Thursday, March 27

Pioneer Nation - My evolving list of Ideas, Plans, Inspirations

Pioneer Nation is a two-day event and gathering of people who are entrepreneurs committed to living a life of freedom and independence.  

A Query at Pioneer Nation
It's two days of working together to improve our businesses and to focus on actions for the purpose of increasing income, impact and sustainability.

I'm capturing my ideas as the two days progresses here.  Many of these thoughts come from conversations I've had with the other participants.

Why I'm here: Even though I'm pretty much obsessed with dancing right now, I don't want to forget about my two other primary goals for this year.  In addition to 1) competing in a Ballroom Dance competition (which is about to happen at SFOpen in April), I've also committed to 2) converting my Rock Your Talk seminar into a video course version and 3) (finally) completing the first draft of my book, MetaLearning: Creating Lifelong Self-Directed Learners.  SO...I'm after:

-connecting with like-minded people and inspiration
-collecting ideas on marketing, productizing, pricing
-having time to work on stuff (since sometimes focus is hard to come by in my daily life)

Random and Specific Notes:

I loved Chris Brogan's opening talk and his emphasis on building more business sustainability through Service which completely matches my values and how I love to operate.

Other people I've loved connecting with:

I loved hearing the story of James Todd's 24 Hour Book project which resulted in the book Everyday Superheroes.  I am intrigued about the possibility of using a service like his evolving A Book One Day.  I think it could get me past the obstacle of writer's block I've been experiencing since my computer was stolen out of my hands a number of months ago.  Action Step: Get back to using the interview process for finishing book.  Consider an interview for each MetaLearning skill.

A conversation with Seth Haley got me thinking about the possibility of collaborating with a videographer to create a product "Rock Your Talk on Video" offer which would help others speak effectively on-camera and which would result in a set of video modules to communicate the story.  These modules could be used for marketing.  Action Step: Explore the possibility of collaboration (QS videographer?) and/or price out as a supplied service.

[Friday:  Of note is the fact that the day after writing the above I discovered by chance that James homeschools his three kids and Seth was homeschooled.  I should be surprised since this event explicitly attracts people who are thinking outside of the box.)

Jenna Bee:  Totally resonated with her focus on working through the body as a metaphor and practice and her commitment and love of community-building.  Action Step:  Connect Jenna with the Watson U people, especially Tessa Zimmerman.

Doug Neill:  Involved in the super interesting field of SketchNoting or Graphic Recording.  I first saw this process in action at an Institute for the Future session on Hacking the Future of Education and have been intrigued by the process ever since.  My conversation with Doug was interesting especially related to the idea of teaching the process of SketchNoting for learning.

Sukhneet Singh: Amazing and deep conversation about values-based living, changing thinking, personal bias, science and religion relationship, Sihk culture and so much more.  Looking forward to doing a podcast with Sukheet later today for his Art of Change Project.  Action Step: Reconnect!

Connected with interesting people who are into Disrupting Education.  Patrick Larsen (writes about entrepreneurship, learning and travel and is a fellow-Hapa), Caitlin Muir (who was also homeschooled and took self-directed learning to hack college), Marli Williams (who counsels first-generation college students and has great ideas for expanding her service as well as an awesome evolving talk about empowering students to reclaim agency), Seth Perler (who helps struggling students shine).

Thanks to Ross Lukeman who writes a blog called AlternativeHomeToday I will look for a skype recorder and finally take interviews to an online post-able format.  Here's an example interview he did with Brittany Yunker.  I have to compare the possible free programs to the one he suggested which is Call Recorder and $29.  He notes that 19:9 aspect ratio is best.  (Ross: thanks! And do go for that talk.  It was fun seeing it begin to evolve out of our conversation.)  If you have experience and thoughts on this please do share your opinion in the comments, pretty please.  Action Step: Decide on program and start interviews for book and for courses, which can also be something interviewees can use for their marketing.  

Will connect more with Azat Mardanov who is an entrepreneur, web and mobile developer, yoga + paleo enthusiast.  He's recently published a number of books including Express.Js Guide and knows a bunch about e-book publishing.  He's currently writing "How to Write a Book" and is building out some programs requiring presenting.  Action Step: Reconnect to give support for presenting and get insight on book launch and web support. 

Gary Hirsch's Yes Bot
Really enjoyed my conversation with Gary Hirsch of On Your Feet.  Gary co-wrote "Everything's An Offer" which completely speaks to my belief that acting and improv are super fun and experientially effective ways to better understand communication, work and LIFE.  Like so many folks here, these guys are out of the box.  Check out their alternative compensation offer of Wild Work.  Love it!   Gary's Yes Bot is pictured at right.

Resources: Gorgeous mobile-friendly websites in minutes
Call Recorder:  Records audio and video calls directly to your mac.
Time Trade:  Online appointment scheduling for individuals and teams.
From Jonathan Meade's Launch Anything:

  1. 40 Step Launch Checklist
  2. Trailblazer Movie Trailer
  3. Trailblazer Launch Blog and Sequence
  4. Trailblazer Affiliate Resource Center

In order to sustainably and effectively serve more people:

1) create clearer and differentiated product versions and multiple packages; (Great ideas from Nathan Barry and looking forward to reading his book, Authority which was just gifted to us all).  Action Step: Read book and Work on Packaging

2) Determine your Minimum Viable Product (which could even be an email sign-up giveaway).  Action Step: Put Speaker tip on email sign-up.  

3) Lots of push to outsource work.  Action Step: Consider outsourcing page design for products.

Action Item: Move testimonials around.  Weave them through content.

Reach out to Willo re: possible tech support.

SHOW that it works.  (Before and after video).

[The evolving story here]

How about you?  If you're at Pioneer Nation, what are your takeaways and inspirations?  If not, in the spirit of Chris's message what steps are you taking to be of service to your community?

If you're here at Pioneer Nation please say hello through twitter as I'd love to hear your story.  Or if your dance card is filled stay in touch by joining my mailing list.

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