You really shouldn't take my business advice unless I share your values.

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“You seek too much information but not enough transformation.” -Sai Baba

This week marked the fifth week in the inaugural class of the Marrow Marketing Lab, our 8 week marketing intensive. As we watch the participants plow through their workload igniting breakthroughs and insights, we can’t help but have a few breakthroughs and insights of our own. When we launched the Lab, we knew that we had to be selective about who was in the group. We instituted an application process, asked a few questions, extended acceptances and if we’re honest, we also got lucky with an incredible group of participants. I mean, truly awesome, open, learners. The group is already coming together as a small community in the way that we had hoped they would. After all, your posse determines your velocity!

A huge part of the value of the Lab is the creation of a community within the group. Participants are not only learning from us and the content that we’ve built but they’re also learning from and leaning on each other. To say that this is essential to the success of the participants would be a huge understatement.

Seeing how this amazing group has come together has also helped us clearly see that the strength of the collective comes from shared values and ideals that are able to gain momentum every week as we learn and grow together. This energy is almost sacred and it’s become abundantly clear that we have to ensure that we replicate this dynamic by creating boundaries that create the space within the group where participants feel safe enough to share and learn.

We’ve talked about some tough stuff.

We’ve dug deep and extracted purpose. We’re created boundaries around our brands (for example: Does your brand swear? What does your brand stand for? Who do you attract and who do you repel?). We’ve talked about controversial language including words like tribe and privilege. We’ve all agreed that selling doesn’t work anymore. And while we may disagree on certain topics, we are all fundamentally focused on building businesses that create communities and build relationship with our audiences. We are all focussed on providing value. We believe that you have to give before you ask.

As we worked through an incredible week, I sat back and observed. I watched the group interact. I heard people come forward and share their ideas. And, I identified what I believe is the key factor behind the success of the group: 

Shared Values

One of the things that works so well in the lab is that all participants are looking to build long-term business that they are happy to work in. They aspire to be themselves and enjoy the freedom that comes along with a real, true brand. They aspire to long term client relationships rather than the maximum amount of transactions possible.

This is important because there are many ways to grow a business. But if your primary success metric is based upon a number of downloads with no consideration of how that purchase impacts the long-term relationship with the customer, then the Lab wouldn’t be for you. There are many talented educators out there who can help you with that but we aren’t one of them.

If your goal is to raise a seed round, build a company to sell, or hit global market appeal, you need to seek the advice of an educator who has been down that road and focuses specifically on those goals. Otherwise, you may get great advice from whoever you’re talking to but it won’t be great advice for you.

The truth is, we see too many businesses starting out that are taking all of the advice that they can get without understanding if it's the right advice for them. Too often, these entrepreneurs aren't giving themselves enough credit and trust in themselves to make their own decisions. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? Failure?? Yeah - well when was the last time you met a great entrepreneur who didn’t have an epic failure story of their own?

In closing, don’t take my advice… unless, after reading this, you still really want to. And, if that is the case then you should pre-register for the next Marrow Marketing Lab. It’s going to take place in October  + November of 2018 in Moncton and promises to be an epic ride.