Don’t miss this first AMA Roundtable discussion with all three hosts of The RV Entrepreneur podcast. Jim, Rose & Kimberly discuss answers to questions from the RVE community Facebook group. Learn tips for providing a return address when shipping physical products. And discover why having a domicile address affects more than just return shipping.
What business models work best for nomadic entrepreneurs? Spoiler alert: it’s the business that works best for you! This turns into a discussion about redefining success. And, find out what our hosts wish they knew when they first got started working from the road.
The RVE AMA Roundtable Community Q&A
with Questions from The RV Entreprenuer Facebook Group
Your Hosts: Jim Nelson, Rose Willard & Kimberly Crossland
Connect with RVE Hosts:
- Jim Nelson – LIVEWORKDREAM.COM
- Kimberly Crossland – ROADPRENEUR.COM
- Rose Willard – RESETYOURJOURNEY.COM
Listen to The RV Entrepreneur Episode #305
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THE RV ENTREPRENEUR
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The RV Entrepreneur #305 Full Episode Transcript:
First RVE AMA Roundtable Discussion
RV LIFE: Welcome to the RV Entrepreneur podcast. The weekly show for Nomads, Work campers, RV ers and entrepreneurs looking to earn a living or build a business while enjoying the RV lifestyle. This week’s host is Jim Nelson. Let’s settle in and enjoy the RV Entrepreneur podcast brought to you by RV Life.
JIM NELSON: Yes, this is the Entrepreneur podcast and I’m your host, Jim Nelson. However, I’m just one of the hosts here. In fact, I’m the newest voice to join the RV Life team. If you’ve been listening a while, you may be more familiar with my fellow hosts, Rose Willard and Kimberly Crosland. Well, this episode is extra special because they’re both joining me today for our very first RV AMA roundtable show. We’ve all been sharing the duties here on a rotating weekly schedule, and since I came on board, we’ve been wondering what to do with months that have five weeks. Well, we decided to start hosting and ask me anything episode. So for this conversation, we solicited questions from the RV entrepreneur community. We asked members of the Facebook group what they wanted to know, and we received some great questions. The three of us discuss how to handle your mailing address when running a remote business, especially what to do about a return shipping address if you ship physical products. We also answer questions about the most successful business models we’ve seen from entrepreneurs on the road, and that really evolved into a discussion about redefining success. So spoiler alert, the best remote business is the one that works best for you. Finally, each of us share some insight on what we wish we would have known when starting our own RV entrepreneur journeys. So stay tuned for answers to your questions. We’ll be having another AMA roundtable discussion in the future, so please visit the Facebook group or drop us a line at entrepreneur.com slash voice mail to ask us anything. Guess that’s a you a not a m a whatever you call it. We want to hear from you. But first, let’s hear from the sponsors who help make this podcast possible. Thank you for your support.
RV LIFE: This episode is sponsored by wholesale warranties.
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JIM: Welcome back. This is the Entrepreneur podcast made possible by RV Life, and I am Jim and I’m excited about today’s episode because we’re going to change things up a bit. We’re doing something a little different. I have Rose and Kimberly on the line together and we have solicited questions from the RV entrepreneur community. So Rose Kimberly, welcome to the show.
ROSE WILLARD: Thank you, Jim. We’re excited to be here.
JIM: I feel like you should be telling me that I’m the new voice on the show here. And one thing I’ve been doing with all of my guests so far is kind of ask two quick questions of everyone about their RV life and entrepreneurship. So, Rose, when did your RV life begin and what does that look like now?
