We pulled into Portland’s Union Station this morning at 10:20 a.m. I have no plans for the rest of the week, and might even take a day off tomorrow.
As promised, we closed down the order page for the Empire Building Kit right at the 24-hour point, and no additional sales will be made for at least one month. Thanks to everyone who purchased, and thanks to everyone else who read along or told someone about it.
If you missed it and want to learn more about when it will be available again, you can join the waiting list here.
[I won’t have much to say about it for a while, because now I have to get ready for the massive webinar I’m producing for the first group of future emperors. ]
A number of people asked about the logistics for the trip. My routing on the way home from Cape Verde was SID-LIS-MUC-ORD. I booked that flight with miles on Lufthansa and TAP Portugal from the recent U.S. Airways bonanza. (As a matter of fact, my ticket to Cape Verde was another Star Alliance award.) Then I bought a separate round-trip ORD-PIT ticket to get to the TedX gig.
Aside from Cape Verde, my flights in Europe were all part of my latest OneWorld Round-the-World ticket. I’ll be coming to the end of that one soon and need to think about setting up another, but in this case I traveled DFW-LHR-KBP-BUD-LCA-LHR. The next flight connects back to Asia sometime later in the year.
My biggest concern for the westbound train ride was WiFi access. I’ve had a MiFi from Verizon for several months that has really rocked my world, but it’s only 80% reliable. When you’re producing your biggest business project of the year, 80% isn’t good enough. At the last minute I decided to buy a second MiFi from Sprint, on the theory that two options to get online were better than one. It turned out that J.D. also had his own MiFi—so we were well stocked in that department.
Three MiFis combined with two cell phones, two MacBooks, one PC netbook, and one brand-new iPad (that was J.D.’s) helped us to stay connected with only minor service interruptions as we rode along the Oregon trail.
And That’s a Wrap
Thanks again for all your support. It’s been a fun journey from Portland to Central America to Europe to Cape Verde to Pittsburgh to Chicago and finally home.
As promised, the EBK is now off the market. It will relaunch in about a month (no train ride, TedX talk, or five-country journey this time) and I’ll also allow our affiliate partners to sell it for 51% commission. Otherwise, I’ll be focused on other projects, including a bunch of writing I need to catch up on. I try to maintain an 80/20 model of free vs. paid work, and I’ve got a lot of fun things planned on the free side now that the first line of EBK is out and running.
The business lesson from this crazy experience was: have fun and tell stories. Make what you do FUN. If it’s not fun, why do it? Remember Charlie’s productivity system. It works.
When you tell stories, people get engaged. We had 400+ entries in the giveaway, many of which made a good case for themselves. I was in Cyprus with a terrible internet connection, trying to figure out how in the world to decide who should win. (My biased judges helped out a lot—thanks, Dad.)
During a Munich layover on the way home I wandered around from cafe to cafe, writing notes from all the case studies. I talked with Johnny B. Truant from the Dallas airport, Tsilli from the Miami airport, Brooke and Nathalie from a (very random) LAX airport motel room, and so on.
Throughout the process, I received a number of notes from readers saying things like:
“I don’t even want to have my own business, but I’m having a lot of fun reading about how you are doing this.”
Those kind of notes make me happy. Once in a while I meet with more traditional businesspeople and they ask what “industry” I’m in. I usually say world domination, which can be fun, but I think that storytelling is also a good description.
Whether your interest is empire-building or something else, always think about the stories. And of course, don’t just tell other people’s stories—create your own story. Are you working on yours?
And by the way: it’s nice to be home! I think I’ll take a five-hour nap this afternoon.
Image: Dead Air