Below, you'll find the most important quest/workshop in The Forest. It's about discovering your internet homies, rooting yourself in scenes and subcultures you enjoy, and helping your work reach the people it's meant for. This is a foundational step towards 1,000 true fans. It's also the 80/20 of building a joyful business, and marketing in a way that respects your humanity as well as the humanity of everyone it reaches.

First things first, I recommend you start with this introductory essay, which explores what I mean by finding the others, and how it differs from "niching down" or "picking a target market" or "creating an ideal customer avatar" or anything like that.

Finding the others
An introductory essay to a Very Important Concept

Tools, strategies, and intentions

In years past, I used the tools and practices you'll learn about in this workshop to find niches and markets and influencers. I used them as a means to an end to build a business, and to maximize my perceived sense of control. The tools I'll share with you in this workshop absolutely still work for those purposes, but it never felt good to me when I used them them that way. It always felt forced and out of integrity.

Over the last three years, something's flipped. These days, finding the others is no longer a means to an end, but an end unto itself. I started using these tools to find and make friends, so that I could spend more time vibing with the homies on the internet. The funny thing is, the more I do that for its own sake, the more my life AND business improve. It turns out, making genuine friends has been better marketing than most of the complex, sophisticated marketing tactics I used to force myself to do. It feels natural and in integrity to operate this way, and my business still grows. It's the damndest thing.

So yeah, I wanted to call this out this subtle but important distinction. The intention you bring to these tools matters a great deal. They'll "work" no matter what, but if your intention results in treating humans as a means to an end, the resulting relationships will likely be lacking in connection and vitality.

Down below, you'll find the three distinct phases of finding the others. We'll first dig inward to understand ourselves, then explore outward to uncover cool corners of the internet, and finally put down roots and make friends.

If you go through these exercises, expect this workshop to take at least a couple of weeks, if not a couple of months. But remember, this isn't some marketing tactic to rush through. It's not a box to check. It's the work of finding your people, creating connection, and making your experience of the internet so much richer and more rewarding. So take your time. Have fun with it. And let yourself be surprised.

Phase 1: Dig inward

The first phase of finding the others is to understand yourself. When you begin articulating who you are, who you want to be, and what you really care about (a process that I call "personal archaeology") it's a lot easier to venture into the digital world and find your people.

The following practices and exercises are designed to unearth various aspects of your identity and values, and make them clearer and more legible to you. That way, you can use them as a jumping off point in your explorations of the internet later on.

Core Practices

Targeted Inquiry
A repeatable process for peeling back the layers of your inner world, and discovering what matters most.
Notes on Freewriting
My favorite tool/practice for coming into deeper relationship with yourself
On using your voice to explore the depths of your inner world.
Resonance Reviews
A technique for discerning the wisdom of the body amidst the noise of the intellect

Inquiry Sessions

The identity audit
An inquiry practice for unearthing the stories and labels you use to define yourself
The desire audit
An inquiry practice for unearthing your subterranean desires

The subversion audit (coming soon)

Phase 2: Explore outward

Once you have a sense of who you are, and who you want to be, the search for the others begins. I liken the internet to a deep, vast, unknowable cave system. The best pockets of connection tend to hide out of sight, and are only accessible through intentional exploration and digging. The processes below will help you explore and map that cave system, and uncover the people and places that resonate.

Digital Spelunking
How to explore the dark, vast cave system of the internet, and discover your people
Curiosity Mapping
How to make a map of the corners of the internet that spark you to life.

Phase 3: Put down roots

Once you've discovered a handful of people and scenes that resonate, the focus of the game becomes connection and depth. It's about immersing yourself and being an active participant these corners of the internet. It's about breaking out of the lurker, consumptive mode of digital life, and starting to have real conversations and make new friends.

Exercises coming soon!