Okay, mm hmm. Welcome to the community strategy podcast. I'm your host, Deb Schell on this podcast. I share conversations with leaders of purpose driven, private paid online communities that bring together like minded members for transformation to better their life, career relationships and well being as a community strategist, I help entrepreneurs build launch and grow online page communities on mighty networks and to learn more about working with me. Please visit my website, find calm here dot com. That's F I N D C A L M H E R E dot com. I help entrepreneurs buying calm in the process of launching an online community. So check that out please. I want to ask you, do you have a strategy question that you are struggling with something a challenge if you do. I want to start answering some questions of through uh the podcast.
It's a new thing I want to try. So please shoot me an email at Deb at find calm here dot com and I will review any questions I get in the next episode. I will add a answer section for any questions that I do get once I get some. So send an email to Deb at fine calm here dot com and I hope you enjoy this episode. Hi, all I am super excited today to introduce an amazing person on for the community strategy podcast mary Elizabeth and I met about a year ago something I don't remember exactly when but her and I connected around the muddy networks for discovering a collaboration after our conversation And so she's been helping me with my consulting business and because she's a professional business coach and she also has a muddy network that I've been kind of helping her kind of pan out and work through like any challenges instead of come up for her. And so she's going to talk today about how she built an accountability group inside her muddy networks.
She's gonna tell us a little bit about the story behind that uh and how she like logistically did it maybe talk a little bit about the strategies that she implemented in the beginning of her community journey. And then this is a unique episode, the first of its kind because we're recording on zoom today and we're gonna, we have an audience of people who have joined us. So welcome to the members of the fine compare community who are joining us live at this moment, they're gonna be able to ask questions. So this is the first style that I'm doing of the podcast episode that is in this format, we have a couple more of these coming up so I'm excited about them. So just to let you know those good things mary mary Elizabeth, welcome to the community strategy podcast rebranded, forgetting that. Thank you Deb thank you so much it is and always an honor and a privilege to be invited to be on someone's podcast um and especially yours, I have really enjoyed our ability to work together this past year and I've learned so much more about community strategy and how to, how to set things up in the technical pieces as well.
So thank you. Yes, lovely to have you. So tell me a little bit about your background, where you know, what have you been doing and out in the world there? Yeah, so um uh 30 years ish ago um when I was 15, no, I started a company called Star Resources which stands for strategic teams, achieving results and uh I am happy and proud to say that we have been in business for 30 years despite recessions and pandemics and Other challenges that come our way as solo preneurs and entrepreneurs and through those 30 years have been able to help uh many people in all types of business, nonprofit walks of life. So healthcare, government, law enforcement, small businesses, um non nonprofit teams. Um individuals all who really want to build cultures that they are creating employers of choice if you will or teams that are cohesive to use Patrick lynch jones word that really work well together.
Yeah. Oh that's and isn't that important because if you have any organization, especially large ones have really challenges, communicate with communication and just navigating all of that. So that's a super important um skill to have and to share your unique abilities with with these organizations. Yeah, it's, it's you know, it's been a long learning curve myself, I started out with you know, single day training and you know we call that one and done and I found that one really didn't mean done And so we progressed from there into uh 90 day programs and then we progressed from there into year long and retainer contracts. So um I'm really proud of that work and the body of work and people I've been able to help and and I can tell you um the reality of it is is that for the organizations that have the leaders, directors owners who really are dedicated and committed, you can achieve culture change, but it's never a one and done.
So um I always ask up front if if I'm approached about culture change, I always ask how long is the owner director leader is going to be employed there because if they change the the whole organization changes the vision and the directive, whoever, setting the vision for the company right? Exactly. The strategy of how they're going to operate their business and Yeah, super, super interesting. So uh breakdown star resources if you could for me Yeah, so again star stands for strategic teams, achieving results and um the reason that I chose that is because I do believe in team, I believe in community, I believe that we are always better together and uh but to be better together, we really do have to learn how to communicate with each other. So as I mentioned, I started out with, you know, one and done training and over the years progressed from that into taking on coaching, but I always knew there was a science to coaching and just like training.
