Yesterday, we launched our new membership community, Sanctuary: A Respite From 2024, and it was glorious. 

Membership communities were all the rage a few years ago. Creating a membership community is a way to leverage your time and content, but it also puts you on a timeline and a required content cadence. Depending on what you are doing, customer support could also be a time suck. 

I watched a lot of people launch communities successfully and then completely burn themselves and their teams out because they overpromised and overcommitted. 

Staying on a content cadence has been, and will likely continue to be, difficult for me, so I never moved forward with launching my own membership community – until now. 

Right timing

This year has been (and will continue to be) a wild ride. I think we can all agree on this. I have had a lot of people tell me that they have a constant low-level anxiety or are experiencing full-on existential angst. 

Whether it’s getting on social media or looking at the news, people are getting triggered. 

I have the ability to sit with people in this kind of distress. I tend to be a calm presence in the middle of the storm. While researching my book, I learned a ton of techniques to calm the body and mind. It seemed like now would be a good time to share them with people. 

In addition, there is an epidemic of loneliness and isolation in our hyperconnected world. People are starving for connection and community. 

Right subject matter

Carol Roth initially hired me years ago because she thought I was a good content curator. I am drawn to ideas from diverse sources and am able to share why they relate to here and now, and why they are helpful or important. 

I am interested in a bunch of random and eclectic topics from the enduring power of myth to brain science to psychological frameworks. I am dying to have interesting conversations about big ideas that can help us navigate these unprecedented times. 

I figured if I was interested in this, someone else might be interested. (Hopefully, a lot of people.)

Right team

This was too big an endeavor to do on my own. I don’t do well with long-term timelines, but I won’t let someone else down. I needed a partner to keep me accountable. 

A few months ago, I floated the idea of Sanctuary to my co-coach, Angie Rome Gonzalez. She liked the idea and wanted to hear more. 

I created this landing page for Sanctuary, and Angie immediately had a “Heck YES!” response. She was incredibly excited and thought it was as needed as I did. 

Together, we started talking about it and posting on social media. We reached out directly to individuals who we thought would be interested. We got our first members. 

Right structure

I wanted to create some guardrails so I would not overwork and burn out. We will be meeting every other week, not every week. 

We created a defined but flexible structure for the calls. Angie and I are alternating leading the main discussion. Because we are both so fired up about this, we easily have topics for a full year identified. 

 We also created a private Facebook group to encourage connection and sharing among group members. I like community management and so does Angie. We have a group on LinkedIn we’ve been moderating for two years so this shouldn’t be difficult for us. 

I hope you’ve found this post helpful if you’re considering starting a membership community. Pick a subject you love and find people who are excited about it. And don’t forget to build the team you need to do a great job for your members.