Guest Post: A Simple Way to Keep Track of Your Hub Marketing

By Lisa Baker

What would it mean for your business if your email subscriber list doubled next month?

What if your client list doubled?

Better yet, what if you knew you could double your client list whenever you wanted, with just a few simple steps – and you could do it without spending any money on your marketing?

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, that would transform your business (not to mention your wallet).

And that’s the kind of results you can expect when you partner with influencers to implement a hubs marketing strategy.

Hubs marketing is simple: it just means finding the people your customers already listen to and the places where they already are, and asking those people and places to share and recommend your products and services.

Hubs are the influential people whom your ideal customer is listening to. They’re the famous bloggers, the citywide farmers’ markets, the healing festivals, and the big nonprofits where your ideal customer is hanging out, listening, and spending time.

Like the hub of a wheel, they’re the centre where many spokes branch out — a whole network of places and people where your customers already are.

And when hubs talk about you, people come to you.

But how do you get hubs to talk about you?

Many people believe it’s pure luck: You have to already know the right people.

Others think it’s networking: You have to slowly schmooze and network your way into the influential “cool kids” club.

But I believe that connecting with hubs is very simple: You ask.

Sound terrifying? It doesn’t need to be. If you have the right elements in place first, you can reach out to hubs with confidence and connect with them simply and naturally.

You just need three things.

First, you need a truly valuable offer.

Creating this mostly has to do with deeply understanding your niche. Once you understand exactly what’s unique and different about what you’re offering in your business, and you’re able to articulate that in a clear way, then it’s easy to attract the attention of a hub. The key here is being different – if you reach out to a hub asking them to share something that’s exactly like what everyone else is doing, they won’t be intrigued or interested; they’ll be annoyed.

Discovering and articulating your niche is a lot of work, and it can take some time. Here are some ways you’ll know when your niche is ready for you to reach out to hubs:

  • When you meet someone at a networking event and you tell them briefly what you do, their response is something like, “Wow! Tell me more?” or “Whoa. What does that mean exactly?” or “Oh! I know someone who needs that!”
  • When you look at the message and offerings of the most influential and well-known people in your industry, your response is, “That’s a great start, but they’re leaving out this really important thing…” or “I disagree with their approach; it’s much better to…” In other words, you can clearly describe what you feel is missing from what most people in your industry do, and the missing thing is something you offer.
  • You’ve studied the major influencers and players in your industry, and you can honestly say you are the only business you know of who does [fill in the blank] for [whoever you do it for]. The thing in the blank could be the specific thing you do, the exact way you do it, or the people you’re doing it for, but either way, it’s definitely, truly unique.

Your niche doesn’t have to be perfect before you start reaching out to hubs, but it needs to be close. It needs to be about 70% of the way there. You need to have a pretty solid idea of what your message is and why it’s different.

I recommend that before you start reaching out to hubs, you test your niche description at a networking event. Go to an event focused on people in your industry, and see how they respond to your introduction of yourself and what you do. If they aren’t immediately intrigued by your one-sentence description of your work, then your niche isn’t quite ready yet.

Second, you need hubs who are a great fit for you.

Marketing is always about finding the right fit with customers, and hubs marketing is about finding the right fit with hubs.

Just like finding a fit with customers, the right fit with a hub encompasses two things: the how and the what. How means your approach, your mindset, your vibe, and your general worldview. What means the specific thing you offer and whom you offer it for. Both of these need to align for you and the hub to be a good fit.

“General worldview” is a broad filter that can be hard to discern from a distance, but my rule of thumb is always this: If you don’t truly, honestly admire a hub, then don’t try to partner with them.

Skim through their website and social media, and check with your gut. Do you like the things they’re sharing? Do you get a good feeling from their language and their message? Is your instinctive reaction “Wow, I want to be friends with them!” or “Ick?”

Find the partners whose online presence makes you feel like you can’t wait to go out for a beer with them. Sure, you can’t really tell from their online presence or reputation. Yes, you’re just guessing. But anyone who’s influential will have some kind of public persona. And your reaction to the public persona they project will often be an accurate indicator of whether your general approaches are aligned. Go with your gut.

The what of fit is often harder at first, but it’s actually easier to determine.

Many entrepreneurs, when looking for hubs, think first of the influencers who do basically the same thing they themselves do, only bigger and better. If you run an organic fruit stand, your first instinct when looking for hubs is to think of influencers in the organic fruit space.

But this is a mistake.

If you’re offering the same thing – or essentially the same thing – that the hub is offering, then why would they need your offer?

They don’t.

Instead, you need to find hubs that offer something similar but different . . . or who offer something different to the same people you serve . . . or who offer something related that adds to your offer.

In other words: If you sell organic fruit, look for hubs that sell organic vegetables. Or look for hubs that teach how to make organic jam from fresh fruit. Or look for nutritionist and dieticians and personal trainers who help people eat more healthy. Or look for publications that feature local organic food sources. Or look for vegan and raw food meetups for people whose main diet is fruits and vegetables.

The key here is finding the little circles of your niche – the small, specific groups of people who might be interested in what you have to offer. These circles need to be more specific than you think they should be. You’ll know you’ve found a good little circle when ideas for hubs start to immediately come to mind.

For example, say you’re an animal intuitive helping busy owners take better care of their pets. Who are your people? Pet owners, obviously – but that’s your broad, big circle. Dog owners? That’s still too broad. But how about dog owners who want to bring their dogs to work? Now you’re talking – and you can search for companies in your city with dog-friendly policies.

Third, you need a system for reaching out to hubs.

Here’s the reality: Hubs marketing is much faster than any marketing you do within your own networks, but it still takes time. And even when you do it right, it takes a minimum number of hubs before you start to see results.

Sending one email to one hub is not an effective strategy for growing your business.

On average, you should be able to do a partner promotion with about one hub for every ten emails you send to hubs you don’t already have a connection with.

That means, if you want to do one partner promotion a month, you need to send at least two emails a week.

For each hub, you’ll need to find the hub, the right contact person, and the email address.

You’ll need to keep track where you are in conversation with each hub so you know who you should follow up with, who is waiting for information from you, and what you need to do to prepare for each partnership.

And, if you want to continue to grow and scale your business, you’ll need to keep records of what types of partnerships you did, what worked and what didn’t, and what the results were for each partnership.

If you do all that, then over time, your hubs outreach will become easier and easier, because you’ll quickly be able to see exactly what type of hub is best for your offer, as well as what type of partnership helps you gain new customers and subscribers.

But for all this, you need a system: you need some kind of hubs database.

Your database needs to do three things.

First, it needs to be a “mind dump” spot where you can add any ideas you have for a new hub you could reach out to.

Second, it needs to help you track exactly where each conversation is with each hub, so you know when the ball is in your court and what your next step is for each partnership.

And third, it needs to help you track the results you get from each partnership, so you know which types of hubs you should find more of, which types of partnerships you should do more of, and which types of hubs and partnerships you shouldn’t do.

When you’re first getting started, I recommend a really simple system for this: a Google spreadsheet.

Here’s the spreadsheet I give my clients when they’re first getting started with hubs outreach.

The first tab of the spreadsheet is for finding hubs. It looks like this:

The first column is how you found the hub. This is useful because if a partnership does particularly well, it’s valuable to go back and look to see how you found that hub in the first place. Where the spreadsheet says “Google ‘keyword’”, change “keyword” to the phrase you used in Google to find that hub (like “dog-friendly offices Atlanta”).

The second column is for the category or little circle. It’s best to keep these down to two or three at first, so you don’t go wildly pitching every type of hub. Going back to the organic fruit stand, the type of partnership you would propose with a meetup group will be different from the partnership you would propose with an organic vegetable grower. Choose no more than two or three little circles to start with to keep your search focused.

The next three columns are “Biggest Platform Size,” “Platform of Biggest Audience,” and “Past Partnership Example.”

These form the foundation for your initial hubs research.

“Platform” means the place where the hubs’ audience is most concentrated. For example, some hubs have a huge Facebook audience but almost no Instagram audience. Others have a huge email list and very few blog followers. There are various ways to research the size of a hub’s audience on each platform, but all you need to do right now is glance through their social followings and website and make an educated guess.

The main thing you’re looking for is where the best place would be for them to host a partnership with you. Ideally, you want to do a partnership on a platform where the hub has a big audience, where they regularly host promotions, and where you know your audience is likely to be.

For example, if they have a lot of Facebook followers, and they frequently interview expert guests on Facebook live posts, and you know that many of your ideal customers are on Facebook, then put their number of Facebook followers under “Biggest Platform Size,” put “Facebook” under “Biggest Platform Example,” and put a link to one of their expert interviews under “Past Partnership Example.”

Then it’s easy to fill out the next column: you want to propose that they interview you on a Facebook live.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time on these columns figuring out the perfect partnership, because often, you won’t know until you talk with them. Even if you think something would be an ideal partnership from your perspective, it might not fit their business model (they might have recently decided they don’t want to do Facebook lives anymore). Right now, you’re just trying to make an educated guess about the kind of thing they might be willing to do.

For example:

  • Do they have a blog?
    • If so, how many comments on average does each post have? This will give you a general idea of the size of their blog readership. (You can note this simply as “5 comments average per blog post” for “Platform size.”)
    • Do they publish guest posts on their blog? You can easily find this out by googling their website (“website.com”) and then the words “guest post.”
    • If they publish guest posts, do they include a bio at the end with a link to the author’s website? This gives you an indication of whether you would be likely to get any visitors to your site or new subscribers if you wrote a blog post for them.
    • If the answers to #2 and #3 are yes, and each post has at least 5-10 comments, then you can make an educated guess that they would be open to a guest post proposal.
  • Do they have a podcast?
    • If so, how popular is it? This is very difficult to judge, but you can look at the number of reviews on iTunes, and you can look at iTunes rankings to see where the podcast shows up. You can also look at their blog to see if they publish podcast episodes there, and if so, how many comments are on each podcast post. You can also look at the host’s social media following and make a guess about their podcast audience size from that.
    • Do they interview guests on their podcast? If so, would your topic be a good fit compared to the other guests they’ve interviewed?
    • If they do interview guests, do they publish a link to the guest’s website on a post about the podcast? Do they talk about the guest’s website and services in their interview?
    • If the answers to the second two questions are yes, then you can make an educated guess that they might be open to a pitch for you being a podcast guest.  
  • Do they have a community/forum/membership group that people can join?
    • If so, how big is it, and is it paid or free? Paid membership sites are great places to offer workshops or be interviewed, since all the members there are already spending money on the kind of thing you want to sell.
    • Can you find any information about what content is inside the group, and if so, does it mention expert guests or interviews? Does it list any examples of guests?
    • If so, then they might be open to a pitch for you to be an expert guest inside their community.
  • Do they have a Facebook page or group?
    • If so, how many fans or members does it have?
    • Do they host interviews or workshops with experts on their page?
    • If they do, then they might be willing to host a workshop with you.
  • Do they have an Instagram page?
    • If so, how many followers does it have, and how many comments/likes does each post get on average?
    • Do they ever post about other experts or brands on their page?
    • Do they host live videos on their page?
    • If so, then they might be open to posting about your offer or posting a live video of you.

Again, don’t spend too much time on each of these. Think about where you most want to promote your business (if you don’t have a visual brand, then Instagram probably isn’t for you). As you discover a new hub, skim through the platforms where you most want to promote your business, and see if it looks like they ever do partnerships there. If they do, or if you think they might be open to it, add them to your list. If not, move on and find another hub to add.

The last two columns on this tab are “Why I like them” and “Why they will like me.” For these, you’re making a note to yourself of two things: what attracted you to them (this is the “worldview” level fit), and how you feel your offer is complementary to theirs. Again, don’t spend a lot of time; just write a quick note to yourself so you’ll remember when it’s time to reach out.

This first tab in the spreadsheet is your brainstorm list. It’s your note to yourself about the hubs you think you might want to get in touch with.

Once you have 10 or 20 on the list, it’s time to move them to the second tab – the tab at the bottom labeled “Outreach.”

This tab has seven columns. If you click in a box in the first column, “Stage,” you’ll notice there’s a drop down:

The “Stage” column is to help you know exactly where you are in conversation with each potential partner: lead (you’re still just researching), contacted (you’ve sent them an initial pitch), followed up (they didn’t reply, so you emailed again), discussing (they’ve replied and you’ve sent them information), call scheduled (you’ve scheduled a call with them to talk through the details of a partnership), said yes, or said no.

The drop-down helps you keep track of your own process throughout the conversation with a hub. It’s a guide to your workflow. If you aren’t sure what you should do next in a conversation with a hub, it gives you a guide on what you want the next step to be.

The rest of the columns are for the information you’ll need to reach out: The name of the company or organization, the name of the best contact person, their preferred name you’ll use to address them, their email address, and the type of partnership you plan to suggest (based on your research from the last tab). Finally, the “date last emailed” will help you keep track if you drop the ball on a conversation and need to touch base with them to follow up.

Once you schedule a promotion with a partner, you can move them to the third tab: the “Results” tab. Here, you’ll track the results of your partnership:

These columns are designed for a coach whose goals are new email subscribers, discovery calls with new prospects, and new clients. But you can change the columns to match your own business goals.

As you do more promotions, you can start to see patterns on this tab, and you can use those patterns to refine what types of partners you look for in the future.

For example, suppose you did a promotion with a hub who has about 5,000 subscribers on their email list. They hosted an online workshop for you. You might want to add a column with “# Workshop Attendees” to your tracking tab so you can include that information here – I’ll explain why in a moment.

Let’s say your results look like this:

Suppose you also did a similar promotion with another partner who has about 20,000 subscribers on their email list, and the results look like this:

There are a lot of numbers you can look at here to evaluate which promotions did better.

First, you can look at the conversion rate of email subscribers on your partner’s list to attendees on your workshop. You can calculate this by dividing the number of workshop attendees by the number of email subscribers each partner has on their list. Dawn sent more attendees, but she only sent 0.5% of her list, while Tara sent 1%. So even though the number of attendees from Tara was half as many as those from Dawn, a much bigger percentage of Tara’s list was interested in your offer. This means that as Tara’s list grows, she’s likely to send even more people to your workshops in the future.

Next, look at the conversion rate of workshop attendees to email subscribers. This is the number of people who signed up your email list, divided by the number of people who attended the workshop. At Tara’s workshop, an incredible 60% of the people who attended signed up for your list. At Dawn’s workshop, only 20% did. This tells you that either your presentation was much better for Tara’s workshop, or your message is much more aligned with Tara and her followers.

The other conversion rates are similar: 10% of the attendees at Tara’s workshop signed up for a discovery call, while only 1% of Dawn’s attendees got on the phone with you.

And then, of course, 4% of your calls with Tara’s followers led to new clients and revenue. None of Dawn’s did, but the number of calls was so low, you can’t really conclude anything from that.

But what can you conclude from looking at these numbers, and how can you use this information to plan your future promotions?

First, obviously, you can conclude that Tara is a better partner than Dawn, even though her audience is smaller. Assuming that the presentation in your workshop was essentially identical for both partners, you can use this information a variety of ways:

  • First, analyze why you think Tara is a better partner. It probably has to do with her messaging and brand and its similarity to yours, so if you compare her brand, her emails, and her message and offers to Dawn’s, you can draw conclusions about what aligns with you and what doesn’t. For example, if Dawn talks a lot about higher consciousness and manifesting, while Tara talks a lot about girl power and uses cuss words, then it’s a solid guess that you should look for more edgy partners who are into girl power.
  • Next, look back at your first tab and notice how you found each of these partners. Look at how you found Tara, and use the same method to find more potential partners. Don’t repeat the method you used to find Dawn.
  • Finally, consider each step of your potential customer’s sales path in this worksheet, and think about whether you can improve things at any point along this path. For example, only 1% of workshop attendees at Dawn’s workshop signed up for a call with you. This could be because your messages aren’t aligned, but it could also be because of something you did differently. It’s possible that a small change in your presentation would result in a lot more calls. Do you have any other partners who are similar to Dawn that did send you clients? If so, what did you differently with them?

The more you track details like this, the more you can improve your promotions with hubs over time. Eventually, as you build up a record of numbers from past partnerships, you’ll be able to accurately estimate how many clients you should get from a new partner just by looking at their platform numbers on the first tab of this spreadsheet. That will enable you to predict your future income from the hubs partnerships you have scheduled, and you can adjust your marketing ahead of time to make sure you meet your income goals.

Remember those questions I asked at the beginning of this post, about what it would mean for your business if you got more email subscribers or clients? The reality is that for most entrepreneurs, the answer to those questions was “I don’t know.”

What would it mean for your business if your email list doubled from a hubs partnership you did tomorrow? If you haven’t been tracking these numbers, then you probably don’t know.

But if you start today, then a year from now you could have a solid foundation for accurately predicting exactly what it would mean for your business and your income. If you keep filling out this spreadsheet as you launch into your hubs marketing, you’ll also be able to predict how many outreach emails you need to send to get a promotion, as well as how many new clients you’re likely to get from a promotion.

And eventually, that means that instead of haphazardly hoping for new clients, you can create a system that predictably, sustainably brings you new clients at the rate you want, in exactly the timing you need.

Want to know what to say to hubs once you start reaching out to them? Join Lisa’s email list and get a free 5-day email course, “How to Email Any Influencer.” You’ll also get a copy of her book about her philosophy of connecting with influencers, How to Grow Your Business and Be a Better Human. Also consider taking Lisa’s quiz What Type Of Influencer Partnership Is Best For Your Business?

About Lisa Baker: Lisa’s dream is to end homelessness, racism, and climate change (not necessarily in that order). She’s a marketing consultant for small businesses who works on saving the world as a side gig. She’d like to change that.

Six Approaches to the Basics of Entrepreneurial Self Care

 

So, let’s talk about self care.

But first, let’s let Audre Lorde talk about it: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

It’s easy to want to dismiss self-care as giving up or giving too little. But it might actually be a type of resistance.

Brianna Wiest also has something vital to say here,

“Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing. It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.”

In our work, we often have to hold space for others but do we hold that same kind of space for ourselves?

If you’re looking for self-care ideas, here are a bunch. Here are seven more.

The Perils of Overwork:

If you find yourself taking a perverse pride in the amount you work and you know you’re overworking, consider these thoughts. Being too busy is killing our ability to think creatively.

How America’s ‘Culture of Hustling’ Is Dark and Empty

Starting work before 10am isn’t just soul crushing, this scientist says it’s equivalent to torture

A couple fine quotes for you:

Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy.” – Kierkegaard

One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; you also need to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.” – Edward Abbey

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed with too much to do, it’s time to…

Approach #1 – Get Enough Sleep:

85% of mammals nap. Why don’t we?

Napping can dramatically increase learning, memory, awareness, and more.

Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night shortens your life and demolishes your immune system.

Does your phone keep you up at night? Try this.

Approach #2 – Do What You Need To Do to De-Stress:

Most of us don’t even know how stressed we are until we get space. It’s like we’ve been carrying around a huge backpack and you forgot it was one. Once you take it off, you’re amazed at how light you feel.

