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In Search of Inspiration: The 12 Week Mastermind

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carrie rollwagen holds the 12 week year book

The past year has made the future feel more uncertain than ever, and when we can’t see tomorrow, it’s hard to make the moves we need to make today to improve it. There’s something to be said for embracing uncertainty and our lack of control and not constantly worrying about the future — but I’ve spend a year meditating on that lesson. Now, I’m ready to do something.

This is what I was thinking about when I found the book The 12 Week Year. The concept of the 12 Week Year is pretty much what it sounds like — to carve out 12 weeks and plan for them like you would for a year. The authors say that, even at the best of times (not 2020/2021), setting goals annually has two big flaws: 1) You don’t really start pushing for your goals until the last two months of the year because you feel like you have plenty of time, and 2) Life changes throughout the year, and the goals you set on January 1 aren’t usually still what you should be aiming for by December 31.

Doesn’t a 12 Week Year sound much more doable? December may still look foggy, but I think a 12 week (or three month) timeline sounds just about perfect for what I can handle right now.

Want to Try It with Me? Join the 12 Week Mastermind!

It seemed clear to me while reading the book that the 12 Week Year would have more impact (and be more fun) if I did it with a group who were all dedicated to the same idea, so I decided to start a virtual Mastermind group and open it up to anyone interested in joining me.

For $50, you’ll be invited to join the private Slack group where we’ll be able to chat with each other (and where I’ll share what’s motivating me each weekday). We’ll have a kickoff session before we start to talk about setting our goals and vision, and we’ll have weekly video calls to check in with each other and get ideas about how to work the plan even better. We’ll also have a “year in review” celebration at the end of the 12 weeks to look back on everything we’ve done and congratulate each other.

All the FAQ details are below — and feel free to hit me up through my contact form or in my social media DMs if you have other questions!

Start Fresh, Finish Strong

I love that the 12 Week Year plan promises me the “fresh start” advantage of January 1 and the “finish strong” motivation of December within a short time frame. I also think it’ll encourage me to set more reasonable goals — when I think I have an entire year to work, I tend to set so many goals that I can’t keep up, and then I lose motivation and stop working on any of them. But it’s easier for me to understand that 12 weeks really isn’t that long, and although my goals are still aspirational, they are also (I hope), attainable. I’m already excited about the planning I’ve done for the 12 Week Year, and I’m looking forward to meeting other people who are excited about it, too. (Because my family and friends are decidedly not, haha!)

The 12 Week Year Book: Full of Ideas for Optimizing Your Time to Reach Your Goals

There are so many more concepts in The 12 Week Year that I resonated with and am excited to start integrating into my life and planning. On this week’s Localist podcast, I talk about some of the ideas I found most compelling.

All the details for joining the mastermind are below. Registrations close June 22 (that’s 12 days from now!), and we’ll start the “new year” July 1! If you’d like to order the book, buying through our affiliate link supports both the podcast and your local bookstore.

Ready to sign up? Click the link below to pay, and look for an email with details within 48 hours.

Masterclass Invite

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When are the meetings?

  • Kickoff: Thursday, June 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Weekly Meetings: Thursday nights 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Celebration (Tentative Date): Thursday, Sept. 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

I’m ready! How do I sign up?

Pay using the button above, or pay me directly through PayPal, Venmo or Cash App — I’m @crollwagen. (If you pay directly through Venmo, PayPal or Cash App, fill out this form so I’ll know to attach your name to your payment.)

How do I buy the book?

If you want to support the podcast, buy the book here through our affiliate link — the podcast will make money, and local independent bookstores will also make money when you purchase through that link, too!

If you prefer audio, here’s a link to my audiobook affiliate code through Libro.fm. I love Libro.fm — I listen to books through it every day, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

Do I have to read the book?

No, you don’t have to read the book to be part of the mastermind! The basic principles are fairly simple, and you can pick them up from being part of the group. However, it certainly helps if you’d like to read it! The book is a pretty quick read, and the audiobook is pretty short, too. (Want a quick overview? I share the main concepts in this week’s Localist podcast.)

I’m not sure I can attend the meetings. Can I still be part of the group?

Absolutely! I’ll be posting in the Slack channel every weekday, and we’ll be interacting there. Just joining the Slack group will give you enough value to make the mastermind worth it. (The invitation price is the same whether or not you attend the video meetups.)

Will meetings be recorded?

No, the video meetups won’t be recorded. That’s because this isn’t a course — it’s a group where we learn from each other and talk through our progress. In order to protect everyone’s privacy, I’m not recording the sessions.

I’ve never used Slack before. Do I have to buy it?

No, you can use Slack for free! In your intro email, I’ll send you a link to download Slack; I recommend you download the app to your computer and to your phone so you have the best experience. (Don’t worry — you can turn alerts off easily when you don’t want them.) If you haven’t used Slack before, just be sure to download it before the Kickoff — I’ll do a short intro and help you troubleshoot there if you haven’t used it before. It’s pretty easy, especially when you have someone to walk you through it!

Is this sponsored by 12 week year?

No, this isn’t sponsored by the 12 Week Year. This isn’t a course — I’m not teaching you in detail how to do the 12 Week Year. The people who wrote the book sell courses and coaching here. The mastermind I’m offering is a group designed to support each other in walking through the program as it’s laid out in the book, to learn from each other what works and what doesn’t, and to have accountability to stay on track. I’ll also be sharing encouragement and relevant articles through the Slack channel every weekday.

Why are we starting July 1?

The authors of The 12 Week Year are very specific about saying this is not just a glorified version of fiscal quarters, and I agree with that. However, I still wanted to line this mastermind up with the fiscal quarter because many of us (including me) operate on that system for work. I thought it would be easiest to line up the two so I’m going after the same goals.

I want to join, but I can’t afford $50.

I have two scholarships available! To apply, just fill out this form sharing about why you want to be a part of the mastermind. (You don’t need to tell me why you can’t afford it — just tell me why you want to do it.)


Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram and follow Carrie at @crollwagen.

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