RTC June 2022 Update — State of the Company

By: Corey Blake, CEO Round Table Companies in Get to Know Us
on June 6th, 2022
A Period of Significant Change and Transition

Corey offers an update on all the significant change at RTC as the company’s priorities have shifted over to the Academy.

A Transcription of the video can be found below.

There's a lot that’s been going on with Round Table Companies this year, and I wanted to give you an update, so you could hear straight from me about what’s going on with the state of our company. So, ultimately this year has been a pretty huge shift in my own sense of purpose. My previous purpose was focused on helping people in organizations who didn't feel seen in the world—who somehow felt invisible—to take their vulnerability and turn it into a work of art that the world would see as brilliant and beautiful. And this year, with the passing of my mother and the launching of the Academy, purpose for me has shifted. It’s a very slight shift, but it’s a pretty big shift overall, in that I’ve moved from listening to others and turning their work into art, to holding space for people to turn their own story into a work of art.

That shift has been profoundly moving to me. I am so grateful to be there. The launch of the Academy has filled my heart in ways that I think I’ve been searching for, for at least a couple of decades. It’s profoundly meaningful. But it has also resulted in me needing to shift away my own focus on our service business to figuring out how do we grow this Academy; this series of courses that we’re teaching people, that we are holding space for people. Our service business has dropped significantly. It dropped 87% this year so far, since last year in comparison. And that’s a huge drop; there’s no way around that. In the past, I would’ve stepped in and done some high level consulting work and boosted our revenue, but I made the decision that I was not going to be distracted from the Academy.

While that has been incredibly challenging—and I’ve wanted to rescue us many times—I’ve stuck to it. The upside of that is that the Academy is still my priority. As a result, we’ve graduated over 275 students already from our flagship courses and that’s 275 lives that have been impacted, tremendously transformed, many of them. The way that that hits my heart is massive. Our ability through the Academy to touch more lives, there’s no doubt that it is profound, and it is my guiding north star.

Sadly, of course, with this drop in our revenue, we have had to say goodbye to some tremendous human beings who have been a part of my life and our work for a long time. We had to say goodbye to Keli McNeill who has been with us since 2014. Keli was our pep, Keli was the one person whose laughter could drown out my own. She was a huge asset and she had grown so much with us. Seeing her leave was the first of many heartbreaks to come. Christy Bui, an extraordinary designer who exemplifies our core value of brilliance. We had to say goodbye to Christy. Of course, we had to say goodbye to Yolanda Knight who became the heart of our culture. That was a huge hit to my own heart, to the heart of our company. Thankfully, she’s found a new place. Keli has found a new place.

Now, of course, most recently, if you haven’t heard the news, we’ve had to say goodbye to Genevieve Georget. For me, this goodbye is particularly hard because Gen and I are so different, but Gen and I held a shared vision for what this Academy wanted to become; needed to become even. Her having to leave because we can’t afford to keep her right now is . . . it’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking. She is a tremendous human being and her and I were like work spouses this year. There’s no doubt about it. We fought like spouses, that’s for sure. But we also taught each other what we needed from each other in order to continue caring for one another while we were figuring this all out. She loved and loves our students with every piece of her. Gen has taught me so much this year.

One of the big pieces that Gen says out loud all the time about storytelling is that the profound impact is in speaking your story aloud. And I think a piece of me had known that, but I’d never articulated that before. The importance of that and fighting for that and fighting for that within our Academy courses has changed the way that I see storytelling. There’s no way around losing Gen—for the time being, at least (she calls it our season finale, not our serious finale)—it hurts. It’s a really tough loss for now.

This is not the end of our company, and I want to be very clear about that. We’ve had to downsize so that we simply have more time with the resources that we have at our disposal. I’m incredibly blessed that Sunny DiMartino ,who’s been with us for almost 12 years (correction: over 13 years!), is still at the helm with me. And that Kelsey Schurer—who helped develop the courses—is still playing a significant role, particularly in the coaching of our clients and class participants who want coaching. The three of us are the core of RTC right now with a whole bunch of people who still lend a hand in so many ways. We’re reducing our expenses so that we can have the time to figure this out.

