How Did the #Add1Challenge Start?

Hi, I’m Brian (the crazy guy on the left). I speak Mandarin, Cantonese, and English, and some Japanese.

When I was doing a 3-month German Challenge, I started posting my progress updates on Benny Lewis’ Fluent in 3 months forum.

And there was this guy name Baron Jon who started to learn Mandarin around the same time.

Every time I didn’t feel like learning, got frustrated or wanted to quit, I would read his updates and see his progress.

And even though he was half way around the world, I get inspired and energized every time just because I know someone was going through the same thing as I am, sharing the same struggles and having our small wins.

So after I completed my German challenge of my 15 min conversation with my ex father in law on video, I sent Baron Jon a message, thanking him for posting his updates, inspiring me and supporting me to finish my Challenge.

He wrote me write back and said, “Brian, what are you talking about? I was reading your updates and you were inspiring me with your updates! Every time I wanted to quit I read your updates and I get inspired again.”

This is when I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we all motivated and support each other and together as a community all strive for the same goal of holding a 15 minutes conversation in 90 days together?”

And that was how the Add1Challenge got started.

Since Then, Over 500 People Have Taken the #Add1Challenge

Challengers have learned Mandarin, French, Spanish, English, Croatian, Norwegian, Russian, Cantonese, Portuguese, and many other languages since the first Add1Challenge.

And each one experienced the same thing I did when I studied German – learning together is better than learning alone.

You can hear their stories here, or see the results first-hand as challengers hold 15+ minute conversations in their target language here.

How A Trip To Japan Inspired Me To Give Away A Round-Trip Flight*

In 2014, I had the best trip of my life.

Without any cycling experience, I cycled 4000 km, half way across Japan.

I met so many great people, saw so many breathtaking landscapes, and had so many unforgettable experiences.

One of the biggest reasons why the trip was so AMAZING was because I had 15 min conversation in Japanese.

You’d be surprised how a simple 15 min conversation in a country’s native language will open so many doors that weren’t available before.

How did I learn? I took the Add1Challenge right before my trip of course!

So I thought, wouldn’t it be awesome if one Add1Challenger had the opportunity to fly to their target language’s country right after an Add1Challenge?

Starting with the first Add1Challenge of 2015, we’re doing exactly that – giving one challenger a ticket to anywhere in the world* so they can practice their new language in it’s native country. (*Maximum value $500 USD. This opportunity will only happen if we have at least 50 participants.)