The Full Experience by Mike Howard of November Project

Mike Howard is a guy who you’ve never heard of, or you fucking love him. He rides his bike from Bucksborough (or some town in MA) to Boston no matter what the conditions are.

He has three kids, probably a hot wife, and a creative mind. We met Mike during the very first stages of working with New Balance for a project called #Runnovation which turned out to be amazing for all parties. Well, we’ll let Mike tell the story… ladies and gents, this is Mike Howard and his full experience with November Project.

Hey kids, did I ever tell you about the time Brogan and Bojan asked me for a million bucks?

Okay, in truth, it wasn’t exactly a million. It was somewhere in the mid-to-high nines, as I recall – a number close enough to a million without having the audacity to actually be a million. And if I’m being completely honest, they didn’t exactly ask me for it. Not at all, actually.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.

The first time I met Brogan it wasn’t against the epic backdrop of Harvard Stadium. No, instead I met him in a humble conference room in Brighton.

For those of you who’ve never experienced Brogan indoors, suffice it to say there are issues of scale with which one must contend. People like Brogan aren’t supposed to occupy humble conference rooms in Brighton, or anywhere else for that matter. He entered, and I swear about five people had to leave just to accommodate him.

Let me just state for the record, I’ve always been the kind of guy who feels perfectly comfortable owning a man crush. I think it’s a healthy thing to acknowledge. I mean, I’m a very happily married father of three lovely little girls, but come on! If you’re a dude, and you know Brogan, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

So in walks this guy, made of pure thunder and charisma (roll the R, for full effect). He’s ten feet tall if he’s an inch, his limbs are covered in several square yards of gnarly tats, he’s got the whole chiseled jaw thing going on, and an 18-pack that’s fully apparent even under a down jacket. So when I reach out for a handshake and he leans in (and way, way down) for a bear hug instead, well, it’s pretty much all over. I’ve got a full-on raging broner.

But as it turns out, the most appealing, magnetic thing about Brogan was that he and his mysterious Serbian shadow cohort, Bojan, had stumbled onto something for which they were obviously, and uniquely intended – something for which it seemed they were put on Earth. People spend their whole lives oblivious to their “something.” Maybe they never find it. Maybe they never even bother to try. But these guys had it. And they believed in it with all their heart.

Moreover, they weren’t content to simply write off their “something” as the product of accidental or serendipitous circumstance. Instead, they’d taken the time and initiative to examine it. To analyze it. To decode, identify, and isolate the specialness of their something.

And over the course of the next I-don’t-know-how-long, Brogan set about communicating his research findings, spewing his cult of personality all over the humble conference room and its occupants while pitching us on his grand plans for the November Project and its eventual global takeover.

The insights he shared were thoughtful ones. They’d observed, for example, how the confined dynamic of the stadium and Summit Avenue allowed for friendly competition while at the same time, neutralizing it – allowing less competitive folks to melt in unselfconsciously amid the waves of ascending and descending bodies.

They also observed how this dynamic facilitated social interaction. Rather than just passing the same runner once a day along the Esplanade with little more than a polite nod of the head at best, in the stadium, you pass the same people often enough to force interaction. To not interact would be awkward. And eventually, that interaction becomes second nature. Comfortable, even.

He shared their thoughts on an optimal female-to-male ratio (“About 60/40. Girls like working out with girls. Guys like working out with girls.”), and the motivational power of shirtlessness and rock-hard booties.

He shared their totems and rituals – the hugs, the Fuck Yeah’s, the oar handle inscribed with Sharpie, the grassroots gear – and the important and intentional role all of it plays.

November Project, as he pitched it, was about fitness, yes. Undeniably, fundamentally, unrelentingly, this thing was about people pushing one another to dry heaves and then to the higher levels of awesomeness that lay beyond.

Not insignificantly, it was also about free fitness. Indeed, “free” was one of the core tenets of their movement. Damn the membership fees! Your world is your gym! Getting fit is your inalienable right!

But most importantly, they recognized the power of November Project as a community, above and beyond all else. You should all know this: If Brogan made one point most loudly, clearly, and explicitly in that humble conference room, it was that he and Bojan regard each and every member of their exponentially growing tribe as friends. Friends they would never under any circumstances betray, or exploit. They very clearly recognized that this fact, more than any other, set November Project apart from, and above all the boot camps and the running clubs out there. Community was their special sauce.

And alas, therein lay the million-dollar rub, and the moral of this story. But once again, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Bear with me.

The truth is I already knew a whole lot about this November Project thing, because I’d already been stalking all of you for months. It started about a year ago. A colleague of mine named Janeen was leaving for a new job in New York. On her last day she came into my office, wrote the words, “November Project. Check it out.” on a Post-it, and stuck it to the screen of my laptop.

So I did. I checked it out. In the online-y sense, anyway. And then I “liked” you, and I “followed” you. I enjoyed your pictures and videos, the blog posts, and the hash tags. I discovered other friends and colleagues were also passionately involved, and as online stalking goes, it was a delightful experience. Thank you! Seeing you all having fun together never failed to either inspire me to go out and play, or to frustrate me because I was stuck in my fucking office.

I wanted to participate, too. I don’t want to diminish that fact in the least. I love shit like this, which is part of why Janeen stuck that sticky note in the first place. But to be honest, I wasn’t necessarily in the market for another community to which I could belong. Again, I’m a husband and a dad. My oldest daughter was just turning eight, and my younger twin girls were just two years old. So I was (and am) a little busy with all that.

Nor did I need any particular motivation being #weatherproof. I live in the suburbs about 12 miles west of Boston, and since 2008, I’ve ridden my bicycle to and from work more or less every day, year-round. I take a lot of pride in my motivation during the winter months, and I felt a philosophical kinship with November Project in that way. I relish the fact that people think I’m crazy for getting out there in the hell and the high water. I suspect you guys take some pleasure in that, as well. Winter in New England will suffocate you if you don’t get out and embrace it. We’re not the crazy ones, they are.

Still, I really did want to participate. It didn’t help that I was going through something of a midlife crisis – coming to grips with the fact that my life didn’t accommodate certain freedoms anymore. Here was yet another party I could not attend. Another spontaneous adventure I couldn’t embark upon. I wanted to participate. But I didn’t feel I could. So I never did.

Then came that meeting in the humble conference room when my orbit intersected with November Project.

Neither I, nor any member of my team initiated the meeting. Claire Wood did. You guys all know Claire, of course. She’s November Project to the core, and she also works for a certain Boston-based athletic shoe company that rhymes with “Lou Valance,” a famous Vegas lounge singer I just now made up. Her company is also a client of mine, and my team was there as a communication partner.

