As I start writing this year-end review, the latest in a long line of year-end rituals, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Even more than usual. In 2020 so many people around the world got sick, lost their jobs or businesses, or their lives. I want to start this ritual grounded in that reality, to never forget how lucky I am to be here at all.

What feels strangest about the year of COVID is how little it affected us. I don’t quite know what to make of it. The business thrived as millions flocked to online education. My work took off as the concept of a “Second Brain” caught fire. No one close to me got sick, much less had serious complications from COVID. Many of them actually seemed to benefit in many unexpected ways, from having more time to spend with their kids at home, to working in industries that have seen surges in demand during lockdown. Privilege isn’t just about having extra advantages, it’s about having built-in protection against disadvantages.

The biggest change of the year for me was of course the birth of our son Caio. He is just about 2 months old, and I’m still very much grappling with the aftershocks of this momentous life event. What’s clear so far is that he’s prompted a complete inversion of the principles by which I organize my life. I’ve had to go from optimizing completely for my own needs and goals, to optimizing for his. I’ve had to switch from a long-term planning horizon to a very short one, about the time between his dirty diapers. My focus of investment has gone from myself and my skills to his growth and development. And of course, I’ve had to give up all kinds of control – over my time, my sleep, my meals, my free time – in favor of being available for whatever he and Lauren need.

It’s become very clear to me that becoming a “family man” is a decision. It doesn’t happen automatically just because you have a kid. It’s a distinct identity shift that I think has to be by choice. My intention for this year-end review is to lay the foundation for my shift from a work-obsessed to a family-centric life, with my son and wife at the center of my universe. I want everything else in my life to be in service of them, simply because nothing else matters as much as them.

I want to start as I always do, by recapping our successes this year and revisiting the goals I set at the beginning of the year to close the accountability loop.

Signed a book deal for Building a Second Brain

This was the culmination of more than a year of work with my editor and agent. In April my book proposal went to auction between 4 imprints from 3 major publishers, and after a couple rounds of bidding it went to Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster. 

It wasn’t quite as dramatic as in the movies, with editors screaming ever higher numbers over the phone in a desperate panic. I wish! Instead, the bids were made in two rounds via email within a 2-hour time window. I sat at my computer staring at my inbox for those two hours as the bids came in. When it was all said and done, Atria won the auction by a wide margin, and I couldn’t be happier to work with them. Read the full story behind the book here.

Recently it was announced that Simon & Schuster is being acquired by the largest of the Big 5 publishers, Penguin Random House, which means my book will be published by the biggest publisher in the U.S. and one of the biggest in the world. That means I’ll potentially have access to more resources and more distribution channels, but it also means I’m part of a much larger portfolio that includes books by heavy hitters like Barack Obama and Danielle Steel. I’ll need to make a real splash to attract the attention needed to stand out among this crowd.

I’m currently working with my editor on the manuscript, which is due July 1, and it will then take around 9-12 months to prepare and distribute the book before its release. I’m expecting it will be available for sale around spring or fall 2022. We currently only have a publisher in the U.S., but are on the lookout for publishers in other countries. Let me know if you know any 😉

That may seem like a long timeline, but there’s a lot for us to do in the meantime. I’m working with a consultant who specializes in book launches, who will be supporting me as I put all the pieces in place for a global release. I’m also working with a skilled designer starting in January to create an entirely new brand identity for Building a Second Brain from the ground up, which will then be used on the website, the course materials, and the book cover, so they are consistent and reinforce each other. Launches are all-important in today’s hit-driven landscape, so I’m moving and aligning every part of the business to make the launch as successful as possible.

Premiered my first documentary film

This also took more than a year, but I finally finished and premiered my first documentary, on the life and work of my father Wayne Forte. It was a tremendously rewarding and meaningful project that continues to produce surprising benefits, from a closer relationship with my father to a deeper understanding of my own tendencies as a father.

Several blog posts came out of this experience, including:

I continue to be highly interested in filmmaking as a powerful way to shape people’s reality. The best marketing channels aren’t marketing channels, and I think if stories really are the basic unit of human meaning, we can’t afford to ignore film as the most efficient way of changing people’s minds at scale.

