Jackie Boone, a friend and an LWA student, shares with us her thoughts on life, her triumphs, her trials, and how she went from being stuck in a job to leaping into the world of becoming an entrepreneur.
Jackie runs 6 months to live and encourages all to live the life of their dreams. Jackie’s story will encourage and inspire you to take action.
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Libby Tucker: Today we have Jacqueline Boone. My video is not on because I’m having some Wi-Fi connectivity issues here in Alaska Today. Welcome Jackie. Jacqueline Boone is a digital marketing consultant, writer, and the creator of Six Months to Live, as soon to be online publication and web series that is passionately committed to empowering people to create lives and business that make a huge impact in the world. Again, welcome Jacqueline. You go by Jacqueline or Jackie?
Jackie Boone: Thank you so much for having me Libby.
Libby Tucker: This is exciting. We go way back.
Jackie Boone: I know. Was a Tuesday, it’s amazing.
Libby Tucker: From our first course together back in San Francisco, when we’re living and working from anywhere in pursuing our dreams. There we go. Do you go by Jacqueline or Jackie, which one should we call you?
Jackie Boone: You can call me Jackie. We go way back.
Libby Tucker: I just want to make sure. Jackie, tell me about … When we met we talked about living and working from anywhere. I know since then you’ve taken your life on a huge adventure, and at the time you were working in the corporate world. Tell me about your first steps that you took to living and working from anywhere.
Jackie Boone: Actually, Libby, you are a huge inspiration for me. When we first met, we met at the skill share class. I was just starting to pursue … It was actually a skill share class about how to teach skill share classes. I have been toying with the idea of starting to teach people how to build blogs. 6 Months to Live has been going now for 5 years. I have raised money for a kick started show to do a web series, and it had thousands of views and visits. Some has a great global community. I was starting to teach people about how to do that for themselves. I was also doing marketing in the corporate world, and how to do social media.
When we met, I was so fascinated and inspired by what you were doing, because I was toying with the notion of leaving corporate or doing my own thing. At the time I was feeling out of alignment, because 6 Months to Live is all about living the life you really want and going after your dreams. I no longer felt that I was doing that. I felt out of integrity about that. When I met you, it was a huge catalyst and confirmation that it was possible. I had lived in China for 3 years, and traveled extensively globally, and was doing international MNA in China and South America.
I was already to be living, working anywhere piece of it, because I was remote working for a New York in San Francisco. The idea of entrepreneurship was completely knew, and it’s something I hadn’t really considered in a serious way. When I met you is a confirmation that it was possible, so I it was very exciting.
Libby Tucker: Thank you first of all for the big complement. I was doing a little dance over here, you cannot see me. Thank you honestly. That’s very nice. I remember you saying that you … it’s interesting that you were in a point when you were just transitioning out, and not feeling an alignment with what you really wanted. I think a lot of people can relate with that. Tell me about your experience living in China.
Jackie Boone: I moved to China right after I graduated from Boston University. It was real big choice point in my life, because up until graduation I had done all the things you’re supposed to do. I was a honor roll student, and graduated with honors, and had the 4 internships. I’ve worked it in Style Magazine in New York, the summer at a marketing internship, the summer before I was to graduate. The real shifting moment was when I went on this 15-day trip to Israel with about 30 people. I just saw what was going on, and the breakdowns in communication between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The difficulty is then I thought I was so naive. I thought I had seen a thing or two, because I’ve to Europe, in London, Spain.
Going there really opened my eyes to how ignorant I was about the world, and how I really didn’t know anything. When the opportunity came to work for a non-profit called World Teach, and volunteer in China in a very rural part of China. I was only the white girl on the town. I seize the opportunity, because I decided, this speaks to my heart. This is something I really want to do. The path of moving to New York and working up the corporate ladder, that’s a very clear path. I know I can do it. I’ve been raised for that, but what would this other be if I really went from making a difference and doing what I really wanted to do?
That was what brought me over to China, first year. I do not speak Mandarin when I moved there, so there’s huge learning curve. After the first year I decided that if I really wanted to understand to China I needed to be there more than a year in a very rural part. It’d be like going to Chistmasville Georgia, and coming back to me, “I know the US.” I’m just excited to move to Hangzhou, which is 2 hours from Shanghai. I worked at a technology university there, and then I also worked for Cisco, and Bell Power, and some language centers, and run my own business, my third year without even realizing it.
I also work for the Beijing Olympics for Aramark in Beijing in 2008, that summer in between.
Libby Tucker: It sounds like just by taking the leap and deciding to go, a lot of opportunities came your ware while you were there?
Jackie Boone: Yes. I’m a huge, huge believer in following your heart and really having a clear vision. I know that we’ve talked about that a lot, and that you talked about that LWA, about being clear and taking the leap. The same thing happened when I moved to San Francisco. I actually moved back from China. After 3 years, and decided I really wanted to go out to San Francisco. It was 2009. It was the recession. I didn’t know anyone out there. 6 Months to Live started because some asked me what would you do if you had 6 months to live.