ROSE: Well, I had been around RVs and campgrounds when my husband and I used to tent camp. And then later when my kids were around, we we would tent camp as well. But I really knew nothing about RVs and nor did I really have an interest at that point, not only until later, like around 2020, we bought a travel trailer because we wanted to go full time and we practiced and we got to know it super well. And then we launched our full time RV journey in 2020 1st February, and we traveled and road schooled all over the country for two years. And of course we fell in love with it. But we’re also looking to find a home or home base so that we can maybe continue part time. But we didn’t really find anything. And it turns out we had too many choices to live, realized how much we missed friends and families back East. So we knew we needed to kind of pause and have another reset and just figure out our next chapter. So now we’re back. We’re back in a house. This is my in-laws house temporarily, and we never wanted to stop, but we also didn’t want to exhaust all our funds and our savings because we didn’t really have a full time income again yet. And we have that YouTube channel and some other things, but nothing was really taking off enough to support us full time as a family. So we recently had a small business opportunity offered to us that required us to be stationary in Delaware, and then our trailer was sitting and it needs some work. We decided to sell it, unfortunately, but we also knew that maybe we wanted something different if we got back out there. So lately we find that we really miss it though, and hope to get back back out there. But it’s been great being a host here on the RV Entrepreneur podcast because I get to still kind of be in it and interview some amazing people and to be with you guys.
JIM: Certainly the RV life does have its challenges. It’s always we say plans are made in jello around here. So, Kimberly, how about you?
KIMBERLY CROSSLAND: Yeah, so I’ve actually never been full time, but we started our RV life when in what, 2018 we bought our very first RV. I’d never actually slept in an RV, stayed in an RV. Let alone traveled with an RV until our maiden voyage. In that one where I bought it, holding my four month old baby on my chest and holding my hand of my one year old. So we had two very young kids. We went out to the campground for the very first time, and that night nobody slept and I was still hooked. I was like, We’ve got to do more of this. I love it. We’re raising our kids in this lifestyle. It is so fun. You get to walk outside, breathe fresh air. You can sleep with the windows open sometimes and it’s just unlike anything else. And so even though I grew up in sticks and bricks, as we call it, I absolutely love the RV lifestyle. And someday maybe we’ll go full time. We’re not there yet. But I also really like having that home base. The way that we’ve designed our RV lifestyle, though, is that we will go out year round. We are our home base is in Arizona and we’ll go out year round. Sometimes we’ll go for one night, sometimes we’ll go for, you know, several weeks at a time and we’re able to kind of design our lifestyle in that way. And thankfully, we also have our business and our income around that lifestyle. So we’re able to hit the road as often as possible and and hopefully get out for as long as possible whenever we do hit the road.
JIM: You know, that’s one of the things I like most about this whole RV life, and especially now as a host on the show here, is that there’s so many different versions of the life. I mean, there’s van dwellers and there’s full timers and there’s snowbirds. And Josh interviewed me and people can find out that my answers to the questions in the previous episode, check the show notes for that link. But a long story short, I’ve full time in a fifth wheel trailer for almost 16 years, and now we’ve downsized to a truck camper and just drove about 3000 miles to Alaska, where we’ll be staying stationary for a while in a house because we don’t want to live in an RV in winter up here. But we are all also entrepreneurs. We all have different stories and businesses to. Keep this life going. So, Kimberly, tell us about what an entrepreneur means to you. What is being an entrepreneur to you?
KIMBERLY: I love this question because it does seem the answer seems to change. I feel like the underlying why to choosing the entrepreneurship lifestyle is that freedom and that flexibility and that’s why it aligns so well with the lifestyle is you have the freedom and flexibility to travel to different places. You can travel in different styles, just like you were saying, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Well, the same thing is true for entrepreneurship, and so you can really let your creativity fly. I mean, I went to college and I could not wait to get out of college because I was like, I just want to do stuff. I just want to go out and see the world and experience and and get my hands dirty in the work and not just sit in a classroom and learn all the time. I’m ready to go do. And I think that that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about, is you can try things out, you can test things out, you can go and experiment. And really entrepreneurship is just this giant mixing pot where you are experimenting, trying, seeing what works. Obviously, there’s intelligence behind it. You obviously have to you don’t just totally guess your way through the journey, but you have more freedom and flexibility.