You Aren’t Lazy — You’re Just Terrified: On Paralysis And Perfectionism

Don’t think stress is a big deal? You’re wrong. Read this book. Or watch this 75 minute video of a talk by Gabor Mate called When The Body Says No.

Being an entrepreneur can be incredibly stressful and so here are…

20 Scientifically-Backed Ways To De-Stress Right Now

Been thinking of meditating? Studies show it’s more beneficial than taking a vacation.

Get rid of digital distractions, e.g. the notifications, pings, pop-ups on your phone & computer, You don’t need them. In a famous study of groups of workers, one worked without distractions and the other had to also respond to occasional emails, phone calls, text messages, the second group’s measured IQ was actually *lower* than a third group which worked while *on marijuana*. #truestory. Try: one full day without distractions, answering to emails once or twice. Then extend to a week. ” – George Kao

We all know that regular exercise can dramatically lower our stress levels but did you know about the impact of walking in nature, dancing or swimming and showering in cold water? If you want to explore the core water route, I commend checking out the work of Wim Hof.

You might also want to consider regularly stretching your psoas muscle.

Approach #3 – Make Sure You Have Enough Silence in Your Life:

Along with sleep and dealing with stress, with must add this third, necessary ‘s’ of silence. Scientists are now telling us that silence is much more important to our brains than we’d thought. Quiet time is needed in this loud world. But technology can be a killer of that space and silence we need. You might just want to consider doing a digital detox. It does good things for your brain and body.

Approach #4 – De-Clutter Your Life:

One of the fastest ways out of stress, and to help keep it away, is to declutter your environment. Clutter causes anxiety and stress in eight different ways. It also doesn’t help anyone’s depression. Decluttering has immense psychological benefits.

So, here are a number of worthwhile links to explore that might inspire your decluttering efforts:

Principles of Decluttering

Ten Life Changing Tips to Make Your Home So Much Cleaner

Five Ways to Declutter That Will Actually Change the World

The Thirty Day Declutter Challenge

The Simple Guide To A Clutter Free Home

If you’re really drawn to this, read Marie Kond?’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. or watch her Today Show appearance or read this case study about her work or these eight lessons someone learned from reading her book.

And, of course, many problems are solved by simply owning less.

Approach #5 – Find the Right Online Tools to Help You Stay Stress Free:

Having trouble focusing when on your lap top doing work? Check out Focus Mate.

Waste a lot of time scrolling through the newsfeed on Facebook? Install this app and kill the news feed.

Get too many emails from email newsletters? You might not once you install this.

Have a bunch of emails you don’t want to respond to for a while but you don’t want to delete them in case you forget? Boomerang let’s the reschedule those emails to vanish and reappear whenever you want.

Most people’s Gmail accounts are visually overwhelming. But if you install Priority Inbox you might be amazed at the instant relief it gives you.

Approach #6 – Get The Help You Need:

A while ago, I wrote a blog post called Getting Unstuck: The Five Minute Favour Asking Blitz. It’s a simple idea: pick somewhere you are stuck. Set a timer for five minute. Don’t stop asking for help until that timer goes off. This, of course, brings up a lot of issues for people around asking for help. Amanda Palmer has some words for you on this. And Mark Silver makes the very astute point that we must ask for help before we hit zero and totally crater in a firey burnout. Heidi Grant breaks down the science of asking for help and why our instincts around how much help to ask for are usually way off (people want to help us much more than we imagine).

Of course, calling in favours will only get you so far. At some point, you may need to hire administrative help for your business. Mark Silver has some good thoughts on this.

*

Note: If you could use a boost to get yourself to actually do these things, consider joining my 30-Day Cashflow Challenge, The Meantime. In it, you’ll not only learn over 30 of my best, tried and proven tactics to bring in money quickly but where you’ll also be guided to create more space in your life and deepen your self care. 

Signs of the End Times

Well, here we are.

2019.

But where are we headed?

Perhaps the answer to the question is in the opening sentence and a coming to understand where ‘here’ is.

We are at a strange time in the world indeed where much seems to be at the stake of our collective futures, tethered there as they are by our collective hopes for a better day and our unwillingness to question and let go of those same hopes. Our hopes for better seem to continue to produce the worse. Every solution brings with it, in Hydra like fashion, ten new problems. Each innovation seems to generate a need for greater innovation. We gaze upon the troubles of our times with the same unchanged eyes that first saw the troubles and the same unaltered language that conjured them. Our attempts to solve the troubles of our day seems to be a central source of the troubles that those to come will have to contend with.

In his book Come of Age, Stephen Jenkinson describes divination as “acute attention to the details of the present.” Divination is not about reading the then but about reading the now and, from that, the likely futures unfurl themselves before the well honed intuition.

So, here we are… but where is here?

The first thing to be said is that there is no global ‘here’ and yet many of the troubles that assail us will be, are and have been, global in their consequence.

And those consequences seem to be full of endings of many kinds and we seem to be in an ‘end times’ of a sort. The end of many species. The end of a stable climate. The end of many social orders (for better or worse). The end of hopes. Many things are ending now.

But end doesn’t mean ‘bad’. It just means ‘limit’. And we are certainly well past many limits in the world.

In his book Why The World Doesn’t End, Michael Meade explores the etymological roots of this word ‘end’ and gives us many loose threads on which to pull,

“The meaning of the word “end” might seem obvious and conclusive; yet root meanings reveal “tailings” and “remnants” and “that which is left over”… [it] carries the sense that the current state cannot continue and that it is too late for things to simply be repaired.

In order for things to change in a meaningful way, many things must come to and end. As archetype of radical change, [it] presents a pattern in which a shattering of forms occurs before the world as we know it can be reconstituted.

In the cosmic turn around if enough endings can be found, things can begin again… When the end seems near, ancient and lasting things are also close and waiting to be discovered… What we find at the end are both last things and things that last… Chaos not only describes the way that things fall apart at the end, but also the original state from which all creation continually arises…

In the end, all we can offer the world is the life we came here to live and the gifts our soul would have us give. When the end seems near, genuine security can only be found in taking the kind of risks that lead to a greater sense of life and a more encompassing way of being in the world…

Great crises and impossible demands often provoke hidden resources and reveal hints of the hidden wholeness and unity of life. The threat of collapse and utter loss can provoke a deeper sense of wholeness where nothing but total involvement and whole-heartedness will work… this capacity for great vision and imagination tends to awaken only after other approaches have failed.”

And so, January 1st is the beginning of the New Year.

And so, I have gathered together for you, the signs of these end times and time of endings in which you and I find ourselves in.

Now, of course, there is much good news and this is what I tend to share on my Facebook page. The wins. The small victories and the big ones.

But the good news isn’t the whole story.

Perhaps there are inaccuracies and exaggerations in some (no doubt it is so) and very likely many of them have been underestimated but if even ten of them are true and things are as they say well… then we are in it very deeply now and there is no turning back.

What might we imagine now and what future might we conjure? Fine questions but it might be best to start with a sober, sustained and sustaining gaze on how things have come to be.

I invite you to read through the list below, skimming as you go, and to open up any ten of them that seize you and read the articles or watch the videos in their entirety.

Don’t look away.

And then ask yourself, “what does knowing this ask of me?”

Might it be that we don’t become complacent in these times.

But, I also urge you not to read too many of these at once. It’s too much. The dose is too concentrated. A little adrenalin is good. Too much will kill you.

So I create this list for you in that way but also in this way: surely you have friends who remain unconvinced that things are as dire as they are and convinced that technology will, inevitably, solve everything for us. This list might be sent to them too. Use it as you will.

Might we all plant the seeds of something beautiful in the soil of what is now dying.

Might this signs be, above all, a sign of how deeply needed you are.

“Do you think it’s an accident that you were born at a time when the culture that gave you life is failing? I don’t think it is. I think you were born of necessity with your particular abilities, with our particular fears, with your particular heartaches and concerns… I think if we wait to be really compelled by something… something big, well… we’re going to wait an awful long time and I don’t know if the state of our world can tolerate our holding out until we feel utterly compelled by something. I think it’s more like this, that we have to proceed now as if we’re utterly needed given the circumstances. That takes almost something bordering on bravado, it could be mistaken for megalomania easily, though I don’t think it is. It had a certain amount of nerviness in it or boldness for sure, something that’s not highly thought of in the culture I was born into unless you’re a star or something… regular people aren’t supposed to have those qualities. I say they are of course. That’s what we’ve got to bring to the challenges at hand, not waiting to be convinced that we’re needed but proceeding as if we are. Your insignificance has been horribly overstated.” – Stephen Jenkinson

Authoritarianism:

The fascist movement that has brought Mussolini back to the mainstream – Italy’s CasaPound has been central to normalising fascism again in the country of its birth. Now they’re trying to enter parliament. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/22/casapound-italy-mussolini-fascism-mainstream

How ZTE helps Venezuela create China-style social control https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/venezuela-zte/

Unfixable? Several nations have tried to restore democracy after populist strongmen. It was never the same. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/11/16/feature/unfixable-several-nations-have-tried-to-restore-democracy-after-populist-strongmen-it-was-never-the-same/

Double standard emerges as activists see special airline boarding pass designation https://mic.com/articles/192122/double-standard-emerges-as-activists-see-special-airline-boarding-pass-designation#.1s63KOVnQ

Since Standing Rock, 56 Bills Have Been Introduced in 30 States to Restrict Protests – In the year since the last activists were evicted, the crackdown on journalists and activists has only intensified. https://www.thenation.com/article/photos-since-standing-rock-56-bills-have-been-introduced-in-30-states-to-restrict-protests/

Trump is creating his American caliphate, and democracy has no defence – Officials quoting a holy text to justify repressive policies is something we who grew up in the Arab world have seen beforehttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/18/trump-american-caliphate-democracy-arab-world

Foe Of Endangered Species Act Lands Gig Overseeing — You Guessed It — Wildlife – It’s like “appointing an arsonist as the town fire marshal,” said one conservationist. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/susan-combs-fish-wildlife-parks-appointment_us_5abea206e4b0f112dc9c47dc

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/poland-polarization/568324/

 

China:

China is laying the groundwork for a post-American world order https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/07/27/america-china/
What Is China Doing In Africa? Chinese corporations are all over Africa. In June 2017 a McKinsey & Company report estimated that there are more than 10,000 Chinese-owned firms operating in Africa.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2018/08/04/china-is-treating-africa-the-same-way-european-colonists-did/#5732dd51298b

 

Climate Change:

The Amazon is approaching a point of no return – but it’s not too late https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/the-amazon-might-be-past-the-point-of-being-saved
New UN Climate Report Dims Hope For Averting Catastrophic Global Warming Keeping temperatures from rising beyond the Paris agreement’s ambitious target will require unprecedented social changes. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ipcc-report_us_5bba177be4b0876eda9ef1d7
Geoengineering may be used to combat global warming, experts say IPCC authors suggest there is high agreement that injection of chemicals into stratosphere could help limit rises https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/geoengineering-global-warming-ipcc
Amazon at risk from Bolsonaro’s grim attack on the environment Threats to the rainforest and its people and an end to the Paris agreement are among the promises of Brazil’s presidential hopeful, reports Climate Home https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/09/brazils-bolsonaro-would-unleash-a-war-on-the-environment
UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That. nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/10/un-says-climate-genocide-coming-but-its-worse-than-that.html
Climate catastrophe warnings were greeted with global silence Shortsighted folly of ignoring the IPCC will lead to drastic future policies https://www.ft.com/content/e27a3b38-cc7d-11e8-8d0b-a6539b949662
Doug Ford, Jason Kenney and the end of the world Stephen Maher: Only fools, cranks or politicians can ignore the scientific consensus around global warming and the urgent need to address it https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/doug-ford-jason-kenney-and-the-end-of-the-world/
Swiss residents are wrapping glaciers in blankets to keep them from melting https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/03/swiss-residents-are-wrapping-glaciers-in-blankets-to-keep-them-from-melting
MONDAY Brazil new President will open Amazon indigenous reserves to mining and farming Jair Bolsonaro – who won the presidency of Latin America’s biggest country on Sunday – has made broad promises for his government but offered little detail. www.whitewolfpack.com/2018/10/brazil-new-president-will-open-amazon.html
Exclusive: Some Arctic Ground No Longer Freezing—Even in Winter New data from two Arctic sites suggest some surface layers are no longer freezing. If that continues, greenhouse gases from permafrost could accelerate climate change. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/08/news-arctic-permafrost-may-thaw-faster-than-expected/
NASA releases time-lapse of the disappearing Arctic polar ice cap https://fox2now.com/2018/02/26/nasa-releases-time-lapse-of-the-disappearing-arctic-polar-ice-cap/
There’s so much CO2 in the atmosphere that planting trees can no longer save us https://www.businessinsider.com/so-much-co2-planting-trees-cant-save-us-2017-5
Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming The findings mean the world might have less time to curb carbon emissions. https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/10/31/startling-new-research-finds-large-buildup-heat-oceans-suggesting-faster-rate-global-warming/
Japan’s Cherry Blossom Trees Bloom 6 Months Early https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOHoltjb3ZQ

NASA Discovers Bubbling Lakes In The Remote Arctic – A Sign Of Global Warming https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/08/30/nasa-discovers-bubbling-lakes-in-the-remote-arctic-a-sign-of-global-warming/#45eed14661f5

This glacier was featured on a postcard in 1900. A camera captured where it is today.
https://www.upworthy.com/this-glacier-was-featured-on-a-postcard-in-1900-a-camera-captured-where-it-is-today?c=gfb1

A warming Earth might eventually copy the greenhouse effect of Venus Modelling finds the precious equilibrium between temperature and
radiation breaks down beyond a certain point, spelling big trouble. https://cosmosmagazine.com/climate/a-warming-earth-might-eventually-copy-the-greenhouse-effect-of-venus

‘Revved up’: Land being cleared at the rate of 14 football fields a day in northern NSW – https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/revved-up-land-being-cleared-at-the-rate-of-14-football-fields-a-day-in-northern-nsw-20180906-p5026l.html

Massive Moth ‘Cloud’ Takes Over French Town https://www.unilad.co.uk/animals/massive-moth-cloud-takes-over-french-town/

Arctic temperatures soar 25 C above normal with sites above freezing despite midday darkness – This Arctic’s latest temperature spike is a striking indicator of the Earth’s rapidly transforming climate. These kinds of temperature anomalies in the Arctic have become commonplace in winter in the past few years. https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/02/21/arctic-temperatures-soar-25-c-above-normal-with-sites-above-freezing-despite-midday-darkness.html

There is a huge amount of mercury trapped in the Arctic. Which, by the way, is melting. https://grist.org/briefly/there-is-a-huge-amount-of-mercury-trapped-in-the-arctic/

Polar ice is lost at sea https://grist.org/article/polar-ice-is-lost-at-sea/

Some of Alberta’s ecosystems shrinking faster than Amazon rain forest: report https://globalnews.ca/news/4010811/alberta-ecosystems-disappearing-nature/

Nasa map of Earth over 20 years highlights astonishing impact of climate change – Animation captures planet’s seasonal fluctuations as seen from space http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/nasa-map-earth-20-years-impact-climate-change-global-warming-life-environment-a8062221.html

Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Expected, and It’s More Extreme – New research suggests human-caused emissions will lead to bigger impacts on heat and extreme weather, and sooner than the IPCC warned just three years ago. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26122017/climate-change-science-2017-year-review-evidence-impact-faster-more-extreme

Humidity will make some parts of the world unlivable in 50 years https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/9knaz3/humidity-will-make-some-parts-of-the-world-unlivable-in-50-years

STUNNER: It’s Raining In Antarctica!!! Scientists Extremely WORRIED!!! http://sciencevibe.com/2017/06/18/stunner-its-raining-in-antarctica-scientists-extremely-worried/

Earth heading for ‘mini ice age’ within 15 years – Research has predicted a new solar ‘Maunder minimum’ in the 2030s http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/11733369/Earth-heading-for-mini-ice-age-within-15-years.html

The first wintertime megafire in California history is here http://grist.org/article/the-first-wintertime-megafire-in-california-history-is-here/

Climate scientist Paul Beckwith on the jetstream crossing and our global climate emergency https://inhabitat.com/interview-paul-beckwith-on-the-jetstream-crossing-and-global-climate-emergency/

15,000 scientists give catastrophic warning about the fate of the world in new ‘letter to humanity’ http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/letter-to-humanity-warning-climate-change-global-warming-scientists-union-concerned-a8052481.html

Penguin disaster as only two chicks survive from colony of 40,000 – ‘Catastrophic breeding event’ leads to demands for a marine protected area to be set up in East Antarctica https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/12/penguin-catastrophe-leads-to-demands-for-protection-in-east-antarctica

A giant hole has opened up in Antarctica as scientists look to find out what is to blame – ‘It looks like you just punched a hole in the ice’ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/antarctica-giant-hole-opens-up-scientists-climate-change-global-warming-weddell-sea-a7994171.html

The math on staying below 2°C of global warming looks increasingly brutal https://www.vox.com/2015/10/19/9567863/climate-change-ambitious-cuts

BP and Shell planning for catastrophic 5°C global warming despite publicly backing Paris climate agreement – Companies are trying to ‘have their oil and drink it’ by committing to 2°C in public while planning for much higher temperature rises, says shareholder campaign group, Share Action http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/bp-shell-oil-global-warming-5-degree-paris-climate-agreement-fossil-fuels-temperature-rise-a8022511.html

Scientists Sound the Alarm: CO2 Levels Race Past Point of No Return http://www.ecowatch.com/noaa-carbon-dioxide-levels-2321635970.html

Release of Arctic Methane “May Be Apocalyptic,” Study Warns http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39957-release-of-arctic-methane-may-be-apocalyptic-study-warns

India is suffering the ‘worst water crisis in its history’ https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/11/as-groundwater-runs-short-water-battles-grow-in-parched-chennai

I’m a woman who fought wildfires for 7 years. Climate change is absolutely making them worse. Warmer climate is creating the perfect conditions for long wildfire seasons in the West. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/9/14/16301876/camp-fire-woolsey-fire-california-wildfires-2018

The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us – Climate breakdown could be rapid and unpredictable. We can no longer tinker around the edges and hope minor changes will avert collapse https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/14/earth-death-spiral-radical-action-climate-breakdown

How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet With wildfires, heat waves, and rising sea levels, large tracts of the earth are at risk of becoming uninhabitable. But the fossil-fuel industry continues its assault on the facts. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/11/26/how-extreme-weather-is-shrinking-the-planet

U.S. impacts of climate change are intensifying, federal report says https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/11/23/climate-change-intensifying-economy-impacted-federal-report-finds/2093291002/

UN report: Greenhouse gasses at highest level in 5 million years Alarming study comes as ‘desperate’ low-lying Vanuatu plans to sue climate change culprits in energy industry. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/report-greenhouse-gasses-highest-level-5-million-years-181123063503929.html

Carbon dioxide levels soared to new global record in 2017, UN warns https://globalnews.ca/news/4689879/carbon-dioxide-global-levels-un-warning/

