Yes, I know, calling anything "2.0" these days is evidence of 1) lazy writing and 2) possible bullshit. I will cop to the laziness, but hear me out before you call bullshit.
A revolution is coming in the world of coaching, career planning, health and wellness, and personal growth, and I'm excited to find myself in the middle of it. Social-oriented startups like HealthRally, Joyo, Lift and Qrew are building tools that will help people not only do a better job of pursuing their self-development goals, but also leverage the power of their personal and professional communities in the process.
Research suggests that we're more likely to accomplish our goals when we...
- Clarify our goals and get specific.
- Communicate our goals openly with others.
- Break down our goals into actionable steps.
- Cultivate daily habits that support those steps.
- Celebrate small victories.
- And obtain support from people we care about.
The tools and services being developed by the companies above allow you to do all these things, in one way or another, and to recruit your friends, family and colleagues as coaches, cheerleaders and advisors.
As someone who's increasingly focused on self-coaching these days, I think this movement is incredibly important (and also just a lot of fun.) Interestingly, this feels like familiar territory for me. In the '90s I became aware of the potential for technology to transform how nonprofits deliver services, raise money and promote awareness, which led me to business school at Stanford and then to my stint as the first executive director of the Nonprofit Technology Network. A few years later I was bowled over by Seth Goldstein's prescient analysis of the power of user-generated metadata to take personalization to new levels of utility (and creepiness), which led to a brief tenure as executive director of AttentionTrust, a role I left to dedicate myself to coaching.
There's a community here that's waiting to be organized, and I'd like to help it along. I've formed a Self-Development 2.0 Meetup, and I'm going to hold the first get-together in San Francisco sometime in July. Watch this site and look for tweets tagged #selfdev for more.
Full disclosure: I've gotten to know the founders of Joyo, and the founder of Qrew is a former student of mine. I think very highly of them, I've met with them to discuss their businesses, and I may get formally involved at some point in the future, although I'm not today.
Photo by familymwr. Yay Flickr and Creative Commons.