad of ways we run our businesses and tend to ourselves in the process.
Your online support system should honor the way *your* brain works and the kind of business and life you want to create.
TCC member Molly Rivera is with me on this. She said, “So many memberships are either super-touchy-feely, but no biz side OR nothing but business with no room for the life stuff. TCC has been a safe space to tether into hope and community, full of amazing humans who no only exemplify Human First, Biz Second but are also doing incredible things to uplevel their businesses. It’s just the best group of humans.”
Awww shucks, Molly.
Is The Connection Collective right for you?
I mean, if you’re still reading, TCC is probably screaming your name from behind a glass pane, a la the little girl in The Help.
But for real, The Connection Collective is for you if:
…you’re enthusiastic af about your work and sick of your cheering section of one (…you, it’s just you).
…you’ve already done a mastermind or two and you want the intimacy of community without the price tag (or rigid structure) of a program.
…you love supporting your friends and are ready to engage with other badasses in a wide variety of industries and niches.
It’s probably NOT the right fit if:
…you’re looking for a follow-for-follow style group. While you may find yourself with a whole new gang of followers, there is no expectation of following fellow members on social media or interacting with posts.
…you’re looking for a specific launch strategy, social media plan, or framework-driven course materials. This isn’t a course or program. It’s a community.
…you are looking for a highly niched problem-solving cohort.
Are you the first half of that equation?
Ready to find your people and engage with folks who “get you” on a whole new level? Awesome, let’s do this.
Memberships are on a sliding scale based on need, so don’t be shy: Come join us!
We’re offering founding member pricing since this is a big ol’ relaunch, and folks will get locked into this monthly price as long as they stay!