Simplero Blog

The business of transforming lives, and life as a conscious entrepreneur

Calvin Correli

Two Ways to Handle the Back Catalog of Your Monthly Club

A common product type is a monthly club, where members get a new piece of content (a monthly "theme") each month, for as long as they remain a member. Typically there'll also be an only discussion group, either in a Simplero Space, or on Facebook. And maybe a monthly webinar or group coaching call.

The big question what happens with all the old content? What do you do with your "back catalog" of previous months' content, including recordings of the calls?

There are two options:

  1. You can give members access to only the content that was published while they were a member, plus the most recently published content, or ...
  2. You can give all members access to the entire back catalog

At Simplero, we strongly recommend going with the second option: Give all members access to the entire content collection.

Why?

Well, why not?

Giving access only the most recent content

The reason why you wouldn't do that, is because you're afraid people might speculate in it, and join, then leave, then join, then leave. Or join, download everything, then leave.

At Simplero, we don't believe in making decisions based in fear :)

We believe in making decisions based in love and the desire to provide value to our customers, while making sure the business works for us, of course.

When you're restricting access to the back catalog, only a relatively few people will have access to the oldest content - and if you have any churn at all, it's likely that no-one will have access to that content. That means, you have produced valuable content that is not doing anything for you or your customers. It's just sitting there on a server somewhere in cyberspace, twiddling its thumb.

Giving access to everything

So our solution is to give members access to the entire back catalog. It's simple and easy. It provides even more value and even more incentive for people to join. Your old content is still creating value for you and for your customers.

If it turns out that your customers are taking advantage of your generosity, there's a lot you can do about that. You can appeal to their morality, their sense of honor. You can let them know that you're noticing.

You can offer people a falling monthly rate to reward people for staying. If your normal monthly rate is $49, you could make the first month $99 - after all, you get access to the entire back catalog.

You could then let the rates drop to $49 from month 2, or you could have them slowly fall over time - for example $99, then $79, then $69, then $59, then $49, which would then be the norm.

You could work on your marketing so that you attract people who are not as price-sensitive and prone to speculate in things like this.

The bottom line is, there are many advantages to giving people access to the entire back catalog when they join - for you as well as for them.

We suggest you give it a shot, and you deal with whatever problems may come up as they materialize.

One of the best ways to waste a lot of energy and effort is to try and solve imaginary problems when you don't even know for sure if they'll ever be real.

Calvin Correli

Our Secret Ideals

As a kid I saw all the grownups talk very seriously and never show any emotion. They seemed to have their shit together. I'd always have emotions. I'd feel angry or hurt or wrong or something, and I'd feel wrong for having those feelings. I felt like I wasn't even close to having my shit together.

Somehow that ideal has been stuck in my unconscious all these years, and it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I realized it. I met a man, who really seemed to have his act together. He spoke in fully formed paragraphs using words I'd never heard of, strung together ever so elegantly. While everyone around him was breaking down in tears left and right, he stayed completely calm. It seemed like he didn't have anything to cry about, no pain, no wounds, no trauma.

At one point he says how he wishes he were more in touch with his feelings, and that sentence triggers an avalanche in my head.

It makes me realize, the ideal isn't to be like that. It is to be in touch with whatever feelings arise in the moment and being able to handle them skillfully. Not to bury them under a layer of intellectualism.

My unconscious dream has been to hope that at some point I would be all fixed, and I would never again have emotions, and I would be like the grownups seemed to be when I was a kid - without emotion. It's time to let go of that ideal.

These past few months have been one experience of letting go of old dreams that I thought I had, one after another. As we live our lives, it's easy to continue to strive after things that were dreams years ago, but somehow got stuck within us - the house, the car, the partner, the job, the money, fame, as well as more internal goals. It's important to do some house cleaning once in a while.

Calvin Correli

Upper Limits

As I mentioned, I came across this placed called Little Vegas, which is basically a bunch of machines that will happily take your money in exchange for a few seconds fun. And I have all of these voices in my head saying they're dangerous evil places.

But then I realized, hey, what's so evil about them? They might not be my particular taste, but I've actually never given them a fair chance, and if my kids like them, what's the problem? Everything else around is equally expensive, so whether they go bowling or climbing or skating or slot machining, what's the big deal? You pay, you have fun for a while.

So I decided to let loos a bit. Let them have some more money to play with. And I noticed, it wasn't that dangerous at all. In fact, they had a lot of fun, we had fun together, they got to experiment with things, and it was wildly mind-expanding for them, because both their mother and I have similar programming in this area, so they're totally not used to being allowed to play with money like that.