World must triple efforts or face catastrophic climate change, says UN Rapid emissions turnaround needed to keep global warming at less than 2C, report suggests https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/27/world-triple-efforts-climate-change-un-global-warming

Las Vegas water planners hedge bets, prepare for worst case scenario: the day the Colorado River stops at the Hoover Dam https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/the-day-the-colorado-river-stops-at-hoover-dam-is-improbable-but-it-is-scary-enough-that-las-vegas-is-hedging-against-it

U of A students find record levels of mercury released into Canadian Arctic waterways from thawing permafrost https://edmontonjournal.com/technology/science/u-of-a-students-find-record-levels-of-mercury-released-into-waterways

Global Carbon Emissions Reached New High In 2018, Scientists Say China, India and the U.S. rank among the biggest contributors to the problem. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/global-carbon-emissions-record-high_us_5c081770e4b0bf813ef38742

Climate change could wake up Canada’s dormant volcanoes https://www.cbc.ca/news/thenational/climate-change-could-wake-up-canada-s-dormant-volcanoes-1.4934504

Satellite Spies Methane Bubbling up from Arctic Permafrost Radar instrument aboard a Japanese probe can spot signs of gas seeping from lakes that form as the ground thaws https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/satellite-spies-methane-bubbling-up-from-arctic-permafrost/

As climate change bites in America’s midwest, farmers are desperate to ring the alarm https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/12/as-climate-change-bites-in-americas-midwest-farmers-are-desperate-to-ring-the-alarm

THE PESSIMIST’S GUIDE TO 2019 FIRE, FLOODS AND FAMINE – https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/pessimists-guide-to-2019/

The EPA’s Climate Change Page Is Just Gone Now https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8xjwpz/the-epa-page-that-provided-climate-change-information-is-just-gone-now

Western Canada glaciers retreating at an unprecedented pace because of climate change: experts https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-glaciers-in-western-canada-retreating-at-unprecedented-pace-because-of

We broke down what climate change will do, region by region Yeah, we read each chapter of the report so you don’t have to. https://grist.org/article/we-broke-down-what-climate-change-will-do-region-by-region

Climate change: Concerns over report on ocean heating https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46046067

Ecological collapse of Toronto’s ravine system has begun, researcher says https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-ravine-system-ecological-collapse-1.4891207

THE TERRIFYING SCIENCE BEHIND CALIFORNIA’S MASSIVE CAMP FIRE https://www.wired.com/story/the-terrifying-science-behind-californias-massive-camp-fire/

Let it go: The Arctic will never be frozen again http://grist.org/article/let-it-go-the-arctic-will-never-be-frozen-again/

Climate Change Could Trigger More Volcanic Eruptions, Study Finds – Expect to see “a lot more volcanic activity in areas of the world where glaciers and volcanoes interact,” the lead author says. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/climate-change-volcanic-eruptions_us_5a3d1cd8e4b06d1621b40596

There’s so much CO2 in the atmosphere that planting trees can no longer save us – Most scientists agree emissions must be reduced http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/co2-atmosphere-planting-trees-oxygen-greenhouse-gas-carbon-dioxide-earth-scientists-climate-change-a8116856.html

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/67/12/1026/4605229

Scientists warn of ‘global climate emergency’ over shifting jet stream – Other scientists have since dismissed the claims as ‘total nonsense’
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/climate-change-emergency-jet-stream-shift-warning-global-warning-extreme-weather-a7111661.html

Rising seas: ‘Florida is about to be wiped off the map’ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/26/rising-seas-florida-climate-change-elizabeth-rush

A Warming World Creates Desperate People https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/opinion/sunday/immigration-climate-change-trump.html

Dangerous climate tipping point is ‘about a century ahead of schedule’ warns scientist – A slowing Gulf Stream system means catastrophic East Coast flooding will get much worse. https://thinkprogress.org/climate-tipping-point-century-ahead-of-schedule-warns-scientist-06d633f968fc/

A major climate boundary in the central U.S. has shifted 140 miles due to global warming https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/04/13/climate-boundary-shifts-140-miles-global-warming/514911002/

From Africa’s Baobabs To America’s Pines: Our Ancient Trees Are Dying. Welcome to climate change. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trees-dying-climate-change-baobabs_us_5b2395c4e4b07cb1712d8ea1

Red Tide Algae Bloom Wiping Out Sea Life On Florida Coast – NowThis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WJ0hi_Pi44
2018 is only halfway over, but a troubling climate change trend is already apparent – https://mashable.com/2018/07/18/global-warming-trend-nasa-charts/
Japan heatwave: Temperature hits new historic record 41.1C, says Japanese weather agency  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-heatwave-weather-temperatures-latest-updates-deaths-a8459351.html
Britain One Step From National Emergency In Level 3 Heatwave Warning – https://www.unilad.co.uk/life/britain-one-step-from-national-emergency-in-level-3-heatwave-warning/
The Arctic Is Burning: Wildfires Rage from Sweden to Alaska https://www.ecowatch.com/the-arctic-is-burning-2587826571.html
 The Uninhabitable Earth Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think. nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html
Insane: 124.3 degrees F (51.3 Celsius) in Algeria is the hottest temperature ever recorded in Africa as the global heat wave continues – www.thebigwobble.org/2018/07/insane-1243-degrees-f-513-celsius-in.html
Climate change will be deadlier, more destructive and costlier for California than previously believed, state warns www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-california-state-climate-change-assessment-20180827-story.html
The Arctic’s ‘last bastion’ of sea ice is breaking up for the first time on record https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/23/world/arctic-sea-ice-breakup-greenland-trnd-wxc/index.html
Hothouse Earth Is Merely the Beginning of the End Not the end of the planet, but maybe the end of its human inhabitants https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/hothouse-earth-climate-change-709470/
Here’s what Earth might look like in 100 years — if we’re lucky https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/11/heres-what-earth-might-look-like-in-100-years-if-were-lucky
How Record Heat Wreaked Havoc on Four Continents We talked to people who found themselves on the front lines of climate change this year. Here are their stories. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/climate/record-heat-waves.html
Sinister ‘Hunger Stones’ With Dire Warnings Have Been Surfacing in Europe “If you see me, weep.” https://www.sciencealert.com/sinister-hunger-stones-dire-warnings-surfacing-european-heatwave-czech-drought-elbe-decin
Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record Usually frozen waters open up twice this year in phenomenon scientists described as scary https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/21/arctics-strongest-sea-ice-breaks-up-for-first-time-on-record
Domino-effect of climate events could move Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state Leading scientists warn that passing such a point would make efforts to reduce emissions increasingly futile https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/06/domino-effect-of-climate-events-could-push-earth-into-a-hothouse-state?CMP=share_btn_fb

Cultural Madness:

Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/25/skim-reading-new-normal-maryanne-wolf
Miyu Kojima Creates Miniature Replicas of Lonely Deaths www.spoon-tamago.com/2018/10/03/miyu-kojima-miniature-kodokushi/
why face tattoos are the new normal From historical significance to candy pink dreadlocked Soundcloud rappers, the face tattoo has come a long way, and now it’s all over your mates. Better get used to them! https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/wjk4mq/face-tattoos-are-the-new-normal
Panasonic’s human blinkers help people concentrate in open-plan offices https://www.dezeen.com/2018/10/17/panasonics-wearable-blinkers-concentrate-open-plan-offices-technology/
Beltbox: Sing Your Heart Out Without Angering Your Neighbors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBZYYAmy6Lg

Desks Turn Into Bulletproof Shields In Case of School or Office Shootings https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1130394030444247/?hc_location=ufi

Sephora Will Start Selling Entry Level Witch Kits in October: https://qz.com/quartzy/1372344/sephoras-starter-witch-kit-by-pinrose-has-crystals-sage-and-tarot-cards/

Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound – When the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. We need a new literacy for the digital age https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/25/skim-reading-new-normal-maryanne-wolf

MORE AND MORE AMERICANS ARE STARTING TO BELIEVE EARTH IS FLAT https://www.sci-techuniverse.com/2018/07/more-and-more-americans-are-starting-to.html

You can now save your loved one’s tattoos after they’ve died https://www.facebook.com/InTheKnowInnovationAOL/videos/1919651414994179/?hc_location=ufi

The Glitter Coffin Company® – Beautiful bespoke glitter and crystal coffins and caskets https://theglittercoffincompany.co.uk/

Gaming disorder set to be recognized by World Health Organization – Persistent or recurrent playing despite negative consequences is a disease, policy draft says http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/gaming-disorder-world-health-organization-1.4466355

Bulletproof rucksacks: the ultimate solution against shootings. https://www.facebook.com/playgroundenglish/videos/566814976985170/?hc_location=ufi

Government votes that “animals can’t feel pain or emotions” https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/government-votes-animals-cant-feel-pain-emotions/17/11/

EPA chief: ‘True environmentalism is using natural resources that God has blessed us with’. Another day, another attempt by Trump officials to silence scientists. https://thinkprogress.org/epa-silences-more-scientists-25a5af44a0d4/

This Woman Reads 100 Books In A Month (And How You Can Too) https://www.blinkist.com/magazine/posts/woman-reads-100-books-month

Witness: Teens giggled as they threw fireworks off cliff, igniting Eagle Creek fire http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2017/09/witness_teens_giggled_as_they.html#incart_big-photo

Look on my works, ye mighty … Ozymandias statue found in mud https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/09/look-on-my-works-ye-mighty-ozymandias-statue-found-in-mudI Can Heal Water: A Star Child Speaks, Calls for Humanity to Wake Up http://educateinspirechange.org/spirituality/can-heal-water-star-child-speaks-calls-humanity-wake/

New Video Game Walks in Footsteps of Thoreau at Walden Pond
http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/walden-pond-game-preview/

Controversial Campaign Calls People With Down Syndrome ‘Endangered Species’ As prenatal testing reduces their numbers at birth, an advocacy group argues they belong on the endangered list. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/down-syndrome-endangered-species-canada_us_5be5c35ee4b0769d24ccd03a

LANS TO MICROCHIP UK WORKERS SPARK PRIVACY CONCERNS ‘Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers,’ a TUC spokesperson said https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/microchip-uk-workers-employees-privacy-bioteq-biohax-cbi-tuc-trade-union-a8629656.html

Being single in your 30s isn’t bad luck, it’s a global phenomenon https://qz.com/1443640/being-single-in-your-30s-isnt-bad-luck-its-a-global-phenomenon/

Pathological Consumption Has Become So Normalised That We Scarcely Notice It https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/pathological-consumption-has-become-so-normalised-that-we-scarcely-notice-it/

You Can Now Get Christmas Fairy Lights For Beards https://www.unilad.co.uk/festive/you-can-now-get-christmas-fairy-lights-for-beards/

Now the PC police have come for ‘The Vagina Monologues’ https://nypost.com/2018/11/20/now-the-pc-police-have-come-for-the-vagina-monologues/amp/

South Koreans lock themselves up to escape prison of daily life For most people, prison is a place to escape from. For South Koreans in need of a break from the demands of everyday life, a day or two in a faux jail is the escape https://apple.news/AkZfcRlJ8TnKu1Vrb_q8FyQ

Anthropologie is selling a bundle of twigs for $42 and people are seriously confused https://www.thisisinsider.com/anthropologie-selling-bundle-of-twigs-twitter-reactions-2018-11

How Restaurants Got So Loud Fashionable minimalism replaced plush opulence. That’s a recipe for commotion. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/11/how-restaurants-got-so-loud/576715/

In Sweden, cash is almost extinct and people implant microchips in their hands to pay for things More than 4,000 Swedes have gone the microchip route as cash use fades and the government scrambles to figure out the effects on society and the economy A cafe in Stockhlom that is completely cash-free. Few places are tilting toward a cashless future as quickly as Sweden, which has become hooked on the convenience of paying by app and plastic.Linus Sundahi-Djerf/The New York Times https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/swedens-push-to-get-rid-of-cash-has-some-saying-not-so-fast

Does the ‘foreskin facial’ mark the end of the world? Kate Beckinsale is the latest celebrity to try the treatment, which uses a serum derived from babies’ circumcised penises. Has anti-ageing finally gone too far? https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/shortcuts/2018/nov/26/foreskin-facial-kate-beckinsale-serum-anti-ageing

You can now go to prison in Canada for providing raw milk. Seriously Karen Selick: It’s time for the federal and provincial legislatures to pay attention, just as they finally did with marijuana, and remove this thorn from everyone’s side https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/you-can-now-go-to-prison-in-canada-for-providing-raw-milk-seriously

A New Drug Could Let Us Eat Anything Without Gaining Weight Researchers might have finally cracked the code to gorging without consequence. https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/439qkd/a-new-drug-could-let-us-eat-anything-without-gaining-weight

‘BRINGING HOME THE BACON’: IDIOMS REFERENCING MEAT MAY BECOME OBSOLETE AS VEGANISM RISES ‘Given that fiction often reflects on real world events and societal issues, it may very well be that down the line powerful meat metaphors are eschewed’ – https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/bringing-home-bacon-vegan-offensive-idom-shareena-hamzah-phrases-animals-a8664796.html

The winner of Statistic of the Year: 90.5 percent of plastic is not recycled https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/12/18/plastic-90-5-percent-not-recycled/2346873002/

KFC is now selling a log that smells like fried chicken https://www.businessinsider.com/kfc-log-smells-like-fried-chicken-2018-12

Anthropologie Is Literally Selling A Bundle Of Twigs For $42, And It Sold Out Nothing says “happy holidays!” like overpriced sticks. https://www.revelist.com/weird/anthropologie-twigs/14109

THE HEART OF WHITENESS ON SPIRITUAL TOURISM AND THE COLONIZATION OF AYAHUASCA https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/heart-of-whiteness-spiritual-tourism-colonization-ayahuasca

From Social Experiment To Reality: Bottled ‘Fresh Air’ Now Being Sold Online In India https://thelogicalindian.com/awareness/bottled-fresh-air/

“Our heritage jars contain pure, clean and fresh AETHAER, collected from a range of pristine locations from around the UK. Each jar is part of a limited edition set of enviro-political artworks, and while the contents can be inhaled, our jars of AETHAER are often sought as a luxurious gift for others, or are bought to be admired and function as a thought provoking display in your own office or home.” http://www.aethaer.com/aethaerjars

Incels hail Toronto van driver who killed 10 as a new Elliot Rodger, talk of future acid attacks and mass rapes [UPDATED] http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2018/04/24/incels-hail-toronto-van-driver-who-killed-10-as-a-new-elliot-rodger-talk-of-future-acid-attacks-and-mass-rapes/

‘Beta Males’ Want To Kill Women Because They Can’t Get Laid https://bust.com/feminism/15551-mo-beta-blues.html

The Millennial Who Wouldn’t Move Out of His Parents’ House Is Tragic, Actually – His story is an embarrassing cry for help.  unemployed 30-year-old man named Michael Rotondo, was sued by his parents after they made many unsuccessful attempts to kick him out of their home in upstate New York. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/3k4kaw/the-millennial-who-wouldnt-move-out-of-his-parents-house-is-tragic-actually

 

Deforestation:

China is Turning the Rainforest into Cheap Furniture for the U.S. https://returntonow.net/2018/10/29/china-is-turning-the-rainforest-into-cheap-furniture-for-the-u-s/

Brazil records worst annual deforestation for a decade Nearly 8,000sq kms lost in the year to July amid alarm new president Jair Bolsonaro will make situation worse https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/24/brazil-records-worst-annual-deforestation-for-a-decade

Rivers in the Sky: How Deforestation Is Affecting Global Water Cycles A growing body of evidence indicates that the continuing destruction of tropical forests is disrupting the movement of water in the atmosphere, causing major shifts in precipitation that could lead to drought in key agricultural areas in China, India, and the U.S. Midwest. https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-deforestation-affecting-global-water-cycles-climate-change

The Amazon is approaching a point of no return – but it’s not too late https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/the-amazon-might-be-past-the-point-of-being-saved

Ecuador To Sell A Third Of Its Amazon Rainforest To Chinese Oil Companies Indigenous groups claim they have not consented to oil projects, as politicians visit Beijing to publicise bidding process www.whitewolfpack.com/2013/04/ecuador-to-sell-third-of-its-amazon.html

 

Death & Dying:

Why Death Does Not Exist – Never Mourn Again | Neale Donald Walsch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9NDLWC_CZ0&app=desktop

Kent and Canterbury Hospital introduces ‘compassion signs’ for dying patients http://www.kentonline.co.uk/canterbury/news/compassion-signs-to-be-placed-160252/

High-Tech Suicide Machine Makes Death a Painless, Peaceful, Optimal Way to Go – The Sarco is a state-of-the-art death machine. https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/high-tech-suicide-machine-makes-death-painless-peaceful-optimal-way-go

The App That Reminds You You’re Going to Die – It helped me find inner peace. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/when-death-pings/546587/

How to Outsmart Your Gross Body and Live Forever https://lifehacker.com/how-to-outsmart-your-gross-body-and-live-forever-1820751558

Could we soon REVERSE death? US company to start trials ‘reawakening the dead’ in Latin America ‘in a few months’ – and this is how they’ll do it http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4573914/US-firm-try-reawakening-dead-Latin-America.html

A Doctor Built a Machine That Helps People Die “After a minute and a half, you feel disoriented. In five minutes, you’re gone.” https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/article/434yaj/a-doctor-built-a-machine-that-helps-people-die

Scientists get the green light to resurrect the dead with stem cells http://themindunleashed.com/2017/03/scientists-get-green-light-resurrect-dead-stem-cells.html

Kurzweil Accelerates Immortality Pledge From 2045 To 2029 https://www.technocracy.news/index.php/2016/04/21/kurzweil-accelerates-immortality-pledge-2045-2029/

‘Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun.’ The road to immortality https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/mar/25/animal-life-is-over-machine-life-has-begun-road-to-immortality

600 Miles in a Coffin-Shaped Bus, Campaigning Against Death Itself https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/magazine/600-miles-in-a-coffin-shaped-bus-campaigning-against-death-itself.html

 

Dimming the Sun:

Scientists weigh up stratospheric sunlight barrier to curb warming https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-geoengineering-idUSKCN1NS005

Harvard Scientists to Release Sun-Dimming Sky Chemical in 2019 But just a tiny bit, to see what happens. https://futurism.com/sun-dimming-sky-chemical-geoengineering/

First sun-dimming experiment will test a way to cool Earth Researchers plan to spray sunlight-reflecting particles into the stratosphere, an approach that could ultimately be used to quickly lower the planet’s temperature. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07533-4

Bill Gates, Harvard, To Begin Blocking Sun In Spring Of 2019 https://prepforthat.com/harvard-scientists-block-suns-rays/

First ever sun-dimming experiment will mimic volcanic eruption in attempt to reverse global warming ‘If solar geoengineering is as good as what is shown in these models, it would be crazy not to take it seriously’ – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/sun-dimming-solar-geoengineering-volcano-eruption-global-warming-climate-change-harvard-a8667141.html

Developing nations to study ways to dim sunshine, slow warming – https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1HB007?__twitter_impression=true

 

Disease:

