I hired my first apprentice in June 2020. We grew really fast, expanded the LivingOS team to 9 people, and ran 7 different programs simultaneously.
However, something was not working.
Six months after I made my first hire, I took a hard look at how we were investing our time. We finally articulated our core values and downsized our team to 5.
Surprisingly, we found out that our best hires are very serious about personal growth. They trusted our brand and became paid members before they joined the team. They truly wanted to make LivingOS better.
Even more surprisingly, our core business stayed intact after the downsize. We now have five team members, each leading two strategic initiatives. Though we have fewer people, the impact of our work has grown exponentially.
Here is why:
Instead of spreading our attention across multiple initiatives, we focus on scaling the LivingOS Fellowship to 100 people in 2021.
Instead of taking project proposals that may look promising, we reject any project that barely has a long-term positive impact on the people we serve.
Instead of being complacent in how we execute, we discuss all the concerns upfront and fully commit to the strategy we eventually align on.
After all, we are here to create something that shapes the future with love and empathy.
Our Core Values
Here are the core values that guide us when we don’t know what to do. My secret dream is to let LivingOS work without any management.
Authenticity: I want everyone to bring their passion to work. While we have an SOP for every project, we encourage everyone to own the experience and make it their own. By sharing our authentic voices and doubling down on our strengths, we can truly achieve 2 + 2 > 4.
Personal Growth: By helping others human better, we get to grow even more. At LivingOS, anyone can bring up any concerns, and I will always respond or act on feedback within a day. This feedback process has enabled us to turn our inactive Facebook Group into a podcast community, turn our Oolong Chat into a surprise for the Fellowship, and optimize our coaching method session by session. After all, we are all in this to make everyone better.
Being of Service: Our mission to help people live a more fulfilling life. We inspire people through podcasts, teach specific frameworks through offline workshops, and help people get more clarity throughout the fellowship. Our goal is to guide people to identify their values and unlock their true potential. Thanks to Juhan for reminding me of this critical value.
How We Operate
If you are curious about how these values manifest themselves in our day-to-day operations, check out how we run weekly meetings.
Our weekly team meeting is divided into four 15-minute chunks:
Information Sharing: Since our culture is centered around personal growth, we always start with our favorite insights from coaching to living. This ritual prompts us to learn something worth sharing each week and inspires each other to grow even more.
Intellectual Debates: Most of our conversations take place in Slack channels. Each week, we pick three top threads to have a constructive debate. Sometimes it’s about our launch strategy. Other times it’s about a client’s case study. These debates help us become more informed and make better decisions.
Experiment Learnings: Since the work we do is very creative, we are always looking for new ways to serve our community. For example, the annual review workshop has been through many rounds of review and finally landed in a good shape. We’re all very excited to bring it to friends in Taipei!
Team Gratitude: The final segment of our meeting is gratitude sharing. We feature product launches and shout-out to anyone who went above and beyond to make things happen. As Eva said, “Everyone supported and praised others’ contribution even though everyone’s tasks were quite different.”
Finally, if you have any feedback on how we can improve the LivingOS newsletter, please send me a note. I’d love to hear from you.
See you all next week,
PS - Do you secretly want to change your partner for the better? If so, you’re not alone. In the latest podcast episode, Chris and I talked about how I came to terms with his gaming behaviors. Don’t miss it!