[Note: I’m embarking on something new and I want you to hear the story behind it.]
In January 2008, Simple Marriage began as a place to spread a “be all marriage can be” message.
At that time I was writing a weekly column for a small town newspaper about marriage and family life and began posting the articles online as well. After only posting a few articles, people began finding them and reading, and more excitingly, commenting.
I was hooked.
I stopped writing for the paper and thanks to the medium of this blog, I was able to interact with people from all over the world and was invited into their lives and relationships on a regular basis (a honor I hold very dear).
To this day, the comments and emails I receive are payment for the time spent developing Simple Marriage into a trusted resource for marriage help.
Anyway, sometime during the summer of 2008 I told my wife, “Simple Marriage is going to be a major player in the marriage world. One day it will fundamentally shift and dramatically improve the culture of marriage.”
I’d like the say that so far we’ve radically changed marriages the world over … but we haven’t. Not yet.
Here’s what I think has gone well …
- In 2009 my first book/workbook, A Simple Marriage was published. At the end of 2010, Buck Naked Marriage was released. Both books have been well received and have helped lots of relationships.
- Two years into the evolution of Simple Marriage, 5 columnists came on board to help broaden the message and reach more people looking to improve their most vital relationship. That number grew to 8 a year later (then we realized that brought too many voices into the fold) so currently there are 3 other writers dedicated to helping people address and deepen various aspects of married life.
- Along the way I’ve written two manifestos that outline some major dynamics at work in every committed relationship.
- Through the course of writing Simple Marriage I’ve been blessed to become friends with many other bloggers and writers in the blogoshpere. This has allowed our message to spread to tens of thousands of others in a short timeframe. I’ve also been part of a group of other relationship bloggers born during this time, which is awesome to see other proponents of strong marriages.
- As for readership, Simple Marriage continues to be one of the largest marriage focused sites on the Internet.
- This year, teaming with a SM columnist Susanne Alexander, the Marriage Sparks eCourses have been rolling out. Currently there are 5 available. And each one will improve an aspect of your marriage in a relatively short time.
- And in the Fall of 2010, our flagship course Blow Up My Marriage began. To this day, I believe this is one of the most influential, marriage changing resources on the market. This class has impacted hundreds of people in its 2 years of existence.
- We’ve spread a healthy marriage is important message, but we haven’t fundamentally changed the culture of marriage.
- We’ve provided a broader range and message for families and relationships, but we haven’t fundamentally changed the culture of marriage.
- We’ve grown our readership and presented the Simple Marriage message to tens of thousands of people, but we haven’t fundamentally changed the culture of marriage.
- We’ve helped couples on the brink of divorce transform their marriage and create something out of this world – which has fundamentally changed the culture of marriage (for these specific couples/people).
While I’m humbled by the success of Simple Marriage, and Blow Up My Marriage specifically, it’s not enough yet.
When you look at the world of marriage/relationship improvement resources on the Internet, much of what you find is either Hollywood gossip/tabloid sleaze that actually helps no one or people with a desire and heart for others, born out of prior struggles in their own lives. And while going through low points in marriage and surviving together is totally commendable and should be applauded and shared, there’s something to be said about professional training and perspectives that carries a certain amount of weight.
Thus far Simple Marriage has been more a blog than a business. And while we will continue to produce regular content and posts like a blog, I believe to become a major player in the marriage world and to fundamentally change the culture of marriage – some shifts need to happen.
So … this month some small shifts will occur.
In the past I’ve shared some of my desires and plans – to mixed responses: from being trashed to total support.
I’ve learned quite a lot during our journey together thus far (and I continually will). But at some point, everyone who truly wants to revolutionize something has to step out and take their shot.
So … this is me taking my shot.
To that end, I’m going to share with you a couple of the shifts we’d like to see happen.
One, we’re looking to bring on board 2 people interested in creating a little fellowship of people looking to fundamentally change and dramatically improve the culture of marriage. The 2 people will not be only columnists, instead we’re looking for 2 people interested in revolutionizing the way marriage help is created, offered, delivered, and presented.
To be qualified for one of these slots you’ll have to have some kind of credentialing in the relationship, self-improvement, people helping world. You also must have a strong take the ball and run with it nature as well as a creative and exceptional teacher/communicator. [more on this later]
And two, instead of offering print resources and marriage classes like we have in the past, we’ll be developing … [to be continued]
P.S. I’ll fill in the details for both these shifts in the coming days. Until then, feel free to speak up, vent, ask questions, even rip me up in the comments. All details will be filled in eventually, I promise.