One of the world’s largest banks has issued an alarming warning about antibiotic resistance https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/10/one-of-the-worlds-largest-banks-has-issued-an-alarming-warning-about-antibiotic-resistance-with-big-consequences-for-humanity

An all new drug-resistant pneumonia has been discovered in China and it’s deadly. https://www.facebook.com/namelesstv/videos/1794821720810813/

DEATH IS COMING Plague warning in NINE countries – including Brit holiday hotspots – as fears grow that BLACK DEATH could spread on flights from Madagascar. The deadly plague outbreak has struck Madagascar’s major cities sparking fears it has yet to ‘peak’ and could spread into the surrounding region https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4765804/plague-black-death-spread-madagascar-warning-nine-british/

 

Elders:

Dutch man, 69, starts legal fight to identify as 20 years younger Motivational speaker Emile Ratelband compares bid to alter age to gender change https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/08/dutch-man-69-starts-legal-fight-to-identify-as-20-years-younger

 

Extinction & The Road to It:

So many animals will go extinct in the next 50 years that it will take Earth at least 3 million years to recover, a study has found https://www.businessinsider.com/animals-going-extinct-recovery-3-million-years-2018-10
LOGGERS ACCIDENTALLY CUT DOWN WORLD’S OLDEST TREE IN AMAZON FOREST https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/loggers-accidentally-cut-down-worlds-oldest-tree-in-amazon/
China Just Legalized Rhino Horn And Tiger Bone For Medical Use, Reversing 25-Year Ban The Chinese government has “signed a death warrant for imperiled rhinos and tigers in the wild,” environmentalists warned. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/china-rhino-horn-tiger-bone_us_5bd81babe4b07427610ab6eb
Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds The huge loss is a tragedy in itself but also threatens the survival of civilisation, say the world’s leading scientists https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/30/humanity-wiped-out-animals-since-1970-major-report-finds
Humans Are Screwing Up Dolphins’ Abilities To Talk To Each Other Noise from ships and boats are causing dolphins to make their calls less complex, according to a new study. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dolphin-communication-ships-study_us_5bd46a66e4b0d38b5883f2d1

Heartache in the San Juan Islands: Locals grieve as resident orcas face extinction https://www.oregonlive.com/expo/life-and-culture/erry-2018/09/86bb6304791189/heartache-in-the-san-juan-isla.html

Mass die-off of clams fouls Revere Beach https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/09/19/mass-die-off-clams-fouls-revere-beach/advDmCbwZjT8uUBbe1SBHM/story.html

Deformed Fish, Rabbits With Two Genitals: Canada’s Largest National Park Is Falling Apart A federal study found that out of 17 environmental indicators at Wood Buffalo National Park—the second-largest national park in the world—15 are declining. https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/zmknza/wood-buffalo-natural-park-environment-decline-canada-unesco
Timber looting continues in Mozambique  trafficking links by Oxpeckers Reporters Despite a ban on the export of raw timber in Mozambique, containers filled with hardwood logs are piling up in northern harbours for export to China. Estacio Valoi investigates https://oxpeckers.org/2017/01/timber-looting-continues-in-mozambique/
Humanity Has Killed 83% of All Wild Mammals and Half of All Plants: Study Of all the birds left in the world, 70% are poultry chickens and other farmed birds. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/humans-destroyed-83-of-wildlife-report/
Tropical Forests Suffered Near-Record Tree Losses in 2017 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/climate/tropical-trees-deforestation.html
Two Of The Most Biodiverse Wildlife Parks On Earth Are Now Open To Oil Drilling https://www.iflscience.com/environment/two-of-the-most-biodiverse-wildlife-parks-on-earth-are-now-open-to-oil-drilling/
Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/wood-buffalo-national-park-deteriorating-study-1.4747721
Trump Moves to Open 1.6 Million Acres of California Public Lands to Fracking https://www.ecowatch.com/fracking-california-public-lands-2594203156.html?xrs=RebelMouse_fb&ts=1534251829
One of the largest banks issued an alarming warning that Earth is running out of the resources to sustain life https://www.businessinsider.com/hsbc-warns-earth-is-running-out-of-resources-for-life-2018-8
What’s killing whales off B.C.-Alaska coast? Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn Alarm raised over large die-off along the British Columbia-Alaska coast https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/what-s-killing-whales-off-b-c-alaska-coast-1.3197866

Extinction Looms For Northern White Rhino As Last Male Nears Death – Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, may not survive much longer, and there’s talk of euthanasia. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/sudan-last-male-northern-white-rhino-sick_us_5a9cf173e4b089ec353c3a82

Animals in radiation zones are not doing well https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/03/11/not-thriving-but-failing/

The Eastern Puma Has Officially Been Pronounced Extinct! https://www.journalpost.com/news/tragic-eastern-puma-officially-pronounced-extinct/?utm_source=pages&utm_medium=Influence&utm_campaign=HPD

Northern white rhino: Last male Sudan dies in Kenya https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-africa-43468066

‘Catastrophe’ as France’s bird population collapses due to pesticides – Dozens of species have seen their numbers decline, in some cases by
two-thirds, because insects they feed on have disappeared https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/21/catastrophe-as-frances-bird-population-collapses-due-to-pesticides

Britain has lost half its wildlife. Now’s the time to shout about it https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/26/wildlife-modern-farming-insects-birds?

Dire News For Endangered Right Whales: Not A Single Newborn Spotted This Year – “Right now, the sky is falling,” warns a National Marine Fisheries Service scientist. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/no-calves-endangered-right-whales_us_5ab99fafe4b0decad04d34c7

A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It’s a catastrophe https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/21/insects-giant-ecosystem-collapsing-human-activity-catastrophe

Cougars Officially Declared Extinct in Eastern U.S., Removed from Endangered Species List
http://e360.yale.edu/digest/cougars-officially-declared-extinct-in-eastern-u-s-removed-from-endangered-species-list

Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF – Species across land, rivers and seas decimated as humans kill for food
in unsustainable numbers and destroy habitats https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/29/earth-lost-50-wildlife-in-40-years-wwf

Toward Extinction – The UNDP recently announced that it would no longer fund a critical Asiatic cheetah conservation program, prompting fears for the subspecies’ future. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/asiatic-cheetah-brink-extinction_us_5a37c53fe4b040881bec5f2d

A third of birds in North America threatened with extinction – State of North America’s Birds report finds ocean, tropical birds most threatened http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/technology/state-of-north-americas-birds-mckenna-1.3587716

‘All of our team was in tears’: Video shows polar bear starving in the North http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-friday-edition-1.4439608/all-of-our-team-was-in-tears-video-shows-polar-bear-starving-in-the-north-1.4439616

Here are the animals that went extinct in 2017 http://mashable.com/2017/12/27/animals-that-went-extinct-in-2017/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link#SqXVO7722Pqi

Sixth mass extinction? Two-thirds of wildlife may be gone by 2020: WWF http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/26/world/wild-animals-disappear-report-wwf/index.html

Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers – Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across
Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-insect-numbers?CMP=share_btn_fb

Experts: Florida Monarch Butterfly Population Drops by 80 Percent https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2018/11/08/experts–florida-monarch-butterfly-population-drops-by-80-percent

Ireland’s native woodlands are quietly disappearing Under 11% of country’s land is forested as State plants Sitka spruce at expense of indigenous trees https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/ireland-s-native-woodlands-are-quietly-disappearing-1.3529317

‘The level of urgency is high’: Ottawa still hasn’t acted on endangered southern mountain caribou https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-the-level-of-urgency-is-high-ottawa-still-hasnt-acted-on/

Jaguars killed for fangs to supply growing Chinese medicine trade Demand from Chinese workers raises demand for skin and body parts of endangered species https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/04/jaguars-killed-for–fangs-chinese-medicine-trade

Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/03/stop-biodiversity-loss-or-we-could-face-our-own-extinction-warns-un

Across Canada, caribou are on course for extinction, a prominent expert warns. What happens after that? At a conference in Ottawa this week, Justina Ray will lay out grim predictions for animals First Nations have depended on for generations https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/technology/science/article-across-canada-caribou-are-on-the-edge-of-extinction-a-prominent/

‘Test tube trees’: An insurance policy against extinction? https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46065156

The Pando aspen clone or ‘trembling giant’, the world’s largest organism, is collapsing https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-10-18/pando-aspen-clone-utah-collapse/10383562

Humans just 0.01% of all life but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals – study Groundbreaking assessment of all life on Earth reveals humanity’s surprisingly tiny part in it as well as our disproportionate impact https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study

Steller’s sea cow: the first historical extinction of a marine mammal at human hands www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/stellers-sea-cow-first-historical-extinction-of-marine-mammal-at-human-hands.html

Another tipping point breached: Salmon have disappeared in Scotland: Not a single salmon caught during the entire season. https://www.thebigwobble.org/2018/11/another-tipping-point-breached-salmon.html

‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/10/15/hyperalarming-study-shows-massive-insect-loss/

‘We have left it too late’: scientists say some B.C. endangered species can’t be saved B.C.’s scattershot approach to helping at-risk species isn’t working, say scientists who propose a new but controversial way of prioritizing conservation that comes face to face with the grim realities and ethical dilemmas of making a business case for extinction prevention https://thenarwhal.ca/we-have-left-it-too-late-scientists-say-some-b-c-endangered-species-cant-be-saved/

Butterfly sanctuary expected to be plowed over for Trump’s border wall https://www.cbsnews.com/news/butterfly-sanctuary-in-texas-expected-to-be-plowed-over-for-trumps-border-wall/

Swift parrot habitat vital for survival of species could be destroyed by dam Environment minister will rule if Tasmanian forest that is home to the critically endangered parrot can be bulldozed https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/10/swift-parrot-habitat-threat-dam-fish-farm-golf-course

The University Of Aberdeen has issued the latest depressing news of a catastrophic die-off: 70% decline of world population for seabirds since 1970 https://www.thebigwobble.org/2018/12/the-university-of-aberdeen-has-issued.html

Year Zero: The Year When Wild Animals Are Gone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OYE8_TsteA

Another giant has left us: the Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Sabah https://www.lifegate.com/people/news/sumatran-rhino-is-extinct-in-the-wild-in-sabah

WILD BEES ARE DYING AND ECOSYSTEM COLLAPSE WILL FOLLOW—BUT NOBODY’S TAKING NOTICE https://www.newsweek.com/wild-bees-are-dying-and-ecosystem-collapse-will-follow-nobodys-taking-notice-1232793

‘It’s a sad reality’: a troubling trend sees a 97% decline in monarch butterflies https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/07/its-a-sad-reality-a-troubling-trend-sees-a-97-decline-in-monarch-butterflies

 

Fertility:

Heat waves from climate change may zap male fertility for many species – Male flour beetles exposed to heat waves in the lab had far fewer, less fertile offspring https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/heat-climate-fertility-1.4903481

Sperm count drop ‘could make humans extinct’ http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40719743?SThisFB

Sperm Count Zero – A strange thing has happened to men over the past few decades: We’ve become increasingly infertile, so much so that within a generation we may lose the ability to reproduce entirely. What’s causing this mysterious drop in sperm counts—and is there any way to reverse it before it’s too late? https://www.gq.com/story/sperm-count-zero

 

Food, Farming & Soil:

Supreme Court settles food fight, leaves ban on front-yard veggie gardens intact http://amp.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article199431784.html

Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers? – The suicide rate for farmers is more than double that of veterans. Former farmer Debbie Weingarten gives an insider’s perspective on farm life –and how to help https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/06/why-are-americas-farmers-killing-themselves-in-record-numbers

‘Great American Desert’ threatens to swallow eight US states as massive aquifer dries up https://inhabitat.com/great-american-desert-threatens-to-swallow-eight-us-states-as-massive-aquifer-dries-up/

Lab-Grown Chicken Nuggets Made From Feathers to Hit Shelves By End of the Year https://althealthworks.com/17516/lab-grown-chicken-nuggets-made-from-feathers-to-go-on-sale-by-years-end/

World’s First Cell-Grown Steak Doesn’t Cause Harm to Animals https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/worlds-first-cell-grown-steak-doesnt-cause-harm-to-animals/

Aging farmers with no succession plans put future of Canadian family farms at risk – 92 per cent of Canadian farms have no transition plan ready, Stats Can says
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/family-farm-aging-farmers-canada-1.4207609

A Team of Scientists Just Made Food From Electricity — and it Could be the Solution to World Hunger https://futurism.com/a-team-of-scientists-just-made-food-from-electricity-and-it-could-be-the-solution-to-world-hunger/

UK is 30-40 years away from ‘eradication of soil fertility’, warns Gove – Farmers must be incentivised to tackle decline in biodiversity, says environment secretary at launch of parliamentary soil body https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/24/uk-30-40-years-away-eradication-soil-fertility-warns-michael-gove

The great nutrient collapse – The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention. https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511

 

Med Tech:

Warning: The FDA’s Approval of Genome Therapy Is Just the Beginning http://theantimedia.org/genome-therapy/

Scientists Grow Full-Sized, Beating Human Hearts From Stem Cells It’s the closest we’ve come to growing transplantable hearts in the lab https://www.popsci.com/scientists-grow-transplantable-hearts-with-stem-cells

Breaking: Scientists Create An Artificial Womb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxn6msihFjc

3-D printed ovaries produce healthy offspring https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2017/may/3-d-printed-ovaries-offspring/

 

Oceans:

Sea creatures in deepest parts of ocean found to have plastic fibres in their stomachs for first time – Shocking results show there is nowhere untouched by scale of human waste
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/sea-creatures-manmade-fibres-sea-pollution-deep-ocean-scientists-mariana-trench-newcastle-university-a8058106.htm

Shocking photo shows Caribbean Sea being ‘choked to death by human waste’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/26/shocking-photo-shows-caribbean-sea-choked-death-human-waste/

Ocean acidification is deadly threat to marine life, finds eight-year study – Plastic pollution, overfishing, global warming and increased acidification from burning fossil fuels means oceans are increasingly hostile to marine life https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/23/ocean-acidification-deadly-threat-to-marine-life-finds-eight-year-study

Japan plans to flush Fukushima water ‘containing radioactive material above permitted levels’ into the ocean https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10/16/japan-plans-flush-fukushima-water-containing-radioactive-material/

Earth is Eating Its Oceans Way Faster Than Originally Thought, Study Finds https://weather.com/news/news/2018-11-19-earth-eating-oceans-mariana-trench

Ocean circulation in North Atlantic is at its weakest for 1,500 years – and at levels that previously triggered a mini Ice Age, study warns Study shows the levels are at their lowest for 1,500 years Currents have a ‘profound effect’ on both North American and European climate Researcher found a similar weak signal during a period called the Little Ice Age, a cold spell observed between about 1600 and 1850 AD https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6430691/Ocean-circulation-North-Atlantic-weakest-1-500-years-trigger-Ice-Age.html

Ocean oxygen levels are declining, and it could be devastating https://www.earth.com/news/ocean-oxygen-levels-declining/

Greenland Melting Is ‘Off the Charts’ https://www.ecowatch.com/greenland-melting-overdrive-2622570930.html

Caspian Seal on verge of extinction Gorgan, Dec 16, IRNA – The Caspian seal as the only Caspian aquatic mammal due to over-hunting, being trapped in fishermen’s net, increasing sea pollution and industrial waste is facing extinction, and there is little time to permanently wipe out. www.irna.ir/en/News/83136580

East Antarctica glacial stronghold melting as seas warm Nasa detects ice retreat probably linked to ocean changes in region once thought stable https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/11/east-antarctica-glacial-stronghold-melting-amid-climate-change

Why are blue whales changing the frequency of their songs? Researchers suspect it could be in reaction to melting sea ice. https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/why-are-blue-whales-suddenly-changing-frequency-their-songs

Almost all of the oldest, thickest ice in the Arctic Ocean is gone due to climate change https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/12/11/arctic-warming-soars-into-uncharted-territory/2276896002/

Melting Arctic ice is now pouring 14,000 tons of water per second into the ocean, scientists find A new survey finds that the region has contributed almost an inch to rising seas since 1971. https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/12/21/melting-arctic-ice-is-now-pouring-tons-water-per-second-into-ocean-scientists-find/

The Ocean Is Suffocating:Dead Zone Bigger Than Scotland Identified in Gulf of Oman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvIKG2FTPLA

Shocking timelapse of the shrinking Aral Sea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt4HbRqeve8

Building blocks of ocean food web in rapid decline as plankton productivity plunges – Senior DFO scientist says the cause of the collapse is unknown https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/ocean-phytoplankton-zooplankton-food-web-1.4927884

Half of dead baby turtles found by Australian scientists have stomachs full of plastic https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/turtles-plastic-pollution-deaths-australia-microplastic-waste-a8536041.html

Dead sperm whale in Indonesia had 115 plastic cups, 2 flip-flops in its stomach https://globalnews.ca/news/4680168/dead-sperm-whale-indonesia-plastic-stomach/

Oceans suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950, scientists warn – Areas starved of oxygen in open ocean and by coasts have soared in recent decades, risking dire consequences for marine life and humanity https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/04/oceans-suffocating-dead-zones-oxygen-starved

Coral Scientists Eye ‘Radical Intervention’ To Save The World’s Reefs – “The dire situation is here now,” said the coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/coral-reefs-intervention-noaa_us_5a7df39fe4b0c6726e133b4f

NASA releases time-lapse of the disappearing Arctic polar ice cap http://fox2now.com/2018/02/26/nasa-releases-time-lapse-of-the-disappearing-arctic-polar-ice-cap/

Phytoplankton Population Drops 40 Percent Since 1950 – Researchers find trouble among phytoplankton, the base of the food chain, which has implications for the marine food web and the world’s carbon cycle https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/phytoplankton-population/

Troubled waters: Nuclear radiation found in B.C. may pose health concerns http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Toxic+waters+Nuclear+radiation+found+pose+health+concerns/9606269/story.html

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Now Twice the Size of Texas and It’s Rapidly Getting Worse https://weather.com/news/news/2018-03-23-great-pacific-garbage-patch-twice-size-of-texas

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/climate/trump-offshore-drilling.html

The Water Wars of Arizona Attracted by lax regulations, industrial agriculture has descended on a remote valley, depleting its aquifer — leaving many residents with no water at all. – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/magazine/the-water-wars-of-arizona.html
The Dying of the Dead Sea The ancient salt sea is the site of a looming environmental catastrophe Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-dying-of-the-dead-sea-70079351/
New Delhi to run out of groundwater in two years as India faces ‘day zero’ crises https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/19/new-delhi-run-groundwater-two-years-india-faces-day-zero-crises/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_fb
The Water Crises Aren’t Coming—They’re Here. For eons, the earth has had the same amount of water—no more, no less. What the ancient Romans used for crops and Nefertiti drank? It’s the same stuff we bathe with. Yet with more than seven billion people on the planet, experts now worry we’re running out of usable water. The symptoms are here: multiyear droughts, large-scale crop failures, a major city—Cape Town—on the verge of going dry, increasing outbreaks of violence, fears of full-scale water wars. The big question: How do we keep the H20 flowing? https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a22627850/global-water-crisis/
Why Our Oceans Will Have More Plastic Than Fish By 2050 – We have been asleep at the wheel for generations, using single-use plastics at a phenomenal scale.

