The downside of splitting your focus

Inside this Sunday:

  • I’m reading about Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • I’m working on speaking engagements and a brand new newsletter on Substack.
  • I’m thinking about serving you my best wine.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting the past two weeks on Curious Lion’s positioning.

We’ve had some recent success in our B2B work. We’ve tripled our best prior year and it’s not even April.

Lots to be proud of there.

But the struggle has been around maintaining an enterprise business alongside a fledgling consumer business.

I’m splitting my attention between growing B2B and attracting more entrepreneurs for C3 (a B2C offering).

I’m acutely aware of how important my focus is to the well-being of the overall business and the 11 other humans working here.

What I’ve realized is I’m fascinated by the intersection of creators and companies.

By what it means to build an expertise- and education-based business.

That’s exactly what we’re doing.

So our positioning is a lot clearer now. We serve two markets:

  • High-growth companies looking to build systems for learning.
  • Entrepreneurs looking to build a business around their expertise.

We do so through expert pattern recognition of what good learning looks like, combined with experience in building a business around that.

This puts us squarely in the professional services firm category.

And we’ve only just started growing our advisory work.

This gets me pretty excited.

You have an exciting week ahead too.

See you in two weeks ✌️



Just edging the last edition was my new program, The Learning Culture Experience, although a close second was the brand new podcast.


Robert Louis Stevenson

I’ve been working my way through the great Scottish author’s early, short stories.

Jill has always told me that I need to read more “fun” (i.e. fiction) books and so I started doing that before going to sleep.

Let me first say it has been a game-changer for my sleep. Tracking on my Oura ring, I’ve seen a notable improvement which I attribute to switching off my monkey brain always thinking about my business.

Second, definitely unsurprisingly, the young Robert Louis Stevenson was a fountain of wisdown. I still couldn’t resist capturing notes with my Readwise scanner (get a month free to test it with that link).

Here are some notable quotes from An Inland Voyage, a fun travelogue about a canoeing trip he took with a friend through France and Belgium in 1876.

On self-awareness and agency:

“To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”

On pride and inspiration:

“If people knew what an inspiriting thing it is to hear a man boasting, so long as he boasts of what he really has, I believe they would do it more freely and with a better grace.”

On patience and mindfulness:

“An imperturbable demeanour comes from perfect patience. Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.”

On travel and rest:

“No one should have any correspondence on a journey; it is bad enough to have to write; but the receipt of letters is the death of all holiday feeling.”

On truth:

“It is one of the curiosities of human nature, that although all men are liars, they can none of them bear to be told so of themselves.”

👉Get some Robert Louis Stevenson books


Speaking Engagements

In two weeks, I’ll be moderating two panels, a guest on another, and running a workshop at the ASU+GSV Summit.

If you’re in San Diego, let me know, would be great to meet in person!

The Learning Culture Experience

The big news here is that we’re delaying the start of the program.

We are doing this to give us more time to build the right cohort for the first launch.
With our recent surge in business, we can afford to wait, so we prefer to give it all the time it needs.
Upon reflection, I should not have been surprised by how challenging it is to build a cohort.
When I launched my first online course in April 2021 with 150 students it was over 1 year in the making.
  • I started writing about online courses for entrepreneurs in Jan 2020.
  • I announced I was thinking of launching a course for them in Nov 2020.
  • I partnered with On Deck in Jan 2021.
  • We filled 150 seats by April 2021.
Given that I only started creating content about Learning Culture in January and launched the podcast this month, it’s no surprise people don’t know what they’re signing up for yet.
We also have some exciting partnerships in the works, which just take time.
When we do launch this program, I know we’re going to transform a lot of learning professionals and company cultures.

Please share this with anyone you know responsible for learning in teams.

📆 The course starts on June 2, 2022

🏷 The cohort 1 price is $2,990

🌐 Learn more here


The Learning Culture Podcast

We’ve released 2 new episodes for you to enjoy!

  1. Shaunak Roy, the founder, and CEO of Yellowdig on social learning.
  2. Kason Morris, the Head of Learning Experience at Salesforce on equality, hybrid work, reinforcement, and learning across functions.

Please take a moment to follow and subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode.

🌟 Leave a rating and review on Apple or Google to support the show.

The Learning Culture Letter

I launched another newsletter (I know 🙊).

This one is a forcing function for me to learn in public.

I’ll be building the curriculum for The Learning Culture Experience with my readers, fleshing out ideas, and responding to feedback.

If you choose to follow along, there are three things in it for you.

🟢 Start here to learn what those 3 things are (and drop your email to subscribe!)


Here’s Bob again, on hospitality. It reminds me that every time I write this newsletter, I’m aiming to give you my best.

“The wine was excellent. When we made our host compliments upon a bottle, “I do not give it you as my worst,” said he. I wonder when Englishmen will learn these hospitable graces; they set off life and make ordinary moments ornamental.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

This email newsletter was originally shared with subscribers on March 27th, 2022. To receive the latest newsletters twice a month, sign up below!

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