My next video project is a compilation of nearly 40 years of home videos, which my mom recently had digitized. I’m editing down hundreds of hours of footage into a series of 90-minute highlight reels, the first of which we’ll watch as a family on Christmas Eve. The problem with home videos is that the funny and nostalgic moments are buried amidst many hours in which nothing much is happening. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised that with nothing but basic editing skills and some patience I can condense this footage down to a length that we can all enjoy together. I may run a workshop early next year on how I did it.

Praxis passes 1,500 members

In 2020 I joined Everything, an online publication that “bundles” together the writing of several business and productivity writers into one subscription. All existing members of Praxis, my own monthly subscription, were grandfathered in and given free access to Everything. And all existing and future Everything members have access to my entire backlog of more than 70 paywalled posts.

We also announced the first three recipients of the Praxis Fellowship, a paid writing residency which I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I finally have a platform big enough that I give meaningful exposure to up-and-coming writers. The world of productivity is really stale and homogeneous, and I want to give new voices the chance to introduce new ideas and ways of seeing things into the conversation. They will each be publishing several articles over the next few months available to Praxis and Everything members only.

We are now at 1,646 active Praxsters (as I call them), which I’m very happy with. In 2021 I plan on making major investments into Praxis, both the blog in general and the membership program. I’ll explain those in detail later.

More than 1,000 new students enrolled in Building a Second Brain

At the beginning of the year I set an audacious goal to enroll 1,000 new students in my Building a Second Brain course. This was ⅔ of the approximately 1,500 people who had taken it up until then, in 9 cohorts since January 2017. I knew it would be a huge challenge because this year we were only running 2 cohorts, and the price had tripled to better reflect the value it offers. 

In April we kicked off cohort 10 with 330 new students, plus a few hundred returning alumni. The biggest improvement we made was hiring Alumni Mentors – past grads of the course who we trained to teach and coach students through the program based on their own past experience. 

I couldn’t have predicted how transformative of an impact this would have. Suddenly, the course wasn’t me alone on a stage broadcasting a lecture to a passive room. The Alumni Mentors branched out and began running all kinds of special workshops and breakout sessions on every aspect of the Second Brain curriculum, and beyond. They delivered tutorials on how to use Roam for knowledge management, how to create a database of images, how to use mindmaps for brainstorming and planning, how to manage a Second Brain when you have kids and a busy schedule, and so many other topics.

Not only did I feel the burden of resolving every single student’s questions lifted from my shoulders, but those students also had a much better experience overall. Refund rates dropped, attendance and satisfaction rates soared, and the whole experience became much richer and more diverse. I was astounded by the impact of bringing more minds behind the curtain to become part of the teaching staff.

For cohort 11, we doubled down on the Alumni Mentors, with 20 of them running one bonus workshop per week for the 5 weeks of the cohort. Which means that in addition to the 10 live sessions hosted by me, there were an additional 100 calls on every topic imaginable. The course became more like a conference, with all sorts of events and activities of every shape and size happening on multiple parallel tracks every day. Seeing the eyes of not only our students, but our Mentors light up at this meaningful peer-to-peer learning has filled me with a renewed enthusiasm for what we’re doing.

With 330 new students in cohort 10 in April, I didn’t think we would meet my goal. But against all odds, we had 753 new students in cohort 11 in September, for a total of 1,083 new Second Brainers for the year. This was driven mostly by growth in my email list and the new affiliate partner program we created. We also made many other changes and improvements, including hosting a full week of free events leading up to the cohort called Second Brain Week, and a new high-end tier for those who wanted to work directly with me called the Executive Edition. 

As we round the corner into next year, I’m thinking a lot about where I want BASB to go. Every year I have to look deep within myself and find the flame of passion to keep it going. I absolutely can’t take it for granted. In fact, this is the single most important reason to seek growth: if it doesn’t grow, then I lose interest. And if I lose interest, then it will stagnate and cease to exist. Each year I have to make the game bigger, to expand the circle of people and ideas and perspectives that it encompasses. Which also has the effect of surfacing all sorts of interesting new problems for me to solve. 

In November I participated in an incredible event: Unleash the Power Within Virtual, Tony Robbins’ signature event. It usually takes place in stadiums around the country, but after moving the location 5 times this year as state after state locked down, they reluctantly decided to make it virtual. This is something that Tony said he’d never do, since his core idea is that you have to change your bodily state through physical movement before you can change your mindset.

