Compassion. Peace. Love. These are the principles that guide former professional athlete turned holistic health and mindfulness practitioner Brenden Durell. For the last decade, Brenden has worked wherever his heart takes him. Bali, Hawaii, Miami, Ghana, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Uganda are just a few of the locales where he has recently alighted.
For Brenden, the ultimate work-life balance is to travel the world, be of service to others, and make his living doing the work he’s passionate about.
Cue Marco Polo Channels
Members of Brenden’s extensive social media following frequently sent emails and direct messages asking him to elaborate on his thought-provoking topics. As a one-man show with a full slate of workshops, live-streams, retreats, and travel, he didn’t have the bandwidth to go deeper.
With Marco Polo Channels, Brenden found an online coaching platform that enabled him to make those connections. It was simple and flexible, meshed with his spontaneous and playful style of engagement, and supported his life on the road.
“I do 90 percent of my business on my phone,” Brenden says. “So the fact that I can sit by a campfire, drop a video in, and offer value to people without being behind a computer … to me, that is the best part of Channels.”
Peace, Power and Pleasure Channel
Brenden became acquainted with Channels while in the Caribbean filming an upcoming reality series. He served as an expert facilitator running workshops for cast members on meditation, breathwork, cacao ceremonies, and intimacy work.
Brenden had long been a fan of the Marco Polo app, which he used as a discussion space for his men’s groups outside live meetings. Knowing that more people would likely seek out his offerings after the show aired further motivated him to set up his Peace, Power and Pleasure Channel.
Brenden designed his Channel as a private, intentional teaching and learning community where anyone is welcome no matter their locale, level of experience, or amount of available time.
While Brenden likes to keep things fluid – “flowy” – he honors a commitment to his members to post at least three times per week with meditations, breathwork, Q&As, and other tools and practices to cultivate unity and promote well-being.
I do 90 percent of my business on my phone. So the fact that I can sit by a campfire, drop a video in, and offer value to people without being behind a computer … to me, that is the best part of Channels.
Often he posts spontaneously, maybe to share an “Aha” moment he experienced while walking in the woods or sitting by the water. He’ll start a dialogue, people respond, “and it’s like wildfire.”
Membership in Brenden’s Channel also includes a monthly live video session. After each gathering, Brenden posts a link to the recording on the Extras tab, great for current members who can’t attend live as well as new members who want to get to know the community and see value right away.
Creating a dynamic and safe environment
Brenden believes that everybody deserves to be seen and heard. And part of what he loves about Channels is that it’s private and safe. He can freely express his own artistry and creativity while inviting wholehearted participation from members.
“With the state of the world and social media today, and how things are unfolding, personally I just felt a lack of safety to share vulnerably, publicly, in my own life. I desire for people to feel safe and to express, learn, and gather information in a way that they can feel empowered,” he says.
Channels, like the Marco Polo app, supports Brenden’s effort to build his business away from social media, ads, or algorithms. “None of these things are in this private community,” he tells his members. “It’s just going to be myself and all of you.”
“It’s just very easy.”
Brenden’s retention rate is extremely high – 96 percent. Members tell him that being part of the Channel has led to major life shifts and that they’re experiencing more lightness, peace, joy, pleasure, and presence in their lives. They feel calmer, less anxious, and better equipped to respond to challenges. All this using a coaching app that’s “just very easy…at the palm of their hand.”
Many earliest adopters are surprised and grateful that Brenden is only charging $44 per month (his price as of June 2021). He’s taking that feedback to heart because while he’s happy to over-deliver on content – and says he’ll lock in that price for current members – he recognizes that part of his growth as a group coach is to honor the call to charge what he’s worth given the impact he’s making.
A few of the features Brenden loves
#1. The ability to add live links. “Adding links to post descriptions or on the Extras tab is an instant value-add.”
#2. Emojis. “I’m very expressive and fluent in those kinds of visual expressions. I love how user-friendly the emojis are in this space. It looks really good, and it’s fun to play with.”
#3. No time limit to leader posts. “I’m a fan of brevity, but I love that I can pour in more than a minute.” He adds that if people need the 2x feature, it’s there.
#4. The platform’s simplicity. “I don’t consider myself a big bells and whistles guy. I wasn’t looking for a complicated membership platform. Instead, I like to immediately get into teaching that you can apply to your life.”