Here I am on Pacific Beach 2 blocks from the cottage that Natalie Sisson rented for us to stay and the base camp for our Day of BYOB (Brainstorming Your Online Business)! It was indeed a stimulating journey full of thought-provoking dialog and a ton of valuable learning.
I arrived in San Diego and made my way to our cottage at Pacific Beach via cab. I knew Natalie wouldn’t be in until later so I headed straight for the beach. What I love about the beach there is you can walk or run for miles on packed sand all the while watching the surfers. Dogs are allowed on leash before 9am and after 5pm which was fantastic to see and to note for my future visits with my canine companions Trax & Roxy.
Natalie arrived with her friend Jon Lee Dumas a talented podcaster who’s show “Entrepreneur On Fire” is just that…On Fire! One thing I quickly figured out about Nat. She is a magnet for interesting driven people. She surrounds herself with like-minded go-getters who are collaborative and supportive of their lifestyle businesses. Learning from each other and making strategic introductions. I know that she does this in every place that she visits resulting in many solid relationships with fabulous people.
Jon being the native San Diego dude took us to one of his favourite hang outs the Catamaran. It was a lovely hotel restaurant with a fantastic open air patio on the calm bay side of the ocean. Next thing we knew we were surrounded by Podcasters. Sharing ideas and stories. I was a sponge learning and taking in their energy and enthusiasm for business and life. Pictured above from left to right is Michael O’Neal (SoloPreneur), Jon Lee Dumas (Entrepreneur On Fire) and Nick Unsworth (Entrepreneurs Crushing it Online). Of course it is not hard to pick out “Waldo” I mean Ms Sisson ;o). She can easily handle herself in any company. Nice social welcome to San Diego. I felt that I was in great company and ready to rock and roll!
Of course all good work days should start with a walk on the beach and a delicious fresh organic breakfast. I ended up having breakfast at the Fig Tree Cafe all 5 mornings it was so delicious. My favourite was the Lobster/Crab Eggs Bennie with the truffle & cheese potatoes (wow). My lighter option was the Shrimp Mango Salad which was to die for.
Anyway Natalie was great at making me feel comfortable and welcome as we ate delicious food and got to know one another. Then we headed back to the cottage for some intense business coaching which I was very excited about.
What Natalie was really good at that I was not able to do on my own was to help me find my “Niche”. To drill down through the vanilla statements and really zone into what I am good at and what I am passionate about and put that into a tangible sellable concept. We worked really intensely on this and rightfully so. It is uber important. At last we nailed it!
I’ve worked helping people my whole life in various professional capacities. I also have worked with technology and the internet since they were invented and introduced into my business world and followed along as things have evolved. I am an University Educated Teacher.
For the past 5 years I have been working as a Real Estate Agent in the Greater Vancouver Area. One thing that I immediately noticed when entering this professional was that the average agent was not necessarily very tech or social media savvy. This blows my mind as there are tremendous opportunities to build quality relationships with perfect customers and show case your business through social media and it is most definitely the way of the future. Much as email replaced courier pigeons!
I am a Real Estate Agent so I understand first hand the frustrations of my profession. Most importantly the reason that people become Realtors besides helping people is for more personal Freedom and Money. Instead, what they quickly find out is that they are technically working 24/7 and there is a high cost output to run the business before ever making a sale.
So I have identified the needs and now must package the solutions. Facebook will be my main specialty followed by Youtube, Twitter & Pinterest for now. All at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing avenues for Realtors and many times more effective and targeted if done correctly.
I can provide a variety of products and services ranging a free Blog with very useful information for Realtors using Social Media. Then there will be a variety of products and services at different tiers from more hands on and less money to hands free done for you for a price. I will be relying on partnerships and alliances to deliver the best kick ass program for the market. This will all be laid out in my BYOB and revisited each quarter and annually. I’m pretty sure I will need coaching around this. But as I learned most of these online entrepreneurs have their own coaches. Natalie as well.
Blogging is another activity that Realtors as a whole don’t do. I don’t think they see the value and have no time to commit to learning or delivering a blog. Hopefully I can help to change that. Starting with my own Blog.
As a Realtor I know that there are umpteen number of companies wanting your money for their services. Traditional marketing is still the most prevalent using newspapers, magazines, public marketing on buses & benches, mailed newsletters, calendars, writing pads, etc. Not only is it extremely expensive and wasteful, it just doesn’t work any more.
So the superhero role that I will be a Freedom Fighter for Realtors from the expensive out of date media traps and offer produces and services which will help launch them into the new millennium. We will start with an effective Social Media Strategy that will support them to attract and retain their idea customers.
Natalie went through the Build Your Online Business Slideshare presentation and we discussed how this would relate to my niche business. Then I was tasked with doing the one page BYOB snapshot which would specify my goals for the next year. You can find that for free on SuitcaseEntrepreneur.com.
After my brain was extremely full and my guy Tony had arrived we all decided to go out on the town and celebrate my Birthday! Yahoo!
Definitely a fun birthday and end to a full productive day of business coaching. The good news, I still had 3 more days to enjoy San Diego!
I started each day with a 2 hour power walk on the beach immediately followed by breaky at the Fig. Then Tony & I headed out to be tourists. We had a blast exploring the Gas Lamp district where we danced all night to a fabulous live band. A highlight was the tour of Aircraft Carrier which is retired in Bay as a museum after 57 years of service. It was fascinating.
Then on the final evening Natalie & her Lawyer/Iron Man/Online Entrepreneur pal Kyle Durrand joined us for an out of this world French Dinner at The French Gourmet. This was the best meal I have had in a long time.
So I have my work cut out for me with my brave new journey. I have learned a few valuable lessons from observing and being tutored by the Suitcase Entrepreneur:
1. You can work from anywhere so why not be in a beautiful place?
2. You should surround yourself with stimulating dynamic like-minded people to help you with your journey.
3. It is important to be a PRO. Show up and be outstanding at what you do. (It helps if you have a stylist in New York too ;)
4. Find your “Sweet Spot” where your passion, your talents & what people will pay you for collide.
5. Stay healthy and keep a work life balance that speaks to your values.
6. Do it for yourself! Don’t worry about what other’s think. You are the only one that counts in making your life rock!
I have my very own signed copy of the Suitcase Entrepreneur which I am now realizing is a fantastic resource and inspirational read. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to make their business & personal dreams become a reality. Your can purchase it here: Buy Suitcase Entrepreneur Book at Amazon here
I hope you found this post inspiring for your own aspirations. I realized that there are many online resources out there for free that can help you get going and then when you want to kick it up a notch there are professionals like Natalie Sisson who can help you get to the next step. I wish you all the best on your journey. Please share your comments below.
You’re off to great places,
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way..!
-Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go