Secret Lairs and Passion Economies And The Less Visible Revolution

Yesterday, I shared something with my accomplices inside the Brave Group. It won’t be public knowledge for months to come. 2012-08-19 11.24.11

I make no secret of the fact that my newsletter is my favorite way to connect and communicate and that I share my best stuff there and not here on this blog. In fact, I’m thinking of taking down the RSS feed for this blog at some point. Not because I don’t want to interact with you. But because the blog is the fake storefront. This here? This is where Google sniffs around to see if I’m worthy.

What’s going on, though? The cool stuff? The real stuff? That’s happening in the secret lairs and hideouts.

My Prediction Was Kind of Close, But Wrong

I started telling people back in 2007 that what was coming next were “velvet rope social networks.” That there’d be very tight niche communities and that they’d be exclusionary and cater to very specific verticals. That didn’t exactly happen in any particularly large way.

But what did happen is that a huge economical pathway has shifted hard and opened up and the world of “lifestyle businesses” came into play, and Kickstarted and IndieGoGo and there are all kinds of other little passion economies are popping up and we are equipping ourselves to be as much or as little of the movement as we would like to be. There’s Square so we can be merchants and PayPal and we can be a band and throw micro concerts on StageIt. We can create books in PressBooks and publish them to Amazon and Barnes and wherever without really getting anyone’s permission.

You CAN Do It This Way, But It’ll Be Difficult

There is a parallel economy: the dispassionate economy and the passion-fueled economy. Though I’ve divided these, let’s understand that one isn’t better than the other. I can buy toilet paper at WalMart and not need to think about the passion behind the product. But where I do care about something, there’s now going to be a choice (there already is a choice) of someone who does it (whatever) with passion.

Record labels – dispassionate (profit first)
Kickstarter and Amanda Palmer – passionate (connect and rally)

Now, let’s accept that there are always exceptions. I know people in mainstream dispassionate economy corporations who are quite passionate. But I know absolutely zero people in passion-based economies who don’t love what they do with all their heart.

The Misfits are passionate (no, not the band, the revolution riding a Pegasus, silly. Keep up!). The Minimalists moved out to Missoula to make a publishing company. The empire builders and world dominators are ready, too!

Two Huge Requirements, Should You Choose to Build a Secret Lair and Start Your Own Visible Revolution

You need a bigger story (bigger than just you, a collaboration, a movement, a manifesto-worthy experience), and you need secret lairs and hideouts where you can talk with your secret team (a place where people feel that they belong, where they can share in the experience and not always as a customer, but definitely always as a co-conspirator, an accomplice, a collaborator.

My podcast is a rising secret network. I leave hidden messages for the faithful. I call them out by name. More and more, every episode, there’s the great value of the interview that I’ve conducted with fellow travelers, but the real magic? That’s the secret part of the show.

Oh and lair is not equal to clique and not equal to must-pay. Just make a place where you can interact with follow travelers, co-conspirators, those who feel what you feel. There’s a gathering element for all of us in the next little while, and we shall gather our little groups and find common passions to nurture.

Superheroes Have Secret Identities Sometimes

So maybe you still need the day job. Maybe you’ve not yet figured out all the bills. Health care costs a ton and to be without it can be terrible. Too many allies are in a rough bind right now because they work from their hearts and haven’t quite launched their own passion economy such that they can stay fed on that alone (yet!).

So fine. Do the day job. Work the work that you can right now. And that might well serve the dispassionate economy for now, but don’t let that get to you. It’s okay. Just don’t throw out the other part of this experience, this opportunity, this huge chance.

Because this invisible revolution is upon us. And you can stay beige or you can wear purple. It’s up to you to decide. And if you want to visit one of my secret lairs and talk with the collaborators, I give you many links above that will lead you there.

Join me for free and get valuable insights that go beyond the articles posted here.

Your privacy and email address are safe with us.

And thanks so much for your support.

–Chris… runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • jackinessity

    Oh my god, you just managed to mention AJ & Melissa Leon and the Misfits AND Joshua and Ryan of the minimalists in the same blog post~ I so love you. By the way. You are still totally my hero. /fangirl

    • Chris Brogan

      Heck, I even went back and put in some Guillebeau. The whole thing’s going crazy. : )

      • jackinessity

        Mind-blowing awesomeness :) Can’t wait to finally see you & Julien together in NYC!!! I’m like, on excitement overload in my corner of the universe. Infectious joyfulness~

  • Chris Montoya

    Thank you Chris. Brilliant as ever. You are a gift and an inspiration. Vine you later. ;)

    • Chris Brogan

      Hooray! Love your vines. : )

  • Tania Dakka

    All sorts of emotions boiling to the surface – again.

    You’ve caused a stir. A redirect. Again. Or maybe just a honing. A dialing down of the laser.

    Don’t know how you do it. Always writing what my heart needs to read. Always. Thank you. Always thank you.