This event was a vision into our future, and I took many, many pages of notes. Everything from the promotional campaign, which took place across dozens of channels, to the registration process, staffed by volunteers ready to get on a Zoom call at any hour of the day, to the studio they created to enable 12,500 people to experience the event together, was awe-inspiring. The studio cost about $3 million dollars alone and included 16 foot-high screens in a 360-degree circle around a stage, enabling Tony and other presenters to see and interact with hundreds of participants at once. 

I think the most surprising thing of all is that we are not that far off from this kind of scale. We had about 1,800 participants in the latest BASB cohort, including both new and returning students, and at our current growth rate we could reach that level in about 3-5 years. There is no fundamental limit on how many people our online programs can serve – they are limited only by our total reach and ability to turn followers into customers. I predict in the next few years we’re going to see online schools reach truly staggering sizes as they attract students from across the globe.

38,000 subscribers to the Forte Labs Newsletter

In January I set a goal of reaching 25,000 subscribers to my weekly email newsletter by the end of the year, which felt like quite a challenge given that it had taken me 5 years to reach the first 5,000. But fueled by my work with marketing consultant Billy Broas, we blew past this number early in the year. 

My list currently stands at just over 38,000, for a monthly growth rate of 2,375 new subscribers per month on average (taking into account unsubscribes). Given that my email list is the bottleneck for everything else I do, this growth has been like rocket fuel for the business, not only financially but in terms of energy, excitement, scale, and reach. It’s difficult to wrap my head around what it means to email so many people every single week, and be able to direct their attention to whatever I find interesting and valuable.

I’ve noticed that in the last few months the growth in subscriptions has gone from exponential to linear, which I think is a sign that it’s time once again to level up my email game. I receive plenty of total visitors across my existing channels, which means there’s still a lot of low-hanging fruit in improving my subscription rate. I’ll be working with Billy early in the year to look at areas for improvement, and also hiring someone to manage the newsletter as one of their top responsibilities (more on that later).

Launch of The Art of Accomplishment and the Keystone Accelerator

As much as I like growing things, I love starting things even more. This year I helped launch two new programs in partnership with other instructors I deeply respect. 

The first was The Art of Accomplishment (AOA), an 8-week online program taught by my friend and mentor Joe Hudson. I’ve written extensively about my own experiences taking part in Joe’s programs such as Tide Turners and Groundbreakers. I’d long wanted him to go virtual to allow many more people to access his training than those in the San Francisco Bay Area. But the COVID pandemic made that dream a necessity as it became impossible for him to meet with his clients in person.

We developed the curriculum over several months, based on Joe’s decades of experience as a teacher and executive coach. It was one of the greatest online teaching challenges I’ve encountered, because it wasn’t at all about “content.” The entire program revolved around tapping into deep feelings of fear, anger, sadness, grief, and expressing them in the presence of a supportive and loving group. Which meant the emotional tenor and psychological safety of the group was paramount. Not an easy thing to manage in a Zoom meeting room. 

We experimented with every factor under our control to make the environment as favorable for this kind of deep self-work as possible: an application designed to prime people for honest self-expression, the use of certain visuals and language to encourage self-reflection, adjusting eye contact and video quality to create warmth between participants, exercises in pairs and small groups to allow people to gradually open up, using a weekly podcast to guide exercises away from the screen, bringing in experienced coaches to permission the group, and many others.

I’m talking about all this in a clinical way because I don’t know how to convey the incredible depth of the work we did in the first cohort of AOA. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen in online education, not even in my own course. I saw a bunch of strangers from around the world come together and immediately go deeper than I’ve ever seen a group go. One woman screamed out the years of unacknowledged frustrations as a woman of color in a workplace that always forced her to keep her emotions under wraps. A middle-aged man wept for the first time in years as Joe helped him tap into that small child who had decided to never appear weak. I found myself choking down tears and gasping for air as I uncovered a distrust of the word partnership hidden in my gut (“No one’s ever been a partner to me” I found myself saying revealingly). Bringing that story out into the light and allowing it to be seen and accepted by myself and others was incredibly healing, and gave me a tremendous amount of clarity about a major decision I was facing at the time.

I have a theory: that the concentrated attention of a large group of people is a kind of energy beam of healing, capable of slicing through years of frozen emotions like the Death Star’s laser beam. Seeing the faces of dozens of people sending you nothing but acceptance is impossible to hold back. It breaks you open like a dam bursting. There’s no defense mechanism in the world capable of deflecting so much love. This kind of focused group attention has been used by religions for ages. We are at heart a social species, and when you declare something publicly, whether it’s a painful personal truth or a promise to deliver on, it is infinitely more real than something whispered quietly in the privacy of your head or a journal.

