Q: Why did you decide to teach this course?
Two years ago, I ranted to Kelly Kingman about how almost all the people teaching business online had a “crush it” attitude. She suggested we teach a class about peaceful entrepreneurship as an antidote to the “crush it” mentality; to represent some feminine energy as a counterpoint to all the masculine energy out there.
(At the time, we called it “Slow Business”, as in “Slow Food”, but we later renamed it because we thought people might not get the reference.)
We tested the waters, and plenty of people resonated with this concept, so everything looked good…
…but I told Kelly no, because of a promise we made in 2010:
We’ve always been adamant that we wouldn’t sell anything related to business until we’d been decently successful in business. It just seems too circular, like those make money online scams that claim to teach you how to make a million dollars, and the answer is “trick a bunch of people into thinking that you can teach them how to make a million dollars.” Blech.
But since then, we have become decently successful in business — more than decently so, in fact — so now I feel wholehearted about teaching what I’ve learned to others. I reopened the idea with Kelly, and the rest is history!
Q: How is this related to changing the world?
The mission of the Connection Revolution is to help idealists blossom into world-changers. Here’s how The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur serves that mission.
Imagine a world full of peaceful entrepreneurs creating sustainable businesses, using ethical sales and marketing techniques to provide value for others.
Every person who takes this course and applies what they learn brings us all one step closer to that world.
Q: Why isn’t Kyeli part of The Way?
First, a quick recap: Kyeli is my life partner and my business partner. Kelly is co-creating and co-teaching The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur with me (Pace). Here’s a handy field guide to help you tell the difference.
Anyway, the way Kyeli and I divvy up our projects is that I take the lead on the business-related projects, Kyeli takes the lead on the writing-related projects, and we work together on the changing-the-world and making-your-life-more-awesome projects.
Since The Way is business-related and Kelly wanted to join forces to teach it together, Kyeli bowed out to focus on other things.
Q: I already have a business. Will The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur be helpful for me?
It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to learn business techniques and strategies that are new to you, then no, it won’t be helpful for you. But if you want to learn how to apply these techniques and strategies in a peaceful way — if you want to make your existing business stop stressing you the heck out — then yes, The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur will help you create that peace.
Q: Did you create the jingle for the course?
Yes! I love creating jingles! But it sounds so peaceful, it’s more of a meditation than a jingle. I was trying to evoke the feel of a Zen garden.
You can listen to it here. (It’s just 15 seconds long.)
I composed it in Renoise, and that’s Kelly’s voice you hear. I asked her to record herself saying “The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur” a dozen times, and I used the one that sounded the most peaceful.
Q: How did you decide on the price?
Kelly resonated with $297, I resonated with $197. We talked it over, and decided that we’d rather help more people for less money than fewer people for more money. So we settled on $197.
Q: How did you decide on the guarantee? Aren’t you afraid of getting ripped off?
I admit, it’s a little scary to offer a guarantee that lets people take the entire course and then get their money back after the fact, but Kelly and I talked it over, and we decided to have faith in our students. We’re asking you to have faith in us by giving us your time, attention, and money, so it only seems fair that we also have faith in you by trusting you not to take advantage of the guarantee.
I like having a bold guarantee like ours, because it puts my money where my mouth is. I’ve got to deliver as a teacher if I want to keep my profits.
That said, it’s less scary for me than for Kelly because I’ve offered guarantees like this in the past, and no one has ever taken unfair advantage of it.
Q: You’re trying to teach a difficult concept that isn’t very easy to share – how’s that been difficult?
To get a full answer to that question, you’ll have to ask us again at the end of class. (: But here are some of the teaching methods we plan to use to help our students:
- Rotating partners. (We learned this from Mark Silver in Engaging eCourses.)
- More interactivity during class.
- A self-assessment at the beginning and the end of the course, to measure how successful the course actually is. (We learned this from Pam Slim’s Power Teaching class)
- Office hours every week. Not only will this help the people who show up, we’ll also take note of common questions or themes that come up, and address them to the group at large during the next class.
- Concrete assignments each week, to help the material really sink in.
Q: What’s your launch strategy?
We set out to create a win/win/win scenario.
We started by giving away lots of the course material for free, with no restrictions. This encourages people to share it with others, which helps people find out about the course. People are more likely to share a link to free stuff than a link to buy something.
Then, when people go to our website to get the free resources, we encourage them to sign up on our mailing list, and in exchange, we give them access to The 7 Habits of Peaceful Entrepreneurs free teleclass (or the recording of it, now that it’s over).
Lastly, we encourage people on our mailing list to register for the course.
It’s a win for the people who use the free resources, because hey, free useful stuff!
It’s a win for the people who register for the course, because the course will be awesome.
It’s a win for the people who share the free resources, because they get to help out their friends.
It’s a win for our Ambassadors, because they get to help out their peeps by giving them free stuff and get thank-you monies for doing so if their peeps register for the course.
It’s a win for us, because we get to help people, connect with new people who are interested in what we’re doing, and make money.
Q: How did you hang on to your peacefulness while doing all that?
LOL! I could teach an entire course to answer that question! (Hint: it’s called The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur.)
But for a shorter answer, I’ll tell you 4 things that helped me keep my cool.
- My Peacefulness Meditation
- Applying what I learned from Teach Now (taught by Jen Louden and Michele Lisenbury Christensen)
- Planning ahead (we’ve been working since October to create these free resources and get ready for the course)
- The 3-tier system
The 3-tier system is something we’ll teach in class, but here’s a sneak preview. When planning a project with lots of tasks (to-do items) in it, split your tasks into 3 tiers:
- Tier 1: Essential
- Tier 2: Good Idea
- Tier 3: Would Be Nice
Work on all the Tier 1 tasks, then check in with yourself (and in this case, with your partner). How much time and energy do you have left? If you’re up to it, go for some Tier 2 items. If you get all those done, check in with yourself again. How much time and energy do you have left? If you’re up to it, go for some Tier 3 items.
The wonderful thing about this system is that after you finish Tier 1, you can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s now “good enough”, and everything else is BONUS!
For The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur, Kelly and I completed all our Tier 1 tasks, about half of our Tier 2 tasks, and a smattering of Tier 3 tasks that we just felt like doing, like the jingle/meditation I talked about above. (:
Reminder: Registration closes TOMORROW.
Q: Why does registration close tomorrow?
Class begins on Jan 26, so that’ll give us enough time to get everyone oriented, create the partner rotation, and prepare for the first class.