We're about a third of the way through the year, and it's been around a year since I opened up INF Club membership shortly after the INF Summit.
A year is an interesting period of time. On the one hand, it feels like it's flown by; on the other, lots has happened when you stop to think about (or better, write down) what's gone on, even if you think you've had a 'quiet' year.
I have been a believer in community ever since I became a member of other groups from the time I left my job - when I knew that taking the leap was the right thing to do, but I was still figuring out the direction to take.
Communities like Escape the City, Fizzle and IndieHackers - with a dose of conferences like WDS - have helped support, guide and lift me through these last 6 years in ways I can't fully articulate. Up until last year, though, I'd been a member and observer, rather than a community-leader (though, admittedly, I'd been putting together mini-communities in the form of mastermind groups for a while).
Since I launched INF Club membership early last year, I've been experimenting with forum platforms, virtual meetups and additional member benefits.
After this year of experimenting, I've recently been thinking about what I'd like the community to look like from here. I've learnt a great deal, and there are bits I'd like to keep, and other bits I'd like to tweak. Perhaps most of all, though, I need to take a moment to pause.
Building and facilitating an engaged community, in a way that benefits everyone involved (or, at least, gives each person a way to be involved and benefit in their own way), is a mixture of art and science. And when you're in amongst it - it's not always easy to see the wood from the trees.
A couple of weeks ago, as I was starting to think about redesigning the community, I stumbled again across a course that was already on my radar: Rosie Sherry's 'Rosieland Adventure'. Rosie is someone I got to know as the community manager of Indiehackers, and I also got to attend one of her indie meetups in Brighton. I've been observing the ways she does things through her "stuff" for a while now, through her IndieHackers activities, twitter and her blogging.
She also happens to be an INFJ, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I feel she is one of the leading voices on community-building. Not only does she have a ton of experience behind her, but she truly cares about communities.
So I'm now a week into a 6-week course of community-builders; some who are just starting out, some who have been doing it for years, and others who fall somewhere in the middle (like me). There are more than 50 of us taking the course, dotted around the world... though, curiously, 3 of us live within a 15-minute radius of one another (I'm looking forward to meeting Simon and Leo IRL in our local Bushy Park soon). It feels wonderful to be involved in a cohort again myself, as it's been a while.
All of this to say, I've decided to hit pause on the INF Club community, and take stock to figure out exactly what I'd like INF Club to look like going forward.
In last week's newsletter, I shared that I have learned more about who INF Club is here to serve. The cauldron is simmering...
I feel hopeful for the future, and though this feels like the close of one chapter, it also feels like the beginning of an exciting new one ✨
So, what happens now?
- From 1st April, the INF Club Forum and Members' Hub will be closed
- If you are a monthly member, your final month's payment will be refunded to you
- If you are an annual member who signed up ~this time last year, your renewal payment will be refunded to you
You should receive your refund in the next week or two. If anything is amiss, just email me and we'll get it sorted.
The last Whereby session
The last members' Whereby session is happening next week, Wednesday 31st March @ 10AM ET / 3PM GMT. Join us for 45 minutes of silent focus on writing or something else that's creative.
You can register for that here, or manually save the date and join via whereby.com/infclub.
To be honest, it feels strange referring to things 'closing' and the 'last' session, because it really does feel like this is temporary, until I have figured out what I'd like the new community to look like.
It feels like INF Club is entering a new season, and I want to thank you for being with me during this current one. Ultimately, I will continue to follow my intuition, and be informed by the messages I'm getting from subscribers to the Club newsletter, and through Twitter.
Over the next couple of months, I will be facilitating the 2nd Mastermind Programme cohort, completing The Indie Author book, and working my way through Rosie's community-building course. I'm excited to see how the coming weeks unfold...
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any comments, suggestions, or questions that you might have. If you have something to share, I'll be glad to read it and honestly answer anything that's on your mind.
It's your voices I continue to listen to, your messages I continue to read, to help connect me with what this community is needing. Especially whilst I'm in this phase of pause and discovery, I'm all ears.
Thank you for joining me on the journey so far, and here's to the next chapter...
ps. I'll still be running INF Club as normal otherwise, and sending out my newsletters :)