Our big open question when we launched AOA was whether we could create such an experience virtually. We truly didn’t know if it would work. But the results far surpassed our expectations. I think the combination of a small group highly committed to pushing the edges of self-exploration, plus the isolation and loneliness we all felt during COVID lockdown, plus the presence and skills of Joe and the experienced students, came together to create something truly special.

Joe and his team are working on the next iteration of AOA, as well as a related program that will be much more accessible to more people while retaining the elements that are most effective. You can sign up here to receive more information about these two programs if you’d like to take part.

We are also in the process of launching the first cohort of the Keystone Accelerator, a new program designed to help online courses dramatically increase their scale and profitability. It is led by Billy Broas, who I’ve worked with for the past 18 months. Instead of giving general marketing advice, we’ve focused on teaching exactly the model that we’ve developed over more than 10 years of experience across 50 different niches: cohort-based, community-driven, premium online courses.

Applications are open until Dec. 18, and in early January we’ll kick off the program with a group of highly committed course creators hungry to take their seat at the table in the midst of the greatest explosion in online education ever. Sign up here if you’d like to hear more and receive the application. 

Building a team

One of the most gratifying parts of 2020 was the fulfillment of a long-time dream: building a team. I hired my assistant Betheny late last year, made her full time at the start of this year, and our first full-time Course Manager Will started on January 1. He’s had a transformative impact on the quality of the student experience while freeing up tremendous amounts of my time to focus on what I do best. Along with my wife Lauren, business partner David, and his assistant Becca, the 6 of us have spent 2020 learning how to divide responsibilities and draw on each others’ strengths. 

I’ve had to learn so much about what it takes to bring the best out of people, and know I still have a long way to go. Mostly I had to unlearn habits that had served me well as a solopreneur – turning inward to solve problems, avoiding meetings and phone calls whenever possible, and keeping my plans and goals to myself – but that didn’t work when coordinating with others. I’ve come to appreciate how every minute spent with someone who works for me is multiplied many times as they do their work with renewed enthusiasm and perspective. I still have a lot to learn, but the key feedback loop is in place: enjoying the process of guiding and collaborating with others toward a shared purpose.

Launch of Forte Shelter

A surprise project this year was starting a new business with my brother Lucas, called Forte Shelter. He’d long been passionate about modular homebuilding – the practice of building homes out of pre-fabricated pieces made in a factory and assembled on site. He’d worked for a variety of contractors and modular home builders across Southern California, and taken away some deep insights into how to do it efficiently without sacrificing quality.

As COVID swept the world, it opened up many avenues for this new approach to home building to take hold. People were leaving cities and seeking housing in more rural areas on short notice. Work-from-home and self-isolation was producing huge demand for extra space at home. And the general sense of uncertainty and change was making people more open to new ways of doing things.

We started with a prototype: a half-sized, 20-by-8 foot container on his property in Redlands, CA. In just a couple months, it was done and finished to the standards of the nicest custom homes. My other brother Marco made a quick highlight reel showing off the unit, which we used to seek customers via my newsletter and social media. 

I had no idea if people who signed up to get productivity advice would have any interest whatsoever in container homes, but this is where ConvertKit’s tagging and segmentation come in so handy. I was able to mention it in my newsletter a few times, collect the email addresses of about 400 subscribers who wanted to know more, and then send additional information only to them.

We asked those people to complete a survey detailing their profile and what they were looking for, and about 35 did so. We had found the 1% of most likely customers from my email list, with nothing more than a few emails, opt-in links, and a survey form. In the end we chose to move forward with one customer who had the perfect location and was ready to go. It’s a very exciting project for creative professionals outside Austin that will actually be open to the public in the spring. Enter your email address here if you’d like to hear more about it and Forte Shelter in general.

In the meantime, you can check out a 360-degree tour of our first unit, visit the Forte Shelter website for an image gallery, or watch this short behind-the-scenes video I made recently of the 1,280 square-foot house we’re currently building in Redlands, CA.

Biggest surprise: Moving away from a school platform model

The biggest surprise of the year business-wise was realizing that the model of multiple instructors sharing the same platform as a “school” doesn’t really work. At least not for us right now.