 

Pollution:

Salmon farming in crisis: ‘We are seeing a chemical arms race in the seas’ – Rare only 40 years ago, farmed salmon is now taken for granted in our kitchens. But the growth of the industry has come at great cost https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/01/is-farming-salmon-bad-for-the-environment

Mussels off the coast of Seattle test positive for opioids https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/mussels-test-positive-for-opioids-seattle-puget-sound/?__twitter_impression=true

Humans Have Created Enough Plastic To Cover The Eight Largest Country In The World https://www.facebook.com/georgetakeipresents/videos/177779079503892/?hc_ref=ARSyZfJCiY8_PQV50XOz7a3IA4p90TFey296YgE3sPi3ynLpfBdZ8DIKAoQahIL_1hA

Oilsands ponds full of 340 billion gallons of toxic sludge spur fears of environmental catastrophe – Alberta’s tailings ponds cover about 97 square miles and hold enough waste to fill more than half a million Olympic-size swimming pool http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/340-billion-gallons-of-sludge-spur-environmental-fears-in-canada

Massive Oil Fields in Texas Are Heaving, Sinking, And Opening Up Like Mouths – 4,000 square miles of geohazard. It began with sinkholes. Two of them, gaping mouths to nowhere opening up as if to swallow the town of Wink, Texas. As they expanded, there were fears they might collide, morphing into one giant void. https://www.sciencealert.com/massive-oil-fields-in-texas-are-heaving-sinking-and-opening-up-like-mouths-wink-sinkholes-geohazard

Air Pollution Is Killing Millions Around The Globe Each Year – It’snot listed on death certificates, but it’s still considered “one of the great killers of our age.” http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/air-pollution-is-killing-millions-around-the-globe-each-year_us_5a1ed396e4b017a311eb9c5f

Plastic Pollution Is ‘Low Priority’ for Shoppers, Soft Drink Execs Tell Policy Officials https://www.ecowatch.com/plastic-pollution-problem-2518936575.html

What would it cost to clean up Alberta’s oilpatch? $260 billion, a top official warns https://www.thestar.com/news/investigations/2018/11/01/what-would-it-cost-to-clean-up-albertas-oilpatch-260-billion-a-top-official-warns.html

EPA Plans to Allow Unlimited Dumping of Fracking Wastewater in the Gulf of Mexico www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/epa-plans-allow-unlimited-dumping-fracking-wastewater-gulf-mexico

Plastic waste has reached the most remote parts of Antarctica https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/plastic-waste-in-antarctica-reveals-scale-of-global-pollution-greenpeace

Humans Are Pooping Plastic, And No One’s Certain How Bad That Is There’s a frightening lack of research about plastic’s effects on human health. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/plastics-and-human-health_us_5c097d7de4b0b6cdaf5d3263

Alberta Officials Are Signalling They Have No Idea How To Clean Up Toxic Oilsands Tailings Ponds https://unpublishedottawa.com/letter/215338/alberta-officials-are-signalling-they-have-no-idea-how-clean-toxic-oilsands-tailings

Scientists find hundreds of new toxins in blood of Canadian polar bears www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2018/12/07/polar-bears-canada-science-toxins-environment-chemicals-study-university-stockholm-inuit/

100% of Sea Turtles in Global Study Found With Plastics in Their Bellies https://www.ecowatch.com/sea-turtles-plastics-oceans-study-2622572557.html

 

Radicalization & Extremism:

Children of Ted Two decades after his last deadly act of ecoterrorism, the Unabomber has become an unlikely prophet to a new generation of acolytes. nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/the-unabomber-ted-kaczynski-new-generation-of-acolytes.html

Polish president and PM set to join fascist march in Warsaw https://freedomnews.org.uk/polish-president-and-pm-set-to-join-fascist-march-in-warsaw/

White Supremacists Recruiting On College Campuses Has Hit ‘Unprecedented’ Levels https://www.good.is/articles/surge-in-white-supremacist-recruiting

Pagan-based white supremacy sect buys property in Tennessee https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/02/13/pagan-based-white-supremacy-sect-buys-property-tennessee#.WpNAnAy0ol4.facebook

 

Robots & Artificial Intelligence:

Robotic bees could pollinate plants in case of insect apocalypse Dutch scientists say they can create swarms of bee-like drones to take over if the insects die out https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/09/robotic-bees-could-pollinate-plants-in-case-of-insect-apocalypse
How artificial intelligence is shaking up the job market https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/artificial-intelligence-shaking-up-job-market
World’s first operational drone delivery service launched in Iceland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nriH8wLizBc
Life of Cyborgs: Researching human enhancement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbO6ck8uSGo
Just 60 robots run this Alibaba warehouse in China – World Economic Forum https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBl4Y55V2Z4
Weed-killing robots – Mashable https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw4p31gtX60
Researchers at MIT create an origami robot that can self-fold https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVYz7g-qLjs
Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro survives attack from ‘drone like devices’ armed with explosives Standing next to his wife, South American leader looked startled before broadcast transmission was cut https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/venezuela-president-nicolas-maduro-drone-attack-speech-caracas-a8477811.html
As Japan’s Workforce Shrinks, Companies Are Using Robots To Fill The Void Companies in Japan are looking to robots to boost the country’s shrinking workforce as its population continues to age. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/7072-tnw-japan-ai_us_5b6c56bbe4b02ecb86092724
New Russian Video Shows A “Doomsday Machine” Able To Trigger 300-Foot Tsunamis – https://www.iflscience.com/technology/new-russian-video-shows-a-doomsday-machine-able-to-trigger-300foot-tsunamis/
Future Human – Three-person babies. Extreme biohacking. Outposts on Mars. Cheating death. The changing nature of life as we know it. The future portends to be amazing (and terrifying), and it’s right around the corner. The July issue of Medium’s monthly magazine explores the stunning scientific, technological, social and medical advances that are changing where and how we live. https://medium.com/s/futurehuman
Reversed Aging, Pig Organs, and the Future of Humankind Predictions from the most influential geneticist of our time https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/reversed-aging-pig-organs-and-the-future-of-humankind-50f1cdb1e014

AI reconstructs whatever you see just by reading a brain scan https://www.newscientist.com/article/2162862-ai-reconstructs-whatever-you-see-just-by-reading-a-brain-scan/

Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens – The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents http://www.wired.co.uk/article/chinese-government-social-credit-score-privacy-invasion

Goodyear unveils a living moss tire that cleans the air as you drive
https://inhabitat.com/goodyear-unveils-a-living-moss-tire-that-cleans-the-air-as-you-drive/

A Giant US Retail Corporation Just Filed a Patent For Autonomous Robot Bees https://www.sciencealert.com/walmart-has-filed-a-patent-for-robot-bees-pollination-drones

Google’s Artificial Intelligence Built Its Own AI That Outperforms Any Made by Humans http://theantimedia.org/google-artificial-intelligence-built-ai/

New Religion Forming in California to Worship Man-Made ‘AI Messiah’ https://www.westernjournal.org/new-religion-forming-california-worship-man-made-ai-messiah/

The rise of the useless class – Historian Yuval Noah Harari offers a bracing prediction: just as mass industrialization created the working class, the AI revolution will create a new unworking class. https://ideas.ted.com/the-rise-of-the-useless-class/

Robot becomes first in the world to be given citizenship http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/27/robot-becomes-first-in-the-world-to-be-given-citizenship-7031214/

Do we want robots that comfort the dying? This designer is asking if there are limits to what should and shouldn’t be digitized. https://www.facebook.com/quartznews/videos/1782828751750819/

When her best friend died, she rebuilt him using artificial intelligence
http://www.theverge.com/a/luka-artificial-intelligence-memorial-roman-mazurenko-bot

China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency debuts ‘AI anchor https://mashable.com/article/china-xinhua-news-ai-anchor/

This AI outperformed 20 corporate lawyers at legal work https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/11/this-ai-outperformed-20-corporate-lawyers-at-legal-work

Is China the next AI superpower? https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/10/is-china-the-next-ai-superpower

China blacklists millions of people from booking flights as ‘social credit’ system introduced Officials say aim is to make it ‘difficult to move’ for those deemed ‘untrustworthy’ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-social-credit-system-flight-booking-blacklisted-beijing-points-a8646316.html

We All Hate Folding Clothes, But Is $1,000 Folding Robot Worth It? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUC59IuaeJ0

Watch Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Go for a Run in the Woods https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb9gsIr5RAA

Can Bots Help Us Deal with Grief? How simulations can bring our loved ones back to life https://medium.com/s/when-robots-rule-the-world/can-bots-help-us-deal-with-grief-3de488cae96

A Robot that walks like a human https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHA_b20x8HQ

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are helping human-like robotics to interact with visitors like never before at Portugal’s Web Summit tech event. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIlJaujzof0

Synthetic muscle could lead to lifelike robots https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8Ur1VUoB1k

Pistol wielding robotic soldier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTPIED6jUdU

THE DAY OF THE POST-MORTAL AVATAR HAS ARRIVED—ARE YOU PREPARED? https://www.funeralwise.com/digital-dying/the-day-of-the-post-mortal-avatar-has-arrived-are-you-prepared/

Using the most advanced wearable AI-driven computer vision, the OrCam MyMe device instantly recognizes faces and tells you who is in front of you – in real time – by sending a notification to your phone or smartwatch. You can then tag and organize people in circles such as Work, Friends, and Family. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1070992105/orcam-myme1st-of-its-kind-wearable-ai-2nd-brain-3r

 

Technology:

Forget your car, this is awesome via Jet Capsule Forget your car, this is awesome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjfixK61c8o

‘Human Uber’ Lets You Attend Events Remotely Using Someone Else’s Body https://www.unilad.co.uk/technology/human-uber-lets-you-attend-events-remotely-using-someone-elses-body/

Lifeprint’s ‘Harry Potter’ Photo And Video Printer https://www.facebook.com/NowThisFuture/videos/302272743905940/

Bitcoin emissions alone could push global warming above 2°CBitcoin is a power-hungry cryptocurrency that is increasingly used as an investment and payment system. Here we show that projected Bitcoin usage, should it follow the rate of adoption of other broadly adopted technologies, could alone produce enough CO2 emissions to push warming above 2 °C within less than three decades https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0321-8.epdf

Eccentric inventor creates his own FLYING CAR to avoid traffic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reR2AZavTE0
The Deepfake Videos Used In Porn Could Get More Dangerous (HBO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPDda4DdfVs

Extreme biohacking: the tech guru who spent $250,000 trying to live for ever https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/sep/21/extreme-biohacking-tech-guru-who-spent-250000-trying-to-live-for-ever-serge-faguet

Cell regeneration: Nanochip can regrow organs, heal injuries with just one touch – TomoNews https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nar6vX6OJ4

WE ARE THE GODS NOW – A Look At The Singularity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt-DpzOSAbw

You can fly the Blackfly without a license https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jozITRIYLL4
Breaking: Researchers at CERN break “The Speed of Light” – www.physics-astronomy.org/2018/04/breaking-researchers-at-cern-break.html?m=1
Supersonic Jets For The Ultra Rich Could Be A Climate Change Disaster The revival of the futuristic planes threatens “large environmental consequences,” a new report finds. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/supersonic-jets-climate-change_us_5b4ce244e4b022fdcc5c5355

MIT invents method to shrink objects to nanoscale using basic lab equipment https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/17/us/mit-nanosize-technology-trnd/index.html

Holy moly, Dubai’s police force is testing hoverbikes https://mashable.com/article/dubai-police-hoverbike-training/

Smartphones Are Killing The Planet Faster Than Anyone Expected Researchers are sounding the alarm after an analysis showed that buying a new smartphone consumes as much energy as using an existing phone for an entire decade. https://www.fastcompany.com/90165365/smartphones-are-wrecking-the-planet-faster-than-anyone-expected

These commuters are implanting microchips in their hands to replace train tickets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RkePQTiY1o

Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43030677

Smartphones Are Killing The Planet Faster Than Anyone Expected – Researchers are sounding the alarm after an analysis showed that buying a new smartphone consumes as much energy as using an existing phone for an entire decade. https://www.fastcodesign.com/90165365/smartphones-are-wrecking-the-planet-faster-than-anyone-expected

Electronics-recycling innovator is going to prison for trying to extend computers’ lives http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-microsoft-copyright-20180426-story.html

MIT Researchers Have Developed a ‘System for Dream Control’ https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/ywxjvg/steel-ball-control-dreams-dormio-mit-hypnagogia?utm_campaign=pockethits&utm_medium=email&utm_source=pocket

MIT’s wearable device can ‘hear’ the words you say in your head – Subvocalization signals are detected by electrodes and turned into words using AI. https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/06/mit-wearable-silent-words/

Wearable Smart Rings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFspWv4vQKA

Orlando Police Testing Amazon’s Real-Time Facial Recognition https://www.npr.org/2018/05/22/613115969/orlando-police-testing-amazons-real-time-facial-recognition

Rise of the machines: has technology evolved beyond our control? – Technology is starting to behave in intelligent and unpredictable ways that even its creators don’t understand. As machines increasingly shape global events, how can we regain control? https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jun/15/rise-of-the-machines-has-technology-evolved-beyond-our-control-

WHY ARE AMERICA’S WETLANDS BEING DESTROYED IN THE NAME OF RENEWABLE ENERGY? – Conservation groups report that wetland forests are being drained, logged, burned, shipped across the Atlantic, and converted to monoculture pine plantations to create biomass. https://psmag.com/environment/demand-for-biomass-is-hurting-the-wetlands

 

Tourism:

Overtourism is becoming a major issue for cities across the globe – https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/07/overtourism-a-growing-global-problem
Donkeys Crippled Because Tourists Are ‘Too Fat’ In Santorini https://www.unilad.co.uk/animals/donkeys-crippled-because-tourists-are-too-fat-in-santorini/

 

War:

Putin Says ‘Invulnerable’ New Hypersonic Nuclear Missile Is Ready For Deployment The weapon is impossible to intercept, the Russian leader boasted Wednesday. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hypersonic-nuclear-missile-russia_us_5c248de8e4b08aaf7a8dbc40

Russia has conducted a test launch of its Satan 2 nuclear missile, the country’s defence ministry said. The rocket was fired from the Plestek Cosmodrome spaceport, roughly 500 miles north of Moscow, officials said. The missile, also known as RS-28 Sarmat, travelled 3,600 miles before hitting its target on the Kura test range, an intercontinental ballistic missile impact area in the Russian Far East. The weapon is said to be capable of carrying 12 nuclear warheads and could wipe out a whole country with a single strike. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/satan-2-russia-icbm-missile-destroy-countries-us-nuclear-weapons-intercontinental-ballistic-a8022831.html

Trump: U.S. Will ‘Build Up’ Nuclear Arsenal Until Other Nations ‘Come To Their Senses’ The threat comes on the heels of Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. from a Cold War-era nuclear deal with Russia. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-nuclear-arsenal_us_5bce9013e4b0a8f17eefac22

Wealth:

“The Most Expensive Bottle of Water in the World” beverlywater.com/shop/diamondedition/
Titanic ll set to sail in 2022 along the same ill-fated route, promising ‘an authentic Titanic experience’ https://globalnews.ca/news/4585774/titanic-ll-2022/

Elon Musk Building ‘Science Fiction’ Spaceship To Take People To Mars https://www.unilad.co.uk/technology/elon-musk-building-science-fiction-spaceship-to-take-people-to-mars/

‘We’re moving to higher ground’: America’s era of climate mass migration is here – By the end of this century, sea level rises alone could displace 13m people. Many states will have to grapple with hordes of residents seeking dry ground. But, as one expert says, ‘No state is unaffected by this’ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/24/americas-era-of-climate-mass-migration-is-here

How tech’s richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/23/tech-industry-wealth-futurism-transhumanism-singularity
Survival of the Richest The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/survival-of-the-richest-9ef6cddd0cc1
An Evangelical University Is Helping Create A Movie About How Trump Was Chosen By God The theory that Trump was appointed by God is not that uncommon within evangelical circles. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/liberty-university-helps-create-movie-trump-chosen-by-god_us_5b119d9ce4b02143b7cc6cfb
Update: Apple just became the first $1 trillion company https://mashable.com/2018/08/02/apple-one-trillion-dollar-valuation/

Richest 1% on target to own two-thirds of all wealth by 2030 – World leaders urged to act as anger over inequality reaches a ‘tipping point’ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/07/global-inequality-tipping-point-2030

America’s Richest 2% Made More Money in 2017 than the Cost of the Entire Safety Net – Over the past year, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg have together accumulated over $64 billion in new wealth. And the GOP want to cut food stamps? https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/02/26/americas-richest-2-made-more-money-2017-cost-entire-safety-net

Every Flat in a New South London Development Has Been Sold to Foreign Investors – When the Heygate Estate was demolished there were promises
of social housing and a “community feel”, but it’s all fallen through. https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/qkq4bx/every-flat-in-a-new-south-london-development-has-been-sold-to-foreign-investors

Cartier boss with $7.5bn fortune says prospect of the poor rising up ‘keeps him awake at night’ – Says he is concerned about robots creating ‘structural unemployment’ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/cartier-boss-with-75bn-fortune-says-prospect-poor-rising-up-keeps-him-awake-at-night-10307485.html

Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times http://time.com/money/5112462/billionaires-made-so-much-money-last-year-they-could-end-extreme-poverty-seven-times/

World’s first floating nation is being built by paypals founder to liberate humanity from politicians http://ewao.com/2017/12/07/worlds-first-floating-nation-is-being-built-by-paypals-founder-to-liberate-humanity-from-politicians/

Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand – How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/15/why-silicon-valley-billionaires-are-prepping-for-the-apocalypse-in-new-zealand

Inequality gap widens as 42 people hold same wealth as 3.7bn poorest – Oxfam calls for action on gap as wealthiest people gather at World Economic Forum in Davos https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/jan/22/inequality-gap-widens-as-42-people-hold-same-wealth-as-37bn-poorest?CMP=share_btn_link

In the U.S. 49.7 Million Are Now Poor, and 80% of the Total Population Is Near Poverty http://politicalblindspot.com/us-poor/

Oklahoma schools go on 4-day weeks so teachers can work at Walmart on Mondays to make rent https://boingboing.net/2018/02/07/this-is-not-ok.html

People in rich countries are dying of loneliness https://qz.com/1048847/people-in-rich-countries-are-dying-of-loneliness-an-effect-on-par-with-obesity/?utm_source=qzfbarchive

World’s richest 500 see their wealth increase by $1tn this year – Ultra-rich warned of ‘strike-back’ as global inequality hits a 100-year high and billions of poorer people see their earnings stagnate https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/dec/27/worlds-richest-500-see-increased-their-wealth-by-1tn-this-year

Survival of the Richest The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/survival-of-the-richest-9ef6cddd0cc1

The Shocking Doomsday Maps Of The World And The Billionaire Escape Plans
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2017/06/10/the-shocking-doomsday-maps-of-the-world-and-the-billionaire-escape-plans/#7d37e67e4047