KIMBERLY: You don’t have that red tape. You don’t have all of these rules and regulations and people to answer to you answer to your customers and to yourself. And when you’re able to do that, man can. The sky is the limit. And that’s what’s so fun about it. But beyond, quote unquote, just I don’t really like that word just but here I’m using it beyond just the business itself is you also have that freedom and flexibility in your personal life. So right before we started recording, Rose and I were talking about the fact that my kids, they go to a school where they only serve hot lunch once a month and I get to go and be the lunch lady for that day. And I get that freedom and flexibility to not that I’ve ever aspired to. That’s not been like on my dream bucket list to be a lunch lady. Not that there’s anything wrong with it either. It’s fun and it’s exciting, but you have that ability to kind of be where you want to be and be fully present in your life 24 hours a day. And that ultimately is what entrepreneurship is all about.
JIM: I agree 100%. It’s more of a lifestyle than a career choice, really. So, Rose, tell us about your entrepreneurial journey there. What’s an entrepreneur to you?
ROSE: Yeah, well, gosh, Kim, you hit the nail on the head there. That is definitely that freedom and flexibility. You said it. But to me also, it is a mindset. It’s a way of life. And I kind of relate it to home schooling because it’s how I think and act. It’s definitely more out of the box and against the norm. And just like you said, the the knowledge seeker and just lifelong, you always want to know and create that growth, that personal growth. And, you know, you have a passion for learning, a passion for for things, and you want to be able to turn those passions into a business and that’s fulfilling and creates value and helps others. It’s amazing. It’s just you have an uncapped income, like you said, flexibility, freedom. It’s me making all the all the shots, right. You know, you can make all those decisions that are best for you. And I really feel that it’s the ticket to this economic freedom and financial and personal freedom.
JIM: Oh, for sure. And the two things that stuck with me there was fulfillment and purpose. And those are two things that really purpose mean it to me when it comes to entrepreneur, because, you know, I have had a previous life where I was middle management and working the traditional career path, but I never felt as fulfilled as I do now by finding my purpose and meeting that need of those people and helping others and by others. The audience is so varied, especially among the entrepreneur community. In the Facebook group, there are all walks of life and all types of entrepreneurs. And what we’ve done for this episode is solicit questions. It’s an Ask us Anything or an AMA episode of the show. So let’s jump into some questions we have from the Entrepreneur community Facebook group and Jen Williams asked, If you have a physical product business, what do you use as your return address when shipping products? One of the first things Renee and I did when we started shipping products was to join Escapees RV Club. There are plenty of mail forwarding services out there you can set up, but Escapees is probably the most popular for full time RV years. They’ve been around forever and have a huge mail sorting facility in Livingston, Texas. It’s also one of the few organizations that allows you to have a physical address for registering vehicles, voting, getting insurance, that kind of stuff. That’s where we established our business and it provides us with a default return shipping address whenever we’re somewhere we can’t easily get mail. Listeners may be familiar with the Xscapers Group, which is part of escapees, so I’ll include a link to all that in the show notes. But this really doesn’t only apply if you’re shipping products. It’s all about the whole domicile thing and having a business address. So how do you guys manage return addresses whether you’re shipping products or not? Feel free to go first. Kimberly.
KIMBERLY: All right. Yeah. So, yes, we do have a sticks and bricks, but I still don’t necessarily like to advertise my home address. And so we use a P.O. Box, and I love having the P.O. Box for a few reasons. First of all, there is the privacy element. But second of all, when I’m traveling for weeks at a time, I don’t want to have a bunch of packages sitting on my front doorstep if I need to. I would like somewhere safe that they will be kept. And just having that P.O. box makes it easier and simpler for me. I know that they’re safe. I know they’re behind a lock box. And so when I’m ready to go pick them up, they’re there and they’re available. The other part of this is with the physical products that I ship, some of them are print on demand, so I don’t necessarily have to. Yes, you have to have a return address, but I don’t have to be the one shipping them. It’s kind of on the front end side of things for this question. But I don’t have to be the one always doing the shipping drop. Shipping is another approach that a lot of people take with the physical products. There’s not really a right or wrong answer. I’ve seen a lot of people have success with both of them. I’ve also tried both of them. It really just depends on your business model. But being able to do the print on demand and the drop shipping kind of helps with that question. It helps take care of it a little bit.