We started with hosting Joe Hudson’s AOA course on Forte Academy (our Teachable school), which worked very well for the first cohort because it meant we could use all our existing infrastructure and systems. But after the first cohort finished, it became very clear that Joe and his team should move off the platform to their own.

Then we hosted Nat Eliason’s Effortless Output in Roam course, but recently decided to move it back to his own Teachable school as well. We had other discussions with prominent course creators interested in launching courses on our platform, but as we explored each one it fell apart.

Here is what I think is happening, which I hope will be helpful to other course creators and platform owners alike.

First, each course has very different needs depending on which stage of its lifecycle it’s at. In the first year or two, courses are like newborn infants. They need huge amounts of loving care and attention, change very quickly, and are focused on learning the basics of how to walk and talk. It makes sense to run cohorts quickly in succession, to make the feedback loops as tight as possible, and to maximize the rate of learning. There is a window of opportunity in which to define the essential nature of a course, and once that window is over, it more or less is what it is. Speed and responsiveness to students’ needs are paramount.

But if a new, fledgling course shares a platform with older, more established courses, it is difficult for it to get the attention it needs. Older courses run on much longer timelines, such as the twice-per-year “semester” schedule we’ve settled on for Building a Second Brain and Write of Passage. Established courses also make a lot more money, have bigger staffs, and are more known and respected, meaning they always tend to crowd out the needs of smaller courses.

Second, cross-promotion is surprisingly tricky on a shared platform. Our thesis was that each instructor could promote their own course, and also the courses of other instructors and the school as a whole. In theory, this would massively increase the marketing footprint of the entire group, creating a marketing engine that didn’t depend on the efforts of each individual instructor. In other words, the school would have a brand that was attractive in its own right, much like Harvard or Stanford promote the university as a whole, not individual classes like Biology 101.

But in practice, it’s difficult to get the incentives right. The instructors don’t have equity or get revenue share from the school, so there is little direct incentive to promote other courses. They do own full rights to their own course, and keep 100% of the revenue their course generates, so when given a choice they will always choose to promote their own product. 

We can use affiliate links and track who referred each sale, but that means that instructors will only promote the courses of others when they can be sure their audience will use their affiliate link, which is difficult in a lot of situations. The cohort launch model also means there are only limited enrollment windows each year to promote any given course, which requires tight coordination between instructors when they’d prefer to follow their own schedules. Meticulously tracking affiliate links and commissions isn’t what most creators want to spend their time doing anyway. 

Third, there’s significant financial risk to sharing a payments system. Just a handful of “chargebacks” – when a customer calls their credit card company and reports a transaction as fraudulent – can endanger the whole payment system. For example, Teachable warns school owners when their chargeback percentage reaches 1%. If not corrected, they can withdraw the ability to take payments through Teachable’s backend for the entire school. Similar policies apply at Stripe and the credit card companies. This is the greatest source of platform risk for independent course creators, since payments continue to be so centralized.

And finally, exacerbating all these issues is that it’s relatively easy to create a platform for oneself. In the physical world, individual teachers don’t compete directly with schools. They’re not going to go buy land, build buildings, and hire administrative staff. But online, they can do those things. It takes minutes to set up a teaching portal, or schedule Zoom calls, and a website isn’t that hard either. What is hard is teaching a course that people want to take, which means the creator of such a course has all the power, which means they’re never going to want to give up even a small percentage to a school platform. And they shouldn’t.

The upsides of a school platform model are also overstated, at least for the model that we use. It is the courses that have the strongest brand, that people talk about and want to take, which means it makes sense to customize each course: teaching methods, presentation formats, exercise templates, breakout room instructions, pricing tiers, etc. This means that our courses don’t follow a standard template that can be endlessly duplicated, so there is less benefit to be gained from standardizing and streamlining a large number of courses. And no one can promote instructors’ courses nearly as effectively as they can, which means they don’t benefit much from a shared marketing funnel either.

Instead of a platform, we seem to be naturally moving to a “hub-and-spokes” model. BASB and Write of Passage are our flagships, attracting people into our ecosystem. Instead of launching new courses, which take a stupendous amount of time and energy to get off the ground, we will keep investing in the two flagships that are working so well. Then, we will have a series of close partnerships with instructors whom we trust, such as Nat and his Roam course, Joe and his personal growth course, and Billy and his accelerator. We promote their courses via our channels, do lots of collaborations together, and send a steady stream of highly qualified customers their way, which is easy to track using affiliate links. 