People are spending thousands on crazy Burning Man costumes
http://nypost.com/2017/08/28/people-are-spending-thousands-on-crazy-burning-man-costumes/

Egg Shaped Folding Selfie Drone https://gadgetrocks.com/products/alpha-egg-folding-selfie-drone

World’s witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires’ wealth swells to $6tn – Not since the time of the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts at the turn of the 20th century was so much owned by so few https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/26/worlds-witnessing-a-new-gilded-age-as-billionaires-wealth-swells-to-6tn

Saudi Arabia plans to build $500bn high tech mega city 33 times bigger than NY https://www.rt.com/news/407677-saudi-high-tech-500-billion-mega-city/

 

Well Being:

Ticking Meatmares – Lone star ticks hunt in packs and spread an allergy to beef and pork. Thanks to climate change, they’re spreading. https://grist.org/article/lone-star-ticks-are-a-carnivores-nightmare-and-theyre-just-waking-up/

The world has reached the lowest level of happiness in ten years https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/world-sinks-to-10-year-happiness-low

We’re ignoring Canada’s alcohol problem, chief public health officer warns – Recent numbers show alcohol abuse among women is on the rise  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/alcohol-drinking-women-1.4890268

The Poison We Pick – This nation pioneered modern life. Now epic numbers of Americans are killing themselves with opioids to escape it. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/02/americas-opioid-epidemic.html

 

Vanishing Cultures and Ways of Life:

Yak Herders’ Vanishing Way of Life https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/28/travel/india-yak-herders.html

Indonesia’s Orang Rimba: Forced to renounce their faith http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41981430

 

Youth:

Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges College personnel everywhere are struggling with students’ increased neediness. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/freedom-learn/201509/declining-student-resilience-serious-problem-colleges
S2 EP 20: Privacy Pods – I want one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yCnl2XvQ0c
Raising My Child in a Doomed World Some would say the mistake was having our daughter in the first place. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/opinion/climate-change-parenting.html

6 teenagers are running for governor of Kansas http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/teenagers-running-governor-kansas/story?id=52969318

Over a million children under the age of six are currently on psychiatric drugs in America https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-27-over-a-million-children-under-the-age-of-six-are-currently-on-psychiatric-drugs-in-america.html

With Teen Mental Health Deteriorating Over Five Years, There’s A Likely Culprit – After scouring several large surveys of teens for clues, I found that all of the possibilities traced back to a major change in teens’ lives: the sudden ascendance of the smartphone. http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/with-teen-mental-health-deteriorating-over-five-years-theres-a-likely-culprit/

Botox Use Among Millennials Is Skyrocketing: Selfies, Social Media Could Be To Blame | TODAY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd9gWJWA9_k

Sixth-grader writes will ‘just in case’ there’s a shooting at his school http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/sixth-grader-writes-case-shooting-school-article-1.3870376

 

General Signs:

Would flooding the deserts help stop global warming? The idea is “risky, unproven, even unlikely to work,” according to Y Combinator. But if it did work, it could slow climate change. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/would-flooding-deserts-help-stop-global-warming-n934551

Surgery students ‘losing dexterity to stitch patients’ https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/education-46019429

Plan to hang ‘world’s tallest’ skyscraper from asteroid orbiting Earth unveiled Analemma Tower would be suspended from comet 31,000 miles above planet’s surface https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/worlds-tallest-skyscraper-asteroid-orbiting-earth-plans-a7656811.html

A controversial startup that charges $8,000 to fill your veins with young blood is opening its first clinic https://www.businessinsider.com/young-blood-transfusions-launching-first-clinic-new-york-2018-9

Researchers just found termite mounds the size of the UK in Brazil https://qz.com/1470634/termite-mounds-the-size-of-britain-discovered-in-brazil/

Earth’s Oxygen Levels Are Declining And Scientists Don’t Know Why https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2016/09/27/earths-oxygen-levels-declining-scientists/#721f1e7e4dcf

Our Planet Is So Fucked That Some Women Are Choosing to Not Have Kids – “It sounds dramatic, but I’m just being realistic. The way we live currently simply cannot sustain more people.” https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/59mb5d/our-planet-is-so-fucked-that-some-women-are-choosing-to-not-have-kids

Steve Bannon warns: ‘Anti-patriarchy movement’ is going to be bigger than the tea party – Bannon says the wave of ‘anti-patriarchy’ sentiment will disrupt politics even more than the conservative tea party movement did in 2010. “Time’s up on 10,000 years of recorded history. This is coming. This is real,” Bannon tells Bloomberg. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/09/steve-bannon-womens-anger-is-going-to-be-bigger-than-the-tea-party.html

Mass exodus from ‘Mad Max violence’ in Venezuela: Thousands flee across bridge to Colombia amid desperate hunger and soaring crime following economic crisis http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5374501/Mass-exodus-thousands-Venezuelans-flee-country.html

Douglas Rushkoff: “we’ve disabled the cognitive and collaborative skills needed to address climate change” https://www.robhopkins.net/2018/03/12/douglas-rushkoff-weve-disabled-the-cognitive-and-collaborative-skills-needed-to-address-climate-change/

Richard Branson: Soon Killing Animals for Food Will Be a Thing of the Past https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh1e5l98YSo

The African Continent Is Splitting in Two and It’s Happening Faster Than We Thought http://www.geologyin.com/2018/03/the-african-continent-is-splitting-in.html#w0o94ZHjbyxXdo2b.99

In response to racist violence, more African Americans look to bear arms https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/in-response-to-racist-violence-more-african-americans-look-to-bear-arms

President Who Bragged Of Groping Women Declares Sexual Assault Awareness Month – “Offenders too often evade accountability,” Trump said in his proclamation.
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/donald-trump-sexual-awareness-month_us_5abeaa0ae4b0a47437aaff29

Putin Unveils New ‘Invincible’ Nuclear Weapons To Counter West – Putin has often used militaristic rhetoric to mobilize support and buttress his narrative that Russia is under siege from the West. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/vladimir-putin-new-nuclear-weapons_us_5a9832f7e4b09c872bb238ca

‘We’re doomed’: Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention – The 86-year-old social scientist says accepting the impending end of most life on Earth might be the very thing needed to help us prolong it https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/were-doomed-mayer-hillman-on-the-climate-reality-no-one-else-will-dare-mention

Ex-Nasa Scientist: 30 Years On, World Is Failing ‘Miserably’ To Address Climate Change – James Hansen, who gave a climate warning in 1988 Senate testimony, says real hoax is by leaders claiming to take action. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/world-climate-change_us_5b2a6f5ae4b0f0b9e9a79dac

Mammals Go Nocturnal in Bid to Avoid Humans https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/06/15/science/animals-human-nocturnal-study.html

Paul Ehrlich: ‘Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades’ https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/22/collapse-civilisation-near-certain-decades-population-bomb-paul-ehrlich
The Earth Has Been Hit by 144 Major Earthquakes in the Last Week And No One Is Talking About It https://awarenessact.com/the-earth-has-been-hit-by-144-major-earthquakes-in-the-last-week-and-no-one-is-talking-about-it/

The Four Steps of American Collapse – A User’s Guide to Collapsonomics https://eand.co/collapsonomics-d22dd40c97d9

Winners of the 2018 SYTYCN Contest!

I am thrilled to announce the winners of the 2018 So You Think You Can Niche contest!

Backstory: for a week at the beginning of September I invited people to submit their niche summed up into 140 characters (that’s the length of a Tweet!), and then to rate at least five other people’s niches from 1-10 and offer feedback to one another.

The results were fantastic, you can check them out HERE if you like. We had 63 niche meme entries, 300 Facebook “likes” on those entries, and almost 800 thoughtful, constructive comments.

I am deeply happy and encouraged by the quality of content and interaction. In addition to being fun, the So You Think You Can Niche contest for 2018 has been a wonderful platform for learning and a genuine success, which is extra lovely, because this is the very last time I’m holding this contest!

And the winner is: 

Carrie Hoffman!

Carrie received an overall rating of 9.5/10, and of all the 9.5/10-ratings in this contest, she had the most feedback comments – thus making her our winner and proving that the amount of genuine, thoughtful, rated feedback really did matter!

My sincere congratulations to Carrie – she entered a super clear niche for her work running yoga and adventure retreats around the world for people in addiction recovery.

Carrie takes home the first place prize of a 90-minute coaching session with me ($450 value) + she’ll be featured on my blog in the future + a free hard copy and a digital copy of my book The Niching Nest + a spot in my newly launched Niching Spiral Homestudy Course ($300 value) to give to a friend  – she doesn’t need it ’cause she’s so smart + her own spot in that same course (in case she does want to join the course herself, though this one’s non-transferrable).

— — —

2nd & 3rd place: Nicki Iskander and Natalia Ria

Nicki received a 9.5/10 rating overall and had the second most comments of all the 9.5/10 ratings. Natalia had a 9/10 rating overall and had the most comments  of all the 9/10 ratings. They will each receive a 30-minute coaching session with me ($150 value) + a free hard copy and a digital copy of The Niching Nest + a spot in my newly launched Niching Spiral Homestudy Course ($300 value) which is transferrable to a friend if they’d like to gift it instead of using it themselves.

— — —

The SYTYCN contestants who placed 4th through 10th each win $100 off my newly launched Niching Spiral Homestudy Course – a discount the winner can use or pass onto a friend.

My congratulations to these folks:

4th place: Melinda Eliza Sabo [9/10]

5th place: Judith Koy [9/10]

6th place: Tina DeMarco [9/10]

7th place: Caroline Leon [9/10]

8th place: Shelley Sage Heart [9/10]

9th place: Marieke Bosch Larose [9/10]

10th place: Juliette Valentina [8.5/10]

The tie-breaker for niches with the same rating was, first off, their decimal standing (we rounded up/down to the nearest single decimal for final public ratings), and secondly, the number of comments offered on that niche.

— — —

BEST IMAGE/MEME AWARDS go to people who created an eye catching, easy-to-read meme that really echoed their work or offering. This is a subjective category – I’ve looked at a lot of memes in my time and I chose memes that were striking and memorable to me, that were clear and welcoming and made sense with the niches they are supporting. These folks win $100 off my newly released Niching Spiral Homestudy Course – a discount the winners can use or pass onto a friend.

And the best image/meme winners are: Heidi Andersen, Melinda Cassidy, Heather Evans, Doly Garcia, Jenny Good, Joselito Laudencia, Caroline Leon, and Natalia Ria.

— — —

THE BEST COMMENTS PRIZES go to the people who gave the best, most useful and insightful feedback to many others in the SYTYCN contest. They each get a spot in my newly released Niching Spiral Homestudy course ($300 value) because they’re the kind of people I want in it (this is a non-transferrable prize).

Thanks for the amazing effort and deeply thoughtful feedback folks, my congratulations go to: Rachel Clee, Jenny Good, Nicki Iskander, Randy Jones, David Jurasek, and Frances Oman.

— — —

List of  Final Ratings:

Lastly, you’ll find the  list of the final ratings for everyone who entered the contest below. Congrats and thanks to all these lovely, brave contestants!

Please note: the calculation was made by finding the average score of a niche-meme’s ratings and averaging that total with my (Tad Hargrave’s) rating, and then by counting comments to break ties, and then number of “likes” to break any remaining ties. 

1CarrieHoffman9.5
2NickiIskander9.5
3NataliaRia9
4Melinda ElizaSabo9
5JudithKoy9
6TinaDeMarco9
7CarolineLeon9
8ShelleySage Heart9
9MariekeBosch Larose9
10JulietteValentina8.5
11DanielleGardner8.5
12MeganHyslop8.5
13WilCarlos8.5
14JoselitoLaudencia8.5
15AndrewCain8
16DolyGarcia8
17JennyGood8
18SophieDierickx8
19TerraWatley8
20John PaulMason8
21KimKimbuall8
22NancyJuetten8
23AdiHowarth8
24FaraTucker7.5
25AdamUrbach7.5
26RebeccaFisher-McGinty7.5
27CJShelton7.5
28JaneBinnion7
29LauraStyler7
30StephanieBandosik7
31AnnaleneHart7
32RachelClee7
33LauraQuilligan7
34PatriciaDonovan7
35RandyJones7
36HeatherEvans7
37RowenaCoshan (Mae)7
38LuiseJorgensen6.5
39AnneBryan6.5
40HeidiAndersen6
41ArabellaLondon6
42KatieWalker6
43JenniferHolden6
44LauraTucker6
45JulietteValentina6
46CeliaChapman5.5
47MelindaCassidy5.5
48BarbaraMurphy-Shannon5.5
49AnriW5.5
50BethMoore5.5
51AnriW.5
52JessicaMoore5
53DavidJurasek5
54GwenRose5
55FrancesOman5
56SandieHucal4.5
57Rhonda (Rev. Roni)Lipstein4.5
58SarahGilligan4
59SandieHucal4
60KhuyenBui3.5
61NicoleCasanova3.5
62MelanieMeurehg3.5
63AndrewMacDonald3

Guest Post: How to Teach a Rockin’ Intro Class That Isn’t a Scripted, Sales-y, Cheesy, Waste-of-Time Webinar

By Julie Wolk

Oops, you caught me . . .  I’m a webinar voyeur.

I love watching what other business coaches are doing . . .  both to learn what to do and, of course, what NOT to do (and then write lengthy blog posts about it).

So I saw an ad this morning on Facebook that enticed coaches into creating a consistent flow of clients into their practice (resulting, of course, in a 6-figure coaching business, because well, what would an FB ad be without a 6-figure promise?).

It was actually a decent ad . . .  casually written, not too sales-y, and it named very clearly the challenges that new coaches face when attempting to grow a business.

So I clicked (I mean, I was going to click anyways, cuz I’m a voyeur, but whatever).

There was a nice, simple landing page that told me that I was going to learn a 3-step system to generate 2, 5 or even 10 more clients each month.

Still ok. Clear, if totally unoriginal.

I signed up.

And . . .  It went downhill from there.

When I hopped on the (pre-recorded) webinar, I was immediately talked at for 15 minutes about my problems.

Wait.

Don’t I know my problems already? Didn’t your ad very clearly identify them and didn’t I already click on it and sign up?

If I weren’t just being a webinar voyeur, I would have shut the thing off after 3 minutes of that crap.

(But instead, I suffered through it, because I really wanted to dramatize this blog post).

And then there was the power point – with the exact words he was saying. Super engaging (not).

And of course, the script. And we all know it’s a script, because there are all these other coaches out there selling the “exact webinar script I used to earn 5 million dollars in 5 weeks.”

It honestly makes me want to scream:

“DO YOU TAKE ME FOR AN IDIOT?”

I know, calm down, Julie.

Finally I got approximately 5 minutes on the actual 3-step system to get 2, 5 or even 10 more clients each month, and was then subjected to 20 minutes of, wait for it . . .

The Sales Pitch.

Can we say waste of time?

Ok, so we know what we don’t like.

But here’s the thing.

Intro classes (whether you teach them live, on the phone, or as a webinar) can be an incredibly effective, authentic and FUN way to get new clients and fill your workshops and programs.

But if even the word “webinar” makes you roll your eyes, then keep reading for a different way to do it.

A Natural, Non-salesy Approach to Intro Classes that Relies on Your Wisdom, Not on Gimmicks, Scripts, or Ridiculous Sales Pitches.

You’ve got wisdom to share. Yes?

You’ve got a niche and a great package, retreat or group program. And now you want to sell it to people. To sell it, you need to market it first (I think you already know that).

But people don’t usually just jump in and buy a high-level program, package or retreat when they know nothing about you.

I can tell you from direct experience that if you just post on Facebook about your amazing 6-month coaching package, people won’t buy it. They probably won’t even get on the phone with you for a free consult most of the time.

But if they get an hour or two live with you?

And you share your wisdom, your analysis, your vision, your approach, your method . . .  if you show them the possibility of change and you stir up excitement and answer burning questions and bring your full, passionate self?

Well then . . .  they might sign up for that 6-month coaching engagement (or at least hop on the phone for that free consultation).

An intro class is the perfect low-risk, low-cost, low-commitment marketing strategy to help people get to know, like and trust you and what you do so they feel comfortable buying your higher-value program.

*

When Do I Create An Intro Class?

If you have clarified your niche, established your point of view, and created a package or program, then you are ripe to create a rockin,’ high-value, intro class.

And remember, the point of your intro isn’t to make loads of money, it’s to introduce people to your work so they might eventually purchase your services. They are usually low-cost ($15-$25).

In other words, your intro class is the top of your sales funnel (or client pathway if you prefer). Simply put, here it is:

Low-Cost Intro Class –> Free Private Consultation –> Purchase of Package/Program

Seriously. That’s it. This could be your entire business.

And the best part is, you can teach this same class over and over again to different people (you really don’t need to create a bunch of different classes).

Your business could literally be one two-hour class, free consultations, and a high-value package. That’s ALL YOU NEED. Imagine that.

(I know, you have 20 other things you want to offer. But just consider it . . .  especially if you’re into growing a financially sustainable business in an organic, streamlined way, and not burning out. You can always add more stuff later).

I filled my 1-1 coaching practice in a little over a year teaching intro classes every couple months, plus doing some strategic hub marketing (aka networking).

When you need new clients, instead of just praying those referrals come through, all you do is teach your intro class (and I’m all about praying, but peeps, you gotta take action too).

*

So What Do I Teach In Said Intro Class?

If you want in-depth instructions on how to design the entire intro class based on the cycles of nature (yep, it’s super cool), check out my previous post here. But here, I’ll focus on the content you’re teaching specifically.

First, here are three general tips:

  • Be transparent in your marketing for this class. There is no need to fool people into joining your class so you can sell them something. Heck, you can even tell people beforehand on your sales page, like I do, “In addition to being a content-rich, value-packed class, this is also a great way to get to know me and see if private coaching/my fall course/my cool retreat is right for you.”
  • Let your wisdom sell itself. This is an opportunity for you to provide real value to people and for people to see that you’ve got some street cred. Don’t worry about selling your program. If you design the content of your intro class to naturally lead people to want to explore working more deeply with you, then you don’t need to spend 30 minutes on a sales pitch. Intrigued people will want more.
  • Be real. People want to know YOU. Use an outline and bullet points, not a word-for-word script. Take deep breaths and don’t worry about being perfect.

*

How Do I Structure My Intro Class?

In your intro class, you’re basically going to give people a map or overview of what you do to help them solve the problems they have. You’re going to give them great information and useful tips they could take home and start to implement – but they’re not going to figure out all their issues and solve all their problems at this class (that happens in the in-depth workshop or coaching program you’re selling).

You’re simply going to tell them why things are the way they are and how to make them work better according to your point of view and methodology. You’re going to show them what’s possible.

People worry about giving away too much. Here’s what I think: Give it away.

If your students are super smart and precocious, they’ll try to do it themselves (and could probably make some decent progress if they’re disciplined, because after all, you’re going to give them a really good map). Take this as a compliment.

But for most people, they’re going to need some additional help actually implementing. And that’s the point.