What I realized that the whole fear around places like that is an upper limit, plain and simple. It's a way of contracting, of making sure that the joy will end and fear take its place. We'd been having such a great time for 3 days, it was a way to start to create a little anxiety to balance things out.

And normally I would have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker, and it would have put a damper on the mood.

But this time I managed to catch myself in the process, and find within me the willingness to expand. As a result, we could all instead share the joy of breaking down mental barriers and opening up to new possibilities.

Upper limits show up everywhere, and they're so easy to go beyond - if only we're see them for what they are and become willing to expand.

Calvin Correli

How do you deal with fuckups?

I was with my kids this weekend at this kid-friendly place called Lalandia with lots of activities and things to do with kids, from a big waterpark to bowling to climbing walls and so on. We had a great time and everything was good - until they wanted to play with the slot machines.

Inside of Lalandia is a place called "Little Vegas". Inside of that area are all manner of machines that will take your money. You can get or win teddy bears, you can win tickets that can be exchanged for cheap plastic toys, you can try to win iPads, GoPro cameras, and on and on.

And as soon as I see the place, I start to contract. I feel fear. My head fills up with all kinds of stories saying "these machines just eat money", "they're just out to get your money", "they're rigged against you", "they're just a sophisticated way to take your money away", and on and on. And it's all true, to some extent.

But the thing is, if you accept that premise, it's not just Little Vegas, but all of Lalandia, that is just a sophisticated way to take your money away from you. In fact, the entire world of commerce is just a sophisticated way to "steal" your money from you.

All commerce is about exchanging money for something that people value (at least in the moment), whether it be an experience, a thing, something that makes you feel a certain way, or whatever it is. This "Little Vegas" area is no different. You pay money to have an experience of excitement and fun and "what if" for a little bit.

Normally I'd never venture into a place like that, but my kids really wanted to play, so I agreed to give them each 20 kroner to play with. Viggo went straight for the machine that lets you win tickets which can be exchanged for cheap plastic toys, and Flora went straight for the teddy bear machine with a guaranteed win. Viggo got his stuff and was happy. Flora, though, got another teddy bear than the one she wanted, and she was devastated. She crawled under the table and she cried and cried. I tried to comfort her the best I could, but she was really heartbroken.

My programming was saying "well, that's what happens, this is the real world, tough luck, when you've spent your money, they're spent, there are no second chances, blah blah blah". Right? That's how it is, and our kids might as well learn it, right?

But then I realized: Would I say the same to my wife if she'd been the one to spend money on something and it didn't work at all? Of course not! I'd say "fuck it", that was dumb money to waste, but go get the one you want. If this had been me as a kid, would that have been the most loving way my parents could have handled it? Not at all.

Once I realized that, I asked Flora if she wanted another 20 kr to try again? She was surprised. "Really? Will you let me do that?". I said yes. She asked if I would help her then. I said of course! And off we went to get the teddy bear she really wanted, together.

Later on, she was so happy for her teddy bear. But she was even more happy for the fact that I'd let her have another go at it.

It was such a learning experience for me, and such an opportunity to heal all of my own shit. And it transformed a situation from pretty bad to awesome. Will she now be reckless with money forever? Of course not! Was Viggo upset that Flora got more money to play with than him? Not at all. Everyone was happy and grateful for the outcome. We were better off because this happened. 

Calvin Correli

From Head to Heart

I was talking with a good friend the other night, and we got talking about what he was going to do next and when. He'd clearly been thinking a lot about this, and had a lot of good arguments and reasons, but still was non the wiser. I felt the urge to go along with him into headspace, searching for just the right strategy that would solve his problem. But I resisted.

I know that place very well from myself. I used to have post-it easel pads plastered all over the walls of my house, and engage anyone I could into a frantic search for The Answer. Answers to questions like Who Am I, and What Should I Do With My Life. I was hoping that if I just got it boiled down to the absolute perfect most concise bullet points, then I would know. I would have the answer.

But I know it doesn't work that way. When we're running around in circles in our heads, the way out is not to spin faster - it is to open up to another level of consciousness. To open up to the vast intelligence of our bodymind. To open doors inside of ourselves that have been closed off for years.

A few months back, as I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep one night, I felt the pain of not being that person who radically transformed an entire industry while still in my twenties, like my heroes Steve Jobs, David Heinemeier Hansson, or Bill Gates. I desperately wanted to be that person, but I'm 40 now, and it just didn't happen that way. That apparently wasn't what I was here to do.

