On Tuesday, in conversation with Lucinda, my super-duper virtual assistant, I noted that of the 1200 subscribers to The Monthly Digest, 378 had never opened an newsletter.
It’s no surprise really – we live in a world saturated with information, and many of us are in total overwhelm.
The quantity of stuff and ideas and articles and videos and books and e-courses and e-books available to us is staggering. We say yes just in case we miss something important, without discerning whether or not we have the time to take on anything extra.
But here at The Yoga Lunchbox, we don’t want to be just one more thing adding to the over-whelm of the digital age.
So yesterday, I segmented my MailChimp subscriber list and sent out the following email to all those people who met these conditions – they’d signed up to the list before July, and they’d not opened the July, August or September newsletter.
As businesses, and people, we’re constantly sold this idea that more is better – more money, more fans, more subscribers, more likes, more content, more more more.
Well, I’m calling Bullshit.
More is just more. It’s not necessarily better – it leads to clutter and overwhelm and it drowns out the small voice of knowingness inside.
And at The YLB, we don’t want to drown out the small voice within – after all, isn’t that what the practice of yoga is all about?
Stopping. Still. And listening. Going deeper and deeper with every practice, and hearing – really hearing – our inner voice.
Instead of focusing on reaching as many people as possible with outstanding articles and videos on yoga, we’re shifting the focus. We want to deepen the connections we do have with our community. We want to become closer to those we serve.
And we want to let go of those who don’t really want to participate or imbibe of The YLB goodness, because it’s not their thing, or they’re too busy, or whatever (it doesn’t matter).
That may be you. Or it may not be. See, we’ve noticed you haven’t open any of the last three newsletters – July, August or September.
We don’t want to keep filling up your inbox with unwanted content, so we’re going to remove you from our subscriber list UNLESS you reply to this email and let us know you still want to be on the list. Otherwise, do nothing, and we’ll take you off.
It’s part of our commitment to bring more space, and depth into each other’s lives.
It felt good – real good. And the response was immediate – I started getting emails from people who wanted to stay on the list – so far 13 people. It felt good responding to each one and letting them know I was stoked they were sticking around, because I was. And it elevated them from a name on a list to someone I’d corresponded with, and maybe learned something about.
It felt so good, it made me ponder the value of what we provide here at The YLB. Yes, we write original yoga content that you won’t find anywhere else. And we video interview some interesting yoga folk. But we’re also interested in creating community – that is, a tangible sense of people who practice and teach yoga connected together through a website. Yesterday, responding to those 13 people, I could feel the value in that deeper connection.
Maybe only 20 or so people out of the 219 I emailed yesterday will choose to stay on the list. We’ll lose about 15% of our list in one go. For most businesses, and especially web-based businesses, the idea of deliberately letting go 15% of the customer base seems crazy. But if they’re not engaging and not reading, I can hardly call them subscribers – or customers – now can I?
Plus I think there’s something deeper here at work, something we don’t consider in our contant overwhelmed state of life.
Everything we let into our life takes time, space and energy to process… and when we have too much inflow and not enough time, space and energy… all that in-flow threatens to drown us.
Imagine The YLB is a ball of energy, floating in space, and every person who connects in via subscribing or liking creates a flow of energy from The YLB to their own ball of energy. Those who read the articles, and comment, and send us emails, or buy advertising… they take The YLB energy into their system and transmute it before sending a thread of energy back from their ball to The YLB’s ball.
It’s a feedback mechanism, which keeps The YLB alive. It keeps the energy in the circuit going around and around. I’d wager too, that in the transmutation of the energy, it comes back to The YLB stronger than when it went out, feeding the system by the very act of going through the person’s system.
Those who subscribe or like but don’t read or actively engage are not able to take the energy they receive on board, nor transmute it and return it back to The YLB. Instead, that energy clutters up their ball, hanging around the outside, going no-where, doing nothing, and adding to a vague sense of overwhelm.
The receivers feel overwhelm, the givers feel leakage, as that energy sent out is never returned in any form, stuck in a loop around the receivers system, unable to be taken on board.
Now, if I can stop the leakage, and improve the quality of out-flows to people who are taking it on board, transmuting it and sending it back… I can improve the quality of energy in the entire system.
Note this doesn’t require MORE of anything. Not more fans, more readers, more subscribers, more articles, more columnists, not more of anything. It requires more attention, and more presence, and more awareness. More of the things that yoga is all about… funny that!
I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of something potent here… something worth exploring deeper in further posts. It’s got me wondering about all the different things we send energy to… and receive energy from… and how mindful we are about what this creates for us.
I wonder… what do you think? Do you feel overwhelmed by life, tugged this way and that, never able to keep up?