Libby Tucker: Before you get into that story, that’s actually something I wanted to ask you. There’s a couple of different things in here. Going to Chine, you spent 3 years in China. At the time, you experienced lots of different changes. First of all, what made you decide the to leave China to go to San Francisco?
Jackie Boone: I very much live what feels right in my gut, and going after your visions, and your desires. I think that’s really important. I think too many people dismiss it. I think when you’re really listening to your heart, and not know a sappy woo woo, kumbaya way, but in a genuine … This is what every fiber in my being is telling me that I want to do, and it doesn’t make any sense, that’s when magic happens. I’ve seen time and time again, when you follow that feeling, things magically show up and appear. For me, it was coming to 3 years, I had just turned … I was 25.
It was at that stage where if I stayed longer in China, it was going to more and more difficult to repatriate, and go back to the states. I had taught, I had managed a team of over a hundred, and Mandarin. I did learn Mandarin. I had done all these different things, but I wasn’t quite ready to be a permanent expat. That was another reason. It was head and heart. I think it’s important to have both.
Libby Tucker: That’s great, I like what you said about when the magic happens. I feel the same. I’ve experienced that as well. Let me ask you when you were over there, you said you learned Mandarin, where did you live? How did you settle in? How did you start to learn the language?
Jackie Boone: My first year, WorldTeach provided housing on the campus. I had an apartment, a foreign teacher’s apartment. Something I started to do, I love this, is started carrying around mole skins. I listen to Pimsleur. I listen to ChinesePod. I started doing a lot of language exchanges. Language exchanges are a great way to get in front of someone. The sole purpose to help each other learn a language. Just a little tip on the language exchanges, no matter what culture it, you want to find someone who is going to really adhere to that hour of time.
Generally how language exchange work is you have an hour were you speak the language that you’re wanting to learn. Then you have an hour where they speak the language that they’re wanting to learn. When I lived in Spain I learned about this, and did a lot of intercambios which is exchanges. That helped my Spanish so much faster than if I had just been listening Pimsleur or doing things, but it’s really important to have a combination. I carried the mole skin, I did a tone of language exchanges. I put myself in situations where I would have to speak Mandarin, where people did not speak any English. Just learning how to comfortable in being uncomfortable.
I think travel is the best training for entrepreneurship there is, because buses don’t come all the time when they’re scheduled, when you’re in Costa Rica, or Nicaragua, or wherever, or rural Hunan Province. It’s the same in entrepreneurship, sometimes the bus doesn’t come. Sometimes your plans don’t work out the way you thought it was. It trained you to be comfortable in discomfort. It also trained you to think on your feed, and to be very clear about … What if the bus didn’t come? My goal is still to get to Beijing, so I’ll take a plane instead. That kind of thinking is imperative in entrepreneurship.
Libby Tucker: That’s a fantastic connection that you just made, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard that from other people. It’s very true. The more you put yourself in the unknown the better off you can succeed, or overcome obstacles, I should say. Let’s talk about 6 Months to Live. Where were you? You were in San Francisco at the time, and somebody approached you.
Jackie Boone: I was in Atlanta on my mom’s couch looking for jobs. That’s the thing, sometimes when you follow your heart in the interim piece, it’s not always so easy. My gut told me it’s time to come back to the Us. I worked on ranch in Montana, that was one of my dreams. I did that first, and then I was on my mom’s couch. I was looking for work, and I’m feeling really depressed. I’m like, “How did I go from this amazing life in China where even on the bad days I felt like I was making a difference, and doing something, and challenging myself, and always learning, to being back in Atlanta looking for jobs, feeling really sorry about myself?”
When she asked me that question, it really resonated with my. I thought to myself, “Why does life only have to be exciting when you travel? Why can’t I bring that back into my home life, or into my own culture, this idea of I’ll never get this day again?” We often, whether we’re young, or older, or whatever, we only really examine life when shit hits the fan. It’s so important to acknowledge that “Hey, you only get this life once, so do what you’re really here to do, and do what you’re really excited about doing. Don’t wait.” I know so many people. That was one of the biggest kickers for me about taking action now.
So many people, they had dreams and they let them go. Then before they knew it, they’re 50. I don’t want to wait until I’m 50 to realize I didn’t live my dreams. I decided to do a life experiment. 6 Months of Living, not as I was going to die in 6 months, but really going for it, as if having this urgency and this excitement about life. I started sharing on a blog, and people started paying attention. I move to San Francisco, because this I’m dream I got to go for it. I was reading the Alchemist, and moved to San Francisco with a little over $1000, New Year’s Eve, 4 bags, had a place to live for a month, and just hit the pavement. It was this is where I want to be universe, please help a sister out.