I felt like I learned from some of the best in the business to become a trainer, to buy the better training kits if you will to be part of a community at that time, it was called Carlson. They progress, progress, progress, and now they're actually owned by Wiley. Um and then when it came to coach training, I wanted to go to in person school and you know, I I always joked that I could have gotten a master's degree for what I invested in that between the training and the travel, but I feel like I learned again the I learned the basics of coaching at a school called Seti, I and then I aspired to, and this is what I really wanted to work with, which was relationship systems coaching. Um and I learned that through Crr Global, which again, I feel is one of the better or best schools, personally, I'm biased, but one of the best schools out there to teach how to work with relationships and teams through that coaching lens. And then over the course of that time, consulting came into play around the the the the the teams, again, the human element, your biggest expense when you own a business.
Um And then I have now recently started to work with individual solo preneurs um because I'm working my way toward transitioning toward retirement and uh and having more time to work on my community. Yeah, great transition. And what I wanted to point out though, before we dive into talking about your money networks is the platform that your community is on. I also just want to point out relationships or what community is, like it's all about building relationships. When people talk about, how do I launch an online community, what how do I bring people together? It's building relationships. It really comes down to that key factor, no matter what technology you're using, no matter what platform. Uh usually people are, I've learned that they're like, oh, which platform is the best they said before we talk about that. What about what is the community you're building and why is that? What's the purpose? And so I'm excited to to learn more about your community. So tell us a little bit about the purpose of of Star I, I will and, and, and then you ask, you know about, you know, why, why do you want mighty Networks?
So I'm really excited to answer that. Um because, and if I can kind of step back and go forward for a second part of the challenge we faced is I always knew I wanted to have an online learning system. I always wanted to have a community online. I had relocated from Chicago to north Carolina and you know, I have friends and clients across the United States. And so how do we reach them? How do we connect them? And that was important to me too, because I got to work with such great people that I thought, oh, if you knew this person and that person and the collaborative approach to client work, I guess is what you could say. So we've literally spent tens of thousands of thousands of tens of thousands of dollars trying to build a platform and an LMS system or testing other ones or hiring consultants. And so um when we came to Mighty Networks, it was like, you know, the skies of Heaven opened up for us because we were so excited that it could offer the learning platform for coastal courses as well as the community.
So I just wanted to slip that little piece in there because it was so important to us to be able to have a safe and secure platform that we could build this community and the courses on. Right? So did, did that answer your question? I love that. You talked a little bit about like, the reasons why you chose that. It's an intentional choice, right? It's an intentional platform uh very, very driven on intentionality. And that's something Jessica had said in a podcast episode with the Money Networks people um that it's really an intentional choice to select that platform, but tell us about what brought you to wanting to do a community in the first place. Um uh you know, it's uh I just I think it's in me, I think it's in my D. N. A. Um I always I would put together women's leadership conferences, I would join different networking groups, whether it was professional like american training and development or business and professional women and to know the power of community and how community community can support you, can help you grow, can help you make better connections, can um lovingly call you out on your stuff if you will be open to it and allow them.
Um and and and building intentional community I think is is a big part of it too. You know we we can say that we may be belong to different communities and we do you know our neighborhood as a community are our church, maybe a community or school maybe a community but building a community of like minded people who share similar goals or aspirations in life and um have been there done that, you know like maybe I didn't walk your exact journey but I've certainly walked a similar one and so how do we come together and um and support each other and raise each other up? So I think it's just been a part of me. Yeah it's it's so funny as commune when I ask people that are saying, you know I'm a new community builder. I said well is that really true? I realized that I've been building communities for over a decade. I just didn't know that's what it was called. I brought people together in a lot of different areas. So it's, it's it's amazing how people, you know, come into the community industry, but it really has.
