Got questions? We’ve answered the most frequent ones here.

If you have a question we didn’t answer, Contact Us and we’ll get back to you.


+ What’s the name mean?

In Latin, mycelium means “more than one.”

In ecology, the mycelium is the fungal web of nutrients and symbiotic relationships underneath the forest floor that nourish the entire ecosystem. The fruit of mycelium is the mushroom.

Fungi are so widespread and numerous that they make up a large proportion of the biomass in any given ecosystem. Likewise, small businesses are the economic foundation of a community and by building knowledge and relationships, we can make everyone more successful.

+ Is this for me?

We want to serve small busines owners who:

  • started at least 2 years ago
  • are stable, and looking for the next stage where they have more profit, time, and success, however they decide it
  • have done well to get their business off the ground, and now are looking for the tools, accountability, and knowledge to reach the next stage of their small business and build the life they want
  • want thought-partners, a sounding board, and a referral network of similarly successful peers
  • understand that business and personal growth are intertwined and want both

Consider us if your business has consistent annual revenue, with expectations of growth and you want to get there faster. We want to create a cohort of business owners who have grown their businesses enough that spending $5,000 on business education and execution has a ROI of less than one year and will continue to benefit them for the rest of their lives.

If we might be what you’re looking for then sign up at the bottom of this page to get a free lesson that will help you see what we offer.

+ Who’s it not for?

Mycelium is for people already running a stable small business. This is for people who survived the startup phase and have reached the point of stability. We think of Mycelium as the second stage of business: from survival to expansion. We want to help people build a business, i.e. create value and make money with systems, automation, and staff.

It's not for:

  • recent college graduates trying to get a business education.
  • managers or staffers at organizations trying to move up in their careers.
  • people content with freelancing or independent contracting, i.e. working by the hour.
  • aggressive-growth tech companies seeking to someday IPO.

If you are any of the above, please see “What are the alternatives?” below for ideas about what other local programs may better fit your needs. If you are unsure where else to look, please Contact Us and we will do our best to point you in the right direction.

+ What are the alternatives?

If you’re looking for business learning and Mycelium isn't a fit, we want you to find it.

Click here for a comparison table of business programs to find the best solution for you. If you’re looking for something different than Mycelium, we hope this helps.

+ Where does it take place?

Each cohort will gather one night a week for a live class. There are also weekly online assignments. We will be meeting in a co-working space in central Portland.

The first cohort launching in Feb 2019 will meet on Mondays from 2-5pm. If this time doesn't work for you but you are itching to get started, please contact us to discuss. We may have some flexibility to change this time depending on the cohort. We want this to work for you.

+ How do I get into the cohort? When is the next cohort?

Sign up at the bottom of the page to join the mailing list for updates and details as they come. Our first email will be a sample from the curriculum, Project 0. Completing and submitting that project is the application. We'll be doing interviews in December and January to build our first cohort. The first cohort is March - June 2019, meeting 3 hours a week on Mondays 2-5pm.

+ How much does it cost?

The 5-month program costs $5,000. A 20% deposit is required to hold your spot.

Your abilities as the business owner are your company’s most valuable asset – your knowledge and capability – is the highest leverage investment you can make in your business. If you are a stable business, tuition won’t be the issue because the payback on the learning and the network should be less than a year. The real investment will be your time, energy, and talent.

If you execute on the 20 lessons you will learn, Mycelium should easily pay for itself.

+ Are there is discounts?

We have an early bird discount of $500 if you sign up a month in advance, by Feb 1 2019. We also have a $500 discount if you refer someone else into your cohort. Both you and your friend would get the $500 discount. Yes, the discounts stack.

+ How much work is it?

The program is 20 weeks. There will be a weekend retreat to launch the cohort. Then class is one night a week for 3 hours, with regular assignments to be done online, another 3-5 hours. Total commitment is 6-8 hours a week for five months. That's the equivalent of one focused month of work to realize the dream you had for your business when you started it.

We know that stepping back and reflecting on how your business is doing and how it can be better and then acting on that is it a lot of work. It will be a lot of time and attention. But we think it's better than the alternative of not doing something.

+ That's a lot of time. I don't have a lot of time.

The biggest worry we get from people interested in Mycelium is that they don't have enough time to invest into this. We understand that time is the biggest constraint for any small business owner. But what's the cost of not doing this? The price of staying in the status quo is staying in the status quo.

And on our end, we want a cohort that is committed to their own work and to each other. If you get into a cohort and after 4 weeks don't feel like it's for you, you can drop out and we'll refund you.

If you complete the program and fully invested yourself in it and after a year, it didn't pay back, we'll also refund you.

For those who cannot commit to the five month cohort, we have individual networked coaching, where you can get learn and network with other small business owners in a two hour session.

+ I'm interested in the cohort but honestly, the networked coaching is more my level of commitment right now.

Yep. We get that. The Mycelium networked coaching option allows you to learn and connect at a smaller price and commitment level.

+ Are there exams? Is there a degree?

Nope! Mycelium is intentionally unaccredited and informal. The "credential" you get is the success of your business and yourself. That's better than a degree on the wall. You'll also get benefits that will last a lifetime: increased personal knowledge and capacity, as well as a network of supportive peers doing the same work you are. You will create the business and life you want.

+ Where did the idea for Mycelium come from?

A. When Douglas was running his own business, Portland Underground Grad School, he worked through the Personal MBA reading list (and not getting through all of them). As a small business owner himself, he realized most business owners don’t have the time to read everything. And yet the ideas were so important. He began to see that business owners needed a way to learn and apply the material faster and easier and have thought partners and support to turn the ideas into action. The community was so important too.

Alternatively, if you feel able to do it, reading the Personal MBA reading list yourself is an option: https://personalmba.com/best-business-books/.

B. With passion for seeing others succeed, Suzanne has been an advisor of a community of extremely talented practitioners in various fields. Her career has spanned advising corporations on sustainability, starting her own small businesses in the social impact arena, and working for a medium-size design studio. Across these different scales and types of business she saw consistent patterns of challenges and successes: when change-makers can show up as their whole selves they are much more effective. And no one can do it alone.

Suzanne and Douglas recognized the immediate need in their shared local community to both emotionally and practically support business owners with community and a structured curriculum.