If you’re a healer, they’re not going to get healed during this class. If you’re a business coach, they’re not going to start making more money on this call.

They’re going to get a map, and if they dig your map, then they can hire you to help them implement it.

Here’s a format you can use for the main content of your class:

1. Define the Presenting Problem. This is a brief section to acknowledge the problems or challenges the people in your class have and to energetically bring everyone together. It can be just a couple minutes (not like the guy this morning that told me about how awful my life was for 15 minutes). You’re basically saying, “Here’s what I see as the challenge you’re facing. Do y’all vibe with this? Well, OK, glad we’re on the same page here, let’s dive in and figure this out.” One key here is that at this point, you are not analyzing the problem nor telling them what YOU think their real problem is, you’re acknowledging the outward problems or symptoms they are presenting (you’ll get to that analysis later!).

2. Offer the Alternative Possibility. This is another brief couple minutes to clarify that in fact, things can be different, and you’ll be teaching them just how they can be different starting very shortly, yay! This is also known as the “big promise” of your class, or you could also call it an intention. What do you hope people receive by the end of this class? Announce it here so they know where you’re going with all this and can get excited about it (people like to be told what’s gonna happen).

3. Explain Your Point of View on the Situation. Now we get to the meat of it. This section is all about context and credibility. They need to understand where you’re coming from and that you have an important analysis or diagnosis of their situation and challenges and what to do about it. Now you start to tell them what you see as the true cause of their problems.

Your point of view tells people how you see the world, how you see their problems, and how just maybe, they’ve been going about solving them in a way that might not be working so well for them (and this is not to shame and blame them, it’s to help them). Perhaps they’re challenged because society’s set up in a screwy way that doesn’t support it. Or maybe it’s because everyone else in the industry seems to think there’s a simple band-aid approach. Or maybe it’s because they’re getting in their own way. Of course your point of view will be unique.

After you’ve analyzed the problem, it’s a good moment to offer your unique take on the solution, which is different from everyone else’s way of solving the problem. Because if the problem is actually about X (as you stated above), then you’re going to need a different approach to solve it: “Well here’s my approach . . .”

4. Lay Out Your Methodology. This is the heart of your intro class. In this section, you’re going to lay out your map to the solution. This is where you get to share those 3 tips or 5 steps or whatever it is your solution consists of. And I do recommend numbering and naming them, because it’s way easier for people to grasp and remember. In my intro class, I teach the definition of a Natural Business, the 4 Principles of a Natural Business, and the 8 Stages of the Natural Business Cycle in my intro class.

This is likely the longest part of your class. Each of your points may have several sub-points. If you’re doing the class live, you might have people do an exercise, a dyad, or journal. Just make sure your thoughts are organized into an outline in advance. Make a goal for what 3-5 things you most want people to walk away remembering.

5. Weave in Some Stories.  Include a few real-life client stories, examples, or case studies. They should be about people in your target audience specifically. This will help your students relate in a more real way to your work and show them what’s possible. 

After all this, for those who feel a resonance with you, your point of view and methodology, there will be a natural inclination to want to go further and to create this for themselves.

The natural next step is to offer that to them.

*

How to Make an Offer (Not a Sales Pitch)

Offer. Just like it sounds. I’m offering you something. You don’t have to take it. I’m just offering it.

With a pitch, you literally need to catch it or jump out of the way so you don’t get hit.

But you do need to let people know what you have available for them; they won’t magically just get in touch because they think you’re cool (well a couple really eager ones might actually, but don’t bank on this).

If you’ve given over solid information, the offer is simple,  all you need to say is something like this:

If this all sounds resonant/compelling/fun/exciting to you, and you want help actually implementing it and making these kinds of changes in your own life, then I’d love to talk to you about it.

I’m sending around a sign-up sheet now so you can choose a time to talk to me if you’d like.

It’s simply a 30-minute, no-pressure consultation call to see if you’re a good fit for my program/retreat/course.

And, I believe you’ll find the call itself very clarifying/powerful/insightful/inspiring, whether or not we end up working together.

Thanks so much!

That’s not so bad, right? You can do that!

So take a crack at your first intro class. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Teach it to 5 people. Just give it a shot.

Want some help? Get in touch.

JulieWolk_Hollyhock15Julie Wolk helps coaches, consultants, and healers grow niche-rooted, burnout-free, blossoming businesses by modeling them after the way nature works. She’s a firm believer that if we step off the hamster wheel, and tune into nature’s rhythms, we can grow more sustainable lives, businesses and even — gasp! — a better world. A lifelong nature freak, she has over 15 years of experience turning vision into reality, and would love to help you create a simpler, more enjoyable, nature-led life and business. You can find her at www.juliewolkcoaching.com.

Point of View Marketing: Informed Consent

27915570 - a doctor in his office showing an informed consent document and pointing with a pen where the patient must to sign

I just spoke at the annual Natural Health Practitioners of Canada Conference in Edmonton as one of their opening day keynotes about marketing.

After my talk, I moved to the back of the room to organize a few things while the next speaker went up to speak about the ethical issue of ‘consent’ in the world of natural health.

It kept striking me how much this overlapped with the work I’ve been doing on point of view marketing.

Consent means that people are giving permission or agreement to an experience.

Informed consent means they have as full an understanding as they can have about what it is they are consenting to.

Every customer complaint ultimately comes down to a gap in expectations. They expected one thing and got another.

They came in for a massage but got craniosacral instead.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with craniosacral work. It’s that they didn’t sign up for it.

They went for a massage but ended up being touched in places and in ways they did not consent too.

Now, this doesn’t mean the intent of the touch was sexual. But, perhaps it’s a male massage therapist who is working some muscles around the breast the female lying on the table is receiving this as unwanted contact and feels powerless to say anything. She didn’t consent to this.

It would have been important for the massage therapist to discuss this and the kinds of touch and places he might touch her and to explain why. Then, before she was lying down on the bed and in a compromised position, she could have said ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

I’ve known people who got a bill from their contractor and were shocked to see additional expenses added in that they’d never consented to. A good contractor will always say, “Ok. We can do that extra bit and it will cost $4000. Is that okay?” They will always establish consent before moving forward.

There are two kinds of consent: there’s the consent you can give before an experience starts and then there’s the ongoing checking in during the experience to make sure everything is still feeling okay.

While the latter is vital, this post is focused 100% on the former.

I recall a colleague of mine, a naturopath, telling me how she’d had a couple of her clients left appointments part way through very upset because she had gone so hard for the energetic jugular on the issue they’d brought to her.

“Sarah,” I told her. “You’ve got to be gentle with people. You’ve got to let them know that this is your style before they show up.”

She nodded. She kept seeing this. She was realizing that her clients were coming in with no knowledge of her take on things and so were getting blindsided.

“Maybe you could host a monthly live workshop and insist they attend one before booking an appointment with you or maybe record it and ask that they watch it before your first session.” I suggested.

Another colleague of mine, a financial advisor, is incredibly blunt and brash in her workshops. She swears like a trucker. I sent a client of mine who was immensely sensitive to the workshop but without the forewarning. My client was mildly traumatized by the experience. She would never have consented to go if she’d known.

If you were a hardcore, raw-vegan, you likely would be upset to find out the naturopath you’d been recommended to go see was a hardcore paleo. You’d not have consented to go if you knew.

If you were a fundamentalist Christian, you wouldn’t consent to see a pagan healer etc.

These might seem obvious but it happens all the time: surprise.

Surprise is another way of saying, “I didn’t give me consent for this.”

Now, sometimes we are delighted by the surprise and sometimes… we aren’t.

If you do an intro workshop, my belief is that your goal must be to give them the information that they need to give (or not give) their informed consent about the next step in working with you.

How do you do this? You lay out your point of view.

You lay out your philosophy, perspective, take on things.

You tell them the generic process that you use.

You tell them the assumptions and principles upon which you’ve based that process.

You show them the overall map of the elements with which they’ll be contending in dealing with their issue and how that all relates to your core principles and your process.

You make your best case for this approach to the issue.

And then you make them your best offer.

It’s that simple.

I want to emphasize how much of this can and should be handled before you ever meet with them one on one.

A few years ago, I went to see a therapist who was specializing in a particular modality. I was paying about $185 for the hour.

She spent the entire hour going over everything I’m describing here. She told me the ethics of therapy. She gave me a flyer. She did everything but therapy with me. I was growing more and more agitated sitting there and listening to her go on and on.

Finally she picked up on it and asked me what was going on.

“I am paying $185 for something you could have emailed me and asked me to read over before I came here. You can have recorded this all in a video and sent it to me. Why am I paying for this?”

I did not consent to that experience. If she’d told me that this is how we’d be spending the first session I would never have booked a session with her.

Did I want to hear her point of view? Yes.

Did I want it in that format? No.

If you want your new clients to be delighted with your work, then give them the information they need to make the best choice for themselves.

The best marketing lets people know, “This is who I am. This is what I do. This is how I do it.” and then let’s them decide if that’s a fit for them or not.

They need to know your honest, considered take on the risks and benefits before they give you permission to do anything.

This means slowing down the marketing process even when you’re scared it will annoy them or that you might lose the sale.

It gives them the information they need to give you informed consent.

The challenge is this: what is that information?

Most entrepreneurs I work with have never articulated this clearly.

Want help crafting your unique own point of view?

OPTION #1: Join my next POV Lab. It’s a 30-day program for twelve people where you will be guided to dig deep into your own unique perspective and be asked over and over again why you do what you do the way you do it. This includes a lot of handholding and feedback. You can learn more here: marketingforhippies.com/povlab

OPTION #2: Get my Point of View eBook. This is my treatise on the subject and includes an incredibly useful workbook. You can get your copy here: marketingforhippies.com/povbook

OPTION #3: Get my workbook Don’t Market Yourself, Market Your Message. This is a sister piece to my POV eBook. You can get your copy here: marketingforhippies.com/messageebook

Guest Post: How to Raise Your Rates Naturally AND Feel Good About It

By Julie Wolk 

Warning: Long, detailed and very useful blog post ahead.

Do you cringe and shake your head at even the thought of raising your rates? And yet you secretly wish you could do it? But then don’t feel like you can? Or should? And so you give up on it, or keep postponing it ’til later?

You are not alone. So let’s talk about it.

Pricing is a complex subject, and one that we could tackle from many angles, but today I’ll focus on how communicating the true value and results of your work is one of the best ways I know to raise your rates and feel GOOD about it.

But before I dive in, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

There’s a good chance (especially if you’re a woman) that you at least sometimes doubt the value of your work. You may even feel like an imposter:

“Who am I to charge this kind of money?! There are so many people who are better than me at this.

You may find reasons even after you’re already earning good money, for why you’re work still isn’t that valuable:

“Oh, they would have done that on their own, they’re so awesome, it wasn’t me, I just encouraged them a bit.”

I’m calling bull*%#@.

Now let’s be clear . . . I am NOT a fan of that whole “charge what you’re worth” thing. I don’t think we should even joke about putting a dollar amount on our self-worth (ugh, how damaging).

But, we do need to charge people for what our services are worth, and more specifically, we need to charge for the results we provide to our clients.

And I have a feeling you are providing some amazing results. Yes?

Now, if you are just starting out, and you truly don’t have a lot of experience, I am NOT saying to start charging “premium prices” right off the bat. You need to do this with integrity, and charging less when you’re just starting off in order to gain experience and testimonials is A-OK.

But let’s say you’ve been at this for a while, and frankly, the clients you have (even if they’re not as many as you want) LOVE the results they’re getting.

But you’re not charging enough, and you know it. Or people have even told you you’re not charging enough, but you’re still scared to pull the trigger.

Ok, so here’s my advice:

Stop Selling Your Time (and Your Modalities) . . . and Start Selling Results

It’s typical for a coach, consultant or healer to charge by the hour for their specific modality or area of expertise (coaching, massage, leadership training, etc).

But there’s an inherent problem with this: you can only charge so much for an hour of work, and there’s only so many hours in a day.

But even more important than that, how much transformation can you actually create in an hour?

Here’s the thing: Along with their full participation, you’re creating change for your clients through your work. It’s not about how much time they spend with you, it’s about the results that happen through your work together.

I heard somebody say once that she was charging by the “a-ha,” not by the hour. Love that.

Everyone comes to you with some desire to change something, am I right?

You help them change it in the process of working with them. Right? And usually, it happens over the course of some time, not in one session. Right? (Not that you can’t do great stuff in a session, but longer-term challenges usually require longer-term solutions).

So when you can clarify your target audience’s problem and the specific results that they can expect when working with you, potential clients are way more likely to dive in and work with you.

Because they did not come to you for your time, they came to you to help them change something in their life.

But the problem is that you’re probably not communicating all that well about how you’re going to help them make that change, and thus you end up feeling timid about charging a higher rate for your work.

BIG TIP #1: Talk About Results

In your marketing copy and in your sales conversations, speak FIRST about your work in terms of the transformations, results, or benefits that people get from your work. Talk less(or later) about how you do things (all your 10 different modalities or whatever), or how many minutes you do them for, and instead address their problems, and speak to how you help them solve them.

For example, you don’t go to a career coach to be deeply heard and held in a safe spacefor 50 minutes (although that is lovely stuff, and you may let them know about that lateron in your marketing copy), you go there to figure out what you want to do with your life.

And, I don’t go to acupuncture to get needles and moxa for 75 minutes, I go there to heal my shoulder pain – it honestly doesn’t matter to me whether he uses moxa or not (what the heck is moxa anyways?). And frankly, I’d be psyched if it took less than 75 minutes!

So especially if your current marketing copy is oriented around your modalities or HOW you deliver your work (“I offer 60 and 90 minute sessions of coaching or consulting”),when you start to orient around results and transformation (I help you find a new career!), people can finally see what your work is really worth to them . . . they can see the VALUE (finally!). And they will pay for it if it’s what they need.


BIG TIP #2: Package Up Your Work and Take Them on a Journey of Change

Since it’s pretty hard to get the aforementioned results in one session, package up your work into a program specifically designed to help your target audience solve a specific problem they come to you for.

And when I say package, I’m not talking about 10 sessions for the price of 8.

I’m talking about designing a robust offering with a set price that includes:

  • A certain amount of sessions over a fixed amount of time, perhaps including an extended/in-depth introductory session,
  • Your availability in between via email or text,
  • Additional guides, trainings, or resources to help them on their journey,
  • And any number of extras that will help them achieve the result they came to you for.

This type of package costs more than the individual sessions, because it provides better results. You are taking them on a journey of change.

When you package up your work into a program that focuses on getting a particular result for a client, you can raise your prices and feel good about it. Why?

Bottom line, you will get more and better results for your clients.

As you know, real change takes time. Imagine having three or six months to work your magic. You think you would feel more confident about getting results for people? You think you would get more done? Plus, packages support you to offer your best because they allow you to relax into your craft, instead of worrying that each session be a total revolution for your client (so much pressure!).

Not to mention all the other benefits of offering packages including the fact that you have to do less marketing because you need way fewer clients to make a good living.

How To Set Your Initial Fee

Ok, so let’s say you’ve got this shiny new package now (and if you don’t already have one, you can start super simply, just as I outlined above).

And, you may be afraid to put a big price tag on it. I hear you. It’s very important to be able to get the words out of your mouth without choking when you’re talking to a potential client.

It has to feel good in your gut.

So we’ll do a gut check.

But first . . . find the number that equals the cost of the sessions you are offering added together (based on your current rate), plus about 20-25%. So if you usually charge $125/session, and your package is 8 sessions over two months, your minimum charge for the package would be $1200.

Now for the gut check. You can do this as a guided visualization:

Imagine someone handing you a check for the package they are about to begin with you. There’s a number written on that check . . . what is it? Does that number resonate with you? How does it feel as you accept the check? If it feels right, great! But see if you can make the number a little higher and still feel good. Visualize another $100 or $500 added to that number. If it feels uncomfortable, try to notice whether it’s a good edge . . . bold, but right-on, or if it truly feels too high for where you’re currently at in your business journey. Do you need to lower it a bit? Add a little more? Breathe into each number you try until you find the one that feels just right (kind of like Goldilocks). What’s your number?

A Fun and Organic Way to Raise Your Fee

If you know me at all, you know that I am all about an evolutionary, natural approach to business.

We are constantly learning, adapting, growing, changing, and putting something new out there and going ‘round the cycle again. Business (and life) is not linear!

But most of us have gotten stuck at least once because we think that if we decide that something is a particular way, then it’s that way forever.

The reality is that there’s always room for evolution and change. Nothing’s permanent.

You can change your price every single time you offer your package if you want. Really?!

Yes, really. That’s what I did when I first started my business, I swear.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Do another gut check. Dream into the price you ultimately would LOVE to receive for your package, even if it’s a ways off until you believe you can actually charge that much. Let’s call it $1800.
  2. Settle on your first price (using the method above). Let’s call it $1200.
  3. On your next consultation call, offer your new package at $1200 (remember, this is a number that feels good in your gut NOW so it should not get stuck in your throat).
  4. As soon as you get a new client at the initial rate, commit to raising your rate a little bit. Maybe it’s $100 more for the next client. It gets easier after someone says YES, trust me.
  5. Or, depending on how much experience you have, you may also decide to do three (or whatever number) packages at the $1200 rate, and then up your price by $100.
  6. Eventually, you’ll get to $1800, and it will feel awesome.
  7. And of course, you can always offer payment plans.

It’s that simple.

It might take a year to get there, but you’ll slowly get more and more comfortable asking for a higher rate . . .

  • As people say YES to your package,
  • As you work with more people and gain experience and get better at what you do,
  • When you’ve tweaked your package and added more cool stuff to make it even more effective,
  • As you witness the results that more and more of your clients are getting,
  • And as they write the testimonials to prove it.

You can do this. Start small and go for it.

Just remember, your expertise at helping people solve their problems is VALUABLE.

JulieWolk_Hollyhock15Julie Wolk is a business coach who helps hard-working  consultants, coaches and healers slow down and build super-streamlined, burnout-free businesses by modelling them after the way nature works.  For 15 years she’s guided talented visionaries to manifest the success and impact they desire. People love her down-to-earth approach and that she takes into account the uniqueness of each person she works with. juliewolkcoaching.com

10 Min Video: 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Planning Your First Retreat

Rebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life is one of my dearest friends and colleagues. She’s offering up a new program called Your First Retreat which is designed to help people in the personal growth, coaching, and healing fields nail their first retreat so that it’s fulfilling and profitable.

I asked her if she’d be willing to record a video and do an interview to give people some ideas they could use right away. And she agreed to doing both. I hope they help you out in figuring out how to make your first retreat (or maybe your next one if your first one or two didn’t go so well) a success.

What’s the story of this program/product? What did you notice was missing that had you create it?

After running successful retreats for 4 years in my business, I had people asking me all the time how to do it – and I remember being at that stage, having no idea where to start, being nervous about whether or not I could pull it off, and wasting a lot of time and money learning. I wanted to create an all in one resource for people who want to run retreats and want to save themselves the overwhelm, the lost $$, and the uncertainty, and help them plan transformational retreats without a hitch.