When you think about it, most of the people say, oh yeah, I actually have been doing this for a really long time. I'm not super native community, it's just that may be new to online community building. Right? Yeah, Yeah, I think that's true and I think that for those of us that it is a natural thing, we don't even realize that, you know, a little bit of it is kind of like breathing, I think somewhat, you know, oh, so true, So true. Is to tell me the structure, what is, what is your community structure look like? So in in between all of this, I also wrote a book called Reset Your buttons and I say that because one of our biggest challenges was, what do we name the community? Right, So is, so do we name it, Star Resources, do we name it reset your buttons? We've kind that's been a a conflict and internal conflict that we've had for years and we landed on, nope, it's Star Resources because reset your buttons lives within Star Resources and that's important when we talk about the accountability group. So I'm sorry, Deb asked me your question again.
Okay, the community structure. So you just talked about how you have an umbrella brand over the top. So thinking about it like a big umbrella is Star Resources and then within Star Resources you've got different areas, but I could call areas and language everybody is a little bit different. So if you're listening here or if you're if you're live or if you're listening to this recording, everybody uses different terminology. And the one of the biggest challenges I've found is when I talk to clients, we have to get on the same language path first. So when I say the the umbrella, that's like the network brand and then what's inside the network is what I call areas, so that people don't get confused with spaces because many networks has this whole other thing about spaces. So I don't want to confuse people. Um and so that's what I call them. I call them areas, but you might hear different people call it different things. Perfect. So, and and really this is why you and I connected and why I reached out to you because when we started the the community, um we weren't sure right.
We, I just knew I wanted a place where people could come together and and learn not only from me but from each other and I wasn't sure what that was going to look like and we had conversations around, you know, well we're not sure that we wanted to be like a teachable, for example, where a lot of other people come and bring their courses um but maybe you know, so there was a lot of do we want this, well maybe we'll do we want this well maybe so um we started under the star brand with that organizational development perspective, you know, so team building, individual coaching, organizational culture, those were the topics that we chose and um that that work somewhat and it allowed me especially during the pandemic, which is when we started this because that's how I got connected to mighty networks um that was working because we could do virtual courses, we could put them into a private or secret room and excuse me, we could do live and then we could also support it with a with a um What do we call those?
Deb an evergreen course, so like our 50 to reset mindsets would be delivered every week and and that was great and then you know of course things started to open up business came back, we were starting to do more in person work and I had started prior to this something called the reset your buttons first friday live event which was a live networking luncheon, a little bit of workshop but really primarily relationship building and that's the tagline to the book which is create relationships that work. And what was unique about that is people would come and if if people came just to exchange business cards, they didn't come back because they felt very quickly, very naturally and organically that this is really about people who want to get to know each other. So pondering and looking at that and saying, well I'm not ready to go back into, into a live lunch type event yet and not to mention there were places we could do that and now we had a broader audience, how are we going to do that?
So Thinking, thinking, thinking one day I said, you know, I need a little help to get stuff done and um, I think we can do stuff in 90 day segments and you know, being that reset is also part of our brand, what is it that people might want to do or reset within 90 days that they can accomplish. And so that's when we looked at um, creating the, um, reset your buttons, 90 day sprint, um, or 90 day reset. Sprint is actually what we call it, so that we had that accountability, um, and support with each other to get across the finish line. And my big thing was I didn't want people to feel judgment or, or bad or wrong about that because you know, I feel bad and wrong about all the things I don't accomplish all the time. So I certainly didn't want other people feeling that way, right.
Um, we don't need any more negative. I think we get so much negativity between social media and family pressure and challenges with like our own uh, mindsets around, I don't know about you, but I'm one of these people who, like I said A list, this, you know long and then realize at 10:00 at night that I'm still not finished and I'm tired and I haven't even taken care of myself sometimes, and so I've been really prioritizing health wellness, but just to say that, yeah, I think it's just, we do a lot of things as business owners and entrepreneurs, and then your head hits the pillow and now you're laying there thinking about all the stuff you didn't get done versus the things you did get done, right? Yeah. So do you want me to talk a little bit about um, about the structure of the Sprint then, or what do you want To give me a breakdown on, like, what does the sprint look like? We talked about? It's being 90 days, but give us a little bit more on what actually happens.
