The most prolific blogger on the planet earth, author of dozens of NY times best-selling books and Marketing Hall of Fame awardee needs no introduction. I have followed his blog, podcast akimbo and numerous other conferences for a long time. However, it was not until when we started in the path of a startup that we found many of his life & business lessons resonating deeply with us. While we are in the tech-enabled kids-coaching business but we suspect these learning will be applicable in any small business situation.
Coming from the angle of Generosity: While most coaching business bill clients or structure the course with limited hours – we kept an open and unlimited personal guidance time for every child until the time they do not get the project done to their satisfaction. While the most traditional businesses will never do or it may not make financial sense but it helped us get our initial traction and to be known as project builder in our communities.
Choosing our minimum viable audience: As an education entrepreneur working with kids, we had taught various courses to the kids like coding, writing, etc. Refocusing the courses as projects had been instrumental in attracting just the right set of customers we wish to serve i.e the maker kids who want to build stuff. We did not choose to go mass market and attract every child & parent who want to do a coding or writing course. Instead, we focused on the audience that would listen to us, who understand the value of projects. We wanted to delight this tiny audience of kids who want to build something rather than serving the broad market.
Student leadership & solving interesting problems: On multiple occasions, Seth has clearly articulated that the public school education system is broken because it serves the industrial economy where we needed many workers who can follow directions meticulously. Today in the new economy we need many workers who can solve interesting problems in their community and in the process lead others in the journey. As the leaders in the company, we share the same vision. We quite like Seth-style parenting; we also have our own manifesto called “Scrap homework build projects” that Hackernoon published here.
Need for sharing stories: The students from our class called “Winning Words Graduates” – all the graduates who create and show-case a project are our ambassadors who tell their stories with their friends that give us an opportunity to serve even more kids. You can check out the only book written and illustrate by 30+ elementary kids across the USA that will be released on Amazon soon. We are very excited about this community project that we were able to fund.
These are not any “success secrets” and there are no guarantees. Life does not come with one. No one can provide one. The only alternative is to fail quickly and try again.