The purpose of the meeting was a bit vague. It was an introduction, certainly. Ostensibly it was about striking up some sort of a partnership and, at least to me, it made complete sense. I mean on the one hand, here’s this Boston-based athletic company with a sense of local pride at the core of its global presence. On the other, we’ve got these guys who’ve started a bona-fide fitness phenomenon right in their back yards. These two parties should at least share a dance, shouldn’t they?

Good impressions were made, hugs were exchanged, and the meeting concluded, more or less thusly: “Guys, we love you. What exactly do you propose? Put it on paper, in detail, and let’s talk again.”

Brogan then left the humble conference room and returned, one can only imagine, to Mount Olympus where Bojan had been waiting for him. The two then did what they were asked. Very meticulously and thoughtfully, they drew up a proposal, complete with carefully itemized budget items, for this Boston-based athletic company to aid in the worldwide development of the November Project brand.

The sum total of their proposal? You guessed it. Just shy of a million dollars.

A million dollars! A million dollars?! Seriously? The audacity! The nerve! Are these guys delusional?

Let’s just say, the other side of the table was not super receptive.

But here’s the thing: Of course, they asked for a million dollars! What the fuck else were they supposed to do?

They’d been charged with putting a number on their life’s calling. This thing that had come to mean so much to these two guys – this thing that had come to define their lives and their friendships, into which they’d poured so much effort and energy – they were being asked to put a price tag on it. What would you do?

Would you lowball your own passion?

Brogan and Bojan weren’t armed with even a vague context. They didn’t know how their million-dollar ask compared to other athletic sponsorships. They didn’t know how it compared to other marketing efforts. And most of all, they didn’t know if another chance like this was ever going to come along. So they did what they thought was right, and did their level best to do themselves and their November Project justice.

Shortly after the ill-fated proposal, I received an email from Brogan. He wanted to talk and suggested we meet for coffee. It was a Sunday, February 17. The next day was President’s Day. I had the day off, so I told him I’d go do his workout and we could have coffee after that.

The Destination Deck was down on the wharf at the Children’s Museum, and it was fucking cold. How cold? Hold up; let me check with my Internet. Yep, it was about 16 degrees.

The ride from my home through the morning darkness was bleak and lonely. The loneliness is significant. See, November Project starts at 6:30 AM sharp. So if you’re traveling any distance to the location in the dead of winter (particularly if you’re traveling by bike), getting out of bed is only the first psychological obstacle to overcome.

The turnout that day was not epic. Of course, it was a holiday, and it was Monday, and again, it was 16 de-fucking-grees out. Still, given all that, they managed to draw numbers I estimated in the low triple digits. It was impressive.

The workout? In a word: Humiliating. There are pictures. Sad, unfortunate pictures. The ignominy is etched into my psyche. I’ve run marathons. I am an avid cyclist. When I was in high school…no. NO! I will not invoke high school accomplishments in my defense. Let’s just say, if you’ve been taking for granted your ability to push and/or sit up without testing that ability recently, you’re gonna be a little crestfallen after a Monday with November Project.

After my fitness Come-to-Jesus, Brogan and I had coffee around the corner. The sun had risen and the loneliness of the day was melting away. We got to know each other a little better, and talked about things like monetization and scalability. We discussed analogous business models, and their dreams for this thing to become a full-time enterprise.

I asked why he didn’t start by just throwing up a “shop” tab on his blog. At the very least. Just make some tee shirts, maybe a winter beanie or something. Start super simple and see what happens. “Your people love this thing,” I said. “They want it to succeed. They would buy a freakin’ tee-shirt from you, no doubt about it.”

He said they’d talked about it, but that they were already doing this Grassroots gear thing – spray painting a stencil of their logo on athletic gear people already own – and it had become part of their culture.

Okay, well what about co-branded merchandise? Like, what if you struck a deal with, the aforementioned Boston-based athletic company to produce a line of November Project gear designed along the #weatherproof ethic (#weatherproof is another November Project-ism). Maybe you could just license your name? Talk to a lawyer. See how it’s done.

He didn’t find that palatable either. I can’t recall exactly why, but as we bounced around other thoughts (Kickstarter? Alternative sponsorship model?), the primary themes of conversation all came back to authenticity. Staying true to the values that made November Project special in the first place was non-negotiable. They wouldn’t take any chances on anything that might compromise the integrity of the beautiful thing they were building.

The more we talked, the more I understood their frustration. November Project is a very time consuming labor of love for Brogan and Bojan, but doing what you love for a living has never been more romanticized than it is today.

We’re constantly being pumped full of lofty TED-talk and pithy Pinspiration. Steve Jobs’ famous graduation speech at Stanford has well over 30 million views on YouTube. Everywhere we turn we’re inspired by Fast-Company-ready stories of life passions translated into wealth, fame, and success.

So why should November Project be any different? It’s nothing if not wildly entrepreneurial. And yet, by its very nature and code, it seems to defy monetization.

Oh, and there’s also this rather substantial elephant in the room: How do you go about scaling Brogan and Bojan? Ask either of them and they will insist it can be done. Indeed, as more November Projects pop up around the country, who knows? Maybe they’re right. But without those two enormous personalities, without Harvard Stadium, without this town needing something just like this, could November Project really be November Project?

These two young men had found their lightning. Finding the right bottle for it was proving more difficult.

Which, for me, begs the question: Does all lightning need to be bottled? Does it need to be mass-produced, shipped, marketed, advertised, and merchandised? As a culture, have we gone too far commoditizing our Passion™? And have we cheapened it in the process?

In the end, the Boston-based athletic shoe company and the Boston-based grassroots fitness movement did share their dance, albeit without the million-dollar marriage.

For my part, it was an incredible experience. As an, “Advertising Professional,” being involved with this thing and being entrusted, along with my team, to bring it to life genuinely and purely – to not fuck it up – forced me to examine what I do and the ethic with which I do it.

I’d like to think our November Project, um, “project” helped contribute a little more to the fame of the thing, but I don’t know. The guys were doing a pretty good job on the fame thing before we got mixed up with one another, and they’re doing even better with it now. Either way, I’m profoundly proud of the work we made together.

As a person – specifically as a 40+ year-old person – the experience has proven even more rewarding. After that bitter cold day in February, I continued to attend the workouts as regularly as I could. I’m calling them “workouts,” but I never thought of them that way. True to Brogan and Bojan’s mission, it’s become a valuable community to me, more than anything else. I’ve met interesting and talented people with whom I never would’ve come into contact with otherwise. I’ve brought friends along. I’ve even won that oar handle – the Positivity Award.