Yeah. So in, in um, in april of last year, so this year, this april will be our One year anniversary of the sprint and when I started it, and for all, you know, community builders out there, I, I really wanted to take a soft approach to it, to say, Okay, let's see if this will work. So I'm not committing to more than 90 days. I had run 12 month masterminds and things like that in the past, but I'm like, nope, let's see what we can do in 90 days. So we went into the, into creating a course and um we we don't even really have a lot of course materials in there yet because we've been building it as we go over the year and we started out with a with a group of dedicated people who um who paid to join us. And um because I the at that point the community was um again, help me out. We weren't we were private not paid. Right. Is that how mighty networks name calls it? Probably. Yeah. You had you had a free community but you were charging for a specific program which in your case is a sprint, correct, correct.
And and we were private and that you had you had you had to be referred in like yeah, so you had to fill out a questionnaire. And how did you find or how did the people that that joined? How did they get there? Word of mouth was most of it. I have an email list because I've done a lot of email marketing over the years. On and off. Um Star all all of our star clients have been with the exception of maybe one or two were always word of mouth referral. Um So on another day we can talk about the tens of thousands of dollars I've spent email marketing that maybe we didn't need to do, but you know, it's okay you live you learn so it makes you better. Um so so that would I, I sent out a couple of emails, I did a few posts within our facebook group. Um I did take the mighty networks of course. Right in the beginning because it was part of the joining, you could get a, you know, they had a deal going. Um so I I just started talking about it and I had friends who started talking about it and so if you were on our list and I knew you then you, it was easier to come through the door.
We did have a few that I was like, I have no idea who this person is. And we checked him out and we did linkedin and you know, tried to find them. I couldn't find them out there. So it was like, yeah, we're not going to let you in because we didn't know. And I like that you had some kind of approval process or you have said the application or something. Is that Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Because that was also when there was so much and I there probably still is um, but so much, so many challenges within social media that you know, I really wanted to be protective of our community and that we wanted to be able to be safe to have, you know, open conversations but again, productive conversations, not harmful conversations or just, you know, how's the weather conversation? Right? Intentional conversations, not here's my latest cat video. Well, yeah, yeah, exactly. And and that's really when we, you know, you have to come up with your mighty purpose, which I'll admit I'm still, you know, working on and refining and with your help as well.
But but you just said it correctly, we wanted a community that you could come and have intentional productive um healthy safe conversations no matter where you are in life, what other stage you are in life. So I I do say we are a community of lifelong learners that attracts people to the community because I think that's an element that you need to have to be part of the star resources community, But it doesn't matter what age or stage you are in your life. So we have members that are in their twenties to members who are in their 80s. Um, and I love that, I love that we can do that. And there's an amazing ability for shared wisdom with those generational differences because each one of us have our own life experiences that we bring into a virtual place, right? And somebody who is maybe older in age than me is also maybe more has worked life experiences to share versus maybe I am uh somebody who's new, but I'm aligned with more technology technology or what's going on right now or what's happening.
So maybe I'm more, you know, as somebody who's younger being able to share with you if you're asking behavior what's what's going on out in the marketing world right now or whatever, like if that was my that's hugely important, and and you're exactly right, It's it's we learn from each other again, no matter the age or stage in life, and and we're not all of the same beliefs and views either. So it allows for that. I wanted a platform for that where we could have again, productive conversations, um intentional conversations, but conversations where we're willing to I use a term that I actually learned through through crr Global, that um I don't have the all the whos, whereas it comes from, but basically it's 2% truth is the rule. So, if you're always willing to listen for 2% truth in any conversation or any differing opinion, it's that finding that space, I think when we talked about the the space in the field, I'll meet you there, um it's looking for that one, that 2% truth that I can say, okay, I can meet you there.
