In January 2018, we launched the Forte Labs coaching program. Our goal was to inspire deep behavior change in our clients, by helping them remove the noise and simplify their approach to productivity so they could apply what they already know.
As we roll out the new-and-improved version 2.0 of our coaching program, we’d like to share what we learned from the first cohort, and what we’re changing:
You don’t need one linear progression
The original design of our coaching program was based on a deliberate practice model centered on our curriculum of online courses: Get Stuff Done Like a Boss, Design Your Habits, and Building a Second Brain.
We found that although drawing on this content helped, the step-by-step progression created a bottleneck. If one part of the progression wasn’t completed in full, the next session would be compromised with catch-up.
Tiago and I created a new coaching model to address this: the Digital Productivity Pyramid. The Pyramid is non-linear, in that you can navigate in any order, in any direction, and opportunistically based on your needs at any given time. Skip parts you’re stuck on, and jump right to the parts you need now.
We can streamline, customize, and personalize our program to YOU
8 weeks was a big commitment for both parties. Although we delivered on that promise, we’ve decided that a month-to-month commitment works better for three reasons:
- Two months proved to be too long of a commitment for a large number of our clients
- Some clients achieved their goals in less than eight sessions. A month-to-month commitment forces us to focus on concrete, short-term goals that are more in line with our principles
- A monthly recommitment creates a regular milestone for both of us to decide whether to continue working together. This forces us to reconsider our goals, make improvements, and surface feedback
We’ve also decided to use the first session to co-design each client’s coaching syllabus (thank you to Chris Sparks for this idea). This lets us deliver one of the most customized productivity coaching programs on the planet.
The most common issue for our clients was Clarification
If you look at the pyramid, one of the steps in Level 2 is Clarify. Clarification is the process of figuring out why you want to complete a given task, and the “next physical action” required. After you capture everything, you need to figure out what to do next.
Most people in our coaching program started with projects that were only partially completed, or weekly reviews without the proper actions. Most of the time, we didn’t see comprehensive project lists. We’ve developed a series of exercises and tools mapped to each “block” in the Pyramid, so that we can quickly recommend proven techniques to address these issues.
Over time we will develop a toolkit and manual explaining how to use it, perhaps eventually licensing this material to other coaches and companies.
Don’t come into the program trying to fix yourself – do come in with a project
Everyone wants to be faster and more productive, but that’s not the value of the program. Our courses can help with that, but the bigger, more powerful goal is to apply your new skills to achieve results. You’ll master these skills more completely when you apply them to a real project, and remain motivated to continue learning when you see the results.
Use our program to complete that side project you’ve had on the backburner forever, launch that blog or YouTube channel you’ve always thought about, or overcome an obstacle you’ve always encountered in the past. Instead of improving your productivity for its own sake, we’ll focus both our energies on an outcome.
New Focus: Project-based consulting
We discovered our ideal client is someone who wants to build something, whether it’s creating content to build an audience, get a passion project off the ground, or build an online business to generate passive income. This isn’t a question of traditional 9-5 employees versus freelancers and entrepreneurs. We all have the ability to build new things to advance our interests and careers.
For version 2.0, we’ll focus on the common thread of creation. We will of course work on all aspects of productivity, but with the objective of setting you up for success in your project.
Introducing Version 2.0
Here the components we are adding to the new-and-improved coaching program:
Weekly Review Co-Design: We will work with you to condense, speed up, and automate your digital life into a weekly habit. This critical weekly ritual saves you time doing administrative work, sets you up each week with a clear focus, and provides a context for checking in with your values, goals, and purpose on a regular basis.
Project Co-Design: Whether you’ve never designed a project before, or you’ve just gotten stuck, we help you break it down step-by-step so that you can live your life, instead of spending it project planning.
Streamlined Onboarding: This will help us design your productivity habits. We will perform a personality profile and look at how you currently spend your time before your first formal session, so we can get a running start. Our intention is to make the live sessions more about taking action, and less about information gathering.
New coaches: We’ve onboarded Clay Nichols and Chinh Pham to our coaches roster. They bring to the table extensive experience with coaching, self-improvement, productivity, and knowledge management, and will help us continue to expand the impact and range of the program.
New Price – $689 for four weekly coaching sessions: The new pricing reflects our commitment to produce tangible outcomes on an accelerated timeline. It includes four coaching sessions spread out over 4 weeks, with the option to renew at any point.
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