Launching The LIVE A GREAT STORY Guide was one of the most insanely exciting, nerve-racking, continuous flow rollercoaster ride I’ve ever embarked on. For four months straight our team worked daily to bring to life an idea grown out of the fundamental core of all things LIVE.
Finding that core and getting to the point of even starting to build The Guide was a task in itself.
Our team dove deep to look back at four years of spreading inspiration. We inspected our core values, our vision for the future, the impact we want to make and how we want to move forward.
After about two months of near-daily discussion about the foundation of LIVE, we realized (we thought) that the biggest impact we could make was to help people “stay on track”.
For ourselves, in our own lives, we realized that one of the hardest parts is staying on track with your story. Getting excited, having bursts of inspiration, being stoked on ideas is great but that fades, so how can we keep people (and ourselves) feeling that way for just a bit longer?
Enter the idea for The Guide
It would be an offline, pen and paper workbook-style journal to help people gain clarity and alignment with their story. The coolest part, and really the core of what we wanted to build, was a tool to keep that clarity and alignment.
So The Guide would be a subscription! Every month a brand new Chapter would show up in the mail to help keep you on track. Just a continued nudge in the right direction through a simple but impactful pen and paper journal that helps you have a meaningful conversation with yourself.
Once we refined the idea for The Guide we set off full speed to bring it to life. We were on a strict timeline because we for sure wanted to launch the Kickstarter with time to deliver before the new year to help users start 2019 inspired af.
It was a complete all out sprint. Eight of us worked tirelessly to build, test, design, market and launch The Kickstarter on November 13th. We poured ourselves into every angle of the product.
We tested it over 400 times. The first design was completely redesigned. We used high level digital marketing to spread the idea. We followed The Kickstarter Launch Plan step by step. We did as much we could to build and launch the best Kickstarter we could.
On November 13th I pushed the launch button. What should have been a feeling of success, excitement, finality and completion was in fact the exact opposite. Within minutes of clicking the launch button I knew we were in trouble.
Long story short, our expectations for the launch far underdelivered. All of the time, energy and money invested in launching The Guide was. not. coming. back. Not by a long shot.
We started 2019 with our backs against the wall, facing a massive uphill climb.
Tough situations require tough decisions.
So we got super focused, honing in on sales through a revamped website and improved product offering.
We launched The Guide, Chapter 1 just a bit later than New Years and it was well received, just in numbers far less than expected.
In the first couple weeks of 2019 it became apparent that bringing the full Guide vision to life was going to be serious task, from a man-power / financial / production standpoint.
But we were still committed to making it happen. For most of the beginning of the year we worked to figure out a way to deliver on our promise. Kelly and I tossed around ideas and options for how to make it happen. Could it be digital only? Could we do super small runs? How could we downgrade on the design?
But any solution we came up with just wasn’t good enough.
Where We Are Now
The Guide subscription is put on an indefinite pause.
Although we really want to make it happen because we know it’s a great idea that will perpetuate an inspired ripple effect, at the moment we can’t make it happen.
We don’t have the manpower, the resources or the finances to make it happen. LIVE A GREAT STORY is completely bootstrapped and from a financial standpoint finishing The Guide is the wrong decision.
It’s a bummer and we’re sad to let down everyone who helped back the Kickstarter and is waiting for Chapter 2.
We really really really wanted to make it happen. But at the moment we just can’t.
Here’s the Cool Part
Although we can’t bring The Guide to life, we have a couple of other really cool things that are happening.
LIVE A GREAT STORY is all about selling inspiring gear and telling stories so we’ve gotten really focused on both of those aspects.
Tons of new LIVE A GREAT STORY gear is on the horizon.
Two Spring/Summer collections are coming in May and late June. More accessories, better apparel options and in general cooler things that you can take out into the world to create sparks of connection.
We also started hosting a monthly story-telling event in Austin called “Great Stories”
Every first Wednesday we’re featuring three local change-makers who each share a 10-minute story. After that we break into small groups to talk about that month’s theme (this month is Things Aren’t Always What They Seem). This is live-streamed on Facebook Live.
Every week we’re publishing Icebreaker Chats with “Great Stories” speakers and also more inspiring people.
All of the “Great Stories” stories are going on IGTV so if you can’t make it to Austin, catch the IGTV talks on a weekly basis.
Want more inspirational content? Every week we’re publishing articles on travel, community impact and more inspiring stories.
After 4 years of business, launching The Guide almost put a stop to all of what we’re doing. It put us deep into a financial situation that required some tough decisions. But it also acted as a springboard forward. We learned tons of lessons that pretty much immediately helped us start 2019 on a full speed route, paving the way for lots of cool things on the horizon.
We’re a small business on a forever route. We don’t always know what’s next, where we’re going or how to handle every situation but that’s the fun part. That’s life. It’s not about getting to the finish line, it’s about enjoying the ride. We’re going to keep going, we’ll keep spreading inspiration, we’ll keep being real and keep trying our hardest to make an impact while having a blast… we hope you continue to join us on the ride.
P.S. We’ll be reaching out to everyone who backed The Guide on Kickstarter to figure out how to best resolve the situation. We know you’ve been patiently waiting for the follow up Chapters and for more info on what’s happening so we super super appreciate of your patience. I’d love to hop on a call with you to answer any questions and explain any details. I greatly appreciate your support and want to do whatever I can to completely reciprocate your support.