On November 12th, I made a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT to the group about WFTJ’s restructuring. This is the intro:

I am sure you’ve all been wondering what the big secret is that I’ve waited to tell you. This is a secret even I didn’t know until mid-October and I made the decision very fast.

The biggest thing I want you to know is that WFTJ isn’t ending, but it is being RESTRUCTURED.

There are three main reasons I am making changes to the way WFTJ is structured—

  • One is that, over the last year, attendance has declined significantly—I know that the last 2 weeks we’ve had well-attended meetings and a powerful Sack Lunch Tuesday, but overall throughout the year, attendance to lessons and sack lunches has declined.
  • Secondly, related to the first reason, many have given me feedback about why they’re not attending and it seems the “the drive” is a factor for many. The two new elements that I’m adding to Words will help many of you concerning the drive.
  • And lastly, I am personally running out of energy keeping the weekly schedule in play.

One of the dilemmas of a leader is deciding whether it takes more energy to do a task yourself or to delegate, because, even if you delegate a task, you have to support that person in what you’ve asked them to do. And, if they haven’t done the task before, you have to mentor them.

There are other energy issues with the weekly schedule. Another example is the fact that when you have scheduled lessons and events, you have to promote them. And with weekly lessons, that means you are constantly promoting upcoming lessons and events. When a lesson is coming up, I usually invent a title, even if it’s a guest speaker, and write up the lesson description, but first I have to get the speaker to give me the gist of the lesson and their bio—which can take a lot of asking and reminding.

When you realize that I have that kind of energy expenditure with LOTS of things concerning WFTJ, it all adds up quickly.

With the new format, I will still be promoting, but about half as much as I am now—which gives me time and energy to write.

So, when I talked to Chris in October, I told her that I had a plan to increase attendance, it was all written out, but after looking at it, I realized that I didn’t have the energy to implement all the things I would have to do to promote WFTJ in its present format. AND, I was very much realizing that the last 2 years I’ve had almost no time or energy to write.

So while we were talking, Chris told me that what she would miss if WFTJ ended is the experience of community. And I said that I felt the same way, that WFTJ is my main source of friendships and community.

So I suggested that maybe we could retain the community portion of the program by having one or two coffees a month at Starbucks that were writing focused.

Chris mentioned to me that she had a dream about conducting a webinar. I asked her how one would go about doing that, and she shared that there’s a website called “anymeeting” and the service is free. I always thought that webinar companies charged, so I was intrigued. And on the way home, my mind put the webinar idea together with the coffees, and BOOM, I had the whole concept.

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