It’s helped me become more connected to my larger community, too. I never used to think of Boston as my home. I was just biding my time until we left for Southern California, or New York, or who knows where. That’s changed now. Now I can see the value I lend to this place – the value we all could lend if we would just decide not to flee for fairer climes.

I was riding from a workout one morning with Brogan, talking about another plan he was concocting, and I remember he said, “Yeah, Boston could stand to be a whole lot cooler.” I think with more people like him, and Bojan, and the rest of you, it stands a chance of fulfilling that promise of increased coolness. I like to say, “Boston needs you more than you need New York.” I think November Project is a shining example of that belief.

While writing this, I was reminded of some of the early emails we traded back and forth. This one sums up my feelings then and now:

You’re still young. You don’t have mortgages or families yet. And this is the critical thing: what you’re doing matters. It makes a real difference in people’s lives.

My advice to you is this: Don’t sell this passion of yours to fucking anyone.

Keep building November Project (and your personal brands) using every connection and resource you’ve got.

Get out there and speak. Scrap. Struggle. Lose your jobs. Get new jobs. Lose those jobs, too.

And then THEN, something will happen – something will click, and your tattoo’ed asses will wind up rich and famous for creating this thing.

And when you look back on it all, you’ll have all those cool stories that come from building something great together. And you won’t be kicking yourselves for the compromises you made early.

I would give anything to be in a position to take the sorts of risks you guys can take right now. Trust me, in 10 years, your lives WILL look very different, one way or the other.

Whatever happens with Brogan and Bojan and this social/fitness movement/experiment of theirs, they will look back on this as one of the most amazing times of their lives. And we can all have the privilege of saying we were there for it.

Meanwhile, if any of you has an extra million bucks burning a hole in your pocket, maybe consider investing in these guys. I don’t know if you’ll ever see the money again, but you might find the return is a whole lot more valuable.

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46 Replies to “The Full Experience by Mike Howard of November Project”

  1. Can we see the business plan? I’m curious to know what $1M would buy in terms of expanding and improving NP.

    This is a tough nut to crack because the reason NP is so wildly successful is because it’s not commercial, because it promises free workouts forever and because of its focus on community instead of selling a product.

    I personally am torn. Brogan and Bojan deserve to make a living just like everyone else, and it’s impossible to deny that it’s their time and energy that has made NP successful. At the same time, I cringe when I see New Balance ads seeking to sell someone shoes by trading off of NP. They don’t own it, no one owns it – not even the founders – and that’s the entire point.

    1. Alex, great points and we were in the same spot when we talked about this deal about a year ago. In a nutshell we planed to take $1m and use it for compensations for the tribe leaders of newly opened locations across the world (which we had 0 at the time but we going for 10), travel cost for me and BG to go and help other tribes start, grow and instill same core values that’ve been successful in BOS, website overhaul and addition of fitness tracking tools instead of manual sign-in sheets, equipment necessary to run everyday workouts and operations, etc.

      As far as who owns what, November Project, LLC is a partnership between me and BG, we own that. We organize free workouts around Boston that anyone can come to. We are opening locations (after the approval process) around the world under the name November Project (TM) which we own. Locations are popping up with the huge help of volunteer leaders who believe in the same cause that we do. We didn’t think that we would have so many interested leaders that would do it for free, and that’s why we initially asked for money.

      There are many workout groups, some are free and some are for $$ and members choose which one they’ll partake in. Choice is the key word here.

      In order to train outdoors, most humans need clothes and shoes. Athletic apparel brands see the value in partnering up with November Project so they can be in front of people that are constantly making choices on which brand of shoes/shirt/running pants to buy. It’s Marketing 101. If brand is willing to offer us funds that will support expansion of the movement, give us the opportunity to do something that we love and are so insanely passionate about, in return for bettering their chances in consumer’s decision-making during the shoe buying process, we’re okay with that. If that’s going to drop our street cred in the eyes of few – we’re okay with that too. We’re hoping that there are enough people out there who see the overarching value and benefit of such partnership that they’re okay with occasional branded ad. Remember, people choose to train with us, if they don’t like who we partner up with and how we go about it, there are plenty of other workout groups out there.

      Regardless of the path the we decide to take in the future, our workouts are always going to be free, we will continue to better our communities, if we do partner up with a brand we will never have a “glossy” look because that’s not who we are, and most importantly we’ll do whatever we can to support and take care of our tribe leaders around the world in whichever way we can by showing them gratuity for expanding our dream in the ways we couldn’t imagine possible.

      If you want to talk about this more, find me after the workout.

      1. Totally understand where you’re coming from, you own the NP brand and trademark and what you do with that is your personal business. I personally don’t have any issues with you being able to make prudent decisions on how that trademark gets used, including sensible partnerships which help spread the gospel and support you and your hard work.

        What gives NP its value, though, is the community that is so strong precisely because it is viewed as a grassroots effort that is more about people helping each other out and providing mutual support and motivation than about forming a sustainable business venture. It’s that community – and those ideals – that aren’t owned by anyone. It is your gift to Boston and beyond, whether you intended it to be so or not.

        Incidentally, I work in mobile and web application development and would be honored to build November Project a mobile app – or help with the website – for free. Let me know if I can help: alex [at] agolden.com

    2. Alex, please don’t cringe. Just know that we were true believers before we developed the partnership with NP. Claire Wood is OG NP and among their closest friends. My teammates Sara Goldsmith and Lauren Kugel-McGrath had been attending since NP’s first Spring. Sara often carpools with FJ. Ashley Shaffer who appears strong and beautiful in many of the ads, is a former colleague and forever friend of the agency. Advertising isn’t always what people think it is. Sometimes it’s just a bunch of young people who see the opportunity to tell great stories on behalf of their brand partners. Rest assured, all involved had the very best intentions.

  2. This frightens me. I really enjoy November Project because of the selflessness of it and how it does belong to the entire community. The idea of making money feels like the tribe is being exploited. As the group grows or becomes commercialized and money becomes a driving force, the culture is bound to change. It is inevitable. All good things come to an end and this maybe the beginning of the end of the originating culture that we know as November Project.

    1. John, read the piece and the comments one more time – you may change your opinion. Money was never and will never be a driving force. Also, this happened OVER A YEAR AGO and we’re pushing stronger then ever. The end is nowhere in sight.

  3. What a great story and well written. I really didn’t like the end however where he makes it seem like the be all and end all is to get rich and famous though. That was lame. I know those aren’t the NP leaders words but it really cheapened the whole thing for me. Best of luck and keep running with your passion.

