The Arena is my process for approaching creative work from a place of aliveness and play. Every trip through The Arena lasts one week, and is guided by singular creative intention. Other than that, there really are no rules other than to follow the aliveness. These logs are just for me to document what I did during any given sprint, along with how I'm feeling about it.

Creative Intention: Finally write and publish a piece about what non-coercive marketing is, how it works, and how it's radically different from traditional modes of marketing.

What I Shipped

Non-Coercive Marketing: A Primer
A new philosophy of marketing, rooted in letting go of control, and trusting people to be their own authority.


  • This was, by far, the most difficult round of the The Arena yet. I faced just about every flavor of resistance that I know—procrastination, perfectionism, imposter syndrome, self-doubt, emotional avoidance, etc etc. It was a tough week.
  • Sharing the details of non-coercive marketing publicly for the first time felt super scary to me. I've been talking about this philosophy for a year, but have never articulated what it is in public. Plus it's a rather radical philosophy, and it's bound to alienate people who are invested in traditional marketing. So it kinda felt like raising a weird child and sending them out into the world for the first time (lol).
  • This was also the first time I did a paid cohort in The Arena, so I felt like there was extra pressure for me to diffuse my resistance, and lead by example. In the opening ceremony, I talked a ton about being light and joyful, yet I couldn't embody that during my own week because I pushed too far out of my comfort zone. So I felt like a failure on that front.
  • Because I was in such a heavy place all week, I didn't spend nearly enough time engaging with people in the community, and checking out their projects. A good deal of guilt and shame around that.
  • But ultimately, I was able to publish the piece on Monday morning. After The Arena ended, it felt like a lot of the weight lifted and I was able to just finish this thing rather easily. Wild how that works.
  • Note for future Rob: Maybe I shouldn't tackle scary, ambitious projects while I'm also trying to lead paid cohorts of The Arena. It seems to create additional layers of pressure that make everything harder and more tenuous. Next time, perhaps I should focus on something light and easy, so I can devote more time to customers, and have more fun in my own life.
  • What's funny is that even though this trip through The Arena was difficult as fuck, and I beat myself up constantly, it was still fruitful. I wrote and published a 4,000 word essay that completely undermines traditional marketing and points towards a more beautiful future for the world of business. And I did it in six days. By any objective standard, that's pretty dope!
  • Aliveness Score: 3 out of 10 - I won't sugarcoat it. This week wasn't fun, and I had to force myself through instead of operating from a place of joy and aliveness. But I'm still proud of the finished result, and proud of myself for feeling the fear and publishing this thing anyway.