Wow! I really, really can’t believe how far Makelight has come over the past 12 months. This time last year we had just been accepted onto a tech pre-accelerator programme for Makelight and I realised that things were about to change! I was moving from having a cute little business that I’d built from my blog to a tech start-up.
It has actually taken me almost 12 months to get my head around that and really believe in myself as the co-founder of a start-up. For those of you who have been following me for a few years, you will remember my blogging days as ‘The Start-Up Wife’ as I stood by the side while Stef founded several start-ups. I learnt a lot through watching him do this and of course there were lots of late night conversations about it all. I always wanted to be a part of this world too but I was never quite sure how this would work, what the start-up would be or what my role in it would be. I always thought that it would be Stef’s big idea and I’d be helping him with it. I had no idea that actually it would be my big idea and Stef would be helping me with it!
Stef does way more than help me with it though. He is most definitely my co-founder and is full of so many ideas about how to make Makelight grow. He teaches, supports students, builds our tech and the Makelight products. (Have you got your new, improved Insights Report yet?) We really have only just started and are both so incredibly excited about 2017 and beyond.
2017 is going to come with a few changes, the first of which may come as a shock but it’s something that we have been thinking about for at least 6 months now. We are moving away from physical workshops. This is where Makelight started but the workshops are no longer at the core of what we do. I love teaching workshops but they are so much harder to sell (people have to be able to get to London on a particular day) and are not scalable, and each one requires me to be there and can’t be taught by another member of the team.
People also have to fit physical workshops into their already busy lives and often take a day off work and/or book childcare. Our online courses fit much more easily into a busy schedule and they all have life-time access, so even if something happens during the weeks that the course is running you can go back to the lessons whenever you want to.
We are living and working in an incredible time for online learning and here are Makelight we are super excited about the tech we are building to support it. I am so excited to be doing this right here and now.
So, next year’s focus is going to be online. I will be doing a handful of in-person workshops over the year and of course the Summer Makelight Retreat but we are moving out of the Makelight Studio at the end of March and for a while, at least, we are going to be location independent. I am really looking forward to this, which might sound crazy as I really have loved having a studio and am going to make the most of still having one for the next few months. But it’s a new stage of building Makelight. It will mean that I will be working from home more, but not exclusively, and now my children are all at school this is actually achievable again.
In addition to the handful of workshops and the Retreat I am really hoping to facilitate more Makelight meet-ups and events, not just in London but around the world. It’s not that I don’t want to connect with people in real life and hide behind a computer screen and a video camera, I just want to do it in a different way.
It is not just the online courses that we are focusing on in 2017 but also the Makelight Membership. This is growing really well and the community that is growing with it is so inspiring for us. It is wonderful to be able to listen and learn from the community, and then respond to what they tell us they need help with. Building products, tools and courses as a direct response to a community is a really incredible feeling and I think it’s what makes Makelight extra special to be a part of.
Stef and I will be writing and speaking a lot more about how and why we are building Makelight but for now I just wanted to give you a little update about where we are. It’s a really special, exciting place to be as we approach the end of the year and get ready to make 2017 amazing!