I was down to 2 meals at the end. I was taking care of black lab chow mix, named Sparky. It was a really tiny room, so that I could afford to stay a little longer, and go through the interview process for the job that I ultimately got. When I finally got my job, I had $200 left in my bank account. It was a close call, but I got my dream job. This is what why talking about the magic. I know what you have experiences like this, Libby, where I got a job, working directly for the CEO of a New York based company, managing international strategic partnership. Basically I was going around China, South America, working on my languages in a business format, making partnerships. That was amazing, absolutely loved it.
Libby Tucker: That is incredibly. It just echoes. Your story echoes what you just said. If you just take the risk, and take the changes and believe that things are going to work out, and do. I heard a lot of sacrificing in there as well. I think a lot of people are scared. They’re like, “I don’t want to live on mom’s couch. I don’t want to have 2 meals left.” It sounds, to me … What were those times like? It sounded it was scary, difficult.
Jackie Boone: For sure. I think the scariest part about it, no matter how many times I’ve made these leaps, or made these sacrifices, the scariest part is you always wonder. Is it going to work out this time? Is it going to really be okay? I wish I could tell you that that leaves with how many times I’ve done it. When I left San Francisco, and decided to go full-time in my job shortly after meeting you, I decided that the one thing in the world I really wanted to do was sale in South America. I’ve never been on sale boat. I learn how to sale, gave everything away. Very long story short, 2 months later I was curing for a skipper in Mexico. It was one of the best experiences in my life.
Again, back to entrepreneurship. It takes that your dream, your vision, what you want in your heart of hearts is so compelling, it’s so important that you don’t care if you have to take a bus to get there, if you have to take a plane, if you have to swim. It takes that kind of dedication. That’s really what separates the women from the girls.
Libby Tucker: That’s right, You do a lot actually, don’t you, for women? You’re working on a trip right now, is that right?
Jackie Boone: Yes, I am. One of things that I noticed in my travels, because I do a lot of solo travel. I know you do too. One of the things I noticed is that there’s a lot of taboos about women traveling on the their own. Especially when you get in your late 20s, mid to late 20s, and your 30s, there’s this gap if you’re a single woman, or your married but you want to travel alone. I saw this in Europe when I was there. I went to 7 countries in 3 weeks on my own, and met with people along the way. You always meet with people. I just say this really big gap, there was either staying at a hostel, which felt a little old. I felt a little old to just be in a hostel. Or going to these nice …
I was like, “I’m dream myself. I’m going to go to a 5-star hotel Malta.” I was the only young person there. It was a bunch of people who were married and romantic. I was [inaudible 16:28]. I’m like, “This is fun.” There’s no one to talk to, and I feel completely out of place. I wanted to create something that would give women this place of having an expedition, an adventure. I’m creating something that I am calling an expedition. It’s a way for women to come together, but travel in a really compelling, and adventurous, and exciting way. I’m not into the tour thing.
That allows women to connect, and also allows them to explore. I’m integrating some of the lessons of entrepreneurship with actually teaching women how to go out and connect, how to see even your target market by being aware. Really what business is all about, it’s about understanding people, and having the right conversations with the right people, and having and exchange around that.
Libby Tucker: That’s really interesting. Being in a similar situation, I’ve definitely experienced at staying a 6-star hotels, or traveling in hostels, or being by myself. Tell me a little more about when you got a place. 7 countries in 3 weeks, that’s on your own. That’s awesome.
Jackie Boone: That’s pretty crazy. It was fun, but it’s pretty crazy.
Libby Tucker: You have so many bucket list items. I want to ask you about some of the things that you’ve done, but also a lot of people are afraid to travel. There’s taboos around women, but women have to take a few more precautions, generally speaking. What do you do when you get to a place? You said there’s people everywhere, or you always meet people. Tell us how you’ve met people, and how that happens.
Jackie Boone: Sure. One of the best ways is just putting yourself in situations where you are able to meet people. One of the downsides of being at a nicer hotel is that you’re not going to have the same opportunities, unless they have a yoga class that you can go to. One of the reasons I do like hostels is because people are open to meeting people. I do a lot of co-working. Teach at a lot of co-working spaces around the US. When I was in Prague, I met someone at a wedding in Slovakia who told me about the hub location. He works for the hub where we actually met. We met at the hub in San Francisco.
I went to the hub in Prague and connected with a lot of people there. I also made sure to … There’s meet up groups if you’re traveling in the US. There’s also meet up groups abroad. Just putting yourself in situations and not being afraid to start conversations with people. I love travel because you’re in a much bigger state of openness generally, especially if you’re traveling alone. You have more incentive to talk to strangers. Of course use your intuition. If someone looks really sketchy. It’s not like, “Oh, now it’s the to have a conversation.” Probably walk the other way.