That particular night in September, I cried tears of pain over not being that person that I thought I should be. They were good tears. They were the tears of a door opening that had been shut for many years. The door that said "I'm not that person". Instead I was busy trying to make myself and others believe that I was. That I could still be that person. There was just a little delay, that's all, but I was totally on my way to being the next Steve Jobs.

By being willing to open that door, feel the pain, cry the tears, I was able to free myself from the prison of "should", and open up to a new level of curiosity about who I actually am. And that is the way out when you're trapped in your head.

You can't make it happen. You can only create the circumstances that will allow it to happen. You can be willing. You can be curious. You can create the opening in consciousness where the new awareness can land. You can set the intention. And then you can get out of the way and allow the Universe and your bodymind intelligence do its work. Which it will. On its own time.

With my friend, I was able to help him open up to that deeper place where the answers could land. The temptation for me is to go into the place of "I need to have the answer". I can't have the answer. It's not possible. Only my friend has the answer, and the answer will only reveal itself when he allows it.

It was such a gift to be able to guide my friend to that place, and in the process continue down my own path from Head to Heart.

Calvin Correli

Marketing Genius

This Intelligent Details ad from Bentley is brilliant marketing. The video is pretty good. Not outstanding, but nice. Or maybe it's just that Bentley's are not really my taste.

But the genius is that it's shot entirely on an iPhone 5s, then edited on an iPad Air, in the back of a Bentley Musanne. What this accomplishes is getting Apple's head of marketing Phil Schiller to tweet it to his 125k followers, which then in turn gets it picked up by Daring Fireball, and now it's doing the rounds. And it's reaching a tech- and design-savvy audience, something I'm sure they'd like more than anything.

Well played, Bentley!


Calvin Correli

The Longest Distance

During Wyatt Webb's "It's Not About the Horse" workshop last week, I got to a point on the third day where I felt like I wasn't getting much out of the workshop. I thought the things people were saying were uninsightful, I thought Wyatt was doing a poor job facilitating the workshop, I thought about how I would run the workshop differently myself. It was all bullshit, of course, but such is the mind.

But then Phoebe raised her hand and brought something up that she wanted to work on. Wyatt handled it expertly, the group responded lovingly, and it turned out that Phoebe's vulnerable sharing with the group touched the hearts of many of the other members, and release and healing and insights were bouncing around the room like crazy. It was everything that good group therapy can be.

That day I went back to our room, and I realized I was playing my old pattern of keeping my wisdom to myself and being annoyed that others didn't say what I had in mind, which was "so obvious". I was putting myself outside the group, watching detachedly as an outsider.

I remembered what I'd learned from improv: To just say out loud whatever pops into my head, without judging it first, whether fully formed or not, whether or not others may have a better idea, whether or not others will find it useful or funny or good. Just share it, get the ball rolling.

I also decided to take responsibility for getting value out of the workshop, by taking the time to come up with something for me to work on, something with meat and substance, instead of just waiting and hoping it'll magically reveal itself to my conscious mind. Once I put a little time in, it wasn't that hard to find it.

When I grew up, I didn't feel safe anywhere. I didn't feel safe at home - I was afraid of my parents, and I felt wrong all the time. At school, there were a group of bullies waiting to ambush me everywhere I went. Out of the about 7-800 students at the school, they had picked me as their favorite victim. I could be attacked anywhere, at any time. When it was snowing, I rarely dared to venture outside. It wasn't just that it was painful and scary, it was the sly viciousness of it that got to me.

As soon as I started to talk about this, the tears came rolling down my face. It continued on for a long time.

The day before, Wyatt had done an anger release exercise with Phoebe. I've done a few before, one with Debbie Ford, and one alone, at home. It feels so great to finally get some of that stored-up anger out of my system. It's there anyway, and holding it down ties up so much energy, it limits my power. I've felt like I needed some anger release for a while, so when Wyatt mentioned that that was one of the things he did, I knew I wanted to do it.

I asked if he'd let me bang some pillows into the wall, and he said "of course". We did, and the tears came rolling harder. I asked if I could hug him, and I did, crying my tears on his shirt. It's very healing for me to connect with benevolent, healing father figures like that.

It can be difficult for me to reach these emotions inside. It's easy for me to pooh-pooh it all, to say it wasn't that bad, everybody suffers, some had it much worse, maybe it was all something I imagined, maybe it didn't happen at all, maybe it wasn't that bad.