Shifting from a service business to a business that sells classes is a steep learning curve*. I knew it would be a steep learning curve, and knew that by not being willing to go back to service work myself, that I was taking a significant leap. And there is pain with taking a leap like this. I could have been prudent and tried to do it over several years, but it’s not really my personality, I guess. So I ripped the band aid off and we’re full steam ahead. But that has caused some significant disruption in the sense that it means that we don’t have as many resources as we once did, and we have to prune in order to be able to grow again.

We’ve always been a small company. In 2006, when we started—our very first years as an incorporated business—we did $121,000. It took us fifteen years to grow to ten times that size. We capped out at $1.3 million. We’re small. We’ve always been small. We’ve always been a boutique company. I’ve tried to lead with heart. And in some ways I’ve been very successful at that, but I’ve never been able to scale our company. I’ve never figured out how to scale our company. And I’m committed to learning how to scale this Academy because the Academy has so much potential. Our flagship courses are gorgeous. I’m so proud of them. I’m so proud of what Gen and Kelsey and Sunny and I—and so many other people who have contributed to these—what we’ve created and the impact that it’s having. The stories that I hear every day, the emails that I get every day are so . . . I can’t quit. And I’m not going to.

And we need help.

I think there’s no way around that. We need help figuring out how to grow this. Businesses could be taking advantage of these classes, as we know. Two hundred of our students have come from a single organization who has been so profoundly impacted by our work. But learning how to sell this to businesses is slow going. And yet there’s so much potential for what an organization can do with our flagship classes and with our mini courses. Individuals and companies; there’s so much that they can gain, even from our free purpose workshop. The comments that I get from our purpose workshop—from people all around the world, people do it in English, people who are doing it in Spanish—it continues to tell me that we’re on the right path. We just have some things to figure out.

We have one more class launching in June, our Degas class. There are still approximately 10 seats in that class available. It’s only half full right now. If it’s something that you’re interested in . . . If you’ve been following us and paying attention, and you want to give it a shot, come join us for Degas. It’s half the price right now of what it’s going to be. We have to raise these prices. The impact of these classes is significant and we have to price them accordingly. But right now, this class, it’s half what it’s going to cost very soon. So if you’re somebody who’s on the fence, jump in, join us. Join us for this Degas class. It’s a profound transformational journey into your own story, and the story that wants to manifest in your life.

Our minicourses are available and you can do them anytime. They’re not done in community. They’re done on your own. They’re gorgeous and they’re fun. We have our hero’s journey crash course: learn all about the hero’s journey and the maps to find your treasure in life. We have our psychological safety and vulnerability course: how to dive in and be more vulnerable in your own life, but also how to create your own psychological safety wherever you go, so that you can take greater risks in your life and show up in ways that you never have. These are short courses, a few hours worth of work that can profoundly impact who you are and the way you show up in the world.

Then we have our beyond active listening minicourse and our asking powerful questions minicourse. These are trade secrets for how we do our work, for how we engage in profoundly deep conversations with the world and help people to see themselves and connect dots in ways they never have before.

These are profoundly meaningful courses. And they’re really inexpensive right now for you to try, too. What we need more than anything is more people experiencing what we have built, because once people experience it, they love to talk about it because they’re changed. They’re transformed. They feel brighter and bigger and more whole in their life. This is the legacy that Gen has been a part of, that Yolanda has been a huge part of. That Keli and Christy have contributed tremendously to. And so many other people on our team. That Kelsey has worked tirelessly to help language beautifully for you.

This is our gift to the world. We are here to continue to figure out how to bring it to people.

I hope that you will join us in helping us to do so.

Thank you so much for your time today. Have faith with us. Pray with us. We will still be here to serve you. I look forward to that opportunity.

Bye for now.

Corey Blake

June 6, 2022


*For those of you who are current service clients, please know that we’re committed to fully supporting you. We do not anticipate our services ending completely. To the contrary, our intention is for the Academy to help us rebuild that side of our business. What we are doing now is putting a lot of energy into the Academy, while streamlining and simplifying the vast array of services that we previously offered.