Now, let's talk from that space, let's learn from each other from that space and the people who you're bringing together while they might not be a similar in age or location or there's a lot of differences, they may have, they all have one common uh, understanding that they want to grow and they want to learn something. So when you're talking about bringing together people that are like minded, they have a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset, which is kind of what carol Dweck book talks about if you've read that and I think that's what the key is in bringing the right people into the room is they want to, they they want to make some kind of a change. Right. Right. Right, right. And to do that, we need accountability. Right. So we can decide, I can disappoint myself all day long if I haven't told somebody else about the thing that I want to get done. So, so that's what then, so we had a couple of pieces that we were charging for, we have our thursday night call which is a weekly call um we have a first friday lunch and learn that we took virtual, we're now going to actually move that in May to a to a hybrid event Um and uh and I forget what else we had but we had those couple of things though the 50 to reset mindset of course the evergreen course, so we had a couple of things we were charging for and and we bundled them and people were paying for that um but I was like this could take a long time, so what can I do different and so plus my consulting business was really coming back online and even though I, you know, I structured that a little differently, it's like a day job and the community, you know, So uh so the 90 day accountability, sprint is 13 weeks, it starts the beginning of the month of a quarter, so we only opened the doors each quarter.
Um, and so the next one will start on April one and uh we meet and we've made a couple of adjustments along the way, one of them was when we first started doing it, we met every week, so you'd finish a sprint and we'd start the very next week with the next sprint. And so a few of us, myself included kind of came to that a little bit like, okay, here we go again. Well we, we've decided that we wanted that first week, which is going to change a little bit as we get toward the end of the year and the holidays and such, but for the most part, three quarters of the year, we put a break in that first week to um do some on boarding and also to really work on our smart goals. So we use the smart goal model, which um, I'm sure folks are familiar with, but we've tweaked that to align with my reset model. So reset is an acronym and it's a, it's a model, a method and a mindset and so we want to align the smart goal with the reset model.
So each week when we come together for what we call our relay calls on Tuesdays right now there on Tuesdays is that we have an opening, like, what did you work on last week, What'd you get done? We have a little learning, you know, 7 to 10 minute learning module. We have help seats where people can talk about where they're at with their goal, where they're stuck or where they're succeeding or get some input and ideas and um, and then we have a wrap up and so the components of the, of the accountability group or or our sprints, you know, anyone can have those components, right? Um, and I find that those components are really important. Um We did use mural board to post our our goals and and that worked somewhat, but to your point about technology and non technology people, um there spend some challenges around the mural board and so actually with working with you in a suggestion you made, which was like, why are you going to mirror, why aren't you doing it right here in the platform.
Um we have figured out a way to do that now with the topics and this Sprint, we're gonna we're gonna test that and congratulations. I want to say we work, we work shop that a bunch in our call. We did, we did, we did, I was like why? I like miro, but why? Yeah, why are you doing it this way? Yeah. And so and they're they're they're happy to try it out. So, um, but there's an example again of iteration, right? We were like, okay murals working okay, mural is not working, you know, and now let's use topics and put it in the topics and you taught me about how to search and they can find it. Um Then it was like well we do give them in the materials a downloadable pdf, can they take a picture of it and post the picture? So even with that we were still this is our newest iteration and it may change. Um and I think that's part of community as well, is that you want to hear from the community, what's working for them and what's not working for them and be willing to make those adjustments and changes as you go along.
Um And then some things I'm not willing, you know, you've got a couple of those phone calls to where I'm like what do I do about this? You know, and you're like into your community, what do you want to do? Yeah, that was that was in regards to guidelines of setting guidelines, which I in our book club call yesterday, I was just talking with missy about the uh the guidelines. And so setting appropriate guidelines when you're apart, when you you put that as part of your on boarding process, even though you make so many assumptions of like nobody's gonna post inappropriate content here. Well you probably should say there's no no except you know, we're not, there is no if you will be removed or here's the consequence if you violate our guidelines. Um And you had that experience with somebody in the past and you know, another thing and it wasn't it wasn't it wasn't necessarily inappropriate as what I would define as inappropriate, but it was inappropriate to what we were trying to do. Right, context, context.