But all that is bullshit. What matters is that little boy inside of me experienced a lot of fear and pain. And if I don't take that seriously now, I'm just replaying the pattern of the adults in my life back then not taking my feelings seriously, and the cycle of violence is perpetuated. The time to honor those feelings is now.

Once I started sharing and working with this, it touched others in the group as well. Suddenly I felt part of the group. I could receive their love. We could feel each other much better.

I'd moved from my head down into my heart and body. And that is the longest and most challenging travel distance I may ever have to do. For someone like me who is very strong mentally, and whose whole survival was to cut off all feeling and retreat up into my head, it's difficult, to say the least. But it's so worth it.

Calvin Correli

What's Your Secret Ideal?

For as long as I can remember, I've been so filled with shame that I don't "have my shit together", that I don't know what I want, and can't get their in a straight line. That I'm not more successful than I am. I have a broken family and managed to put myself in a situation where I live on a different continent from my children. It's certainly not the way I would have liked to design my life.

But something happened last week that make me wake up a little bit. I met someone who was incredibly articulate, who was able to roll fully-formed paragraphs off his tongue, who seemed to have all his shit together. And yet, I couldn't parse most of it, because I couldn't feel him. And then when he himself expressed a regret that he wasn't more in touch with his feelings, something clicked big time inside my head:

This is the ideal I've been unconsciously chasing! I was hoping that when I was "fixed", when I was healed enough, when I'd worked through all my issues, I'd get to this point where I'd have no feelings, I'd have all the right answers, I'd know exactly what I wanted to achieve, and I'd just go straight from point A to point B - and, of course, I'd be able to blabber off perfectly formed paragraphs full of insightful words at a moment's notice.

But is that who I actually want to be? Is it who I am somewhere deep inside? No! Not even close!

I don't need all my issues and wounds and flaws to go away. They're what make me human. What I do need to do is embrace them, and allow myself to be who I am, with them. And to allow myself to be with other people with them, to work through the shame of being who I am.

We all have issues, flaws, wounds, pain, hurt, sadness, fear, anger, and all the rest of it. It's how we choose to deal with it - or not - that matters. It's not something to make go away. Being able to be with and work with these things as they come up is precisely what makes us strong, relatable, interesting, valuable, human.

I'm sharing this to offer you the opportunity to look more closely at your ideals, at what you're striving for. To the extent that you feel like your life is a "project", that you're trying to get somewhere, where is that place you're trying to get to? And is that really, truly, where you want to go?

It's so liberating to realize that you're not a project, that where you thought you had to arrive at is bullshit, and that indeed, there's nowhere to arrive at. You're already there. And you are beautiful.

Calvin Correli

WWW = Words of Wyatt Webb

One among many things that I learnt from Wyatt Webb, was his simple rule for how to do anything:

  1. Do what you know or think that'll work
  2. If that doesn't work, try something else
  3. If that still doesn't work, ask for help

I love it. So simple and clear. Above all, if something isn't working, don't try the same thing again. Try something different. And don't be afraid to ask for help.

What if they say no when you ask for help? Ask someone else. And keep asking until you get the help that you need.

Life's not supposed to be a struggle. Don't make it one.

Calvin Correli

The Courage to Teach

If you've been following me for a while, you probably know that I don't care much for step-by-step how-to type teaching. How to be successful in seven easy steps. Five steps to launching your info-product. I think chunking a process down to some simple steps can be a really useful tool, a part of the process, but the act of teaching is something way deeper and more profound. And today, I have words to describe how.

I've just been at a 3-day intensive workshop with Wyatt Webb and his horses. Within the first 90 minutes, half the people in the room had already shed tears and had major breakthroughs. That didn't come from his words. It came from his presence.

And now, as I'm on the plane out of Tucson, I was reading a few pages in Parker Palmer's book "The Courage to Teach". The whole premise of that book is that what makes teaching great is the integrity and the identity of the teacher. I'd translate that to come down to the same thing: Presence.

When the teacher is present, true learning can occur. It's never about the steps. Anyone with a little resourcefulness can either figure out the steps on their own, or find it on the interwebs. 

No, what matters is the growth that happens inside of us when we open ourselves up to learning something new. That happens in the body-mind, and it happens when the student is ready, and the teacher is present.

That's the philosophy that we believe in here at Simplero. Great teaching is not about technique, it's not about technology, it's not about the steps. Those things can help, but it's not what it's about.

What it's about is the presence of the teacher, and the relationship between student and teacher. That's both terribly daunting and deeply rewarding.

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