From my home wifi, to airport seatac wifi, to SFO airport wifi, to Gogo InFlight, Boingo as backup, to rail Wifi on the BART…
Convince me that I need AT&T.
I’ve been without my phone for several weeks. Other than people asking me why I’m not using my other number, and me not being the best atreturning voicemails (same as always), nobody has noticed. I have an iPhone and use iMessage with friends. I use Google Voice with others. I’m covered.
I’m actually better now at returning calls than I was before. Google Voice lets you READ your voicemails. I know how to prioritize them. They may have spelling errors or some incorrect words, but you get the gist and at the very least a quick laugh.
I never answer my incoming calls anyway. Not usually. Everything I do work-wise is batched and scheduled. Plus, now you can carry around Wifi devices like Roku, Clearwire, and those from AT&T and Verizon. There are also a bunch of other options if you look hard enough.
“What about an emergency?” I hear you say. What did we do 10 or 20 years ago? We found a way to contact the people we needed. Texting with a cell phone can actually create an emergency! Learning to be patient and flexible goes a long way.
Not having a phone can actually help you manage your schedule more intentionally. And it can even help you calm your nerves!
Talk about seamless travel. Let me tell you a story.
I missed my flight due to a 3 hour commute with my taped-up duffle bag. Trying to save $100 may end up causing me more later in back problems, but I was determined to give up some cash.
I missed the baggage check-in by 10 minutes. So I had to sleep at the airport yetagain. Normally, I’m prepared for this, and I love getting wifi and quiet time. Not the case this time.
It was the coldest night in 3 years in NYC, and with revolving doors, pre-security gate, the draft was continuous. I ended up giving my metro card and travel hand lotion to William, a schizophrenic homeless man who I ended up chatting with for half of the night. We met in a 24 hour Subway, where we’d both meandered into to find a warm spot in the airport. It helped out a fellow person and it lightened my load.
Boingo came to the rescue. I had never purchased it before, but now that I’m without a phone and can’t tether, I decided to try it out. Plus, they had a pretty sweet promotion going on: Full service for $4.98 USD per month. (Note: Can’t wait to update more later about my experience with Boingo while on the go and just how seamless it is. Definitely keeping an eye on them.)
When I’m prepared with WiFi, extra clothes, packed lunch, and toiletries, and feel safe, then not much else matters. I’m covered. However, I didn’t think I would be forced to lug around 100 lbs of duct-taped gigantic body bag all night, taking it with me to the bathroom and everywhere else I went per Port Authority (on the bright side, I do feel pretty buff! Move over, p90x).
But, even with that, I knew to prepare. I wasn’t the only one who JUST missed the baggage window. Another girl on the flight had the same luck, and was crying and hysterically berating the attendant. All I could think about was that I was glad that wasn’t me. Don’t get me wrong, I was miserable and disappointed. But thanks to being able to just pop up my laptop anywhere, I knew I wasn’t stuck.
The only thing I was worried about was my 11:30 am PST meeting along with the time change. I’d get in with 2 hours to spare.
The morning flight rolls around and I get to board, finally ditching my bags – woohoo! But due to strong winds, the flight was delayed. And rerouted, tacking on an extra nearly 2 hours.
I’ll just email them in-flight, I thought. But, no Boingo, so I couldn’t. The plane landed and, with minutes to spare, I was able to grab a coffee and plug in at Starbucks (#thingsiloveaboutseattle). I actually had a spot to sit down with Wifi and power.
Connecting with Google Voice from the same number as my phone, with noise canceling headphones, and in the meeting on time. I could be doing this anywhere! And that’s just the point!
It’s a simple truth I learned early on as an entrepreneur: You can always make more money but you can never make more time.
Each minute you have needs to be used, to be valued, to be invested. It’s all in the mindset. If you are writing an email with advice, could that email be turned into a blog post? If you’re setting up an alert for a subject you’re researching? Does that party you’re attending contain anyone on the guest list you may want to start a business with in a year?
I’m not saying don’t ever watch TV or hang out with friends, because those also have value. Like eating a balanced meal, our energy and emotions also need to be balanced. Everything in moderation.
But your time decisions influence everything about your output. Instead of watching 3 hours of TV, cut it back to a half hour. Keep your media consumption focused on things with value. Think about why you’re using your time watching that show in order to relax, to laugh or exercise your brain. If you’re watching a show because it creates drama (Jerry Springer style) do you really need it? Garbage in garbage out.
It’s impotant to know why you’re doing something, and make it an investment in yourself. Here are the critical ways you can nourish yourself:
Sleep. Don’t be that useless hero who tries to go days without sleep. Sleep gives us energy. Take what your body needs, don’t cheat.
