Where Dreams Come to Happen: Success Stories from the Start Experiment

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

30 Days ago I joined a movement that I’m pretty sure is going to get this world’s attention eventually. It all started with an email sent by best selling author, Jon Acuff, that simply said, “Adventurers Wanted.” That’s it. There was a form to fill in.

I have an odd affection for vague adventures, and I respect Jon, so I just went ahead and drank the kool-aid.

This online, Facebook group is called ‘The Start Experiment’ and is based on Jon’s best selling book, START. All participants are asked to identify a risk.  My risk for the first 24 days was to create a blueprint for a program that would eradicate childhood obesity in my county 1 family at a time.  I completed it.

My new 24 day risk is to implement the program I created and begin training to get on the cover of The Challenge Magazine. So far, so good!

All this may sound pretty insignificant until you realize that there are nearly 3,500 other starters in the group of varying ages, demographics & interests!

Here’s the thing…We are making a ‘ding in the universe’ and I wanted to share just a few examples of the Awesomeness that happened in just the first 24 days:

The Dollar Wallet

Kyle J. Britt: I launched an audacious Kickstarter for my project, The Dollar Wallet. I needed $10,500 to be able to make my dream a reality. I was sure I wouldn’t make it, but I decided that it was more of a risk to not try than to try. And here we are, six days later and I’VE ALREADY RAISED $10,618 with 24 days left to go. This thing is happening, and I would NOT have done it without this group, so thank you all! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/516785724/the-dollar-wallet-made-in-the-usa

10,000 Steps 1 Step at a Time:

-Jane Tuttle: I made it to getting in 10,000 steps and then I had knee surgery. I did it through incremental goals. I knew I had to add 600 steps every few days. I found creative ways to add steps to my day without it feeling like I was working out. I found that once I did it, I knew I could continue to do it. For those of us that are just returning to fitness, doable goals are motivating. I want to run a 5 K using C25K is a bit overwhelming and can be part of the long-term goals. I did cut out most processed foods which is easy to do with the summer garden bounties. For me, the risk, the action plans to get there, the encouragement from my small Group and my startner made it possible. I’m hoping that the mental switch stays switched as I limp along the road to recovery.

A Childhood Dream Becomes Reality

Stephen Gruber: I met my goal! I’m creating a hand-drawn, animated video bumper for my church’s children’s ministry. In the first 24 days, I conceived the idea, created a storyboard and animatic, got it approved by the children’s pastor, started animating, and ended the round on track to meet the deadline. (In the second 24 days, I’ll be completing it. It will be used beginning on 8/31 for the “Fruit of the Spirit” series that the kids start that weekend.)  I dreamed of becoming an animator as a kid. I did some flip-books then, and a few short “pencil tests” as an adult, but this will be what I consider my first complete project. Short, but complete. It will be inked and colored, and run about 14s in full HD, with sound.

A Sweet Victory

Mandy Watson: I completed a 21 day Sugar Detox! It was so awesome, I’m going to go another round! I can’t describe the difference in how I felt, my attitude, how I slept…I even dropped a pant size.  My goal was to complete the detox and to be healthier for my family. I feel that I achieved the goal.

A Most Difficult Decision is Finally Made

Sidnie Miller: I stood up for myself and my family in Round 1. Fear looked like staying in an unhealthy marriage, and while congratulations aren’t in order, I found the strength and courage to say no more. It’s been years of battling with each other, and neither one of us really having the courage to say, “We deserve more/better/different.” Before I knew what Jon’s experiment would entail, I had decided that I would find that courage- his experiment just happened to be perfectly timed and held me accountable. Divorce papers were signed, and I am now trying to figure out what all this means and how I move forward from here.
my blog: www.greenenoughforme.com

A Dream Revealed

Lesa Brackbill: Mine started out simply as self-discipline, as I wasn’t sure at the beginning what my dream really was. Through the process of learning how to read my Bible, journal, eat clean, and exercise, I was able to obtain the clarity needed to realize what my dream/passion really is. SO, during 201, I’m focusing on my dream! Our blog is http://thebrackbills.wordpress.com

A Most Ambitious Game of ‘Catch’

Ethan Bryan: Trying to become the “World’s Best Catch Player.” First risk was to play catch with the President. I did get an actual email from the actual White House, but that’s it so far. More about this project and other attempts related to the story can be found on my blog: http://ethanbryan.wordpress.com.

A Blog is Born

Audra Rogers: My risk was being vulnerable to what people might think of me as a writer, and revealing deeper info about myself. I launched a new blog with a few no-holds barred posts among several tame ones. The response was incredible and I’m so glad I did it! My blog is http://www.RealHonestMom.com I got over 200 hits which I’ve never even come close to before. Small potatoes to some, but big to me!