ROSE: Rose. Yeah, well, I don’t have a physical product business, but when we were on the road, as far as getting things maybe shipped to us, if we were at an RV park or a campground, we used their address as a way to get whatever to us. So I don’t really have any more information on the whole physical product, but just that.
JIM: That’s okay. I do have a real quick story, too, that I share in our book, Be More Dog, about our first year on the road when we actually planned for your off and we weren’t thinking entrepreneurial anything. We were just trying to have a year off, a little sabbatical and we started to go more than a year and we needed to start making money. And we our little niche community website had grown and it was all about three legged dogs. We hit the road because our dog lost a leg to cancer and we started a little website called Tripods. And to monetize that, we wanted to sell assistive devices. Our dog had a harness that we used. It was a rough wear harness and got the nerves up to call Ruffwear and say, Hey, would you drop ship for us? I mean, we’re not, you know, a big entity. We can’t stock products. And they said, Oh, sure, we can do that for you. You just need to sell, you know, at least a dozen units a year and thought, oh, wow, I don’t even know if I can do that. I have this tiny little niche business, but we’ll give it a shot. And the very next day after I put my store up online, we sold our first harness and we realized, Wow, this is something. And now it is one of our top selling items. And we have a number of different devices that we have drop ship from Ruffwear. And over the years we’ve developed additional drop ship arrangements with other businesses. So drop shipping, it works for us. We can’t stock anything in our new vehicle. It’s a truck topper camper and we had very limited space in our fifth wheel. So I would suggest anyone that has physical goods or resells physical goods rather work with the manufacturers to drop ship. And if you’re producing your own goods, find a fulfillment facility where you can drop ship those items from elsewhere. Unless you have a massive rig and a very small product.
KIMBERLY: The other thing you can do, because you’re absolutely right, having somebody do the fulfillment for you is really valuable. And one of the things you can do, you can actually go back and listen to we’ll link to it in the show notes, but there’s an episode where Joshua Sheehan, our former host, he talked with Nikki, who she owns a fulfilled by Amazon course, and she talks all about sending your product. So if you do make your own products, I make my own products. And so being able to ship them to Amazon, I haven’t done it yet, but I’m looking into getting on Amazon and that’s another way to have them be the Fulfiller. So a lot of people have the question of, okay, I want someone to fulfill it, but how do I find a fulfillment facility? Well, Amazon’s a really easy choice and they can take care of a lot of that for you. So I just wanted to add that on.
JIM: No, that’s a great, great idea because everyone shops on Amazon and they have warehouses everywhere and it’s relatively easy to open your Amazon store and go have just ship your products there. And then they have certain agreements about returns and stuff that stays in stock. So fulfillment by Amazon is another great choice. And you did mention print on demand, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, KDP is one of the avenues we use for our print on demand books that we sell and Ingram Spark Ingram Publishing is another one we use if you want to get into bookstores because that’s pretty much the go to place where people buy books, bookstores buy books rather, and everyone else goes to Amazon. So print on demand works well through those sources. Let’s see what other questions we have from Jen Williams. What business formats have you seen most successful for entrepreneurs? We just talked about physical products, dropshipping courses, blogs, etcetera. Rose Why don’t we talk about that?
ROSE: Sure. Let’s see. Based on all the entrepreneurs that I have interviewed since December, the ones that provided a service like a service based for entrepreneurs like solar battery tech, I have found to be very successful and income wise, and I’ve only interviewed one person that had a super successful blog, and it takes years of time and commitment. But maybe, Jim, I’m sure you can vouch more for the blogging and all that too.
JIM: Both of you have interviewed so many more entrepreneurs than me. I’m on my fifth or sixth show so far. So, Kimberly, who have you talked to and seen some successes and what kind of businesses did they run from the road?