This is an excellent business model because it doesn’t require us to deliver anything new, so we don’t have to build or maintain any more infrastructure, hire any more staff, or manage any customer service requests, which are very time-consuming. But we still make 30% for every sale we refer. In other words, we make almost as much money for merely generating a sale as for delivering the entire course. 

This model relies on extremely close relationships with our affiliate partners, because we don’t want to become a marketing shell of a business that merely sells leads. We have to absolutely know and trust that the customers we refer will have a stellar, life-changing experience, and actually help make that happen by preparing their mindset before they purchase. Maintaining constant contact with customers is key, and teaching our own courses allows us to do that.

I’m hoping the hub-and-spokes model will allow us to continue investing in what we do best, while giving our customers pathways to learn related subjects. It should allow us to grow our impact without building a large organization, which we have no interest in doing. 

Biggest challenge: Balancing explore and exploit

In computer science there is an idea called “explore versus exploit.” When you first encounter a new environment, it makes sense to explore: to poke around and investigate what the environment contains. But at a certain point, it makes sense to switch from exploring to exploiting. Not in the sense of exploiting people, but in the sense of exploiting the resources around you.

If you don’t explore enough, you might miss out on resources and opportunities. Maybe just over that hill there’s a goldmine, but if you don’t know about it, you might stay over here harvesting coal. Exploring is about surveying your options so you can make the best decision about where to invest your time and energy.

But it’s equally risky to explore too much, and not exploit. Especially in the information-rich environment we all live in now, it can be so tempting to never stop exploring. You can keep learning about new ideas without ever really reaching deep understanding, dabbling in new skills but never developing mastery, starting projects but never finishing them. This is a temptation I’m always fighting, because I’m curious about a lot of subjects and am attracted to novelty. Without accountability, I don’t think I’d ever finish anything.

2020 was the first year that Forte Labs was a business, not just freelancing. This is reflected in the team we’ve built for the first time and in the range of products and services we now offer, which is far beyond what I can manage myself. 

This is wonderful, but has also confronted me more starkly than ever with the tradeoff between exploring and exploiting. When you’re working on your own, you’re free to run off after every shiny new thing. There’s no one to push back, to question why time and resources are being diverted. No one to ask whether this new direction was part of the plan, whether you’ve really thought it through. 

But working with others has given me renewed appreciation for having a plan, and even following it sometimes. People need to know what’s coming. They need to see a vision and understand why it’s important, and know how the actions we’re taking are in line with it. This goes against my tendency to always say yes, to always “Find a way, or make a way” as Tony Robbins says. Even if we can take on that new project, should we? What are the tradeoffs being made when we do? What are the hidden costs to our current priorities, or even our mental health and sleep? Why do something when we don’t have to?

There was also for the first time this year an external pressure: the arrival of the first competitors. This probably sounds crazy, but there hasn’t been anything resembling competition or even alternatives to my Building a Second Brain course until this year. So much so that it was actually a challenge: people generally don’t take something seriously if it is one of a kind. A competitive marketplace is a sign of credibility.

But the concept of Personal Knowledge Management caught fire this year. Notion raised a round of funding at a $2 billion valuation, and Roam Research at $200 million. These eye-popping numbers turned heads across Silicon Valley and around the world, as a new wave of productivity and collaboration apps skyrocketed amidst the COVID pandemic. 

New tools always demand new methodologies for how to use them, and I’m lucky to have a head start in providing one. But there are other online courses, books, and frameworks popping up everywhere on how to manage one’s knowledge and turn it into creative output. I’m very happy to see the movement taking off, but it’s also an unfamiliar feeling to know that I have others nipping at my heels. 

Open questions for 2021

One of my favorite exercises is to identify my “favorite problems” – open questions that spark my imagination in new directions. Here are some new questions I’m adding to my running list to think about over the course of next year:
  • What does it look like to be a cognitive athlete, caring for my body as a platform for my best thinking and creating?
  • How can I enable creative projects by others and then step back and let them execute them?
  • How can we attract and retain experienced operators to join our company?
  • How can I make Praxis a platform for emerging writers to have their big break?
  • How can I have as much fun as possible, as much of the time as possible, without feeling guilty about it?
  • How do we make people successful with cohort-based courses?
  • How much is enough?
Stay tuned for Part 2, where I’ll present my biggest lessons learned in 2020.


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