“I have been in vedge, I can do better.”
I am the only one who feels like this?
Each New Year, I write an article where I summarize what I have done in the year and what I would like to accomplish in the next 12 months.
Each time, I re-read the article from the previous year and I have to face the sad reality: I’ve *still* failed. It is to ask why I am heading again to try to predict the future!
What is this? Set itself ambitious targets, trying to outdo each other, ruminating on the past and try to find the culprit who has done everything to derail…
The events are not important: the past belongs to the past. The only tangible things that remain, these are the stories that we create from these.
The reason why the New Year is important is that it is the symbolic moment perfect for taking to the time to contemplate the past 12 months and decide on the meaning one wants to give them.
The question we must ask is: what is 2017 has meant to you, and how are you going to create a story that will make you stronger in the coming year?
And, for the first time in a long time, I have no idea what my year should mean. I have to admit that this is not a pleasant feeling. I have the impression of being in an art gallery, frozen in front of a Jackson Pollock painting, and asked: “How do you feel?”
Fucking confusing man…
2017 has been weird. A huge pile-up of emotions at the intersection of my work and my personal life.
I believe that I have changed. In any case, things have changed!
The year began with the recording of my 2 companies: The Trench Inc. and the Fund for World Domination. My wonderful sister Melody joined our team, we launched The Trench as well as a podcast and I became, among all things, seller of blankets! (to pronounce couvArtes)
Is it that The Trench was a success?
Although it was much more difficult than anticipated, our business model has passed the test; The Trench is here to stay!
We now have over $ 12,000 in recurring revenue, monthly (without sales training) with a good growth month after month.
Our acquisition of new customers is done wonderfully. The problems that we’re going to have to attack in 2018 will be those of the activation and retention of new members. In other words, how to ensure that each member 1) to understand our services and 2) removes the maximum possible value.
For the activation, we will establish a new sequence of onboarding, that is to say that we will more take the hand of the people who subscribe to The Trench.
We will do this in two ways.
The first way is quite simple: to create a series of 7 videos that we will send at the rate of one per day for new subscribers. This sequence will conclude by taking up a telephone appointment with us, history that we may present the platform.
Secondly, we will develop a questionnaire post-enrolment, where people will be able to talk about them. According to their responses, we will mount a checklist of resources (course/podcast episodes/articles/discussions in view to help the person make progress.
To increase retention, we are going to “gamifier” platform; that is to say that we will put on foot a system of progression to the World of Warcraft. People will gain experience points when they help people, what will make up “level” value that will be displayed next to their name.
We will then make a contest every month where you have to be a certain level to participate. The idea is to give an incentive for new entrants to get involved in the community.
A pivot on the horizon!
After the acquisition, activation and retention are no longer a problem, it leaves us with another obstacle to our growth: the content.
We are a very small team (and it’s perfect like this!!!), so it is quite limited in the amount of content you can produce.
So I had an idea…
Why not allow the community to help itself? Help people to create trainings that they will be able to list and sell on our platform in the same way as me?
You will be able to tell me what you think in the comments… but the idea of being able to help other people like me — that is to say, to live in a completely independent way, by helping a community improve and succeed — me lights criss.
Imagine having 10, 50, 200 people who share their knowledge on our platform while engaging in the community.
And not just courses on marketing, but also on code, design, accounting, negotiating, sales, motivation, productivity…
We have already begun to test the water with other instructors (training on the basics of the code with Karelle, the one on the marketing LinkedIn with Mathieu and one on the AdWords advertising with Jean-Sébastien).
These courses are currently free, but the goal is to completely redo the way it offers. For the moment, it makes the distinction between training pay and those of the member area (free of charge). I want this all over the same way and that instructors can decide the price of their program. It would of course have to find a compensation plan that satisfies everyone. We will be able to discuss it on the forum very soon!
The Internet is actually radically changed the world of education. There are more people who want to take the same road as me and become teachers digital. However, three major barriers prevent people from having success.
The first is the technological barrier. This is not all the world that tripe to schedule payment systems! Then, there are the production. Film is annoying, and the assembly is difficult and takes time. Finally, this is not because it has a beautiful platform and a production interesting that our lessons are going to sell! It is necessary to have the audience, the message, the advertising…
I would like so that The Trench can help people make this shift by solving these three problems for them. We will of course take care of the platform and of the sale, but I want to also create resources to help people create a good course!
You can expect (~2019) to see a e-book on the subject and, why not, a course on how to create of course!
In short, the essence of the pivot is to move from a sales platform for “Olivier Lambert”, to a market place which provides all the necessary tools for people to share their knowledge and help the community.
Ah! I forgot. We will still ride our price $ 10. Of course, if you’re already a subscriber, it won’t affect you. The idea is that people will have more credits per month to invest in the training that will be offered.
Other projects of fun!
Although the majority of my time is invested on The Trench, I reserve a few hours per week to test some interesting ideas.
I am kind… A writer…
The past year, there has started a blog from scratch to document the progression of the “normal” of a new site. The first day of February marks the first anniversary of the blog. I will soon make you an article to detail the progress (traffic/revenue).
To monetize it, I decided to write “Double Your Value”, a book on productivity. I have to admit that it was time that I had the heart to write this book. I’ve shared a lot of concepts that have deeply affected my life.
I’m currently doing the narration for the audio book which should be available very soon. I have also made a partnership with Quadriscan for printing and distribution.
To learn more about the process, you can visit my log and progress.
Who sells toys…
My book has not been my only side project in 2017. I have also tried to become a retailer of toys!
The idea was to try to make the “Retail Arbitrage”. The concept is simple: you buy stuff in discounts at stores, and resell at the normal price on Amazon. I have not yet made the balance of it all, but you can expect a blog article that explains the process very soon!
I decided to try my luck in the sale of physical products. My choice has stopped on the blankets weighted, after having seen a Kickstarter to raise more than $ 4 million in a few weeks.
I ordered one on Amazon (because it already exists since a long time) and my reaction was the following: “THIS IS AMAZING”.
So I bought TheAmazingBlanket.com and I went to a mall to try my coverage to people.
We found a supplier in China who wanted to do it according to our specifications and I proceeded to a first order. 10 000 $ all of a sudden, it was better to sell well! As a matter of fact, it has sold like hot cakes and I’ve already ironed my next order.
You can expect an article that details the process, from the choice of the product and the manufacturing up to the importation and distribution. In the meantime, you can view the log of progress here.
But where it all leads to that?
Even if I’m going to continue to experiment with new business ideas, The Trench remains my focus main.
In 2018, I’m going to do the marketing of the book, and to automate the sale. We will continue to develop The Amazing Blanket and launch a web site more complete.
And finally, I have a new idea that I ride in the head. All that to say that I bought www.theamazingkava.com 😉