KIMBERLY: Yeah, I’ve also seen a lot of freelancing doing well, so that’s a lot of services. I like to kind of steer away from the 1 to 1 services though whenever just for me in my own personal business, because it kind of locks you into hours and meetings and getting together with with your clients to actually discuss things. And we all know as our viewers, sometimes you’re going to be wanting to travel day in the middle of the week to avoid certain traffic situations or just it’s easier and less expensive to pull into campgrounds sometimes when you’re not on the weekends. And so you kind of shift your schedule around a little bit. I myself have kind of dabbled in everything. I got started in freelancing and shifted away from that 1 to 1 model to do one to many model, which is courses and a membership. I still really like those models, but I’m in the process. Actually, right after we record this episode, I’m going to make this announcement that my course is shutting down and it’s to make way for other courses that are going to be a little bit of a different format. So I bring that up because what I’ve seen in the course space, having launched for a lot of other coaches behind the scenes and for having done my own launches, is the course industry in and of itself is about to shift a lot.
KIMBERLY: And the reason why that’s important for entrepreneurs specifically is because the way that we promote and position our offers, no matter what business model you have, is really important. What I’m seeing is in 2020 to about 2022, everybody kind of entered the course space and they were offering all these ideas and they’re teaching, which is excellent. People like to learn, but I really, truly believe that we’re now in this position where we are ready to start doing again. And I think that we’ve we’ve emerged from being locked down when we were locked down, we were in learning mode and now people are ready for more action. And so to Jen’s question, what business model works the best for entrepreneurs? There’s really no wrong answer. There’s no wrong way to do anything. But really what it boils down to is aligning your business with whoever you’re reaching. So, Rose, you you had a really good point about helping out other Rv’ers You’re already there. You’re already talking to people. You see those needs and you might be really, really good at solar. You might be really, really good at fixing something that can be one service. But if you want to move into the online space, I really, really would look at first of all, who is it that you help? Who is it that you want to help? Who are the people that you feel most connected to and are able and want to help? I should just say let’s just leave it at want to help because everyone can help each other.
KIMBERLY: And then what do they need? What do those people need? And it kind of goes into this empathy mapping about and I’m really big on empathy mapping and it’s really just digging into what are your people, the people you feel the most drawn to? What are they thinking? What are they feeling? What are they saying that they need and what are they doing about it? And when you align those four areas, the thinking, the feeling, the sane and the doing, then you can start to see what kind of business model to start because, okay, if there’s if they’re doing if they’re if they’re looking to learn online, well then having a course would make a lot of sense. But what are they doing beyond that course? Are they taking action if they’re not maybe having a membership or hosting a challenge that you can automate from the road so that it’s on demand for them, it’s ready for them when they need it. But you don’t have to always be on. You don’t have to worry about the internet connection always being there.
KIMBERLY: You don’t have to worry about showing up live on Zoom or having these meetings. And, you know, time zones are a nightmare for us as our viewers because they’re all over the place. I’m in Arizona and our time zones are all over the place. And so I never know if I’m on Pacific or Mountain. You don’t have to worry about that as an RV or when you can automate more of your fulfillment. Right? And so we already talked about the automating the fulfillment through physical products, but you can do that online too. So if you have an online course, for example, you can automate, give them instant access to that course. If you have a membership, you can automate when you schedule the deliverable to go out. So for example, if your membership is every month, I’m going to give you XYZ templates, for example, I’m just creating an example or I’m going to give you recipes every single week to do meal planning for you. You can automate that weeks and months in advance and so it’s ready and delivered on the timeline that you promise. But if you have a tech glitch or you’re off grid for a while, it’s okay. You’re still making money and you’re still being able to fulfill that. I kind of went off on a tangent from the question. I’m sorry.
JIM: No, that was an excellent tangent. And thank you for outlining, explaining, empathy, mapping that’s new to me. But it the concept isn’t because in any business. In this marketing in particular for the business is all about finding your customers or your clients pain points. What is their pain? How can you help solve that pain and feeling it? And how does that align with your own purpose and why you do what you do? I forget which one of you had an episode recently about finding your why or there was an episode somewhere in the archives about why it’s important to know your why when it comes to business and you kind of spelled out perfectly how to help the people by identifying their pain points and fixing those needs. But one thing I answer this question with is it depends. I mean, how do you define success? I’ve redefined success ever since I hit the road. You know, success in a previous life of mine was making as much money as I could and climbing a corporate ladder. But now success to me is feeling more fulfilled about what I do. I might not make as much money as I did, but I’m certainly enjoying life more. So how do you guys define success in your business, Rose?
