Welcome to this Narrative Editorial
Upmarket Magazine is coming back online -- and you're part of the story.
You might remember me. My name is Megan Elizabeth Morris.
In 2011 and 2012, I worked with Seth Godin and his team at Squidoo to launch Upmarket Magazine as part of the Squidoo Magazines project.
I began as Chief of Talent — raising excitement and meaningful dialogue to build community engagement and gather activated contributors to our platforms.
I learned enormously from working with Seth and his team at Squidoo. The atmosphere was alive and caring, very unlike business environments I had encountered elsewhere.
Creative, relational flows were valued inherently.
I felt connected to the people I worked with; I felt respected and cared-for.
Squidoo’s magazines line-up included a list of fun, creative, lifestyle-oriented and seasonal publications, all of which I enjoyed working with during my time with them.
At the same time, for me, Upmarket was a special case.
Seth — who called me MEM — had set the spark and tone for Upmarket while we brainstormed our favorite new publication ideas.
In our first notes about the project at Squidoo Magazines, we discussed deluxe, remarkable experiences and products… artists, designers, and others who help create them… how and why a company might produce such offerings… the cost of doing so — high-dollar or otherwise — and how new companies (and bootstrappers!) could get into the game.
As I developed my approach to inviting in more collaborators, my sense of this territory deepened considerably. I moved into a Managing Editor role with Upmarket and turned my focus to it full-time.
I brought in the most moving ideas and expressions I found in my business communities.
I met new collaborators, discovered strengthening relationships, ushered nutritive dialogue into internet spaces, and built bridges between projects.
I had been studying Seth’s public blogs, books, and projects for several years by the time he hired me at Squidoo.
I had been drawn to volunteering in his Triiibes community because of his focus on human business; he often talked about the value of an artful approach, the importance of community and of interpersonal relationship, the creative drive, and the power of sharing our uniqueness with the world.
Further, he demonstrated that people with diverse experiences and modalities could work well together and learn from one another.
All these tenets had been essential to my small business and marketing learning curves over the years before I discovered him; and then here he was, putting them into practice — at scale.
Early on, Seth was really the only person I found to be truly successful in connecting these relational vibrations to nourish the otherwise bland, mundane business landscape that had so put me off.
I was unconvinced that the regular business world on its own had much to offer me, but Seth was already building that bridge beautifully.
And later, as I continued to build out our plans for Upmarket, I realized our critical opportunity to raise a collective voice about how important relational business is to all of us.
The only real way to offer deluxe products and services — superior quality, elegantly-crafted, long-lived, sustainable, Earth-honoring products and services — is to bring in personal, artful, connective values, too.
This is how superior quality is achieved — a promise kept.
Remarkable, creative, meaningful, human-resonant businesses are able to create the truest experiences.
Our livelihoods — the resource-regenerating projects we build — must be rooted in relationship with one another.
Relationships are where kept promises begin.
Considering this crucial requirement for successful business endeavors, Upmarket Magazine came to focus most on small (and micro!) businesses that push the envelope, the people who run them, and where to find the guts and insight to build them.
Although ultimately Squidoo Magazines went in a different direction out of necessity, our original development of Upmarket was powerful and profoundly meaningful for me and for the contributors I was working with.
When it was time to say farewell, I didn’t want to see the magazine closed down.
Far more than just a paycheck, I felt the potential then for Upmarket Magazine to fundamentally change the way business and marketing are practiced.
In Autumn 2012 when I departed Squidoo, Seth graciously allowed me to take Upmarket Magazine with me to continue building this work on my dedicated servers as Editor-in-Chief.
His team helped us make the transition — and Upmarket Magazine kept publishing.
My experience of the platform expanded further as I and my collaborators continued building the website and our plan forward.
Then in 2013, a series of significant events began to occur — events that radically changed the trajectory of our work and the future of the magazine.
Today in 2023, I am integrating diverse experiences from many years of adventuring away from the usual business platforms and digital marketing environments.
We’ve been navigating a wilderness; one you may not have heard about.
The story of what occurred and how it changed us is the most amazing story we’ve ever encountered. And more than having only witnessed it — we’ve experienced it.
It’s been twelve years since Seth hired me to work at Squidoo Magazines, and a whole decade since those (unanticipatable!) events of 2013.
We’ve been broadening Upmarket Magazine’s resource materials, sometimes with public access but mostly in the private Intuitive network, while traveling the wilderness of this past decade.
We knew that there would be a future moment to unfold our work more consistently again into public spaces. We didn’t know when it would happen — and then suddenly, it was here.
Divine timing appears to encourage us now to share this story.
We are grateful to those of you who have supported us along the way.
We’re wondering, too… what you have experienced in this past decade.
The comments here are open. We’d love to hear what you have to say.
Megan Elizabeth Morris (MEM, Mack, Max)
PS. Until our domain name is fully up and running, here’s my personal email address. You can also send me a note on Telegram messenger at t.me/MaxMorris. Feel free to reach out, share your thoughts, ask questions, and foment new collaborations. I’m interested to know you.