    1. Great post, Mike! Personally, I think brands should be lining up to partner with NP (of course)!

      In an age where brand loyalty is harder to come by, where traditional channels’ influence wanes, and social media and mobile reign, the chance to build bonds with highly motivated, community minded, successful people should not be ignored.

  4. NP APP?!? #fuckyea!!! App then includes where the workout will be held, time and place?! State! Weather! Jesus! Amazing! Crews log in and out! Attended …
    Not attending – excuses just don’t work!
    #letsseethishappen #nplover

  5. hmm… all of a sudden all those bear hugs don’t feel as genuine. This is a business. When Andrew left for Canada and started a NP there, it was because he was really passionate about it and loved it. However, once you start paying people to lead tribes around the world – it becomes a job. You do it because you have to do it, not because you love it. The product is bound to be different. I know that Bojan and Brogan have to make a living and they have dedicated themselves to this, but the statement: “November Project, LLC is a partnership between me and BG, we own that.” makes me feel what John said – exploited. However, you can’t expect people to put all this effort into something and not get something out of it. This just gives November Project another feel though.

    Also, on a different note, I have a problem with how the same people are always highlighted in November Project pictures. Okay, we get it – they have great “shirtless” bodies. This gives you the sex appeal to attract people to your business or keep them coming. However, what about those people who just come, who aren’t as athletic, who are trying their best, and aren’t as wonderful looking for the camera? I feel they are your masses and they aren’t as valued. I didn’t see any of those people in the Runners World Magazine. Why? Aren’t they what November Project is about? Get out, get healthy? I don’t know – some of this stuff now makes sense.

    I feel I just learned all over again that Santa Claus isn’t real 🙁

    1. Hi Emily, I feel like I should chime in on behalf of Santa Brogan and Santa Bojan. They’re very real. They actually live underneath the stadium with Joey, FJ and a couple others.

      Let me be clear: Nobody gets paid. B&B don’t get paid. The million dollars never happened. That’s the point of this story. These guys each hold down two “jobs.” The first one keeps them warm and fed. The second one is the one they do for all of us without any reward except that which comes from doing it.

      The interesting, wonderful, and in some ways tragic thing to me is that their passion lies in the job that doesn’t pay them. And the main point I’m trying to make here is, that’s 100% okay. Passion is overhyped as a business model these days. Look at the TOMS guy. Look at Patagonia. Passion is good business these days.

      But sometimes passion is pure.

      Stay tuned for my next article, entitled: “Hey remember that time Brogan and Bojan took steroids?” (I’M KIDDING!!!!)

    2. Emily, I would love to have this conversation in person so please see me after the workout.

      But to answer some of your points:
      – “once you start paying people to lead tribes around the world – it becomes a job. You do it because you have to do it, not because you love it”. 100% agree! But why is it wrong to get payed for something that you love? Why would it be wrong to hire someone who’s fit, charismatic, entertaining, genuinely loving person, that can utilize those talents to make people do things that they would never dream of doing at 6:30am? To Mike’s point above – we’re still not getting payed to this. But if we did, wouldn’t your experience be even better? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had a web tool that can log your workouts and track your fitness progress? I don’t know many people that would build it for free. Bottom line is – our goal is still the same as it was 2 years ago, and will be in next 50 years: we want to get as many people out of bed, and moving for FREE! I’m sorry that’s it’s so hard for you to get around it.
      – Photography – when you have 400+ people running around you have very short time slot to take photos. I usually take about 150-200 of which 30-40 make it up on facebook. I don’t pick sexy bodies or attractive characters. I pick photos that are in focus or look cool from the composition standpoint. The reason we have Mugshot photos (where everyone’s photo is captured) or blog post features like this one is so we can feature some of those people that don’t make it into the photos but are integral part of our tribe.
      – RW cover photo has nothing to do with us. We had over 20 members at that shoot of all ages, shapes and sizes, that lasted 6 hours. RW design director took 6hrs worth of photos and composed the cover. If it was up to us, our group photo after the workout would be on the cover, but that’s not a design direction that RW was looking for.

      Bottom line is, if you think that our bear hugs are not genuine you don’t have to come – there is always your local gym that would genuinely love to take your $100 for a monthly membership.

    3. Emily,

      After reading your post there are so many things I would like to say. It’s hard to believe that you are someone who has spent any real time at November Project workouts. If you had and you were introducing yourself to new people and putting yourself out there to learn about them and tell them about yourself you’d NEVER say you felt exploited by November Project. It absolutely blows my mind that you could feel that way! Maybe you feel like you’ve been exploited by New Balance? Why I have no idea. They’ve given out a ton of free shit and have asked for nothing in return. To say the bear hugs don’t feel as genuine is only because you are the one half assing them. Brogan and Bojan are 2 people and as far as I can see they make every effort to spread themselves as thin as possible cheering EVERYONE on and giving out hugs and high fives. Should the newer people hate them because they make time for their friends who have been there from the beginning and spread the word about NP and tell them their doing a good job?

      It also, unfortunately, sounds like you do a job that you don’t like. It wouldn’t be a bad thing for someone to get paid to start up a November Project in another part of the US. Yes that would make it a job technically but plenty of people, including myself, get paid to do a job and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it and getting paid is more of a bonus. It appears that you haven’t found or aren’t able to do your “something”. I hope one day you will be able to and you’ll find the same joy and be able to positively effect half as many people as Brogan and Bojan have.

      I for one am extremely HAPPY that Brogan and Bojan own November Project LLC…. Do you know why!?! Because if they hadn’t some greedy, money hungry a-hole would have bought the name and they would be making millions off of it and actually exploiting you. They would ruin the name and take away the meaning. Brogan and Bojan have prevented that from happening.

      November Project is not about sex appeal. Again, like getting paid to do something you love, it’s a bonus! If you are going to try and say you don’t like or admire or appreciate looking at both men and woman who have worked really hard to be in the shape their in workout along side of you- I will call you a liar. There are some of the same people who are in many of the photos but not all the time. Do you look through the photos? There are now even more people who take photos and post them- maybe you aren’t friends with those people but hundreds of photos are taking of ALL SORTS of people- of different shapes and sizes. It’s hard to capture everyone. Maybe November Project should have teamed up with some photographers like Dooster to set up an almost 500 person photo shoot so everyone could be highlighted!! STRANGE CRAZY IDEA!

      You are missing the whole point of November Project and I feel truly sorry for you.
      I hope that you come to your senses or find another place and community to work out with.