ROSE: So when we had a brick and mortar business, we used to view being successful in business as making a lot of money, having our dream home, having all the stuff. But ever since we sold it all and traveled the country in an RV, we really have changed our mindset in that we really don’t need a lot of money to live on, so maybe not make as much money, but also to live with less and want less. And that’s been a whole nother learning journey and growing process there. But the true meaning of success in business to me means that we’re doing what we love. Our clients are successful and happy and we’re truly making a difference in their lives.
JIM: Kimberly, how do you define success? What is what does success mean to you in business?
KIMBERLY: I think you hit the nail on the head with how you show up and the feeling that you get by showing up for those people. So, for example, in my course, even though I’m shutting it down, I have such a heart for those students that I helped. And I’m not stopping helping. I’m just shutting down one area. I’m starting other areas because it’s so invigorating and exciting to witness somebody having a success that I define success by what others are doing based on what they’ve gotten from me. And so I absolutely love seeing other people and just cheerleading people on. There’s a song called I Hope You Know I’m Your Cheerleader or something like that, or I think I found my cheerleader. I’m like, I hope everyone feels like they found a cheerleader in me because being able to cheer people on to success, that’s success for me because I just feel excited by watching other people do really cool things and then also having that freedom and flexibility like we talked about at the beginning of the show, to watch my kids do really cool things and really be present for them and being present in just everyday life don’t have to stress if they get sick, I can just be able to make them chicken noodle soup and not be worried about canceling all the meetings and letting people down there. My number one always, I mean, as I think any parent will say, your kids are always your number one. And so being able to have that freedom and flexibility to be present for my people, my customers and also for my family, I mean, that just that’s living the dream to me.
JIM: It is indeed. And I think to answer John’s question about which business format is most successful, my answer would be the one that works for you, John, and that is determining what your purpose is and why you’re doing what you do. And if you love it, you’re going to do it best and it will therefore make money and then be successful. So the most successful business is the one that works for you. We’ve kind of touched on courses quite a bit and I would kind of put that into the category of information products. So that is one model that has worked really well for us with our niche community is we have a kind of a freemium business model that we operate. We have tons of free resources and information for our Tripod’s members and fans, and if you want fast answers, you can buy the book. It’s all free. All the information is free If you want to spend the time searching for it and connect with others and get questions answered. But if you just want fast answers, you can buy the book or download the courses per se. So information products have worked well for us. We already talked about drop shipping and then when it comes to success, it’s all about how you define it and doing what you do to feel good about that. And that brings us to Jen’s last question here. What do you wish you had known when you were getting started? What’s the one to 1 or 2 things that would have saved you the most heartache? Who has who has heartache? Don’t we? Isn’t living the RV life just a dream? And every day is unicorns and roses. What heartache is she talking about, Rose?
ROSE: Definitely. Wow. You read my mind. Oh, not well. There’s a couple things. Not the time and the effort involved with for us. We created a YouTube channel on the road with a slow return. We. We knew it would take a while, but you really don’t know until you start. That’s like with anything. But the grind kind of gets old before the cash comes in. Like if you don’t have viral videos, you’re not one of those people, you know? It’s a slow process, which is fine. All good things come to those who wait, but we running out of some time also, we we wish our we made our videos a little less more about our life and our experiences, although we really enjoy that because now we can look back and our kids can see all our videos and see all our travels. So that’s been great. But I wish we had made it more information based, you know, and less about our lives, because that seems like what YouTube is really more about. We go to learn and find what our answers, you know? We also wish that we hadn’t completely sold our business, but instead maybe hired a manager to run it while we were off on the road, if that would have been possible, that that would made things a little bit easier because you you know, people say, oh, just you can come back and get a job or start up a new business. But finding a new job like we’re entrepreneurs. So that was very hard. We’re just over qualified for everything under over. I don’t know what you want to say, but it’s been hard at this point to try and get another business going. And one last thing, maybe not sell your home and don’t sell it all if you don’t have to. We kind of did in our situation, but I would strongly recommend renting if possible.
