Explore Building Community in Isolation Author: Kyle McLaughlin, CEO - Tough Mudder April 16, 2020 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Teamwork, camaraderie, and overcoming obstacles have always been a core part of the Tough Mudder ethos– little did we know how much the application of those values would change over the past few weeks. The world is changing around us at a pace unlike most of us have ever experienced before– and as much as the steady stream of depressing news is hard to digest on a daily basis, there’s many positive unintended outcomes that inspire me. More people are running now than ever, millions have taken up a back-to-basics workout approach in their homes, more people are cooking for themselves and spending more quality time with their families. People are helping each other– only out of the goodness of their hearts– to get through this shared adversity together, just like they do on a Tough Mudder course. How do we take that spirit of community and teamwork in the face of shared adversity and apply it to the business world? The lessons are the same. I’ve received no less than 20 cold LinkedIn sales messages per day for the last few weeks, aggressively pushing products that I didn’t need pre-COVID, and certainly don’t need now. Not a one of them have asked: How can we help each other? How can we work together? How can we overcome this obstacle with an outcome that makes us both stronger? We’ve pivoted our business over the past few weeks– it comes as no surprise that we have not held any events in the last few months. But we are shepherds of a global community over 6 million strong, and while we can’t deliver obstacle courses, we are creating an abundance of fitness, nutrition, mental health, inspiration and goal setting content to help our community stay focused, stay fit, and set their sights on better times ahead. We launched our #HelpAHundred program last week, motivating them to take on that same on-course ethos of teamwork and camaraderie in their socially-distanced lives today. We’ve created new customer-led online forums for people to support each other on goal setting, weight loss, mental health and nutrition. And amplified the existing great work of our community, including groups like Mudder Minds— a completely customer-led support group helping like-minded Tough Mudder participants through their daily mental health journeys. Are we selling tickets right now? Yes, of course. But all of the above is to say– selling tickets isn’t our top focus right now. We know our community is largely not ready to sign up for an event when they’re worried about health and financial security. So we’ve found other ways to add value, to create relationships and to foster connections between people in a time where isolation is dominating our headspace. One of our key values at Tough Mudder is “Every experience matters.” And the experience that matters right now is not the hard sell or the aggressive discount. It’s about cultivating and fostering an even stronger bond with our community, which will make us all better when it’s safe to be back in the mud again.