Reflecting on Business and Lifestyle in the First Half of the Year – 2016
The year started in Mexico, dancing with two of my girl friends who I met several years ago when we were all teaching English in Japan. We all went our separate ways, but stayed in touch. Amy had planned to go to Mexico with her boyfriend on a romantic New Years Eve vacation, and Anne and I decided to surprise her and crash it (with the consent of her boyfriend).
From there I grabbed my bags from a family member’s place in Kansas City, and went down to Brazil. I fell in love with Rio de Janeiro all over again, since I’ve been there a few times. But this time was different, this time I stayed for six months.
I found an apartment being constructed in a centrally-located favela, rented and furnished it. This is no small feat. I absolutely loved everything — everything — about living there, except that I missed my community of entrepreneurs, and super-fast internet.
I’ve had an amazing first half of the year filled with the excitement of carnival, the support of amazing friends and colleagues, and fulfilling a long-time dream of living in Brazil.
In January my PayPal account got frozen for a few days because I was paying out so much to affiliates from the English Power Pack sale. This is a good problem to have. I decided to do the sale again recently in the end of June and it did even better than the first time. I love connecting people, and the fact that this is a joint-venture sale means I get to use my networking skills. The first sale was intense. In June I was happy to have my assistant Layne’s help.
Also in January, I launched the Fluent Communication course on Go Natural English, the first set-semester course built by teachers I’d hired, including live lessons. The launch was good, considering the price of the course was 5x more than my previous most expensive product. The course ran for 16 weeks, by the end of which I’d learned that I didn’t want to run programs that run on a specific timeline, nor with live online lessons. I was constantly worried about whether the students and teachers were happy, and I wasn’t actually making money on the live lesson component because I like to pay my teachers well. The good thing was that the sense of community was increased during this course as members went through it together. I would like to offer more live, interactive elements and encourage community and connection among course members if they desire it.
In February I presented at a small conference for entrepreneurs in Rio and enjoyed carnival.
Early in the year, I decided that I wanted to join several mastermind groups online. I had gotten a lot out of the group that I formed in 2013, and another one I joined in 2015, so I thought the more the better. I over-booked myself and March and April passed by in a blur of back-to-back meetings, online events, and keeping up with regular business.
In May I traveled from Rio to San Fransisco and attended a conference and saw a few friends in the area. I also started working with sponsors for Go Natural English again, another steam of income. Also, I was able to promote my course on YouTube as part of a joint-venture sale for entrepreneurial travels, the Paradise Pack.
Since then, I’ve been on the move. I presented several times at a conference in Barcelona. I fell in love with New York city, then spent half of July in Los Angeles.
The last few months have been the strongest ever in my first business, Go Natural English. I am amazed to be able to work from anywhere, make my own schedule, and to constantly be curious and learning new things. I am able to do the things I love to do — perform, create, network, and help people learn. What a blessing!
What’s working so far this year?
I love being around people. In the favela in Rio and in New York City, and looking back to living in Tokyo, although sometimes crowds are frustrating, I love the hustle and bustle.
The English Power Pack joint-venture sale is working. Info product sales are working.
Hiring help for ongoing tasks has continued to make a huge difference.
What’s not working so far this year?
Sponsorships have been a great way to introduce my English learner audience to services that would benefit them, but at the current rates it’s not an income stream that I will be able to focus on.
Hiring teachers for ongoing live online lessons didn’t really work out, but it was great to hire teachers to help for product creation.
My biggest takeaway from the last several months has been that I know what to do, and I have the help to do it, but I need to take the time to prioritize setting up systems and training correctly so that things work the way I envision them in my head. Also, that I should pay attention to what’s really working in terms of lifestyle and business. It’s important to say “no” if something’s not a full-on “yes!”
Goal Setting for Business and Lifestyle for the the Rest of the Year
In August, launch the new Travel English course at Go Natural English. Start creating daily videos for Gabby TV on YouTube. Keep posting at least weekly here and continue to improve this website. Find an apartment in NYC. Go get my stuff in Rio.
In September, rock my talk at a conference for entrepreneurs I’m scheduled to talk at and re-launch my YouTube course.
By October, have helped 5 new clients with video projects.
In November, do another English Power Pack sale.
By December, have 250,000 subscribers on the Go Natural English YouTube channel. Have released 150 videos on the Gabby TV channel. Take a vacation to Rio for New Year’s.