In the situation in Gozo, which is an island in Malta. I was at the beach. I was trying to figure out bus system. I was a little confused. The sky and this little red car, who’s an Australian dude, who’s lived in Malta for a really long time. He offered to give me a ride to the next temple. You use your gut, and you’re like, “Okay.” He gave me a ride. That stuff happens all the time when you travel if you’re open to it, and if you start having conversations. When I got to Edinburgh, because I literally went from Malta to Scotland, which was pretty crazy, with one bag.
I like to pack light. It was very different atmosphere and environment. I landed and I stayed at a guess house, like a bed and breakfast, because that’s really popular in the UK. The guy that was working at the desk or whatever, he’s from Nepal. He was watching Bing Bang Theory when I came back from my fishing trip, so I sat down and have a conversation with him, and talked about what he was doing. Also it’s really helpful to ask your community who knows people in the area. In Edinburgh, I went with a girl that I knew from meeting her on Craig’s list originally in San Francisco. She lived in Edinburgh, so I stayed with her. We went out to this live music thing, and sat next to an American guy who’s a musician.
You just start these conversations. He invited me over for dinner with a bunch of his roommates, and there’s a French guy, and Italians. It works like that. Everyone has connections, and the travel community is one of the kindest, most open, most giving generous community I’ve ever been part of. It’s very reciprocal community, and it’s very much I scratch your back, you scratch mine. It’s important that you are aware of that, and always pay it forward.
Libby Tucker: That’s great advice. It also sounds you’ve made … it seems like it just kept running on and ongoing, and this person, and that person. You meet so many connections. What you said is that if you’re open to it, when somebody invites you to dinner, you said yes. When somebody offered to give you a ride, and he wasn’t sketchy you said yes. You seem like a very outgoing person. Have you always been that way? For people who might be shy, I think you gave some great advise which is how to be open, and how to connect to certain groups. I guess what could somebody who’s … Maybe I’m being redundant, but for a shy person, some advice.
Jackie Boone: That’s a good question. I actually, believe it or not, was a pretty shy kid.
Libby Tucker: No, I don’t believe it. I was kidding.
Jackie Boone: It’s true. When I was pretty young I was pretty shy. I was the tallest girl in the grade, had acne before everyone else. I always felt like an outsider, and always felt like I didn’t quite fit in. What I really most wanted in the first 14 years of my life was to fit in. I remember my baby sitter as a kid was very outgoing. She would encourage me. I was so embarrassed to go up to someone and ask if they wanted to be friends. I was like, “No, I can’t do that. What if they would reject me? What if they would say don’t talk to me, you’re horrible, or whatever?” She really encouraged me, said “Just go up to someone at the pool.” I was about 6. Just ask them if they wanted to be friend.
I literally went up to this girl I’ll never remember. I just said, “Hi, I’m Jackie. Want to be friends?” She said “okay, let’s go play.” I was like, “Okay.” I think that that showed me, at a very young age, that even though … There will always be that risk of people not reciprocating it. It’s not to say that every person you start a conversation with wants to talk back to me. I can tell you how many times I’ve had this situation where I start talking to someone, and they don’t respond, because they don’t hear me or whatever. I’m like, “Okay, see you later.” With that discomfort in being in travel environment or entrepreneurship or whatever it is, it also means taking the risk that you’ll be rejected, or that you won’t be responded to.
I think we’ve all had the situation. The reward is so much greater. At this point I’ve been so deeply uncomfortable so many times. Nothing is more uncomfortable that you’re literally the only white girl on a bus in rural China, and there’s a chicken pooping, and people smoking, and sun flower seeds are … It’s very uncomfortable for a girl who grew up in suburban Atlanta. You have those situations, and travel makes you see that we’re actually all just really alike, and we all have the same desire more or less. We want to be happy. We want to be love. We want to have the same things. I approach it as a writer, because everything is an experience.
If I have someone that totally shuts me down, or doesn’t want to have anything to do with, or thinks I’m a freak, or whatever, it’s an experience. It also builds your self-confidence. Again, the rewards are so much better because you do have the experiences where people take you in. I can’t tell you how many times I could cry about it because it’s been so amazing to see the goodness of humanity, whether it’s someone on the side of the road selling … There’s something in China called dam bing. It’s like flat pancake with egg in it. Just be willing to be open and friendly. Almost now one rejects someone who’s smiling and open. Also, when in doubt I say play the [inaudible 25:49] card.
Libby Tucker: What card?
Jackie Boone: [inaudible 25:49], it’s a slang term in this tiny town I lived in the [inaudible 25:49] for foreigner. When in doubt, just play the foreigner card, like you don’t know what to do. You’re not expected to know what to do. In a lot of countries, you’ll very clearly stand out. Don’t be afraid to look stupid, to be like, “I don’t know where I’m going” because actually people will be much more likely to help and to open up dialog with you.
