A little less than two years ago, I created a free Facebook group called Online Business BFFs (formerly Blog + Biz BFFs). When I originally created this group, my life and business were virtually unrecognizable from what they are now.
I was wrapping up my former business as a web designer, had just launched my first online course, and had a team of one — me. My newfound business as a course creator was a little more simple at that time. There were less duties to take care of, less team members to worry about, and more opportunity to spend time in my newly formed Facebook community, where I sought to bring people together and create a community that felt positive and uplifting for its entrepreneurial members.
And I’ve been thrilled that so much of my vision has come to fruition inside the Online Business BFFs group. Relationships have formed. Collaborations have taken place. And more or less, the community has continued to be a hopeful, positive, and inclusive place to hang out.
But now, 22 months later, things are a little different for me.
We have a team of 7 people now (3 of which are paid admins of this group and help out with it on a daily basis). We are juggling multiple projects at every moment and discovering new ways to serve our community to our highest potential. And we’ve also developed several new products and paid student communities — 3 of which didn’t exist when I first created this group.
And because of all this change and growth and shift of our purpose, I haven’t been as present in my group as I was able to be when it was first created. As we move into a new chapter (and as I pursue a model of community that creates deeper connections), we are looking to form events, masterminds, and workshops in the near future — ways for us to bring a sense of true community to all of you, with lasting relationships.
But in order to do that, not only for the sake of our time, but for the sake of creating a business that’s in alignment with my core values, we’ll be closing down the group on July 17, 2017.
See, one of my core values that I seek in everything I do with my life and business, is to create and facilitate communities and relationships where people feel deeply seen, connected, and valued. And as much as there is to gain inside of a free Facebook group like the Online Business BFFs, I know we can do better, serve you better, and love you better.
Closing the group was a very, VERY hard decision for me and my team.
But as the group has grown and our own vision has evolved, we eventually realized that the evolution of the group no longer fits the vision that we once had for it, and that we know we can serve you all in bigger, better ways by focusing our energy on new things.
The group has also, admittedly, taken up a lot of energy and space in my mind and heart. As our number of paid students increases, I’ve found myself pulled in so many directions to try and help everyone — including members in my free group. I’d love to pretend that that — and you — don’t matter to me, but that wouldn’t be true, and my inability to be fully present there and in my paid groups has made me feel guilt and shame.
As much as I’d love to help everyone (trust me on that!), I know my time is best spent focusing on the students who have invested their own energy in my courses and membership program.
Personally, I see this as a win for the members of the Online Business BFFs group, because it will free up myself and my team to create and plan experiences that are even more helpful and connective than what sometimes feel like surface-level interactions that occur in free Facebook groups.
I know that we can create communities — both online and in-person — that are transformative and life-changing, but I hope you understand why I no longer feel like this Facebook group accomplishes that, at least for me and the vision I have for all of you.
Here’s what I recommend if you want to engage with our community moving forward:
1. Reach out to members in the group that you’ve connected with so that you can stay in touch after the group closes on July 17th. This is the perfect time to segue your relationships to ones that are closer and more meaningful.
2. Look out for any popup groups we form in the future. As you’ve probably seen, we create free challenges and free courses every few months, and may create some limited-time Facebook groups that you can be part of for some intensive learning and relationship building.
3. Join my email list, which is the first place I’ll announce any future events, conferences, retreats, or communities we decide to form. You can join by clicking here and signing up.
Overall, I hope you’ll support this decision. It wasn’t an easy one to make by any means. Lots of people told me I should keep this group (“It has 70,000 members! Why would you ‘throw that away’?!”), but as I shift my life and business to living in alignment with my true purpose, I’ve found that connection is most important to me, and I know this is the right decision for all of us.
Thank you for being here and being part of this. I can’t wait to serve you even better. 🙂