      I love November Project and think the work that Brogan and Bojan have selflessly done is amazing. Keep up the great work guys. When I am a millionaire I will have already started my own NP tribe and will happily fly you guys where ever to spread your love! 🙂 <3

      I've also got some bad news…. The Easter Bunny isn't real either.

  6. All of the “new haters” who are chiming in with statements such as “I feel I just learned all over again that Santa Claus isn’t real” and the comments about Runner’s World…Do you think BG and Bojan had any say in who made the cover of RW? You think with all that they preach and PRACTICE that they would CHOOSE who was featured? You have to trust more in those that lead. BG and Bojan had ZERO say in who was chosen to be on that cover. That’s neither here or there. All that your comment portrays is jealousy, misinformation, and a lack of knowledge in the industry. In addition, these posts are an outrage. I live with Brogan and can tell you first hand, that he lives and breathes for November Project without ANY monetary advance. He spends his entire day working a “9-5” job that actually wants him working around the clock, and when he comes home, he gets on and works, thinks, brainstorms, talks about….you guessed it NP! The amount of $$$$ opportunities Brogan and Bojan have TURNED AWAY because it didn’t feel authentic to the tribe and what they/we all stand for our countless. You have no idea. But guess what, I do. I see behind the scenes. Shame on you for not believing in Santa Clause.

    Let me ask you a question, do you work for free? If so, let me know how you pay to feed your mouth.

    Mike Howard said it best: Passion is overhyped as a business model these days. Look at the TOMS guy. Look at Patagonia. Passion is good business these days. But sometimes passion is pure. BG and Bojan are the most selfless human beings I’ve ever met. EVER.

    We’ve been taught our whole life to do what we love and be passionate about something. “Do what you love and the money will come.”

    Man. What a bummer some of these haters are. Yuck.

    1. Woah, there, partner. I don’t think anyone was trying to suggest that Bojan and Brogan haven’t given their heart and soul into NP, or that they don’t have altruistic motivations, or that they have “sold out.” But it’s perfectly reasonable for people to want to contribute to something greater than themselves, and to know that they are furthering a community and a cause rather than a corporate alliance.

      I most certainly joined NP after you, and I certainly don’t “see behind the scenes,” so perhaps you lump me in as one of the “new haters”. But the way I see it, everyone who shows up to workout has a stake in that community, and has a right to participate in the discussion. Last time I checked, we weren’t assigned a rank based on order in which we joined.

      NP will succeed or fail based on motivating everyone to contribute to the cause. Whether that’s time, glow sticks, cans of spray paint, technical expertise, workout equipment, or the like, the trick is to encourage people to feel good about the organization and its goals so that it can continue to grow and thrive. Keeping an eye on corporate influence to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact that motivation is a reasonable and worthy goal.

      Your post seems to indicate that you don’t want to convince people that NP is a worthy cause that they should be willing to contribute to. Mostly, it just sounds like you want these “haters” to go away. It would be a real shame if people turned away from NP because of this type of attitude.

    2. It’s best not to feed the trolls Goldie.

      I’m sure there are people that join November Project one day and don’t like it. It isn’t for them because they either feel intimidated, are not huggers at 6:30AM or don’t feel the love the same way that they imagined.

      It’s a 2 way street. If you want to be in the photos.. there are group pictures. nobody sets an order so heck get on the front row (heck, I’ve done it) and you’ll be sure to get uploaded if you want to show off.

      Numerous people have always wondered about the ability of NP to stay free forever as its a bad business plan… well its not such a bad business plan when the leaders have other 9-5 jobs.

      Owning a small business I can totally relate that there are growing pains. They went from a party of 2 to an army of 10,000+ strong in just 2 years.

      Heading to another city where NP is active is also a highlight of a trip, how else can you make 50-100 new friends instantly and feel AWESOME?

      This was a great story and NP always defies the norm (SCENEBESEEN anyone?).

      Looking forward to more hugs, high fives, fuck yeah’s and pure awesomeness… “Remember fitness is a journey, not a destination”.

      See you tomorrow 6:30AM!

  7. EVERYONE:

    Please keep coming to November Project all winter. It helps cool everyone down.

    I am Santa and one day I’ll lie into the faces of my flexible children and say that I’m not. I am. Glad we cleared that up.

    Did I miss anything else here? Oh, Mike Howard is a genius and Goldie is a bodyguard. Sorry I’ve been light on social media today, I’ve been at work.

    The tribe is loving. The tribe is real. Santa is Serbian.

  8. Awesome article Mike and well said Goldie!! (and Brogan, as always)

    And to anyone who hates the money aspect of this, try to think if you could juggle all the balls most of us have in the air while, propelling your career and simultaneously running NP with the masterful craft of Brogan and Bojan.

    They have every right to make some money off NP because if they instead decided to direct their incredible energy & talent toward another business your MWFs would be A LOT different than they are now. Not to mention, I don’t know the hours B&B keep to earn a living, but I do know we all have freedom to put in an extra couple hours at work, take a couple hours of personal time to recharge, or do whatever it is we all do, while B&B take a majority of that time to make sure 1,000s of people feel awesome.

    So if they can get compensated, they deserve it. What they have created is incredible, if you think they would sell out your just a cynic.

  9. And again if you made it this far down in the comments section remember these two things.

    1. This is a story of a Member retelling something that happened almost 1 YEAR AGO.

    2. Tomorrow is Friday.. and Get up head to Summit Hill at 6:29AM!

    If you are thinking of commenting to whine just take your stress out tomorrow and not on the comments section. Good for Bojan allowing transparency vs deleting the negative vibes.

    TRIBE IS MEGA STRONG! BOOOOOOOM!

  10. Such an amazing story, great read Mike! Bojan and Brogan, you guys are so awesome. Obviously it’s important to think about and contemplate the future. It’s an obvious, and well, important thing to do. I wish you both all the success you deserve not just from this but form all of the other wonderful things in your lives you’ve accomplished. I can’t speak to the money aspect of this because I’m not an expert but I’ve grown up in the Boston area basically my whole life and what you two have done in such a short time is just amazing. I can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work and I feel immensely lucky to call you both my friends. No matter what becomes of this (and I hope it just continues to explode), know you have made such a positive impact on so, so, so many lives. Mine included! I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done, are doing and continue to do. It’s wildly inspirational! Ohh, and Fuck Yea and see you at 6:30 tomorrow morning. Peace!

  11. Ballsy to share, and friggin awesome, Mike. This might be one of my absolute favorite stories. I hope everyone who reads it does so carefully and completely, because it speaks volumes of the integrity and heart you, the people you work with, those you represent, and, most relevant to the tribe, BG and Bojan possess.