Libby Tucker: I love the visual of the bus with the chicken. That’s fantastic. I think it’s great. I think people challenge themselves to take even just one action. Go up to someone and say, “Hey, do you want to be my friend?” Maybe not that one, but something like, “Hey, do you know where the bus is?” I’m going to encourage and challenge everybody just to take that one little thing and try it.
Jackie Boone: Instead of using Yelp, actually ask someone sitting next to you. Hey, do you know of a good restaurant around here?
Libby Tucker: Try it 5 times, and see how many people reject you. I think you’d be surprised. That feeling like you said, the reward, I think it almost becomes addictive. You overcome that challenge and it feels so good that you just want to keep doing it.
Jackie Boone: It’s an amazing experience to grow. I think travel, entrepreneurship, being willing. I had an important meeting yesterday with the company that I want to do working with. I felt really nervous. There’s a difference between that excited nervous, like you’re afraid but you’re also like, “Oh my gosh.” It’s good excited nervous. That, to me, characterizes and encapsulates Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” To me, that feeling is like I’m out of my comfort zone and I’m alive. That feeling of aliveness is often being willing to take risk, because that’s how you grow and change.
Let’s say there’s all those videos out there about not asking the woman that you think is attractive at the coffee shop or something. I recently had a situation where a guy … I met this guy at a bar or whatever. He was with a group of friends. We had a nice conversation. I thought he was a great guy, but I wasn’t interested in that way. He followed me to the bathroom. He’s like, “Hey Jackie, just wanted to ask you. Would you be up for frozen yogurt sometime?” I’m like, “Can I go to the bathroom first?”
Libby Tucker: What not to do.
Jackie Boone: When I got out of the bathroom, he was waiting very patiently for me on a stack of chairs. He said, “Do I get an answer?” I said, “Yes, I would love to go to a frozen yogurt as friend.” I think it’s important to be honest with people. Good for him, I really had a lot of respect for him even if it wasn’t the swavest thing or whatever. Frozen yogurt, that’s really nice. I like some frozen yogurt.
Libby Tucker: He’s persistent. He’s got courage, you got to give him credit.
Jackie Boone: [Crosstalk 29:01] took the change. I think that’s really important, because you’re going to get rejected. Did I tell about the experiment I did, the 21 days for rejection therapy?
Libby Tucker: I remember that on your blog. I remember reading about it a little bit.
Jackie Boone: It’s basically is really easy. I didn’t create rejection therapy. It’s you have to be told no at least once every day. I did that almost immediately after I met you, Libby, actually, because I realized I need an extra little [inaudible 29:31] to get going. One of the things that was holding me back was fear of rejection. I was so surprised at how little I got rejected. I had to work to get told no. That was really surprising.
Libby Tucker: I think it’s interesting that this is actually key. I felt like we were going of tangent, but really I think this is a good thing to focus on is that the fear of rejection. Just fear in general is what stops a little of people from going. You say I have this obligation. I have that obligation. If you can put yourself in a situation where you can get rejected … This rejection therapy, do we find this on your blog, 6Monthstolive.me?
Jackie Boone: Yeah. I’ll include the link for you when you publish it.
Libby Tucker: I think that’s great. If people can follow this plan of rejection and get unstuck from your current situation and start getting yourself used to being in this situation of unfamiliarity that you can start to prepare yourself to go on a trip anyway. Speaking of preparing to go on a trip, you talked about jumping from here to there, how much planning do you actually do ahead of time? I think you mentioned Scotland before. What are your thinking of the LWA criteria? What are the thing that you absolutely have to have planned, like minimum viable planning ahead of time before you go on a trip?
Jackie Boone: That’s a good question. This particular trip, the 7 countries in 3 weeks was very impromptu. I’ll talk a little bit about exactly the tools I used and what I did, and how I made my decisions. I think in general when you’re planning a trip, the most important thing is that you have book ends, and you’re clear about … I knew I was flying into Vienna, and I knew I was flying out of Dublin. For sure I was going to Austria, and for sure I was going to Ireland, and I also knew I was going to Slovakia because my friends are getting married.
I like to plan the first 3 days, 3 or 4, because I like to know, especially that first day, where I’m landing, where I’m sleeping, and how I’m getting there. When you’re dealing with jet lag and different languages and cultures and things like that, it’s one more thing to worry about when you land and you have to figure out your hotel. That’s just not fun. Also to choose somewhere, I like to choose somewhere a little nicer on my first night, so that I’m sleeping well, that get over the jet lag easy. I can hit the ground running. Do some research on the before.