    • Tania Dakka

      Side note that Disqus wouldn’t let me leave: I contributed to AJ and Melissa last night and woke up to find this tear-jerker. Sweet serendipity:)

    • Chris Brogan

      Well, because you’re part of it. That’s why.

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Chris,

    You inspired me to tackle by day a bit differently. Sometimes we forget why we do what we do. Building a passionate group of people starts with you deciding to be passionate through the day.

    OK, got the passion thing down. Now building a community. Once the movement builds, you still work, but your passion momentum seems to carry the entire group, if this makes sense.



    • Chris Brogan

      The two do feed each other, Ryan. Your passion will draw the right people. The right people will share your passion. You’ll collaborate. The trick to this is that you’ll feel certain without having a crowd around you, and then, once there’s a crowd around you, they’ll feel certain they’re in the right place.

  • Deborah Colella

    feeling the love Chris Brogan. one of your best, this…

    • Chris Brogan

      Well thanks! : )

  • Sandra Levy

    Thanks Chris! Trying to fit in, but still be me.

    • Chris Brogan

      STop trying to fit in. Just be you stronger and better. That’ll get you further. : )

  • Jenni Hayman

    My secret lair is so new and so small, I can take it with me in my backpack. But the story is enormous and has thousands of multi-talented superheroes just waiting for the tap. Wide World Ed – when you say it out loud use your best echoey announcer voice – Wiiiiddddd….Worldddddd……..Eddddddd!

    • Chris Brogan

      That’s how the world works. You’ll get there. : )

  • Lon David

    Putting words to our passion & purpose is often very difficult to do. Thanks for articulating them so well.

    • Chris Brogan

      Glad to hear it, Lon. Thank you!

  • Jameson Brown

    Great piece, Chris. Agree with the philosophy of developing that place where people can secretly conspire together about [enter revolution here]. Today, this is what gives things a pulse and makes them genuinely fun to be a part of. There’s that sense of “it’s hard to get into this secret lair” and hey, if it isn’t hard then why do it?



    • Chris Brogan

      Putting even the smallest barrier in front of us makes us find it more valuable.

      • Jameson Brown


        What do you mean?

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  • ajleon

    Love this article, Chris. And thank you for the shout out, it means the world to us. :)

    • Chris Brogan

      Well, you’re part of the revolution. Your take is most certainly an inspiration to me and others. : )

  • bcoelho2000


    This should be labeled as REQUIRED reading for anyone who wants to ride this economic revolution that we’re living in.

    Not only you described perfectly what’s happening, you also showed people how to leverage this opportunity!

    The part about some of us still having a day-job was sooo important to me (since I still have one). It’s about walking the path to where we’re going while remembering why we can’t stay where we are right now!

    Great work! Thank you for sharing this!!!

    • Chris Brogan

      Thanks, Bruno. Glad that you’re part of it. I worked a day job for years and years before I could figure things out. Took me much longer than some to figure it out. : )

  • CallTheMarketingGuy

    As a comic book fan, and business owner – this was an awesome article – Thanks again Chris.

    • Chris Brogan

      Thank YOU! : )

  • Sue Anne Reed

    I hope you don’t turn off the RSS feed for your blog. I enjoy reading it in my feed when you post new blogs. I also subscribe to your Sunday morning newsletter.

    • Chris Brogan

      One never knows. : )

  • Rex Williams

    Yep, you nailed it Chris. (Or you’re always nailing it with all your content and substance.) I’m applying some of it. In my new effort, I skipped the whole blog part because I knew a newsletter is where it’s at. But I also know that google likes all those blog words, so I’m going to have to dump some out there one of these days. Baby steps still make progress. Thanks for the wisdom.

    • Chris Brogan

      Call me the carpenter.

  • fiona

    Good chris….

  • Dave Crenshaw

    Very inspirational. Excellent, Chris!

  • Ada R. Wooden

    Yep, you nailed it Chris


  • Mary G. Robinson

    If you think Denise`s story is unbelievable,, five weaks-ago
    my aunt’s boyfriend basically also actually earnt $6393 grafting thirteen hours
    a week in their apartment and they’re roomate’s mother`s neighbour has been
    doing this for 5 months and actually earnt more than $6393 in there spare time
    at there mac. applie the guidelines from this address… jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Craig Lindberg

    Alot of misalignment between lives and livelihoods creating seismic-like tension. For those making the leap, good advice; tell a bigger story for our visible revolution. This is a movement as transformative as the 60′s flower power, to do your own thing with an echo of existentialism. Huge difference is today each of us has the digital empowerment to press the cause by multiple order of magnitude.

  • Clayton Elliott

    One of the community building actions on my list is to create a “Secret Lair” but I’m undecided about which is the best option. I already have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and others social media places for people to engage with us, but I want to make one that’s more exclusive and only for people who seek our inner circle. The only criteria to be welcomed in would be an interest to be part of the group and a willingness to participate in it. I was thinking of using Premise from Copyblogger to build a members area, but I’m curious if there is another more powerful tool that you personally use, Chris.

    I’m a fan of modeling what works so if you use something that you’re fond of I’d love to hear it :)