JIM: Interesting. Thank you. Kimberly, what do you think about the heartaches out there and how did you what do you wish you would have known about them.
KIMBERLY: That they’re coming? I think that it’s healthy to have that vulnerability. So I love this question that things are not all rainbows and sunshine and that’s okay. I find inspiration in other people’s vulnerability. And so I appreciate hearing the stories of when things are maybe not perfect. It makes me feel a whole lot more normal. And it’s it’s nice not to have that imposter syndrome. It kind of lowers it a little bit for sure. So some of the things that I’ve found I said earlier, business is kind of a big mixing pot or a giant experiment. That’s true. But also kept that as saying it’s important to do take steps more intelligently. And intelligence to me means not just smarts between your ears, but then also data driven intelligence. So we are at a time where we have so much data at our fingertips, with so much information available to us. People are telling us in Facebook groups online in our inbox, wherever we solicit it on Instagram, wherever you go, people are talking and they’re saying what they want. And so we have that that level of intelligence, that data where we can go and listen to them a little bit more. And so being able to think a little bit through what am I going to offer, I talked about empathy mapping before.
KIMBERLY: What are people thinking, saying, feeling and doing, but then also empathy map for yourself and think about what okay, if I start this business, what is my life going to look like? What am I committing to? How is this going to play out? I don’t want to be someone who’s. Flaky. And yet I felt a little bit at times in my entrepreneurial journey that I’m flaky in that I shut down a membership and I shut down a course. I know it’s the right decision for myself and for my my customers, but also if it can feel a little bit unnerving at times. And so just really thinking through years from now, I know it’s hard to do at times. Sometimes you can’t even think of through a week from now. At least that’s me. But taking that time to sort of process a little bit and really look at what your lifestyle is going to look like. On the other side, though, I would get a mentor to talk to mentorship and or friends or peer led masterminds. Having those people in your camp where you can talk through these ups and downs as they’re occurring has been life changing for me. So I love having mentors in my world who are walking the same walk, who understand specifically the lifestyle because we are a little bit different and that’s a good thing.
KIMBERLY: But sometimes what will work for one person is not going to work for the other. So having people around who really get that lifestyle is crucial. And then the final thing is to commit to doing 100. Noah Kagan, he’s the founder of AppSumo. He says there’s the law of 100. And it’s if you’re going to start a podcast, do 100 episodes. If you’re going to start a blog, write 100 blog posts, because usually you don’t see traction after a couple. And. Rose That’s right. To your point about, you know, it takes a while for this to to start up and that’s okay but committing to that 100 mark that will not only solve for am I really wanting to do this and make this commitment and dive into this lifestyle or am I going to get burnt out really quickly? Because you’ll know before you even do your first one whether you’re going to get burnt out. Of course, there’s also burnout that happens during it and but it’ll kind of frame your mindset for we’re just going to power through and know that we’ve committed to 100, we’re going to do 100, and that’s just how it’s going to be.
JIM: I do agree with a few things you said there for sure. And one is we have no crystal ball. I mean, there’s no way you can tell where you’re going to be down the road, figuratively speaking here as RV lifers. Case in point, if you would have asked me 16 years ago that I would now be making a living and loving life on the road while managing the largest online support community for amputee pets. I mean, I just would have laughed right in your face and said, How is that even possible? But it took time. And back to Rose’s point about blogging and taking time, it took years to actually have quote unquote success in the blog aspect of our business and the income generated from the blog itself. But that takes time and effort and writing and repurposing. And one thing the other thing you mentioned was mentoring. And I can’t that’s the one thing I wish I would have known earlier on, is finding the support community and getting a mentor or being part of a mastermind group. Like you said, like my mentor has told us over and over again, you wash, rinse, repeat, wash, rinse, repeat and you find whatever’s dirty in your business and you focus on that. You wash it, rinse it off, and if it doesn’t work, you start over and you’re re re re, re.