With this particular trip because I have traveled so much, I decided to do something different, and go by just a completely heart-based, “I want to go hear, so I’m going to go here”, trip. How it worked was I went to Vienna. I met some friends, so I had a place to stay, and had friends that spoke German. Then I took a train to Slovakia. Then I had friends pick me up from the train to go to the wedding, and then met a lot of people. Then through that, decided to go to Prague, because there were people driving back to Prague. Czech Republic and Slovakia are very close. They used to be united.
I got a ride to Prague, booked the ticket last minute. I looked at Airbnb’s, that’s a great way. I also use booking.com a lot. I can’t remember the name of it now, I’ll look it up. There’s a hot wire, but it’s a UK-based. When you’re up that works really well. Using some of the different … We use Travelocity, got a great deal on a very nice hotel in Prague for 90 bucks a night, or 100 bucks a night, which was really good. It was a very nice hotel. It was central in the city. Then just using, and leveraging, and then planning out as I went.
Libby Tucker: I think it’s usually said that the plan of fist 3 to 4 days, get a nice place to stay on the first, so you can get over your jet lag, hit the ground running? What else do you do in those 3 to 4 days? How do you orient it, or orient yourself? Before you decide to go to Prague, and before you decide to book the ticket, what are you doing in the city to prepare yourself? You’re working as you’re going a long, which we’re going to get into in a minute, like entrepreneurship. What else do you need in those first 3 to 4 days to orient yourself and to keep working?
Jackie Boone: The biggest thing again, is sleeping, getting over your jet lag, because it’s very hard to orient yourself anywhere I you’re not well rested and you’re not well fed. It seems almost superfluous, or don’t worry about where you’re sleeping, or what you’re eating. It’s really important that you’re fueling yourself and taking care of yourself. The other thing that I do is that I arrange my client calls and my work. The calls that I need to be there for in person, like a Skype, I arrange them on all on 1 day. I know, for example, that I’ll have 5 Skype calls on a Thursday, or may it’s 2 days. I make sure that I’m in a place that I can check out then internet, and then I can vet it first.
I found out the hard way that it’s not always the nice hotels that have the best internet, I was supposed to have a client call in [inaudible 35:00] which was my last stop before going out up the Island of Sky in Scotland. The internet ended up being terrible. It was a nice hotel. It’s an expensive hotel, so I was pretty surprised about that. Whereas I booked a farmhouse in Gozo, which is a beautiful farm house and had a pool. Actually that was where I had the best internet. You just want to be in situations where you have time to check that kind of stuff out, because it is your business.
You want it to be an appealing thing that, “Hey, I’m talking with my client call or whatever while I’m on the road, and that’s exciting” versus I you have Skype issues, and you’re not able to get your work done. That doesn’t look good to your clients, and it’s not good for business.
Libby Tucker: Even when you do check the internet connection, like I did yesterday for the shop, you still never know.
Jackie Boone: Yes. Sometimes you have issues. Most people are kind about that. It’s having back up plans is what I was saying about sometimes the bus doesn’t come, so you know where the plane is going to be doing. Especially if it’s a client call, carry a … What’s the… I’m blanking out. The thing that you carry, the website … The internet?
Libby Tucker: That you carry?
Jackie Boone: It’s a USB.
Libby Tucker: Clear Wi-Fi, or USB-
Jackie Boone: No, it’s …
Libby Tucker: Hotspot?
Jackie Boone: Yeah, hotspot or a … it’s not VCN. I can’t remember the name of it right now.
Libby Tucker: That’s all right. So carry something to do as a backup, is that what you’re saying?
Jackie Boone: Yes. Make sure that your computer is charged. Then also worst case scenario, you could use Skype on your phone. There’s a lot of Wi-Fi. Again it depends on where you are. If you’re in Europe, there’s a lot Wi-Fi everywhere, so you can use Skype through Wi-Fi, or Viber, or something like that. Cross your t’s and dot your i’s as most as you can, and plan forward as best as you can.
Libby Tucker: Some of my takeaways for you so far are creating urgency, like you did a 6 Months to Live. You created a 5-month plan. You went to rejection therapy, so you could prepare yourself to get on this route of travel. When you travel this you create this book ends, and you give yourself 3 to 4 days to get to a place. It sounds like you also have a bucket list, I wrote that down as well, of things that you wanted to do in that 6-month period. We could talk probably all day about 6 Months to Live, and the bucket list. I want to hear some of those stories, not only intertwined, but we can pull a couple of them out.
I think people could definitely check out 6MonthstoLive.me. Great, great stories, you’re a great story teller. Let’s talk a little bit about entrepreneurship. You started 6 Months to Live. I know your teaching courses on how to start a blog and how to get sponsors. You literally, last time I say you … We saw each other in San Francisco at the hub, and then the next thing I knew you were traveling the world, and making money from your blogs. Let’s dig into that for a minute. Tell us about your blog.
Jackie Boone: The blog started I guess almost 5 years ago. I raised money for a kick started. When I was starting my own business, it really came down to “How do I make money from doing this?” Are you still there?