    And B&B, how AMAZING was it to discover that your fear (that people wouldn’t want to start this movement in other cities for free) was unfounded? That your passion and exuberance was absolutely enough to inspire other people to be as committed to their cities as you are here with us? When you think of that, does it just make you fly on air? I know the notion makes me grin from ear to ear.

    As someone who has been paid to coach for a charity I feel extremely passionate about, I can tell you from experience when your intentions are true, the love is real, the mission is clear, and you know in your heart you’d still do it for free, getting paid doesn’t cheapen the experience at all, not for the group and not for you. It just feels like a nice “thank you” gift for the love you share.

    I can’t wait to get my next sweaty hug tomorrow morning. It’s worth more than a million bucks. Just sayin’. 😉

  12. To put this in perspective Brogan and Bojan don’t have to do this. They are in great enough shape that if they really wanted to they could be personal trainers for middle aged women who have muffin tops, wear leopard print yoga pants, and smoke Virginia Slims. This could easily earn them each 70k+ a year. Imagine how things would be if they only had November Project as a job. How much more focused tweets and blogs can be and how those photos from Harvard stadium would hit your computer at 8:25 AM. Now I’m not saying they do a bad job because they do a phenomenal job but they still have other work obligations.

    Also to be said about the Runners world magazine shot. It’s a shot that makes sense. When have you seen an even slightly somewhat out of shape person on the cover of their magazine? Probably never I will assume. But there are a few people who may not be in the best shape but they are there at the stadium, doing the decks, and hitting up Summit Ave. What November Project has done is given us options to do something for free that you would have to pay up to $200+ a month at a boot camp or a crossfit gym.

    November Project has inspired a lot of people. I remember a guy that my business partner and I met at the Kinsale a couple of months ago. He had told us he did every workout in the last six months and had lost 50 lbs. This is impressive because I’m sure B & B would give this a big ol’ “Fuck Yeah”.

    There is also the guy in Arkansas who lost over a hundred pounds because he was inspired and realized he could use his own high school’s football stadium steps like it was his own personal Harvard stadium.

    I can even attest to being inspired. I am someone who comes probably twice a month (I know I should come a lot more) but I have done #deckaday 53 days in a row and I’m not stopping to 100. If there was no November Project this is something that wouldn’t have been happening.

    If anything November Project (B & B) has shown the world that they are leaders in integrity, community, and athletic innovation.

    (I feel like I have ripped off Brogan and Bojan because I have never paid a dime for any of the workouts).

  13. If I win the lottery I will just buy you boys a jet so you can bop around and spread the good NP love. Travel problems solved. And Thank You by the way…for everything you do.

  14. I didn’t read all of the comments so sorry if this was addressed, but have you guys looked at funding outside of the corporate sponsorship domain? To me, NP seems much less like a marketing avenue and way more like a great candidate for foundation/charitable giving. A charitable grant (or even a consistent stream of ongoing giving) would enable NP to remain brand-independent, which seems like a generally agreed-upon (if seemingly aspirational) goal, while paying people who devote a ton of time to this and providing capital to grow, without having to generate a return of the sort that can justify a marketing expense for a for-profit company.

    Look at it like this: if Mary Whittenberg can make a $500,000 salary at what is ostensibly a fitness-oriented not-for-profit that gouges 50,000 New York marathoners for hundreds of dollars every year, why cant an altruistic, egalitarian, not to mention free (and hence more scalable) NP get some of that pie? Have you guys looked at becoming a 501(c)(3)?

    NB has a charitable foundation – to me this is where you guys should have made your pitch. And I think you should have asked for a billion dollars, by the way.

  15. Mike, great story, it made me laugh both times I read it. Thanks for shedding some light on the mechanics behind the tribe we love. I am happy to be part of this social experiment – we are in excellent hands! Bojan, Brogan, you guys are the best. Who else could make 400 shivering bodies laugh out loud before the sun even comes up??

  16. things I learned this morning:
    1. Santa is not real
    2. FJ is alive
    3. Goldie is as badass at typing as she is at athletic activities
    4. Matt M is pure badass
    5. Alex K always makes valid points when it surround rational and financial decisions
    6. The tribe is strong and there is a lot of passion surrounding it, which is awesome. I just wish some people would talk about it in person and then hug it out after. I think this is a good lesson NP has taught me. More in person interaction and less online interaction.

    I hope each and every one of you continue to show up on MWF forever (even though I don’t show up on Wednesdays or believe in burpees). Keep highfiving, hugging (even though I avoid most of the hugs) and being badass. Remember, you don’t need to agree with everything that BG & BM say or do to love NP. JUST SHOW UP.

    Oh and if I have never said hi to you, just ask Lindsay Smith as he will be glad to introduce us.

  17. I normally don’t write comments on these types of things–actually, I don’t know that I ever have–but I felt really compelled to do so this time. I’ll keep it to a short, sweet, positive reinforcement of this article, of Brogan and Brojan, and of NP itself: I am extremely impressed with the NP “business” model and with NPs authenticity. This article exposed the founders and the organization in a way that made me appreciate November Project even more whole-heartedly. Thank you both for coming up with this crazy idea and for maintaining authenticity. Wednesdays mornings are the highlight of my week and I really need to get my ass to more Mondays and Fridays! Again, a big big THANK YOU for what you do–it makes a huge impact on my work week and when you multiply that by all the other tribe members…WOAH.

  18. Wow! I am just coming back to read all this and I think these posts made by Bojan, Brogan, and Goldie (Brogan’s girlfriend) say a lot. It boils down to “we own this” and you can’t voice your opinion. What kind of “tribe” is this? Monarchy? Dictatorship? If these were true leaders, the reaction would be “We appreciate your feedback. What do you suggest.” I agree with one of the previous posts about getting 501(c)(3) status. Just like Hubway, which is an asset to the city, NP is as well. It’s free workouts for the greater Boston area. Couldn’t you leverage that with the city to get money? Couldn’t you leverage that with many cities? Isn’t there funding to combat obesity? If you had the humility to ask for feedback and pooled your own “tribe” the suggestions you would get would probably behoove you. After all, this is Boston and you have some of the most educated people in the country here that have networks beyond what you could imagine.

    I am not one of those I need to be in the spotlight people. However, I have been coming to November Project for about a year now. I bring friends, I tell people, I love being there. However, it’s so sad that if you voice your opinion, you get called a hater. Sometimes it’s the people who voice opinions who make a change. Shame on you guys – really!

