Today, a declaration that comes screaming in with happy abandon from my tired soul. I'll have you know that my “thou shalt not” monkey brain asked me to tip-toe and shhhhh, but the soul wins. Here goes: THIS ISN’T WORKING.
I know. I'll explain. What isn't working? The online business experience, that's what. So, I'm going to choreograph a pretty fancy dance of a conundrum first, finishing with a full-on "hail mary" pass of a solution. So, pay attention - even though I'm sure there's a brilliant Jimmy Fallon lip syncing clip vying for your (and my) attention right now.
Let's start here, with a little character development. Does the following sound a little familiar?:
1. Your attention is saturated online with sponsored ads and promotions, and you no longer want to be sold x, invited to y, informed about z. You’d rather like a funny meme or answer your friend’s conundrum about what how to chop her locks. (we don’t blame you)
2. You are savvy, but also deservedly entitled. The online saturation has conditioned you to not have to work too hard. Everything comes to your news feed without you doing a thing and often comes with deals and on silver platters..
3. You have a false sense of connection ("ambient intimacy"), which leaves you knowing a lot about everything, but unable to scratch the itch of needing something deeper - which keeps you scrolling and not actually doing.
4. You’ve become an easy target for companies whose products end up being crap and certainly nothing close to that deeper itch that you thought you'd find.
And because of these four things, you have lost trust. And because of that loss of trust, online business - even for amazing companies like MOMMASTRONG - isn’t working anymore.
Now, don't get me wrong. The mission of MOMMASTRONG? Working. The work of MOMMASTRONG? Working. Tenfold. Beyond our wildest dreams, it's all working.
But. Online business. Harumph. It’s not working. Things may look shiny on the outside, gorgeous people, but I’m telling you that’s only because squarespace.com has created a platform that a worm with a lobotomy could use to create something utterly awe-inspiring in appearance and because moo.com has leveled out printing materials in such an aesthetically pleasing and cheap way that your local homeless guy is gonna start handing you a business card instead of writing his request on cardboard.
I may be the only one willing to admit this in the realm of online entrepreneurship, but I’m ok with that. I know everyone is facing it. They're just spending more time figuring out how to exploit you on Instagram while I'm looking for another way.
And listen carefully: I’m not just a neophyte, crying about the hard work and hustle involved in owning a business. Not at all. I’m an experienced, knowledgeable, thoroughly researched e-commerce user with a viable, global company who is standing up from the crowd to declare: THIS ISN’T WORKING.
The real deal? The low down? You ready for “truth plus”? The only folks for whom it is working are either:
- People selling how to make money online
- Master manipulators who have learned how to exploit you and your friends to buy-in based on impulsivity
- Celebrities with built-in, die-hard followers
And, mind you, these folks can make up to half a million dollars a day in sales. And I’m not saying they’re terrible evil people here. No way. They’re just trying to stay afloat like the rest of us.
But, you deserve to know what's happening. Here's what they (and we) are taught to do these days:
I call it The Dog and Pony Show. They catch you when you're on a metaphorical treadmill and then dangle a Dog and Pony Show in front of you. You run on that treadmill, propelled by the spectacle in front of you. You keep running (aka, buying in), but not getting anywhere. Thus, The Dog and Pony Show works. So, they do it again and again - different shows, but the same tactic.
What does this mean? This does NOT mean that their product is better or that they are wiser or more expert. It only means that what they are selling is a pain point. And they know that by poking a stick into that wound and then offering you a way to get it to stop bleeding means - bingo! - a working business for them and - bingo! - money honey.
I can't do it. It's crushing me to even think about it or to even dig a little bit into the mentality out of survival and fear that I will lose everything here that I have worked for if I don't. But, in the end, the mission and the work and your strength and your wholeness win out. Fuck the rest. I'm not participating.
MOMMASTRONG doesn't want you on a treadmill. We want your adventures to be muddy and barefooted and full of traction and unseen landscapes. And MOMMASTRONG is the worst Dog and Pony show in the whole world. We're imperfect. We're scrappy. We don't even know how to fake it and when we try to fake it anyway, it's obvious and unattractive. So, yes, this online business will fold if we keep on keeping on like this.
BUT. Are you ready for a hail mary pass? This is not a charity case move, by the way. This is exciting and gutsy. Consider this a family meeting where I'm saying, "Dear family, this isn't working, but I can lead us out of it. Grab your passion and your camaraderie and join me." Aka, shit or get off the pot.
Hail Mary Pass Plan:
The way I see it, the only way to survive this is to stop the Sharon Stone-level hustle-game and put the power in the customers hands. We don't spend money/time on pitches and pleas or selling or getting popular. Instead, we DO our work. Head down, hard-lined, focused, amazing, productive work. YOU literally power the company, not marketing or sales or media or sponsors.
MOMMASTRONG, as of November 2015 upon the launch of our new site, will only offer ONE monthly subscription to new customers*. No individual programs or packages. Just the whole kaboodle (plus all new future programs) with one monthly charge. *Current customers are grandmothered in at their current rate/status, don't worry!
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Let’s be playful. Let’s make this a game. Fuck it:
We’ll be starting that monthly subscription at a relatively high monthly cost for new customers: $30. But, when we reach 500 new customers, we’ll drop that subscription cost for everyone down to $25. When we reach 1,000 new customers, we’ll drop it to $20. When we reach 5,000 new customers, we’ll drop it to $18. When we reach 10,000 new customers, we’ll drop it to $15. When we reach 50,000 new members, we’ll drop it to $5. When we reach 150,000 new members (our end goal), we’ll drop it to a $1 a month for everyone forevermore. This way you know that MOMMASTRONG is able to hire and expand in a way that is supportive to our mission and its incredible enablers. You get full transparency about the worth and funding of MOMMASTRONG. You also know that MOMMASTRONG is not having to hawk you products or other brands or sneaky sponsorships.
You become a shareholder in the company and its mission without compromise and with sustainability, for only $1 a month.
For us, this means that MOMMASTRONG - the entity - is guaranteed a monthly salary that she deserves. This means that she gets to claim what’s she worth and what she needs in order to provide anti-objectification strength training for women, to develop and implement her Share the Show Up Outreach Program on a national level, to infiltrate the postpartum period of Weeks 1-6 with clinical at-home programs for optimal recovery, to create huge steps forward in maternity leave rights and medical care rights, and to restructure the current qualifications for a woman who is well, based on carefully collected data and research from our programs.
Enough is enough.
I am enough. This business is enough. You are enough.
The rest: Adios.
Almost done: We have a very strategic way that we will be running this hail mary pass. First up, we will be gathering people on a waiting list starting NOW and they'll be in line for awesomeness, like live phone calls, gold leggings, watching Courtney & Barbie get a tattoo, tickets/passes to fun classes in your area, etc. And then, upon, launch, we'll start counting the numbers and plugging away to $1.
FYI: I know 150,000 sounds like a huge massive number, BUT, in the realm of number of mommas online, this is a mere drop in the bucket and totally possible. For instance, if every one of our active members invited or gifted just 3 of their friends to join the tribe and those 3 newbies invited/gifted 3 of their friends, we’d get to 150,000 in a blink.
This could work. If not, you know what has worked? Saying no to something yucky and claiming our worth. And, well, that too is enough.
To get on this waiting list, simply send Courtney an email with the subject heading: "MOMMAPOWERED" Courtney@mommastrong.com