Exactly. And what I love about that is and and again, I am a believer in building slow because then you also have trusted community members that you can say to them, oh, you know what, you are just such a great test case for this. Let me, you know, let's let's workshop this, let's talk it through a little bit, let's share each other's opinions. Um And let me decide if we need to put a a bumper garden here or not or you know, or a guideline, you know, is it a bumper guard? Is it a guideline? What's the what's the bumper guard? I haven't heard that term. Well I like bumper guards because it's like you know, kind of a guardrail kind of thing, like oh you're getting a little close to that guard rail, you know, and if you can kind of get away from the guardrail then it's just a guardrail, you know, but it's sort of like the speed limit 70 but You know, you can, if you stay under 80 you might be able to be okay. Hopefully no one's hearing me say that out loud and following me down the road, but it's so it's a guardrail, it's just a, it's like that guide, but it's not a guideline.
It's not the line that you can't cross. That's how, that's how I use it. I got you. No, I like that. And I love that you're so clear in all of what you just explained to us, that you laid it out very clearly and concisely. And the biggest thing that I see clients struggle with is just getting clear on that structure. Uh and then on their their launch and and their strategy going forward. And the other thing you mentioned about was flexibility, flexibility in in your your structure and your strategy because maybe you identify things that this isn't really working members gave us feedback that some of the things that we thought were going to be really great. Uh you know, structurally maybe weren't the best uh the best way to go. Yeah. Yeah. Well, one of the other things that we do, uh that I didn't mention that is also hugely. And this again, this is what really speaks to community and as we closed out this first quarter one, which we did on Tuesday, um I I shared this with all of them.
I mean it is a community of um they, I created the container, right? I created the container, I brought ingredients. I have some tools. Um we have our own proprietary blend that we're using in our recipe, but they made it, it's their relationship with each other. And so the other thing that we do is we have weekly accountability advocates. And so um we decided to use the term accountability advocate versus accountability buddy or friend or partner. And and here's why because what we're working with um from my perspective is we are working with your hopes and dreams, right? We are working with that thing that's outside of you that you always said you wanted to do, whether it's clean your closets or plan your, you know, next adventure or build your business, it doesn't matter. And that's the other beauty of it. It's it's it's you come with whatever your 90 day project is. The biggest challenge we had in the beginning was no, you really only get to have 1 90 day project and it's got to be something we can help you accomplish in 90 days, you know, so we're not scaling mount Everest in 90 days, you know, without even knowing where base camp is yet.
So, so that was a little bit of a of a fun challenge, but so are accountability advocates meet once a week, um and they switch up during the week and um with each call we switch them out, we don't have a plan for it. I call it the zoom God. So when I put them into breakout rooms, I just do the auto, you know, that it just automatically puts people into breakout rooms and that's where your accountability advocate is for the weak and the reason we call them advocates is because I'm saying, you, you and I w and I are partnering right now to see this dream of mine that has a life and a voice of its own of building this community. And so you Deb and I together are advocating for the dream. So, you know, it's a little different, it's like, yes, you're advocating for me, but together we're partnered and advocating to bring this dream to life because it it wants to be born. That's why it came to to us, you know, every every good idea comes to us for a reason.
First, eventually, if we don't do something about it, it's going to go to somebody else. But you know, if it's if it's ours to do something with it comes to us and so we need an advocate to help us give it that voice and bring it to life. So that's why they're accountability advocates. And then the last thing we do is we do pop up productivity events and we do that. Um currently we do that twice a week on Mondays and Saturdays in the morning and we based that on the Pomodoro method, so we do 25 minute segments, everybody comes on the call, they give us, you know, what do you want to work on during this accountability um session during our productivity session and then we take 25 minute breaks and check in with each other for two hours and then we do a 15 minute wrap up at the end and again, lessons learned from that, that people, You know, it always even our seasoned people now walk away with, like I really thought I was going to get a whole lot more done in in that 25 minute segment, you know?