Food. Stay away from the junk. Take the time to eat slowly and not in a rush. Your body will thank you.
Friends. Invite the friends and association into your life that will nourish your soul.
Family. Every family, including the Cleavers, have hard times. But (in most cases) your family will be that ultimate grounding. Devote time to nourishing these roots (there is a reason they’re called roots!).
Mental Stimulation. Contact and conversation with friends, coworkers, etc. or a trip to the museum.
Relaxation. Spa, climbing, yoga, hot shower, a half hour of your favorite show, journalling, Sunday brunch … pick a vice, and keep it in check. But feel free to indulge when it makes sense!
Exercise. Healthy body, healthy mind. Even 1 walk per day will help get your energy flowing. Don’t be sedentary. Make the time.
These actions feed into our emotional and physical health. But as for the rest of your seconds, minutes, hours—all of it should count. Create, learn, grow. Don’t waste the little time you have.
There are a million ways to be productive with your time. Taking a road trip, listening to an educational program, talking to a business partner, enjoying a much needed chat with a friend… it doesn’t have to be strictly work. But your time is best spent figuring out your checks and balances. Make every second of your time a personal investment.
How do you work to not waste time? What are your favorite activities to help enhance your own self?
If Skillshare already exists in your city…. great! You can leverage their lists for distribution.
If Skillshare is new to your city or doesn’t really exist yet, ask:
What other business networks exist locally?
What other networking platforms exist where you can post your content?
Be careful of terms of service, but what I did is I pointed the other services to my Skillshare class link. It’s all extra promotion (and SEO) for Skillshare and they encourage you to promote via social networks. Leverage what you can, as long as it drives people to Skillshare, it’s a win/win for everyone.
Also, for the first class, keeping the costs low ($15-$25) and the class size low (5-7) will guarantee higher success. Saying your first class “sold out” with people on the waiting list helps create demand.
The first class is hardest.
2. Build Interest
Tip: “seed” a few people in the class. Nobody likes to be the first person to book the class. People who are passing by and think the class looks interesting are more inclined to come if they see that others are also interested. This validates your class concept and gives social proof, which is a must for the first class particularly.
Create a few promotion codes and give them out to friends and influencers. Having 2-3 influencers in the community you’re targeting on the list will guarantee that your class will fill up.
Be sure to post the class a few times before it begins, for example:
2-3 weeks prior make the first announcement
1 week before the class, post on a day where your target audience will be most active (have your seeders planted by this stage)
2 days prior make a post about how excited you are about the class to continue to build excitement
the day of (for those last-minute attendees)
3. Create Networking Opportunties
Potential students are likely looking at the profiles of those who signed up. Having people who have interesting profiles helps because the potential students are going not just to learn but also to network and to create a network around a similar subject. Encourage the students to meet other like minded people in class.
4. Focus on Great Copy:
In your class description:
what is it you’re teaching and why?
what will the student walk away with?
how is it applicable to them?
Don’t use tech terms that nobody will understand. But don’t be a used car salesman either and play buzzword scrabble.
> You’ll learn:
In this section, instead of saying
“how to use social media to grow your audience” (very generic and non-unique weak promise)
“how to increase your Twitter following to 1,000 quality followers in the next 30 days” (realistic target, high quality, great ROI on class)
> You’ll walk away with:
Make sure these are practical skills. The student should see themselves having actionable items immediately from this course.
a twitter account (if you don’t have one already)
the knowledge and tools to go from 0-1,000 twitter followers in 30 days
> About the Teacher:
Next, they want to know why you are qualified? Have you done this? Why you?
Self-promotion is SO hard but it’s necessary. Students want to know and believe that they will walk away with the tools and knowledge to do what you did – this creates a WOW factor and will help also drive attendance.
5. Select a Great Location
Having a great location, one that resonates with your audience, is also key. If you’re talking about tech issues to a tech crowd and you plan to meet at planned parenthood, it’s probably going to affect the turnout.
Remember, you are still selling your skills and a new class. If you hold it at a reputable location, your credibility increases.
6. Connect with Students
This is less about filling seats, now, and more about quality. You want to build value. Send the students an email, a survey, take an interest and interact prior to class. Tailor your content to the needs and interests of the eager learners. They want to learn and they are taking time to come see you. Give them so much value that you feel like you’re getting ripped off. They will walk away feeling like they got their money’s worth and then some.
Powerful endorsements and “street cred” on Skillshare. Your next class, while still following similar principles, will be easier to sell and you can increase the size of your class, and price.