Libby Tucker: I’m here. Can you hear me?
Jackie Boone: [Crosstalk 38:31]
Libby Tucker: I have some background noise.
Jackie Boone: Hence the trouble. For it was when you’re first starting your business, it’s being really clear on creating sustainable revenue, and creating your ideal client. Making sure that you’re clear about who you’re marketing to, what you’re doing, how to do that. I did take some courses, in the beginning. Some of it was helpful, and some of it wasn’t. I think the biggest ramp up for entrepreneurs moving from corporate is when you work in corporate, you are in your cubicle or your office, your corner desk or whatever. It doesn’t matter or how or little you work, you still get a paycheck every week, or every month, or whatever the cycle is.
Entrepreneurship, that’s not how it works. You are constantly selling and needing to bring in revenue for your business, that’s really important so that you can have paychecks. When you can figure out, what is it that I do really well, and what are the different ways that I can serve my clients, and then have different revenue stream for how to do that. The blog is one revenue stream. Now it’s turning into an online publication. They’ll bringing on sponsors, and affiliate marketing, and different things with that. Then I also do consulting with entrepreneurs and start up about how to leverage the digital marketing strategy, and how to really start these conversations online that lead business in an authentic and genuine way. It’s not spammy, not it’s –
Libby Tucker: Not you cut you off. We did briefly mention that before, and you just breeze over it. You started out having a blog, and that’s been around for about 5 years. Now you’re turning it to an online publication. Before we get into online publication, I just want to talk about, what are the first steps if somebody’s looking to … Maybe you already have a blog, or maybe you’re looking to start with a blog. I think a key question is here, how do you have a blog that’s generating revenue? I think you’re right, first question is “How do I make money? How can I make this sustainable?” How do you do that? How do you create a blog that generates revenue while you’re traveling?
Then I want to really dive in to what made you change to the online publication, and what that is, and what it looks like. What was it like for you, the first steps? Before, up to this point, it’s always been your blog, and you’ve been writing. You’re a great writer, and you’ve been getting sponsorship. What does that look like?
Jackie Boone: The sponsorships has actually been a very small percentage of the revenue, because I decided. There’s a couple of ways to go about it. The most important thing with your blog, with your company is having a clear voice and narrative to the people that you’re wanting to serve and help. Then you create opportunities to help them. Those are your different offerings that you can then have. One of the reasons why my business was able to be successful pretty quickly was that I had an audience. I had people that knew me, and I had people that were asking me questions.
The other thing that I think is very important is I have never created any offering up to this point that hasn’t been asked for by my community, or where I didn’t see a need. I see a lot of entrepreneurs doing this thing. “Oh, this is an amazing idea. This would be so great.” Then they go to their audience with it, or they build this tech start up, or they do it, and then there’s crickets. When you have an audience that is feeding you, “Hey Jackie, how are you able to travel around the world?” I’ll create a class around that, and I’ll create an opportunity for them to learn that knowledge, or “Hey Jackie, how do you run your blog?” that’s why I created the class, or “Hey Jackie, how do you use social media?” You’re getting to the point.
Creating opportunities that are leveraging your time, and also creating passive income for you, but that are helping people, because that’s really what I’m all about is helping people do what they really want to do and live they best life. Life is really short, so you might as well live the one you really want to live.
Libby Tucker: You say create income opportunities based on the comments. Don’t just go out there and wing it, create it based on what the feedback is, and where people need help. Meet in the middle there, and create content courses, etcetera, products around that, and then monetize that way. That’s how you’re able to continue to get paid and travel. How are you collecting revenues from your clients and your courses?
Jackie Boone: I do everything online, almost everything. I teach live classes, but I also do live classes through Google Hangout, or through GoToWebinar, or there’s a bunch of different services. For the time being, because it’s easier, I just use Paypal. I have subscriptions that I have set up, and I also have invoices. I bill ahead of time, because I don’t like invoices chasing. I don’t think anyone likes that. I decided very [inaudible 43:51] day 1 in my business that, that was what worked for me, so that’s really important too.
Libby Tucker: How do you plan your day when you’re traveling? What does your day look like? Your obviously running Google Hangout, you need to find the farm side with the pool versus the fancy hotel for Wi-Fi. What is the –
Jackie Boone: I know it was ironic. I didn’t expect that.
Libby Tucker: Hey, I think everybody would like that, prefer that, or at least I would. What does your day look like? How do you plan? You talked a little bit earlier about batching your calls together. Tell us more about your day. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up and prepare for your day?
Jackie Boone: The first thing I do as part of everyday, and I started this ritual pretty recently. I remember you asking in the pre-questions what was the 1 thing that you want to take away with people. I think when you get into business, people get into it because they really love, and they want to serve, and they want to help, which is great. It’s so important that you focus on your vision, and why you’re doing everything that you’re doing, and that you’re working on things you really love to do. Otherwise, you’re going to burn out. That’s why it’s so important that you are taking care of your body. It’s so important that you do take some time off every now and then.