But the phone rang or I noticed the cat needed food or you know, I have vegetables in the kitchen that need to be cooked and you know, it's so easy to get pulled off the thing that you said you were going to do so, So those are fun too, real life problems, right? Uh Cool. Well um mary, we've got um a few minutes left and I want to I have a question in here from uh community member missy and missy, would you like to ask your question instead of having me read it? I thought I'd let you have that ability. Sure, that's great. Um So much information, So interesting, mary Elizabeth, thanks for being willing to share that with us. I can really see how that can apply in a lot of different situations. The question that I had had to do with you spoke about it being your your sprint groups being a non judgmental environment and I really love that because I know we all do a really good job at beating ourselves up.
I can picture how you set that up for the group as a whole. You know, some guidelines around, you know, we're not snarky. We're not judgmental. We don't share opinions, we share experience and wisdom or whatnot. But how do you address? Um individual self judgment? Like the silent self judgment people sit with. So they show up for the call, They said they were going to do something. They didn't now they hear you say it's okay. Progress, not perfection, but you know, they're still sitting with that self judgment. Gosh! Look at Susie did all this bang up work this week and I didn't do it anything. I'm just your take on that. Well, I love that question and it's a couple of things. So in reset, I write about what I call the Noid, but some refer to it as the Saboteur, right? Um and I call it the noise because it annoys me. Um and my Noid looks like that little um well, I were on a I don't know if we can talk about um like Domino's pizza.
I don't care. Okay. I don't think Domino's is going to listen to the podcast. Well, it was a character that they used in their ad campaign years ago and he would jump up and down and smash your pizzas. And so I think he was referred to as the Noid. And so that when I wrote the book, I that was that's my Saboteur, that's what my Saboteur looks like. It looks like that little annoying. annoyed that would jump up and down and smash your pizza. So we talk about that, that's part of why we use the reset model to address those things, right? Like what is your saboteur saying to you right now? And um and here's the other thing and, and um I think I can say this in general. Um we went through a lot this year. We had three people who had life threatening illnesses. Um I ended up losing a very dear friend. And so as the leader of the community, I felt held and carried, we've had people who lost lifelong dear pets. Um we've had people who started and stopped their businesses. We've had people were like, you know, we're still in the pandemic, which way do I go with my business?
So um we had people who moved, you know, across the country, so we again recognize life happens and so it's not that you're um you're failing, it's how do we work with that? And and that question, missy is so great because that really came out our last week, we always have a celebration week. And so the 13th week of the sprint is always the, the celebration week and that really came out that after a year, um one of my participants said to me, I actually think differently now, so, you know, one of the things we teach and one of our modules is, you know, when I say yes to something, what am I saying no to because it's so easy to say yes, Right? So we do an exercise around that and put our mindsets around, okay, if I am going to say yes to this, let's pause and breathe for a second at least. And think about if I say yes to doing this, what am I saying no to you know, you all said yes to being here on the call today and thank you so much for that.
What did you say no to in the process? Right. And and then with that, with what you said no to what else will that allow you now to say yes to as a result of being here? So it's it's the lessons, I guess would be my short answer to that question. Mrs we teach about it in the in the in the modules, so great, thank you for that. I can I can tell that that process really is a gift for the people who are going through it. Such an amazing ability to be able to have that community to work together towards schools that are important to them. Yeah, yeah. And I've also been blessed. I've got some folks who have said to me over the years and you know, even since we started the community, they'd like to be reset your buttons coaches. So that's kind of where we're going, we've been going there for a long time, but I feel like we're beginning to get our arms around. What would that look like and how would we have other sprint leaders and things like that. So, so they're learning as we go along to. The other thing is our our attendees have been by referral and I do think we may even move into uh you know, kind of that qualifying question before we even accept people in.
