A two-week challenge for creative entrepreneurs to build your own minimum-viable business:• successfully reach and grow an audience
• engage with your ideal customers
• and increase your sales and revenue.
THE GOAL: 10K email subscribers and $10k/month in revenue as soon as possible

January 2nd to 12th, 2023 (Ended)



Unlock the potential of your business with proven systems to help you grow.The 10k Challenge is a community-powered, cohort-based-course that is (optionally) paired with a full year of membership support inside of the Society of Independent Creators.

You're responsible for the results in your business...

You don’t want to get to the end of 2023 and have your business look the same as it does now.You want it to grow, to change, to reach more people, to make more money, and to have a greater impact.I know how it feels to work incredibly hard and not get the results you want.Sometimes it’s because the results take time, but often it’s because the strategy being used is ineffective.What this looks like is buying a course that doesn’t deliver, reading a book and getting nothing out of it, attending a conference but making no new connections. Trying some new fancy funnel or tactic and having it fall flat.Working hard but not seeing results.Most artists and creators try to grow by working harder, or trying to improve their craft. They spend money on new equipment or growth tactics, but it doesn't get them the results they wanted.This leads to feelings of self-doubt and impostor syndrome. To not having enough money to do your creative work full time. And, too often, it leads to creators giving up on their passion.So, I’m curious:• How much have you spent this last year to grow your business?
• What have you tried that hasn’t worked?
• How satisfied are you with the results in your business?
• And how confident do you feel in your ability to get the results you want in 2023?
I’ve been there. But there’s a way forward...

The Old Way...

Tactics, Hacks, & Funnels

• address one area of your business at a time
• treat the different areas independently
• hire specialists in one area
• funnel optimization
• tactics & hacks

The New Way...

Systems, Optimization, & True Growth

• realize that your business is one big system
• optimize your business for specific outcomes
• learn how to "read the dials"
• systems optimization
• steady growth

If you're ready to grow your business

stop the frustration, take a systems approach

You don't need to keep banging your head against the wall or searching for some "secret".You need systems, you need to understand them by building them yourself, and you need to optimize them by doing more of what works and less of what doesn't.That's it.And we're going to build them together.

the 10k challenge

build your creative business

The two-week challenge offers you an opportunity to learn and build the systems you need to grow your business.You'll build systems that:
grow your audience of ideal customers
generate new leads on a consistent basis
engage your leads over email and personalized sequences
create products that solve their pains, meet their needs, and satisfy their jobs to be done
• craft no-brainer offers
sell your products at a higher price point more frequently
optimize and grow your business
All of this will be done together with instructors and the other participants in a two-week sprint to get your 2023 off on the right foot:+ community powered learning event
+ live & recorded sessions so you can learn on your schedule
+ lifetime access to session recordings and the course
+ 6 live sessions to teach you the systems
+ 6 work sessions with the instructor to build your systems together
Optional membership to the Society of Independent Creators
+ monthly check-ins to keep you on track and progressing toward your goals
+ 12 months of community membership and support
+ complimentary ticket to the 10k Summit 2023 where we will optimize the systems we build out here during the challenge
+ shorten the time it takes to get to a minimum viable business that supports your creative work full time



Join The ChallengeIntroduce yourself in the community, and meet the instructors and other students you'll be participating with


Participate In The ChallengeThe sessions will be M/W/F for two weeks at 11am Pacific. Every session will be recorded to allow for those in other time zones or who can't attend live.


Build Your BusinessOver the two weeks you'll build all of the systems you need in real time with the instructor, and then you'll have community support in the months to come to help you optimize and grow your business.

hear what others are saying:

"I never would have known how to create all of these systems...I didn't even realize half of them existed!"

Doug McCulloch, Deep Tracks Podcast

The Schedule

10k Challenge 2023

Now-January 1
Onboarding, welcome, join the community, meet the other participants, and get ready to build
January 2
Session 1 - Mindset and Outcomes, the Craftsman approach to creative work
January 4
Session 2 - Audience and distribution, using content to attract your ideal customer w/ special guest Rob Lennon
January 6
Session 3 - sponsored by Score App
Your traffic and lead generation system, capturing attention, setting up your site to grow your email list w/ special guest Daniel Priestley
January 9th
Session 4 - Your email engagement system, personalization, and weekly content strategy
January 11th
Session 5 - sponsored by Supercast
Your product basket, the audience-first approach to creating products and services, jobs to be done, and presenting offers in a personalized and timely way w/ special guest Hayley Barry
January 12th
Session 6 - Your sales system, increasing conversion rate, average order value, and customer lifetime value, and how to approach sales as an artist and creative
Each session features real-time instruction as well as time to build, q&a, and personalized examples.



two ways to enroll in the 10k challenge:

The 10k Challenge

The challenge has ended, but you can access all of the recordings as a self-paced, pre-recorded course• Lifetime access to recordings and course materials
• Build the systems you need to grow your business


*one-time registration fee

The 10k Challenge + Society Membership

• Everything included in the 10k Challenge
Complimentary registration to the 10k Summit (Summer 2023)
Access to all current self-paced courses inside the community
Monthly progress check-ins
• Weekly accountability check-ins
• Locked-in pricing
(your membership never increases in price)
Eligible for creative grants inside the society

*membership renews quarterly or annually, cancel any time

What others are saying...

I have a video production business and am trying to energize and grow and have some challenges to overcome to get there. I was a bit skeptical going in because I've had some less than helpful experiences in the past... I feel this is one of the best investments I've made in a while.

Ammon Ehrisman - Blue Forest Studios

meet your instructor

daren smith

I'm a career creative of over 15 years. I started my first creative business while in college in 2006, and since then have started five separate businesses that I've built to six figures - three of them since the pandemic.In that time I've helped over 2,500 creators grow their businesses. Working with so many in every possible industry has helped me see the commonalities in successful creators, and the answer is systems.In this two-week challenge, I'll help you see the power of systems, identify the outcomes that you want for your business, and help you align your business with your outcomes so that you can have the life and business you're working so hard for.I've built this challenge - and the Society of Independent Creators - to support creators like you in being able to do your work full time. Why? Because I want a future that belongs to creators, where artists are flourishing, and where we are just as empowered as everyone else to do what we love for a living.I can't wait for you to join me and the other participants in the very first 10k Challenge in January!

Need more time?

Get my free email series

If you're not sure if the 10k Challenge is right for you, start with my free Master the Creator Economy email series. Over 5 days I'll send you principles and systems to get you started on your creative journey.

sponsor the 10k challenge 2023

become an affiliate


Thank you!

You'll get the email series as soon as you confirm your email address.