    1. You may say here, Hubway is sponsored by NB – true. However, the city actually pays for the docking systems. Each Docking system costs $100K. Universities such as MIT, Harvard or companies like NB sponsor the bikes. Hubway (owned by Alta Bike Share) maintains the bikes and takes a profit. So basically, the city and universities put in money because it’s an asset to the city. Similarly so is NP so getting money as a nonprofit isn’t a crazy idea.

  19. Dear Emily,

    I want to preface this statement by saying that I’ve actually never been to an NP workout, I don’t live in Boston, and I’ve never met Brogan or Bojan. I don’t want you to feel attacked by anything that I am about to type, and I hope that you will not feel that is what I am doing. Your opinion is valid, and I’m sure, appreciated. I don’t want to put words in anyone else’s mouth, especially someone I’ve never met, but I think this might be a fair time to point out that Bojan’s initial response to your 1st post above was that he’d love to discuss your concerns in person. That doesn’t sound like someone who is trying to dismiss or devalue your opinion.

    So onto some other things. Like I said, I’ve never been to an NP workout (because I don’t live in Boston), but I’m from Boston, and I still consider it home, and I think NP is the coolest thing to happen to my hometown since… actually, I can’t think of anything else on par with the November Project. The Boston Tea Party, maybe? Idk. So despite living 600 miles away, I follow the November Project like most people follow pro sports teams.

    I want to be clear here: I do not have an awesome shirtless body. I do not have six-pack abs. I still do pushups on my knees. And although I’ve never attempted it, I am 100% sure I cannot run a full tour of stadium stairs in anywhere close to the blistering pace that Goldie (another lovely human being that I’ve never met) can. Actually, I probably can’t even run a full tour of stadium stairs. So, I’m kind of with you, Emily, and I hope on the day that I finally make it home to Boston and my first NP workout, you’ll be there to run with me. I hope you don’t write-off the November Project just yet. I hope you don’t continue to feel exploited, or unappreciated. Because when a free grassroots fitness movement is predicated on the hashtag “just show up”, I doubt there is any amount of exploitation or unappreciation (note: Microsoft word says that “unappreciation” isn’t even a word).

    Are you still reading? Because, through my careful efforts to follow NP from hundreds of miles away and pretend like I’m almost part of this amazing tribe, here are some things that I’ve learned about NP.
    1. This story by Elin Flashman, about finding someone your speed, which encourages all runners, not just elite runners, to get involved. Unfortunately, Elin appears to be fully clothed in all of his pictures, so it’s difficult for me to say whether he falls into the category of “awesome shirtless bodies”. He probably does, though, since every body is beautiful and Elin appears wonderfully photogenic in all of his neon apparel.
    2. This myth-busting story by Deniz whose-last-name-I-don’t-know-sorry, which explains that, yes, you are fit enough for the November Project and, no, you will not be the slowest person out there.
    3. This blog post from Brogan, way back in May, where he responds to concerns about November Project getting too big, and faster racers having to zigzag around slower racers… In case my hyperlinks aren’t working, or you don’t feel like reading an additional, full blog post, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version: Everyone is welcome at November Project, so please stop being meanies about and support the slower racers (sorry for paraphrasing).
    4. That time Brogan was robbed of a personal, family item while moving and responded by assigning NP Homework for everyone to go out and be kind to others. Kind, not polite. Not holding doors open or giving up your seat on the T, but actually kindness, for no other person than to be kind to strangers (this anecdote is quoted in the Runners World article for those of you who are actually checking my sources here).

    I hope I have addressed some of your concerns about feeling unappreciated or exploited, and I hope have stayed true to NP in my characterizations and examples of the welcoming presence set by NP. I did also want, specifically, to address your concerns over this line “November Project, LLC is a partnership between me and BG, we own that.” I understand why, upon first glance, this line might cause some concerns about ownership and exploitation, but, and again, I do not know Bojan or Brogan and I do not intend to put words in their mouths, but rather hope to offer an alternative interpretation that may make you feel more at ease about the #runnovation partnership. See, while I understand where your concerns come from, I feel it is more likely that this line is meant to reassure you that Bojan and Brogan have trademarked November Project so that, legally, it cannot become commercialized or exploited. To assure you that, while they have teamed up with a nice running shoe company, they have not sold NP rights to that company, and they remain in control of NP to make sure it stays true to all that it has ever been. I think what he is trying to say, is “don’t worry, we won’t let them do anything that goes against what NP stands for, we’re being really careful with this, and won’t let any shoe companies do any harm to the NP-free-fitness-and-hugs-for-everyone-thing we’ve got going on”. You don’t have to worry about NP being bottled or commercialized, because Brogan and Bojan don’t want that (I don’t think), and they have the legal ability to make sure it doesn’t happen (I do think).

    I hope that this contribution has helped alleviate any concerns. And I hope I have not misconstrued anyone’s feelings (yours, theirs, the authors of the quotes blog posts, the amazing athlete and bodyguard that is Goldie). I hope you keep going to NP, and I hope you do meet up with Bojan after the workout to talk about any lingering concerns that you might have. It sounds like you have some great ideas and insights about nonprofits, etc. and I would hate to see those ideas get lost—I think that anyone at NP would be receptive to hearing them.

    I am not calling you a “hater”. I doubt very much that anyone who has shown up to sweat and hug strangers for a year carries herself through life with hatred. But I also think that referring to Brogan, Bojan or Goldie as a not real leaders who are running a monarchy or a dictatorship is unfair, to them personally and to NP as whole, and I don’t think it is a constructive way to engage in dialogue, so, while I understand that you felt challenge or attacked, I urge you to consider their feelings as well, and approach any further dialogue in a more open and respectful manner. I trust that they will do the same.

    One last thing. I’ve watched ABC Family’s the 25 days of Christmas enough years in a row to understand that Santa is the spirit of giving. So two guys who get up every MWF to run a free fitness program that welcomes, encourages, and hugs everyone? Yea, I’d say they’re pretty damn close to Santa Claus.

  20. Anna, thank you for the response. You know, as a mom of a toddler, I have seen Bojan and Brogan interact from afar for a year. I have seen them talk to random elderly strangers at the tennis courts and I have seen them give out bear hugs. To compare them to Santa is more or less a compliment. I have often thought, I hope I can raise my son like that. However, these interactions changed that.

