why i’m changing the “price” of the book club

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Yesterday, as you may know, I announced the With Intention Seven Habits Book Club. And while it was great to see the excitement about the book club from many readers, several of which signed up right away, there was one comment that got me thinking.

The reader mentioned that she was surprised by the $30 price associated with the three month online book club.

In all honesty, while creating the book club concept I felt that the three month “coaching light” experience would be a huge value at $10 per month. I had planned for this book club to be a mix of discussion and personal guidance through The Seven Habits. I also felt it was a natural extension of my career and expertise.

Further, I loved that I could serve people in a group experience anywhere in the world. I get a lot of emails from readers in Australia, Iceland, the UK, and Canada asking me to visit their cities and countries for workshops. However, the demand is not yet at the point where that would be financially feasible.

So as you can imagine, I was a bit surprised by the feedback. But I then spent some time thinking about where this sentiment was coming from and the fact that others may have felt misled by the title “book club” as well.

Book clubs are usually free and are less involved than how I planned to execute the group. And thus, there was a disconnect between where I was coming from and how it was received by others.

At that point, I had a decision to make: what do I do now that I am aware of this disconnect?

As it turns out, I took a page out of Mr. Covey’s own book (okay, not The Seven Habits itself, but another piece of his writing).


“I believe leadership lies more in character than in technical competence, but these two are interwoven. As people grow in competence they gain awareness of a new dimension of the character. Then, as they begin to develop that aspect of their character, they find that their competence also increases. For instance, when we trace the skill of empathic listening—in other words, Habit 5—people see that they’d always looked at things from their own frame of reference, and the start to explore the richness of other people’s perspective. As they get better at listening, they gather more information, and realize they’ve always lived with an insufficiency of data. Applying that learning to their personal and professional lives is exciting. People say, “Now I really know why to listen, instead of just how.” So these two—the why of the character and the how of competence—feed one another.” – Stephen Covey


Rather than just forge ahead with things as originally planned, I looked for a win-win (Habit 4 in The Seven Habits). How could I accomplish what I wanted: to help people as an extension of my consulting practice, and at the same time recognize the displeasure some people may have about a book club fee.

After a fair amount of contemplation, I realized that I could offer the club at a “pay what you like” fee where people could determine the value for themselves. But then Mr. Lively took it full circle and suggested that I donate the proceeds of the club to a charity instead.


A true win-win. Yes, I believe there is great value in the private group led discussion, prompts, and my time and feedback for three whole months. I believe that $30 is a fair rate for that investment. Meanwhile I can let others pay what they feel is appropriate for this service.

But ultimately I can use these resources to serve others who do not have access to my services at all.

So regardless of what people feel like paying (or not paying) I will be donating the money to Charity: Water, a non-profit bringing water to people in developing nations.

Though this may seem like a silly business move or somehow “weak,” I truly believe this is a powerful decision. It allows me to stay true to my intention to serve in 2013. And though my ego might fret and worry about “how I’m losing profit for my business,” my intuition tells me this is the best thing I can do for myself, my clients, my company, and those who need clean drinking water.

So as you will see on the book club page, the money you offer to be in the book club will be donated directly to Charity: Water in a lump sum on the first day of the book club. I hope that you contribute what you believe this service is worth. And if you feel this should strictly be a free service, you can join that way as well.

Thank you for your support and I look forward to serving you and seeing you in the book club!



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    1. Jess Lively

      Thank you! And also, thank you for your generous donation!! : )

  1. Lemon Drop Love

    Very thoughtful! But I’m not surprised, this is who you are. A true gem 🙂

  2. Alexis Townsend

    I just registered and donated. You made a great decision, can’t wait for the book club to start.

    1. Jess Lively

      Can’t wait to see you “there!”

  3. Rachel

    I think that is such a wonderful decision. And I just started reading 7 Habits – it’s been on my “to-read” list for forever. I’m so excited to finally be getting into it!

  4. Rachel Burke

    Just registered, Jess! Wish I could donate more right now to this amazing cause. Looking forward to spending the next three months going through the book and crossing this off my bucket list! 🙂

  5. Meghan Elizabeth

    this doesn’t seem like a weak business move, it just shows your amazing capacity for self-examination and change. I’m reading the book now and might sign up for the workshop later!

  6. I hope you’ll be doing the book club again. I read the 7 habits for teens, years ago. I have been meaning to read the original for many years now, but I just don’t have any time to do it currently.

    1. Jess Lively

      Gotcha! I’m not sure if it will happen again for not (maybe annually?). Time will tell!

  7. Kristy

    I’m excited to participate in this with all of you

  8. I’m so happy you changed this… I wasn’t against the fee, I just wasn’t sure how much I would end up utilizing the book club (February is a busy month for me), but now that it’s donation based I signed up. Really excited about it! This is one of those books I’ve started to read about five times but I’ve never finished, so I think this is great!

  9. Will you be offering it again? I’m getting married and going on a two week honeymoon in April, so I can’t really participate much this time.

    1. Jess Lively

      Honestly, I’m not sure. I have some great new projects in the works later this year which may affect the time I have to put towards something like this in the future.

      It could also be an annual club as well… Time will tell!

  10. I would have signed up, no matter what you decided. I think it’s a wonderful idea and I’m looking forward to getting started. Thank you for offering this!

    1. Jess Lively

      Thank you, Paulene! Have a great weekend!

  11. Jess Lively

    Erin, thank you so much. I very much appreciate your sentiments and it means a lot. Thank you.

  12. Jess, I’m so thrilled you’re offering this book club. I’m a member of several other facebook-group based book clubs that I’ve participated in depending on the books that were chosen, but I actually LOVE that you’re charging to participate. 🙂 I think that getting a little skin in the game always “ups” the commitment to read & discuss, thereby enriching the experience for everyone. However, I also LOVE that you respected your readers and your own intuition enough to respond with the donation instead of the fee. Further proof that a group you lead is the kind I’d like to be in. I’ve had 7 Habits on my mental list for years, but it’s always been near #5 and never got read. So excited. Just compels me to actually hire you to make sure YOU get compensated soon.

    1. Jess Lively

      Thank you, Jennifer. I appreciate your thoughts and perspective so much!

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