Who, specifically, is this program designed for? 

Anyone who wants to run boutique style retreats with 8-20 people – life coaches, creatives, health coaches and wellness professionals, energy workers etc

They already have a business (even if it’s new-ish!) and want to incorporate retreats into their business model as a new way to connect with clients. They need to already know their niche and have a few paying clients in order to get the most from this course.

Your First Retreat is specifically for people who want to create an amazing experience for their clients while turning a profit, not who are out to make 6 figures form retreats (because that’s not how it works!)

Why is this program relevant to those people? 

Your First Retreat will help alleviate the fear and overwhelm that comes with starting to think about retreat planning, and will help them make sure they create amazing experiences that also turn a profit.

There is SO much to know, and you don’t know what you don’t know when you’re starting the planning process. The course takes the guesswork out of retreats and helps makes sure you don’t make some of the common mistakes that can lead to lost $ and crappy client experiences.

What are the top three blunders you see people making in running retreats?

1- Not planning far enough in advance – this will leave you scrambling to find a venue that still has space, rushing to market and fill your retreat, and making the whole process way more stressful than it needs to be. Give yourself 6 months for a local retreat and 12 months for an international retreat to start the planning process

2 – paying too much out of pocket (and then losing money) – You do NOT need to take on the risk of losing money you’ve put down for your retreat. Don’t pay anything yourself – pre-sell your retreat and use that money to lay down any deposits, and be clear about the refund and cancellation policies of your venue before paying anything

3- Packing the itinerary either too tight, or leaving it too loose – how much group + workshop time you include depends on what kind of retreat you are running and what you have promised your participants. For example, a business-focused retreat will have more time together working and coaching, and a more experiential adventure style retreat won’t have as much. Too much packed in will leave people overwhelmed and not able to integrate what they are learning, and too little and people are left wondering why they paid such a premium for this retreat when they could have just gone on any other vacation. Nailing the retreat itinerary is important!

What are your three big ideas around making your first retreat a big success?

1 – Give yourself LOTS of time to market – it’s the hardest part!

2- Don’t plan a retreat too early in your business. You need to have people to market it to in order to fill it! if you can’t think of 5 people who would say YES to it right now, take some time to build your network and/or your email list, and wait before you start planning anything.

3 – Have a clear focus for the retreat – people need to know what this retreat is all about and whether it’s a fit for them, and if you’re not clear on that, they won’t be either. Knowing who the retreat is for, what the purpose is, and having a string mission statement will help make sure you get the right people there with you – and having the right group is what will take your retreat from good to incredible for your participants (and for you!)

Can you share a couple stories of retreats that have gone well and what can be learned from them?

1. My first retreat in Belize was amazing! We had been telling people for a while that we were going to start planning a retreat, so both my and my co-leader’s audience were primed and ready when we launched. This made it easy to sell and we sold out fairly quickly! This taught me that having an audience to sell to is hugely important to make sure you sell out and don’t lose money! This could mean an email list, a super engaged FB group, a local network, or just a lot of colleagues friends, and peers that you can sell to who you KNOW would be interested.

2. My friend Kira ran a retreat in Italy that I attended and it went off without a hitch. It was a life-coaching retreat focused on single women/relationship coaching, but it also had a strong focus on just having FUN on a cool vacation with like minded people (it was called the “Let’s F*cking go to Italy Retreat”). We’d have casual but smart conversations about love and dating after breakfast in the morning (while sipping teas in a beautiful villa in the mountains), and then head out adventuring for the rest of the day. The balance of free time to group time was important here. No one was there to have a heavy coaching session everyday and that was never the purpose of the retreat – but keeping the vibe on point with how it was marketed, everyone knew what to expect and got exactly what they came for. It was great!

Why is this program credible? Why should they trust it or you to help them?

I’ve run my own retreats for 4 years now with huge success, and for this course, I also interviewed 25 other successful retreat leaders to gather their best tips, marketing strategies, and advice, as well as the real scoop on how much profit they have made from their retreats, and blended it all into one easy to use manual that will teach you everything you need to know.

I also include an interview with several other experts to help beef up the course where my expertise was lacking — a lawyer who helps clients with retreat contracts (and as a bonus included one in the course for people to use!); a hotel manager and event coordinator who tells you everything you need to know about booking venues; and a Facebook ads expert who shares some amazing knowledge about how to best use Facebook for selling your retreats.

Who, specifically, is this program not a fit for? 

It’s not suitable for someone who doesn’t have a business or a business idea yet. Retreats rely on you having already built an audience (but I do give tips for getting there is someone is just starting out. But it will not help you figure out what business idea you should start.

It’s also not for someone who wants to run a retreat/travel agency business (ie. multiple retreats a year as their only course of income), or someone who wants to run large, conference-style events.

*

If you’d like to learn more about Rebecca’s program you can click here (affiliate link) or here (not).

 

Guest Post: How to Sell Out Your Conscious Event

by Brenda MacIntyre

When you create an event, it’s really great to have people actually show up for it, right? But sometimes that doesn’t happen. How can you set yourself up for a great turnout at your events?

I’ve been singing for over 30 years and speaking for about 18 years, and in that time, I’ve witnessed and learned some great (and some not-so-great) approaches and I’ve come up with my own ideas as well, to inspire people to come out and enjoy what I have to offer.

I have a regular monthly Drumming, Singing & Tea circle in Toronto. It’s always at the same venue, always on a Monday evening, and always at the same time, unless I’m having a special dinner in which case it’s an hour earlier. I’m not talking about your usual speak-to-sell events, just to be clear. I find those kinds of events manipulative and high pressure. I’m talking about events where you gather with your tribe to bring them an actual experience, with a low-pressure offer (book, CD, course or small program) that you casually mention at the end of your event.

My intention to fill it is less important than you might think, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t manifest well when I give myself artificial meaningless “goals” of how many “butts in seats” (I really hate that term from the coaching world!) I think I have to get to my events.

It’s important to use energetic/spiritual strategies as well as solid marketing methods that work and feel aligned for YOU and your tribe.

Here’s what I know…

1) Grow your tribe and reputation. If you don’t have anyone to sell tickets to, who is going to come? Grow your following and not just in one place. Grow your email list as well as whatever social media platforms you love to use. Letting yourself be seen and heard online and in person goes a long way in event promotion. The best way I do this is by speaking or singing at other people’s events, and just doing good work to help my people. That never goes unnoticed but word of mouth does take time to grow.

TIP: If you don’t have a big following yet, call up your friends or send them an email and ask them to spread the word. See #8 “Word of Mouth” below. Abraham-Hicks started out with very small events and now they get hundreds of people out. That didn’t happen overnight. When I did my first workshops and performances in the 90’s, I used to call people up and then send an email. When your following gets bigger, you won’t have as much time for that personal touch, so do it NOW if you don’t have a huge tribe yet. You know how many people appreciate you reaching out one on one to them? It’s a far cry from those automated voice messages or someone’s assistant calling you to promote their event to you. It just feels better to hear from someone personally. You’re showing your people that you care.

2) Work out your logistics EARLY, and make everything about the event and promotion as easy and low pressure for yourself as possible. Based on how many people I want, and how hard (like, not hard at all!) I want to work at selling tickets, I have chosen a venue for my monthly gatherings that limits seating to only 12 people plus me and 2 volunteers, for most of my events. I have also created an arrangement with the venue that allows for me to still run the event even if I don’t sell lots of tickets, and even to have snacks and tea included for each person. This makes my events appealing and people know they have to sign up in advance if they expect to get a seat. Of course, if you’re trying to sell out an event, you need to set up a way for your attendees to purchase tickets in advance. I always have an early-bird savings and then a different rate for cash at the door if there are any seats remaining.

For larger events, like my annual The Power of Your Spiritual Calling LIVE with a music concert, DJ’ed ecstatic dance, keynote, drumming circle and oracle readings, I need to choose a larger venue and strategize slightly differently. For larger events, it’s good to start promoting a lot earlier and to ask friends and colleagues to help you spread the word, whether informally or by sending out an email or social media. You can make it simple or create a whole affiliate package. You can offer bring-a-friend-for-free to people who are already on your bandwagon as well like Tad did recently for a special private event he hosted in Toronto. That creates more loyalty in the inner circle of your tribe, and it expands your tribe and brings more people to your event easily.

3) Figure out your timeline and start earlier than you think you need to. For my monthly circles, we start promoting the next one immediately after the last one. Also, learn from my mistakes: If you’re promoting a large event, FOCUS your marketing on that event. I made the mistake of having (and promoting) too many events in the same month and that dilutes your marketing efforts, making it harder to sell out your event. When I’m focusing my energy, attention and intention on one event at a time, I get a great turnout.

4) Put your energy all over it. I’m always telling my clients to “put your energy all over it” when writing any copy or talking about your event. People will feel your passion and your passion will drive you, as well as the Universe, to support you in getting people to your event. By the way, make sure your energy is in a good place first. Breathe. Smile. Do whatever it takes to feel good before you write your copy.

5) Don’t try to do it all alone. I’ve done that and it is HARD WORK. Do you want to add more hard work to your plate or make things smooth and easy? Ask friends, family or members of your tribe to volunteer. Delegate promotion techie tasks to a Virtual Assistant. Automate whatever you can online as well. Otherwise, you can burn yourself out.

TIP: Collaborate with other co-hosts, artists or vendors who also have a following, and have them promote the event too. For my The Power of Your Spiritual Calling LIVE event in 2016, I had Liz Diaz DJ the ecstatic dance portion. Liz is awesome, already has a tribe brimming with her own people and some of mine, and we play well together. In 2015, I had Erica Ross DJ for me. I call her the Dance Goddess. She’s also a dear friend and awesome DJ. So find people to play with, who align with you and have a similar tribe.

6) Ask your Higher Realms Support Team to help bring people to you. Angels, Archangels, your Higher Self, goddesses, gods, God, Creator, Universe, Source, whatever you want to call it, invite them to help you. Never underestimate the power of energy and Spirit.

7) To intend or not to intend? Like I mentioned in #3, when you set up your event structure the way YOU want it so that you have the least possible worries about money loss or no-shows or not getting enough tickets, then your whole being can relax about having to sell out the event. That relaxed, no worries vibe? That will help sell the event! So set your intentions and give them over to your Higher Realms Support Team… and still, do the work you know you need to do.

WARNING: Many coaches will have you do a “bubble chart” or some kind of countdown to your hoped-for number of attendees. I have found that that doesn’t excite me but does the opposite, especially if I don’t see seats being filled as quickly as I had hoped, or if I have created a history of not getting the numbers I wanted. Then I felt like a failure and the energy of that expectation and how I felt created a self-fulfilling prophecy. So I stopped doing those charts and did what I mention above in #3 instead.

8) Do pre-sales or a seat deposit: If you don’t get advance tickets, you can expect that probably more than half of your RSVP’s will not show up. Unfortunate but true. Most people won’t commit to coming out to your event without having to pay in advance, especially if you live in a place that has tons of events unless your event is free. If your event is free, you are likely to attract people who are used to getting things for free or as cheap as possible, so be mindful of your decision around pricing. Use your own website and shopping cart or something like Eventbrite to sell your tickets. I like using my own website because of course, it brings people to my website.

9) Create a Facebook Event page OR Meetup.com page. A word about Meetup.com. If you are an official Meetup organizer, and you want to grow your following specifically on Meetup, the Facebook event page needs to lead them to the meetup page. It is more tedious this way, and honestly, I have found that using one or the other is best. Use one and draw everyone on social media to that page for best results.

For Facebook Event pages, invite people in your local area first. Do invitations in rounds. Facebook may block you for “using this feature too fast” if you do your invitations all at once or if you go over something like 100 invitations. Facebook will also penalize you by lowering your invitation limit, so you can’t invite as many people, so be mindful when using this feature. You might want to ask influential friends to invite their friends too.

Whether using Facebook or Meetup, don’t take people’s RSVP’s at face value, except for the “not coming’s.” You will see that often only a small fraction of those who say they’re coming, actually pay in advance and show up. Even if it’s a free event, your attendee numbers most times will not be anywhere near your RSVP numbers. Don’t take it personally.

Most of my sold out events when using Meetup were exceptional (special indigenous venue and content) and also free. If you grow your Meetup following into the thousands, then it can work well for you. I didn’t have the patience for that.

10) Networking. Talk about your event! Talk about it to your friends, family (supportive people only, of course) and whoever you meet. Not in a gross promotional way but rather with the genuine passion and excitement you have about it. No need for flyer-in-your-face marketing, okay? Just talk about it and if people ask for a flyer or your card, give them one – but also get theirs, and ask their permission for you to either add them to your email list or message them about your event(s). Especially talk about your upcoming event at events other than your own where you are a speaker or facilitator. They’ve just seen proof of how awesome you are on stage or in a workshop, so let them know about your next event.

11) Word of Mouth. Tell your most loyal fans FIRST about the event, and ask them to share it. I do that using my Virtual Backstage Pass email list specifically for Toronto events. Invite them first on the event page too if they are on Facebook. Tad does Word of Mouth extremely well, so just pay attention to how he does this so effectively. I learned from the best. ;)

12) Send Email Invitations according to your timeline (usually at least 4 weeks out). This is when I send out my first Backstage Pass email, alerting my most loyal Toronto fans, usually BEFORE I even invite people to the Facebook event page. Then we send out email to the main email list. We also include a small blurb in our monthly newsletter. I like how Tad sends out personal email invitations to a handful of people over Facebook or email. That personal touch goes a long way, above and beyond a mass email to your list. It’s best to do that with people whom you know will be happy to share your event with their friends, and you can ask them to do that. What NOT to do? Please don’t copy/paste a generic “come to my event” message into Facebook or email and pretend it’s a personal message. I just received a couple of Facebook messages like that and they didn’t even say hi or ask me how I’m doing or indicate they even knew what was up in my world. Make it personal! Be real. Have a conversation.

13) Regular Social Media Posts and Engagement. Post wherever your people are hanging out. Do a mix of auto-posts and personal posts. Note: If you post nothing but promotional posts on any social media platform, you will turn your tribe right off. Don’t do it! It’s about being social, so socialize with your tribe. Engage them in conversation regularly. Then when you go to promote something, they’ll be more likely to pay attention, like, comment and share it.

TIP: This may sound funny but “like” your own Facebook posts. Liking your post will give it more weight in the eyes of Facebook’s algorithms, so it will be shown to more people right away, rather than sitting there lifeless and not getting seen.

14) Last but not least, be someone you’d like to hang out with! When you show up in real life, on social media, over the phone, on Facetime or wherever as someone who is fun and interesting to be around and learn from, people will want to be in your energy. When you do that in places where your tribe hangs out, you will attract people who are aligned with you and they will happily come out to your events.

brenda-macintyre-9962-squareABOUT THE AUTHOR

Medicine Song Woman Brenda MacIntyre, author and artist of the Medicine Song Oracle Cards™ & Music, is a Juno Award-winning singer, speaker, indigenous drummer and wisdom-keeper, and Living Your Truth Out Loud Mentor. Brenda has shared her leadership and soul nationally on stage and in the media, such as MuchMusic, APTN, CTV, CP24, Global and CityTV’s Breakfast Television, as well as CBC Radio. Having experienced major loss, multiple dark nights of the soul, and fear of being seen and heard, she is passionate about helping women to stop holding back, share the power of their gifts, and create success out of the mess of REAL life.

You can connect with Brenda MacIntyre here: 

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPeriscopeInstagramYouTube

When to invest in your business?

40330571 - closeup of woman hand planting seeds in soil

Running a business takes investment.

The world of service providers (e.g. life coaches, holistic practitioners, speakers, permaculture practitioners etc.) is an unusual one.

In any other business, be it products or retail, there’s a clearly understood need to invest into one’s business. There’s the storefront, there’s the decoration, there are the machines and tools needed to make the products, there’s distribution etc.

Starting a new business, or scaling an existing one up costs money. That just seems to be how it is. And so that money either comes from savings or some manner of financing. No one questions this. It’s just how it is.

But, amongst the clients I work with? This is often utterly foreign.

In most industries, it’s understood that you won’t see a profit for two to three years, and you get yourself some bridge financing to sustain yourself in the meantime.

But, amongst the clients I work with? There’s an expectation of being profitable immediately.

I remember speaking with my good friends at Verge Permaculture about this and they told me how much they’d spent on their website. It was substantial.

“We see this as our virtual storefront. We want it to look good. We want it to work well. This represents us.”

Running a business takes investment.

Many service providers assume that this outlay of cash only applies to their training in whatever modality they’ve learned. But your expertise in your field is actually just what gets you in the door. That’s all.

If you were a cabinet maker who wanted to open a shop? Your skills would be the start but then you’d still need your tools, your space, the wood etc.

Running a business takes investment.

Sometimes you’ve got to spend money to make money.

But, in this sphere, it doesn’t always occur to people that they need to do this. So many try to do everything themselves. They become ‘do-it-yourself-entrepreneurs’. They don’t hire help. They don’t get coaches. They try to design their own websites. They don’t hire admin help, even when they need it. And then they beat themselves up with this idea that they should be further ahead than they are.

Running a business take investment.

Now sure, you can bootstrap it. That’s what I have done.

And slow, organic growth is a beautiful thing. It’s how I’ve grown my business.

And there are moments when a judicious investment can be a big help and allow your business to grow and thrive.

Where does that money come from? That’s another story entirely. I cover some ideas on how to generate cash flow quickly in my Meantime 30 Day program but, it may not come from your business.

I know some entrepreneurs decide to get bank loans or lines of credit. I know some borrow from friends and family. I know that others refinance the mortgage on their home.

This moment for investment usually comes when you are maxed out. You can’t do much more than you are. You’ve hit a sticking point that you can’t seem to get over and you’re clear what it is.

“If only I had _______” is how it usually goes.

When you find yourself in the moment, it’s worthwhile to sit down with pen and paper and a calculator and to crunch the numbers. Would an investment in what’s missing actually free you up and allow you to make more money in the long term? Even though it’s scary, might it be worth it?

And don’t just trust yourself. Ask your friends. Ask your colleagues you trust. Run the numbers by them and tell them where you’re thinking of investing. Have them point out the problems with it.

I’m not advocating foolishness. I’m advocating discernment.

But, once you’ve reached the end of your capacity and you’ve discerned where the investment is needed, there comes a time where you make the leap and invest or stagnate while others move ahead.

I invite you to sit with your business today for 15 minutes. Just sit and consider it, pen in hand with these questions written at the top of a blank sheet of paper, “Where is my business asking for investment? Where is my business hungry to be fed? Where is my business being asked to carry more than it can? What’s the most important investment I could make that would free me up to make more money?”

Just sit with it and see what comes and then, when the time is right, do it. Start small if you need to. Don’t hire a full time assistant, just someone to help out for two hours per week and let it grow. That kind of thing. But be willing to invest in the growth of your business.

There comes a time when it won’t grow without it.

*

Note: If now is feeling like the right time to make some deep investments into your business’ growth, I invite you to get on the email list for my more in-depth, mentorship program. You can sign up here to be the first to hear when spaces open up.