JIM: Repurpose it and redo it until you get it right. You refine everything you’re doing over and over again. So finding community was important and I wish I would have known early on because it took a number of years. We were actually at a conference where I was speaking on Facebook groups and how to build an online community, and we met who is still now our mentor to this day. Didn’t know she was the keynote speaker, but I met her the night before at a mixer and Renee and I are sitting down and she says, What’s your business model? And we had been on the road a few years and had started this blog, and we just looked at each other and had really no idea. And I blurted out, Oh, we operate on the freemium business model. We offer lots of free content and we offer premium services for a little extra. And then that kind of grew into more mentoring and more understanding about your business and moving on. So the one other thing that I wish I had known early on was how difficult it is to balance the live work experience, because there’s been so many times when I’ve been boondocking out in the wilderness but didn’t go on that extra long hike we wanted to take because I had a call or, you know, I was working so hard because we couldn’t enjoy where we are, but that’s why we’re out here doing it.
JIM: So it’s like this juggling of the yin yang live and work and balancing it. And I don’t have an answer yet other than this is why we’re out here doing this. So but we still have to pay for it. So kind of balancing the live and work experience is part of my challenges in running a business from the road because we’re on the road for one reason, but then we have to pay for it. So it’s like this cycle that we’re on and we miss out on a lot of things because we’re working. So, you know, sure, you have to be connected, but then if you’re connected, you’re working more. So maybe that’s kind of what we’re doing here in our new episode of Our Journey. Renee And going up to Alaska, we’re going to have to work a little less. I was late for this call because of certain connectivity issues, so I’m going to throw it back at you guys to see what else other listeners might want to know about the RV life.
KIMBERLY: I love that you said that the balance between living and working is one of these these big sticky points that maybe we don’t always look at with as much of a microscope as maybe we should, because there is this there’s this resounding message out there right now of, yes, you can you can have it all and you can go travel the world and never have to work a 44 hour workweeks and, you know, all the different things that are popping up and they all have an element of truth to I’m not I’m not doubting that at all. But when it comes down to it, sometimes we do have to get on a call and sometimes we do have to cut some things short. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it, but it’s how we design our lifestyle and know that that’s also on the other side of the coin. And we are constantly juggling that, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think that we we feel sometimes like we’re doing something wrong if we can’t always take the longest hike or, you know, we can’t always hit the the longest trail or sometimes we feel like we have to call into work. There’s nothing wrong with that either. And so when you build a business that you love, you’re able to show up fully for both. And I think that there’s a lot of beauty in that. So I love that you said that. I think, though, that with technology the way that it is and so you just keep rinsing and repeating, like you said, and just really finding that alignment between our lifestyle and what our customers want is just going to keep getting better and better and better. And so not being afraid to make those changes, not being afraid to show up vulnerably and tell our story very openly. There’s threads of lessons throughout all of it. And so hopefully, hopefully there’s a lesson in what we’ve talked about today and hopefully you guys can learn from our mistakes and our successes alike and really continue to evolve in your own business and feel good about evolving.
JIM: Evolving. Indeed, we have a quote on our wall from our mentor which says, Alignment is a process, not an event. These things take time. And however you define success, you need to keep at it and make sure that it fulfills your purpose. And that comes back to finding a mentor and community, which is what the entrepreneur community is all about. I invite all listeners to head on over to the Facebook group or go to the entrepreneur.com and ask us some questions. And if you don’t want to ask publicly, you can leave a voicemail for us at the Entrepreneur.com voicemail and let us know what you want to hear on the next. Ask us anything on the RV Life Entrepreneur podcast. Thank you both for joining us today. You know, it really is an honor. Joining the RV Life team of awesome podcast hosts, and that includes Dan and Patty Hunt over on our sister show, the RV Life podcast. Check that out at podcast RV Life.com to explore all aspects of the RV lifestyle. And if you have some tips or a good story to share about working from the road, let us know in the RV Entrepreneur Facebook group and feel free to ask us anything for our next AMA roundtable talk. I guess that’s a UA, isn’t it?
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