Sunday, October 22, 2006

Micropreneur

by Skald

The micropreneur (or "hobopreneur ;) project is going decently. I've launched my website and am developing and improving it week by week.

When I launched the site almost a month ago, I opened it for free one month trial memberships. I ended up getting about 50 trial members. Soon they will be deciding whether to stick around or leave. At the moment, I have 7 paying members in addition to the free ones.

The site is called Effortless English. Its designed to help internationals and immigrants learn to communicate in English with native speakers.

True to my Hobopoet principles, I'm also hoping it will undermine the authority-based English school system that dominates in much of the world today. The site is set up as a club and has four core principles:

1. Independent Learning

2. Respect, support and encouragement

3. Equality- everyone a learner and a teacher

4. Hospitality

I envision the site as a hub for a learning community-- a community that will help each other learn, without the authoritarian crap you find in almost every school. I see my role primarily as a content provider-- I create audio articles and text and learning guides (that explain difficult vocabulary). I also schedule occasional discussions on the internet, using Skype.

I'm charging a modest fee- basically enough to cover the time it takes me to create the audio, transcripts, and guides.

The idea is to stay small and intimate-- but to grow enough to end my reliance on employment. That's still a ways off, but its a doable goal.

The important part of any project like this is to get started. Just do something, and then you've got something to work with-- something to tweak, improve, modify, play with. The problem most of us have is that we plan and think and worry too much.

Whether its a big trip, a micropreneur project, or any other dream-- the best way to proceed is to launch it as fast as possible... before doubt has a chance to poison everything. That's why I advocate buying an airplane ticket as soon as possible after deciding on a trip. Make the commitment real.

And so too with the commitment to free yourself from wage slavery. I waited far too long to do this and can't for the life of me figure out why.. other than I was worried I'd fail.

But the beauty of being a micropreneur is that you can't really fail. Regular business people are all about borrowing money and writing business plans and scheming to become ultra rich. But as a micropreneur, you don't need to worry about any of that. No need to borrow any money, or write a plan, or become rich. Instead, just take a small idea, launch it now, and see what happens. If it flops, modify it and try again. Repeat until it becomes successful.

That's essentially the process my friend Wat followed to build his micro jewelry business. And he's been free from wage slavey for years!

2 comments:

groundhogger said...

The idea of a Hobopoet appeals to
my inner spirit in some strange way.
I gues I'll check out a few you have listed


groundhogger

Ryan Garou said...

Hey, drop back in and let us know how you're doing every now and again!