When's the last time you felt like you needed just a little bit of inspiration?
One CEO isn't stopping to ask; instead, he has taken it into his own hands to inspire thousands of people each week, with a simple email called Friday Forward.
Robert Glazer is the founder and managing director of Acceleration Partners, an affiliate marketing agency with offices in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. I met him at an event he chaired for Entrepreneurs' Organization in Boston, which was built around the theme of resiliency. I found the event inspirational--which is why it didn't surprise me to later learn that inspiration is what Robert (Bob) has built his entire brand around.
Once I met him, I signed up for what appeared to be an innocuous company newsletter. Instead, over the course of the next few weeks, I received inspirational stories, mental exercises to achieve greatness, and reminders to be open, humble, and kind. It was clear that this was no ordinary company newsletter, which is why I reached out to Bob to ask him some questions about Friday Forward.
Here are his answers:
What is the story behind starting Friday Forward?
Each Friday I started sharing a note with my team based on a leadership theme--a quote and a related tip/article around personal growth. The response was overwhelmingly positive, to the point where people told me they look forward to it each Friday. I started sharing with a few other people in EO, and they did the same and had the same result. So I decided to start expanding the list and see what happened. From there, it just started to expand. I set up the website as a place to host all the content and decided to write a book.
Why do you think Friday Forward has been so successful?
I believe because I focused 100% on creating content that people would enjoy and that would be inspirational, without any other competing objectives. It has been a very "giver's gain" effort.
What was most surprising about the success of Friday Forward?
I have realized from hundreds of heartfelt notes from readers that people really want to be inspired and need more inspiration in their lives, and that the right message at the right time can make a big difference. I have at least 50 different messages saying "this was your best one," which of course had more to do with what it meant to those individuals at that particular time in their lives.
What's missing from most cultures that Friday Forward solves?
Honesty, vulnerability, and taking the time to lift others up and inspire them to be better. Every entrepreneur has the power to create more productive employees by improving their capacity in all aspects of their lives.
In a world filled with disheartening news--real or fake--it's no wonder why Friday Forward's positive messages have been so successful. And if you're wondering how successful Friday Forward is exactly, consider that this company newsletter reaches more than 9,000 people--and Acceleration Partners only has about 70 people in the entire company, as of this writing.
So, in your next company newsletter, take a page out of Bob's book and give people a little something inspirational. You never know who might end up reading it, and needing it.