Larry Poole: I went from zero to consistent blogger in 24 days with no experience whatsoever. Registered a domain, installed a them, have written 10 posts as of today, am having an article featured on a nationally recognized site, and am being interviewed for my first podcast tonight.
I blog on generosity, leadership, and the local church.
Gotta give props where they’re due so “All glory to God.”

Check out Larry’s blog at: http://www.larrypoolespeaks.com

Matt Habuda: Launched 2 blogs and started my book. I have been a professional speaker throughout my career, but I have been scared my whole life of people reading what I write. Now I write daily and post multiple times per week. I’m also seeing my writing feed my consulting services and I’m one step closer to full time self employed status. Love what I’ve #STARTed. www.ActSpeaking.WordPress.com

Michelle Discavage: Began writing more seriously on my blog and become a monthly contributor for the Internet Cafe Devotions site. I also completed the first edit of a children’s book and have increased our AdvoCare business. http://www.chasingthedivine.com; http://www.advocare.com/06103098

More Than a Hobby

Sean Nisil: My risk is making the change from hobby blogger to internet entrepreneur. I blog on Intentional Stewardship at http://www.seannisil.com. In the first round, my major success was an internal one: changing my perspective in how I approach my blog. I’m now posting consistently and working on providing more value to my readers through great content. I will be including more interviews with thought leaders as well as launching a podcast within the next 2 months. I also have a Speaker page on my site and look forward to growing my platform as a public speaker.

A Passion for Filmography Leads to a Opportunity to Learn for Free

Ashley Hamilton: My risk was stepping out and looking into ways of getting involved in filmography. I never had any training, so it was important to look for ways to a. get that training and b. find opportunities that took on people who don’t have any experience. After identifying this risk, an opportunity became available for me to become involved in Video Ministry at my church – training included and no experience required! I’ve also had friends step up and teach me all I need to know within the “intro to film” aspects. Small steps, but already I feel like I’ve accomplished so much!

Coming Soon:  Jen’s 1st Book!

Jen Moff:  I committed to writing every day (working on my book-memoir/nonfiction/I don’t know yet), a minimum of 300 words per day, so I would total 7200 words at the end. I actually ended up with 14030 words.

Goodbye, ‘Someday Folder’…Hello Sweet Victory!

Amy Campbell: I committed to do something for my company every day, the same as i do for my clients….and to stop hiding behind my work for the clients I serve. To punch fear in the face meant to step up and promote my business. I have been afraid to do that because: 1. Who am I to say that? 2. Hasn’t it been already said, and said better by someone else? 3. What will they say about me? *Guess what? I did. Every. Single. Day. I did put my business focus on the front burner. I stopped putting my dreams in the “someday’ folder. I’m doing this…thanks to the START! Be sure to follow Amy’s journey at http://http://www.theredchecker.com or http://www.facebook.com/theredchecker

Just Pure Awesome

David Bouchard:  If you want to get a good look at what 24 days of awesome looks like take a look at this blog post by David! http://getemtiger.blogspot.com/2013/08/finding-words.html

Small Steps to a BIG Reward

Tammy Helfrich: It wasn’t my risk, but I joined a group of Starters to get healthy and lose weight while we were doing our main risk. We supported and encouraged each other to make healthy choices. I tracked all of my food on myfitnesspal, worked out 19/24 days and lost 10 pounds. Sticking to tracking my food was the key, since I typically only track for a few days and then stop. I feel great and have more energy to work on my dream. http://www.TammyHelfrich.com

Oh, No Biggie…I Just wrote a BOOK!!!

Nick Pavlidis: I completed my first draft of my book “Confessions of a Terrible Husband” and launched my blog as a self hosted site – http://www.ATerribleHusband.com. The STARTexp community was incredibly supportive and in round 2 I will finish my second draft and get it ready for production!

A Collector of Grande Stories

Jess Titchener: Hailing from little old Britain, I took a risk to really push the boat out on my little experimental blog to share stories of adventures of all kinds from across the globe. I asked more folk to contribute, stirred some interesting conversations and many have now read and experienced the blog. Just be stepping out, leaving the harbour, and putting it out there for all to see – God has blessed my endeavours. I would LOVE to hear even more stories. Would you like to share one of your adventures? Get in touch! http://www.ThisTrainIsBoundForGlory.com, or @JessTitchener

And that’s only 19 dings of the 3,431 Starters in the Group!!!!  It’s breathtakingly beautiful what a little bit of structure, a smidge of audacity & a bunch of Starters can accomplish!  Stay tuned & get ready world; this is just the #START!


About challengeyourfamily

I'm just a family guy with an amazing wife & 6 kids. I love to observe, think & ask questions. I love writing, enjoy the process, crave the finished product but ALWAYS put it off. My wife & I work our business full-time with one another from home and help people experience physical & financial transformations. This Blog is designed to help me sort through life. I hope it's helpful to you, as well.

Posted on August 19, 2013, in Blogging, Community, Relationships, Social Media, StartEXP, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Honored and inspired. Thanks Rob!

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