    Initially, to learn that there has been a money making goal behind this and the way the blog was written gave out an ingenuine vibe. You would think that men like Bojan and Brogan who give out this calm vibe would never respond to someone voicing their opinion the way they have by mocking the Santa comment or saying “don’t come.” You’re right, I voiced my opinion and didn’t check the blog for a couple of days only to come back and see these tribe leaders and their girlfriend to have gone on an attack spree. The aggression in their posts is palpable. I understand that this is their baby and it’s personal, but I wouldn’t be checking the blog, inviting my friends, and coming regularly if I didn’t care. I am responding right now after putting my kids to sleep on my only day off from work. However, I have learned voicing an opinion is not welcomed in NP. I would talk to Bojan after the workout, but after reading “don’t come” and them poking fun at Santa and especially after Bojan’s last post:

    “Right. We appreciate your opinion. Your suggestions are life altering. Thanks for your amazing insight. Have a great day!”

    You’d have to be super dense to not see the caustic sarcasm in that. How do you talk to someone after a workout who doesn’t value your thoughts and efforts to help when you have to get to work. They have already turned you off and clearly don’t want to hear opinions other than their own. It’s their way or the highway. So why try?

    Anna, you’re right though, what they have started is great. I have seen it influence many people and regardless of how it grows, I hope it continues. It’s been one of my favorite things in Boston for a long time. Maybe that’s why I cared to voice an opinion.

  21. Emily,

    You raise some interesting points, but I’d like to focus on just one: “The aggression in their posts is palpable”. I do not mean to dismiss any of your other comments, but from what I have read, this seems to be your most overarching concern– but please do correct me if I’m wrong.

    First, yes, I think we can all agree that Bojan’s last post is sarcastic. I don’t, however, think it is fair, based on that post, to characterize him as someone who does not value the thoughts and opinions of you or anyone else at the November Project. When I read Bojan’s comment, it is clear that he is frustrated, and he has chosen a sarcastic tone of voice to express that. I understand why that tone may be off-putting, but at the same time, I think you may want to consider whether his frustration is warranted.

    Your last post seemed to be written with frustration as well: “I think these posts made by Bojan, Brogan, and Goldie (Brogan’s girlfriend) say a lot. It boils down to “we own this” and you can’t voice your opinion. What kind of “tribe” is this? Monarchy? Dictatorship? If these were true leaders…”

    I acknowledge that Brogan and Goldie’s posts have a certain amount of aggression and frustration in them, but, in the interest of directness, I’m going to stick with following only the progression of conversation between yourself and Bojan, mostly because he, initially, responded directly to you. And at the top of his response, he invited you to discuss your concerns with him in person. It seems you are upset, though, that he concluded with this line “Bottom line is, if you think that our bear hugs are not genuine you don’t have to come”. I hope I’ve properly understood why you were upset.

    Yes, he did use the phrase “you don’t have to come”. But I don’t think that invalidates your opinion, or dismisses your concerns—especially since he began by inviting you to discuss them in person. Based on the context of that last line, I don’t think it is fair to say that his response “boils down to ‘we own this’ and you can’t voice your opinion”. Because I don’t think “don’t come” is a reaction to your substantive concerns, I think it is a reaction to the way you chose to express them: “all those bear hugs don’t feel as genuine. This is a business.” And that it makes you feel “exploited”. Whether you intended them to or not, those words sound very accusatory.

    Frustration is an emotion, not something that makes them, or you, or anyone, a less-amazing person. I continue to hope that you do not feel attacked by what I am writing, and I continue to hope that I am not dismissing your concerns. You’re right, there is, quite clearly, frustration in some of the posts written by Bojan, Brogan, and Goldie. I wanted to draw your attention to the potentially aggressive and/or accusatory language in your own comments not to say that “you started it”, or that their words were wholly justified, or that they’re right and you’re wrong. Please do not think that is the point I am trying to make. The point I am trying to make, is that people being frustrated for any number of reasons—you read those posts as an indication that they were angry, or dismissive, or not open to the opinions of others. But I think it far more likely that they were just hurt that you might actually think they didn’t mean every bear hug they gave out. November Project is a labor of love, and it probably upset them—not in a possessive, angry way that you seemed concerned about—but in sad, hurt, how could she possibly think that we didn’t want her there, didn’t mean it when we hugged her, didn’t care about the slower runners, or didn’t want every single NP face featured on the Runner’s World cover?

    I do think it’s worth noting that November Project, to the best of my knowledge, is still not a business. The workouts are still free. (I’m pretty sure) they, and none of the other leaders from any of the other tribes, still don’t get paid to run them. I did Google #runnovation, though, the project they teamed up with New Balance on over a year ago (timeline based on comments above), and I found mostly links to a video. It’s about November Project, and it’s about how it started, and it’s about how happy they were when people started coming. Like, the last 30 seconds or so is just them repeating “just show up” over and over again. I’m not sure what hand New Balance had in the making or marketing of that video, or what November Project got in return, but those last 30 seconds? The invitation to just show up? It all seemed pretty genuine to me.

  22. I’m not mad at all. I’m saddened that people like Emily think…and I quote “…Initially, to learn that there has been a money making goal behind this” They aren’t making money off of it. That’s never been there goal. In fact, like I stated previously, they have turned down financial gain opportunities because it wasn’t authentic. So….if people only knew how many hours a day these two guys worked to bring OTHERS such joy and to infuse the world with better energy so that the next generation, like Emily’s son, can enter a world better than we found it, comments like the above wouldn’t exist. One love. All love. NP world takeover.

  23. Free hugs for everyone tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5:30 and 6:30AM !
    Come, get wet while working out & leave blog comments to people that aren’t weatherproof.

    Emily, hope you will show and give this birthday boy (me) a hug then please just say hi to Bojan & Brogan in person.

    You’ve been doing this 6 months longer than me so i know you’re weatherproof.

    Seeking verbal (although you won’t see this tonight probably).

    K-man
    (I can still do math.. 7+7=14)

  24. 1. Excellent piece Mike. I hope when I’m 40+ I’m 1/100th as good of writer as you are. Raging broner.

    2. We love you Emily. Please don’t let this turn you off to NP. There are a lot of personalities here, and people are bound to have disagreements, etc. but that’s part of an authentic community. I hope you come to a resolution.

    3. Perhaps in the not-too-distant future NP will have a Facebook-sized IPO (and I personally see nothing wrong with that), but in the meantime here are my two cents on the topic of monetization. How cool would it be if tribe members voluntarily contributed a fraction of what they saved on gym memberships, boot camps, etc. and gave it to the tribe (i.e. B & B)? Think of it as a thank you for all their hard work or a tip for the awesome free service you received; a way to show gratitude to the founders for the time and effort that went into creating this thing and generosity for growing it further to touch more lives. I know this probably sounds super hippie-liberal and would bring NP even closer to a religion, but I think enough of us believe in Santa that we would buy him a new sleigh.

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