Chris [inaudible 43:51] talks about it takes 1 day off. I do my very best to take 1 day off, or take half days to really listen to what’s going on. I actually start every day with looking at my Pinterest vision board. That’s one of the ways that I found that’s really good. Visuals are very compelling for me. I have a private board on my Pinterest that shows everything I’m working towards. Everything that I’m wanting to create and experience in my life. The first email I read is the TUT Universe emails. Have you subscribed to that?
Libby Tucker: I haven’t heard of it. What’s it called, the TUTS?
Jackie Boone: It’s called TUT, T-U-T. It’s all about the universe, and it’s messages from the universe to people. It’s amazing. I’ll include that link in the follow up. I start with those emails, because it reminds me there’s something bigger than me, and that my dream and not my business is bigger than just me or just whatever. I star my day off that way, and I always say, “set yourself up for success.” For me, what works best is having the book ends, having live conversations with clients, but spacing out so that I have an hour or two in between to get writing done, or strategy work done, or newsletter time, or whatever it is.
That will help me. If I have a whole day where I don’t have much going on, and concrete, and planned, I end up wasting and procrastinating, The other thing I do in my week is I set aside 2 days week that are geared towards writing and traveling, and easing into my week. Mondays and Fridays are my days to ease in and ease out, and to write and get everything that I need to get done, planning, strategy, all that stuff. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are my days for client calls, my networking, my teaching, anything that I do. I really pack it in during that time, and that works really well for me.
I encourage you to think about what works really well for you. What do you need to see in the morning? Maybe it’s a picture of something you really like, maybe it’s quote. Start your day with something positive. Sometimes I watch Ted talks, things like that, so that you’re starting your day with something that is going to be inspirational.
Libby Tucker: That’s great. Speaking of inspirational, tell us what the next 6 Months looks like for 6 Months to Live.
Jackie Boone: Happy to do that, Libby. The really exciting thing that’s happening with 6 Months to Live right now is it’s turning into an online publication. What that basically means is it’s going to have all these different experts and contributors, people that I’ve met over the years starting with, and then would love. If you’re interested there’s going to be guest post requirements, all those things. I realize that I’m 1 person who had started this entire movement which is fantastic, and I’m so excited about that. It wouldn’t be a movement if people didn’t decide to follow.
Have you seen that Ted Talk where the guy is dancing crazily, and people slowly start to join? The guy in the Ted Talk basically says … Then everyone is dancing crazily. At the end of this concert, by the end of it, and he says that the real decision maker is the first person that decides to follow the crazy person that’s dancing, because you’re not a leader if you don’t have … I don’t really [inaudible 48:43] term ‘followers’, but that’s what makes the shift and the change. The next step for 6 Months to Live is really bringing in these leaders and these experts in their own fields in health, travel, business, relationships.
There can be all these different voices about what truly living means. There can be all these resources for people. If they want to know how to travel, that there’s my voice, and that there’s all these other voices, like yours or Chris [inaudible 49:14] or whatever it maybe that they have the tools and resources to live the live they wanted to enrich their life. Whether that’s doing something crazy like sailing in Mexico, or just having more loving our wife. Other things I did was I wrote 168 letters of appreciation for the first 6-month experiment. I thought if I was going to die, I would want people to know what they meant, and why am I waiting.
I just sent out some post cards recently. It’s nice to just let people know you care about them. We forget that in the minutiae of life, but taking the time to slow down and honor that. We can be big things or small things.
Libby Tucker: I drifted into thinking about the urgency and the time limit that you’re talking about before. I wanted to also leave people with when and how we met. In our class, we put together … You inspired me as well. Like I said, you’re a great story teller. You have some really great experiences. Also, I think we helped put together or walked through the first 30-day action planning, and getting back for the Live Work Anywhere course. You talked about, again, creating urgency, and having this plan in taking first steps, and putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, rejection therapy.
I want to encourage people to also take the course, and take the 30-day action plan, because here’s a product right here Jackie –
Jackie Boone: Yeah, that was very helpful. It was very helpful to feel accountable. You’re 70% more likely to follow through on what you say you’re to do if you told other people and you’re held accountable.
Libby Tucker: That’s great.
Jackie Boone: That’s one of the reasons why I tell people what my dreams are, because then I have to do them,
Libby Tucker: That’s true, or run and hide. That’s great. Thank for all your great advice. Jackie Boon, everybody.
Jackie Boone: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.
Libby Tucker: Thank you for being here. Have a wonderful day. Bye from Alaska.
Jackie Boone: Thank you. Bye bye.
Libby Tucker: Bye.