Um and and that is my my criteria for that has simply been, who do you believe will benefit from this group and and will be a benefit to this group and when that person pops in your head, go ahead and ask them if they want to join, so that's really powerful. It's really powerful. Um and I usually say things when we're talking about inside the community, we think about what can we give and what do we need. So sometimes we there's this balance between, there is an interview I listened to recently about between there's a middle ground between the givers and the takers and in the middle uh is was is where most of us live. Like sometimes we need something and sometimes we want to give something. And the best part about community is that that space that you you felt that you could share and be authentic and be yourself and be real because you built the relationships and you need to be supported throughout the process of all of these challenges that you mentioned.
So thank you. Um, just for sharing that and part of what missy, our book club yesterday we talked about was a lot of vulnerability, right? As a, as a leader of a, of a community of how powerful it is to just show up authentically as a leader and, and that then gives the members the ability and the vision to say, oh, she's being really vulnerable right now. Um, maybe I, I should ask a question, maybe I need help and I should just, I have to raise my hand and say, hey, I need some help. And last year that was big for me struggles. I said, I gotta raise my hand and say, hey, I need help. And when I did, people were like, of course Deb will help you. Why didn't you ask before? And I'm like, because I didn't know, I don't want to bother you. You know, it's always just like, I don't want to bother people are overwhelmed people and sometimes that is true. But when you have relationships that you can have those meaningful relationships, then of course they're going to be there for you when you need and vice versa, how can we find more information missy asked, but go ahead.
And the last Thing I do want to say about that to that relationship piece is that we've had between 70 and 80% retention throughout the year. So we have, um, uh, you know, people that started with us in the very first session are still with us and our signing out, you know, again to start their second year. So, and it is because, and that is because of them and I told them that that's because of what they built together and those relationships. Um, and that, that's really rewarding. That's really exciting. The magic that you create the connection in there. The magic that you helped bring these people together. Community building is really, it's all about, it's like when you see those two people and you know, you brought them together, I mean, and and someone said, I, one of my folks as a, as a corporate event planner and she said, you know, they were saying this could never happen virtually and, and I've been witnessing a part of watching it happen. Right? So, um, yeah, so we're really excited about that.
Um more information about the book amazon reset your buttons is uh available through amazon and we also have a separate website which is reset your buttons dot com. Um Not a lot of programs on there yet, missy, but you know, we're, we're kind of working in that direction, but you know, my, you can, my contact information is there as well and I'm happy to put my email address here in the chat for, for you, um, if you'd like to reach out. Um, and the community is community at Star resources dot net um and um, my website is Star resources dot net Now, everybody, you already have the Sprint people in there or if somebody, you know wanted hears this and wanted to join the Sprint, is that still open or is that closed now? For april? It is open. We we are going to keep it open until the 12th, which is our first relay session, so we we keep it open now that we're doing this new one week or on boarding thing around the smart goal, so if someone is interested in joining, We do keep our cohorts to 12 people um and I'm not sure where we are with our account with that yet because um I actually have to get with you Deb on a technical thing because it I want to bundle something and I spent three hours the other day and I was like why didn't I just text up?
So um so yeah, we've got folks that are coming on and then um we're looking again to start another co a second cohort that I will that one, I will lead with my um apprentices if you will that are interested in becoming Sprint coaches. So there's that to take to again teach the language and the model that we're working with will be that that that group. Yeah, very cool. Well thank you so much again for your time. Thanks for everybody who participated and attended today. Hopefully you found some value out of all of the things that we talked about. Of course this will be aired on the community strategy podcast. Uh so stay on the lookout for more episodes like this one. We will have another uh two more episodes starting in april. This is being recorded on March 30th, but we have to uh other live interviews. So if you go on fine calm here dot com, go to the blog tab. You will see the other events that we have coming up that you can actually join. Even if you're not a fine calm here, community member.
Uh send me an email to Deb at fine calm here dot com and I will get you a private invitation with the with the zoom link for for that session. So thanks again for everybody attending. Uh I hope you are finding a little bit more calm today wherever this finds you in this moment, morning, day, evening, night weekend today, it's Wednesday right now. Um find calm until the next time. Take care and we'll talk to you later and I'm gonna say goodbye