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Our Community Went CRAZY… In The Worst Way

It’s inevitable that you will have people who will disagree with decisions you make in your business. But what happens when they start a revolt? In this episode, I’ll give you the behind the scenes of a massive fallout that happened in our community… and how we turned it around.



So, long story short, as we were planning for the TRIBE membership, we started to realize, as we got closer to the date, that one of the things we wanted to do was simplify the business as much as possible. We were looking at all the loose ends in the business and one of the things that we realized was that we had a whole bunch of Facebook groups for a whole bunch of different reasons. And it was taking energy, and dispersing it in a whole variety of different directions. We didn’t like that. 

We noticed some groups where the activity and the engagement in the group had really died off. One in particular was our TRIBE alumni group. This was a Facebook group that we started, not because it was promised, but it was just something that we thought could keep everybody together, so to speak. However, when we were looking at the activity of the group, it was dying off pretty quick. In fact, close to two thirds of the group had not engaged in the Facebook group for over a year. 

That was a sign to us that it was dying a slow death. So we made this announcement to the TRIBE alumni that we would be closing the Facebook group, and oh my gosh, people went crazy. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. 

It turned out, we were just wrong in our assessment. And one of the things that I really realized in all of this was that the numbers don’t tell the full story. We heard from people who we had never heard from in years. Some people were really nasty. We had thousands and thousands of people who now all had an opinion and a say in what was taking place as far as closing this particular Facebook group. It showed me just what TRIBE meant to people. 

While some people were nasty, spiteful, entitled and rude, there were also a lot of people who left really genuine, heartfelt comments in terms of why this group meant so much to them. So, initially we had planned on closing the group, but upon further review, we decided to shift gears a little bit. And these are the three lessons that I want to give to you… 

Big Lessons

Involve Your Community in Big Changes

This was one of the things that we heard over and over from people who really cared – that it would have been nice if we had gone to the people in our Alumni group to talk to them about what we were planning. And they were right. For us, we just looked at the numbers, but the numbers didn’t tell the whole story. So in hindsight, if I were to do this again, I would have gone to the community to express my concern, and involved them in the ideas and strategy of how to move forward. 

The Bigger the Change, the Bigger the Runway Needed

We made our decision, and we were going to make that change pretty quickly. And so people were like, “Whoa, pump the brakes! Why do you have to do this so soon?” This taught me that the bigger the change, the bigger the runway needed. We needed more time to be able to communicate what was coming, what the changes would be, and how to prepare. If we had more time, people would have had more time to adjust and it would have been a much smoother process. 

Every change is an Opportunity

Every change is an opportunity to realign a group around values. So many people fear making changes when they have groups or memberships. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to realize this is your business. If it’s not serving you, then why are you moving forward with it? This is your business, you’re designing this to serve you, your team and,

and if it’s draining resources, or not moving you forward in the direction you want to take the business, then it may be time to make a change. 

On the flip side, every change is an opportunity. In our case of deciding to close the alumni Facebook group, what ended up happening was that we reevaluated the decision that we made. We decided to start a new alumni group for the TRIBE. And the reason was because the old group had some negative energy from people who just got rude. And that was just not cool. I don’t like serving people who are going to be rude and nasty to me and my team. I wanted to clear that energy out. And that’s exactly what we did. We started a new Facebook group for the alumni. And we simply said, if you’re going to join this group, you agree to follow the group rules. One of the rules was to show other members of the group mutual respect. 

So, when you make changes, it’s an opportunity to realign the group or the membership around those common values that you hold. And that’s exactly what we did. And I’m grateful for it. Was it stressful? Yes, really stressful. There were several sleepless nights back to back to back, as we’re trying to figure out how to navigate this. But in the end, it ended up being positive and it really gave me clarity around who I want to serve and who I don’t want to serve.

Memorable Quote

The bigger the change, the bigger the runway needed.” – Stu McLaren

If it’s not serving you, then why are you moving forward with it?” – Stu McLaren

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